9 de March de 2024 mariana

Things To Do in Le Marais, Paris

Nestled in the heart of Paris, the enchanting district of Le Marais beckons with its cobblestone streets, architectural charm, unique museums, modern art galleries, boutique hotels, and vibrant atmosphere. If you’re planning a visit to the City of Lights, be sure to carve out some time to explore the myriad of experiences that Le Marais has to offer. Before venturing into this Parisian neighborhood, it’s nice to grasp some essential details. Translating to “marsh” in French, Le Marais indeed had a marshy past. The district flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries, becoming the prestigious enclave of the French nobility who erected opulent mansions, known as “hôtel particulier,” showcasing historical architectural splendor. With roots as the traditional Jewish quarter, Marais preserves its rich Jewish history, featuring kosher delis and bakeries. Presently, the area has evolved into a diverse mix of communities, encompassing chic boutiques, trendy eateries, and bars, representing Jewish, Asian, and LGBTQ influences. Situated in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, it continues to be a captivating blend of history and modernity in the heart of Paris. From rich history to trendy boutiques, here are some of the top things to do in Le Marais next time you’re visiting Paris!Hôtel de Ville- things to do in Le Marais

Things To Do in Le Marais Paris

Stroll Through Time

Engaging in the art of wandering and observing life (flâner) ranks among the finest activities in Le Marais, Paris. Allocate ample time to relax at a café, explore galleries, visit museums, and meander through the narrow, cobblestone streets in search of diverse hôtels particuliers while perusing the boutiques. On Sundays, numerous streets are closed to traffic, creating a popular and ideal time to experience Le Marais. The district abounds with points of interest, offering an ideal locale for making unique Parisian discoveries. Embark on a leisurely stroll through the winding streets of Le Marais and let the historic ambiance envelop you. The district is a living museum, showcasing a blend of medieval and Renaissance architecture. Lose yourself in the labyrinth of narrow alleys, each corner revealing a piece of Paris’s past. Rue des Rosiers is particularly iconic, offering glimpses into the vibrant Jewish history of the area.


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Chill at Place des Vosges

Exploring Place des Vosges, one of the most picturesque squares in Paris, stands out as a top things to do in Le Marais! Originally conceived as Place Royale in 1605 by Henri IV, it became a residence for Paris’s aristocracy. Renamed Place des Vosges in 1793, it pays homage to the Vosges department, the first to fulfill its tax obligations to the government. Today, Place des Vosges serves as one of the few Parisian parks where sitting on the grass is permitted, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely picnic. The square attracts families, sunbathers, artists, and friends, gathered around gurgling fountains. Don’t miss the opportunity to stroll through the covered archways housing galleries and shops. Indulge in a delightful experience at Carette Paris café, savoring a rich hot chocolate or enjoying a Sunday morning brunch.


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Visit Victor Hugo’s Former Home

Victor Hugo, the renowned poet and novelist, resided at Place des Vosges. Presently, it stands as the sole residence in Place des Vosges accessible to the public. Explore this museum, once Hugo’s home, and witness the spaces where he crafted literary classics such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and segments of Les Misérables. Enjoy a charming view of Place des Vosges from the upstairs windows. Admission to Maison Victor Hugo is free, and no reservations are necessary.

Stop For An Instagrammable Café Experience

If you’re looking for an Instagrammable café experience in Paris, you’ll certainly find it in Le Marais! Two spots in the neighborhood have become particularly popular on social media in the last few years: La Favorite and Carette! La Favorite is a lovely pink corner with flowers that epitomizes all the cutest vibes of a Parisian café. For some of the very best macarons in Paris, you simply must head to Carette. One of their stores can be found in Place des Vosges, and once there, you’ll soon discover a delightful selection of sweet treats, all worth tasting!


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Admire The Architecture At Hôtel de Sully

Appreciating the Hôtel de Sully stands out as a must-do activity in Le Marais, Paris. It serves as an impressive testament to architectural elegance and the opulence of a specific period in French history. Originally constructed in 1624 by a gambler who eventually lost his fortune, the mansion found a new owner in the form of Duc de Sully, Henry IV’s chief minister. Presently, it houses the National Office of Historical Monuments and Sites, featuring an information center and a delightful bookshop. Take a leisurely stroll through the captivating gardens, and in the courtyard, seek out the relief sculptures depicting Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water.


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Visit the Picasso Museum

The Picasso Museum is housed within the magnificent Parisian mansion known as the Hôtel Salé. The extensive collection of Pablo Picasso’s works alone makes it a compelling destination. However, the Hôtel Salé itself, with its grand staircase and opulent details, elevates its status as a top attraction in Le Marais. For further information, explore the Museum’s website to discover all the details.

