Picture of a typical street in the heart of Le Marais
Typical street in the heart of Le Marais
People coming to Paris, whether they’re tourists, students, interns or professionals, all ask the same first question: where should I stay? Paris has so many fantastic neighborhoods that it can become hard to pick one. This is why we chose to highlight one of our favorite areas in Paris: Le Marais. The Marais is an amazing neighborhood that brings together the old and the modern. Its ancient winding cobblestoned streets are filled with fun boutiques, great cafes, amazing galleries and so much more. The community also embraces beautiful architecture, making it a delight to stay in the Marais during your time in Paris.

Welcome to Le Marais

Le Marais includes parts of the 3rd and 4th Arrondissement in Paris, and is located on the right bank of the Seine River between Les Halles, Place de la Republique and Place de la Bastille. The Marais is easily accessible by the metro, as lines 1, 5, 8 and 11 all run along the borders of the neighborhood.

Le Marais has a very rich history. As part of some of the central Arrondissements in Paris, the Marais includes some of the oldest buildings and streets in the city. Walking through the narrow winding streets of the neighborhood, you certainly get a feel of what pre-revolutionary Paris must have looked like. Previously home to the rich, the area was claimed by the bohemians after the revolution. Their influence explains why the Marais is now home to many galleries and museums, and also cafes and bars. The heritage of the wealthy can still be seen in places such as the Place des Vosges, where Victor Hugo once lived.

Culturally, the Marais has lots to offer. Traditionally a hotspot for the Jewish and Chinese communities, in recent years the Marais has become noticed for its growing gay presence. All of these different communities contribute to the neighborhood’s diverse atmosphere.

Shopping in Le Marais

Image of a street in Le Marais, Paris
A sun-filled street in Le Marais, Paris
Le Marais offers very diverse shopping. From small boutiques and vintage shops to department stores and farmers markets, the Marais has it all.

  • To begin with a great mix of all these shops, visit the Village St. Paul near the Place des Vosges. The Village consists of some secluded squares where you’ll find small boutique stores as well as antiques shops.
  • Rue du Temple and Rue des Archives are two great shopping streets in the Marais. The famous home décor shop Fleux is located on the Rue Saint-Merri between these two streets. Many more chic boutiques scatter the area.
  • For shopping on a bigger scale, try the Bazar de l’Hotel de Ville, or BHV as the Parisians know it, which is one of the more famous department stores in the city. You’ll find BHV on the Rue des Archives. An even bigger shopping mall is Les Halles, which lies to the west of the Marais.
  • Le Marché des Enfants Rouges on the Rue de Bretagne is one of the oldest covered food markets in Paris. The market offers all sorts of fresh produce and flowers.

Le Marais Cafés, Restaurants, Bakeries and Bars 

Le Marais is filled with many great cafés, restaurants, bakeries and bars. Because of the cultural diversity of the area, you can find culinary styles from all over the world, as well as bars with a distinctively local vibe.

  • Cafés & Bakeries

Picture of a Parisian café in Le Marais
A cozy café in Le Marais in Paris
Café Charlot is a quaint French bistro directly opposite Le Marché des Enfants Rouges on the Rue de Bretagne.

Bar du Marché des Blancs Manteaux on Rue Vieille du Temple has a mouth-watering brunch buffet – and is also great if you just want to have a quick breakfast!

Café Suédois on the Rue Payenne is popular with an international crowd and has a lovely courtyard.

As its name suggests, La Caféothèque is all about coffee, and it offers some of the best cappuccinos in town.

Pozzetto has been called the best gelato shop in Paris, and one taste of this ice cream will show you why!

For one of the best bakeries in Paris, head to the Rue du Temple and look for Legay Choc.

The Rue des Rosier is the best place to try Jewish specialties. Have a traditional Jewish pastry at one of the many bakeries.

  • Restaurants
Image of L’As du Falafel in Le Marais
The popular L’As du Falafel in Le Marais, Paris
On the Rue des Rosier you’ll find the best falafel in town at L’As du Falafel, where there’s almost always a line out the door. For a milder environment, try Middle Eastern restaurant Chez Hanna just down the street. If you’re looking for a restaurant that offers traditional French cuisine, try L’Ambassade d’Auvergne on Rue Grenier St Lazare.

  • Bars

Candelaria is a great bar if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat (oh, and try the tacos!) followed by a night of drinking delicious cocktails. In the southwest of the Marais you’ll find the Open Café and Cox Bar on Rue des Archives and the Raidd Bar on Rue du Temple, which are all very popular gay bars.

Live in Le Marais 

Because of the close proximity to many of Paris’ best landmarks, Le Marais is a great place to stay during your holiday. We have many vacation rental apartments available in Le Marais. By staying in an apartment among locals you’ll get a feel of what it’s truly like to live in the bustling area of the Marais!

If you’re coming to Paris for a longer period, we have furnished apartments available in Le Marais where you can truly feel at home. These apartments come with fully equipped kitchens, so you can prepare your own French cuisine with ingredients bought at the Marché des Enfants Rouges!

What to do and see in Le Marais

Picture of the Place des Vosges in Le Marais, Paris
The Place des Vosges in Le Marais is one of the most beautiful squares in Paris
Besides shopping and café-hopping, don’t forget to check out some of the amazing landmarks in Le Marais! The Place des Vosges is a small romantic park where you can enjoy a picnic while admiring the splendid architecture of the square. Speaking of architecture, the Marais houses some of the most impressive mansions in Paris, such as the Hotel de Sully and Hotel de Ville. The Eglise Saint Gervais Saint Protais is a gorgeous church that lies east of the Hotel de Ville. West of the Hotel de Ville you’ll find the Tour St Jacques, which is a beautifully decorated and recently renovated Gothic tower.

Image of the Centre Pompidou in Paris
The modern Centre Pompidou in Le Marais, Paris
If modern architecture suits you better, be sure to check out the Centre Pompidou, a structure which completely revolutionized the idea of what a museum should look like. Other notable museums in the area include the Musée des Arts et Métiers, the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, the Musée du Judaisme and the Musée Carnavalet. Don’t forget to browse the Marais’ many art galleries too, found all over the neighborhood!

Lastly, to get a sense of what life in the Marais is really like, have a look at our video tours of the area. Check out the Le Marais video tour part 1 and the Le Marais video tour part 2.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this small tour of Le Marais. What’s your favorite neighborhood in Paris?