Take In The Views From The George Pompidou

Featuring a distinctive and funky design, the Georges Pompidou Centre is home to the National Museum of Modern Art, boasting Europe’s largest collection of modern art. The permanent exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou offer a diverse array of modern and contemporary art, complemented by outstanding temporary exhibitions. A highlight in Le Marais, Paris, is to ascend directly to the top floor of the Pompidou Centre for breathtaking views over the Parisian rooftops, including landmarks such as Sacré-Cœur and the Eiffel Tower. If you’re looking for restaurants with Eiffel Tower views, stop at Le Georges!


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Photograph Half-Timbered Houses

In the Marais district, known for its aristocratic private mansions, two ancient and remarkably tall, slender half-timbered houses from the 14th century stand as a testament to the enduring history of Le Marais, Paris. These houses, renovated in the 1960s, leave the question of whether they are the oldest in Paris open. Nonetheless, crane your neck and marvel at their distinctive tilt and the remarkable fact that they still stand. Undoubtedly, a must-see for history enthusiasts, these houses rank among the top attractions in Le Marais, Paris. Rue de Braque, a tranquil street adorned with private mansions, hides a 17th-century half-timbered house discreetly behind one of its facades. While these residences are usually private, serendipity might offer you an open door during your visit. Additionally, photograph the intricacies on the facades along Rue de Braque.


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Stroll Through Rue des Rosiers

Exploring Rue des Rosiers stands out as one of the premier activities in Le Marais, Paris. Known as the heart of the city’s Jewish community, this bustling street offers a vibrant experience. From the perpetual queue at l’As de Fallafel to private courtyards adorned with Pierre de Ronsard roses, and Jewish bakeries tempting with delightful cookies, every corner of Rue des Rosiers is a compelling “must-do” in Le Marais. Amidst the array of independent shops and international boutiques like COS, uncover the discreet entrance to the hidden gem, Jardin des Rosiers – Joseph Migneret. Take note of the memorial commemorating children under five taken away and never returned during a Nazi sweep in WWII. Additionally, don’t miss the substantial section of the Philippe Auguste wall, marking the oldest city wall of Paris.


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Go Inside Paris’ Famous City Hall

Paris’s City Hall serves as the official office of the current Mayor of Paris. The site has housed a city government building since 1357, with numerous transformations over the years, including a devastating fire during the Paris Commune in 1871. Rich in Parisian history, the square even housed a guillotine. In 2024, a notable activity in Le Marais, Paris, is to stand in the expansive square (parvis) before the Paris Hôtel de Ville and appreciate the Olympic rings. For those visiting in December, the charming Christmas market held in this location adds to the festive allure.


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Enter Passage de l’Ancre

The Passage de l’Ancre, tucked away in Le Marais, Paris, is a delightful concealed alley. Upon entering, one encounters vines and flowers, along with private residences, and a handful of shops and restaurants. This is where, regrettably, the sole umbrella repair shop in Paris, Pep’s, used to operate (now out of business). Despite its brevity, the passageway is a charming and peaceful discovery.


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Try Different Cuisines at the Marché des Enfants Rouges

An imperative activity in Le Marais, Paris, is exploring the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the city’s oldest covered market. Situated in the haut Marais along the vibrant rue de Bretagne, it stands out as one of the rare Parisian markets equipped with tables, some communal, creating an ideal spot for lunch (déjeuner) or dinner. Whether you’re purchasing fresh fruits, vegetables, or regional French cheeses, or opting for a take-out meal from one of the stalls, the market offers a variety of choices. With a mix of Italian, Moroccan, French, and Chez Alain Miam Miam, deciding where to begin might be a delightful challenge!


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Stroll Through The Garden Of The National Archives

A truly captivating sight in Le Marais is the exquisite Hôtel de Soubise. It’s worth taking a moment to appreciate its breathtaking courtyard. Proceed to the rear of the courtyard and make a right turn! There, you’ll discover the most enchanting gardens with secluded alcoves for a peaceful and romantic sitting experience.


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Have A Glimpse into Parisian History At Musée Carnavalet

Reopened in 2021 after a lengthy renovation project, the Musée Carnavalet is a gem of a museum to visit. For history enthusiasts, a visit to Musée Carnavalet is a must. Housed in two grand mansions, this museum encapsulates the evolution of Paris from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Wander through opulent rooms adorned with period furniture, immerse yourself in artifacts from the French Revolution, and meander through the serene gardens that provide a tranquil escape from the bustling city outside.


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Enjoy Watching Water Jets At The Stravinsky Fountain

Adjacent to the Centre Pompidou stands the vibrant and captivating Stravinsky Fountain. Crafted in 1983 by sculptors Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle, the fountain, comprising 16 distinct sculptures, serves as a tribute to the renowned Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. After undergoing 18 months of restoration, during which not a drop of water graced the fountain, it reopened in November 2023. Set aside some time to relish watching the water jets in this playful and avant-garde fountain.


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Find The Cannonball At Hôtel de Sens

Discovering a cannonball lodged in a façade turns out to be a surprising and enjoyable activity in Le Marais, Paris. Take a leisurely walk by the splendid Hôtel de Sens with its distinctive turrets. Appreciate the remarkable architecture and inspect the front facade, particularly near the left turret, to spot the black cannonball that has been embedded in the stone wall since the 28th of July 1830!


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Enjoy Gastronomic Delights

Le Marais is a haven for foodies, offering a gastronomic journey through traditional French bistros, cozy cafes, and eclectic eateries. Begin your day with a buttery croissant from a local bakery or savor a leisurely brunch at one of the charming cafes. Don’t miss the chance to explore the diverse culinary landscape, with an array of international flavors waiting to tantalize your taste buds.

Visit Église Saint Paul Saint Louis

Commissioned by Louis XIII in 1641, the church of Saint Paul and Saint Louis holds historical significance, with the monarch personally laying the first stone for the Jesuit church. Beyond its captivating architecture, the church has witnessed significant changes in its role over the years. Originally established as a religious sanctuary in the 17th century, the church underwent a transformation during the French Revolution when it served the Cult of Reason, an atheist organization. Following the ban on the organization in 1803, the church was reinstated to Catholicism. Admission is free!


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Shop At Le Village Saint-Paul

Situated just behind the enchanting Eglise Saint Paul Saint Louis church, this area is a delightful discovery. It’s a small labyrinth of cobblestone streets and narrow passages, forming an intricate network of antique houses and vintage stores. Village Saint-Paul stands out as one of the concealed treasures in Le Marais, offering a worthwhile visit for those interested in antique goods or seeking a unique souvenir from their time in Paris.


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Art Galleries Galore

Art aficionados will find themselves in paradise amidst Le Marais’s thriving art scene. Numerous galleries dot the district, showcasing a diverse range of artistic expressions. From contemporary works to classical masterpieces, there’s something to captivate every art lover’s soul. Take your time to wander through these creative spaces and discover the talent that breathes life into Le Marais.


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Stop in an Art Gallery Housed in a “Hôtel Particulier”

Galerie Perrotin stands as a globally renowned art gallery, with its primary location situated in Le Marais within an impressive “hôtel particulier” on Rue de Turenne, in the 3rd district of Paris. The gallery, opened in 1989 by founder Emmanuel Perrotin, has evolved into an international hub for contemporary artists. As of 2017, Galerie Perrotin has expanded its presence to new spaces in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, and Hong Kong, making it a name likely familiar to many.

Shop At Le BHV

Renowned as one of the finest department stores in Paris, Le BHV (Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville) has been in operation since 1856. On the 5th floor, visitors can find a sushi bar and cafeteria. According to the story, the founder, Xavier Ruel, started with just enough funds to establish a small shop named ‘Bazar Parisian’ when he moved to Paris in 1852. Legend has it that one day, as Napoleon III’s wife, Eugenie, passed his store, her horses were startled. Ruel’s heroic act in saving her life allegedly resulted in an undisclosed sum of money (with conveniently unclear details). With this windfall, he expanded his enterprise, eventually giving rise to BHV, now one of the most famous shopping destinations in Paris.


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Boutique Shopping Extravaganza

Indulge your inner shopaholic in Le Marais’s eclectic mix of boutiques and designer stores. The district is a treasure trove of fashion finds, from high-end couture to vintage gems. Whether you’re seeking the latest trends or unique, locally crafted pieces, the boutiques of Le Marais promise a shopping experience like no other.


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Join A Guided Tour

Embark on a captivating journey through the heart of Le Marais by joining a guided experience! Opt for either a Small Group Walking Tour to see the highlights of the area, a Jewish History Guided Walking Tour, a 3-hour bike experience through Historical Paris, or a River Seine Cruise with Audio Commentary. Each option offers a unique exploration, allowing you to tailor your experience in Le Marais to your preferences.

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As you can see, Le Marais is a microcosm of Parisian allure, blending history, culture, and modernity seamlessly. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, a food lover, or a fashionista, Le Marais promises an unforgettable experience. So, lace up your walking shoes, embrace the charm of this vibrant district, and let Le Marais weave its magic around you!

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