Le Marais, Paris – A neighbourhood to discover on foot
The historic district of Le Marais in Paris is worth discovering on foot. Read my travel tips on how to get the most out of your visit to this beautiful neighbourhood.
Beautiful architecture, great shopping, people-watch, the latest design and fashion, diversity and great places to eat and drink
How to enjoy Le Marais
The historic district of Le Marais, in the third and fourth ‘arrondissements’ of Paris, is an oasis of peace and calm during the week and lively on the weekends. I recommend to explore it on foot, get lost in the narrow streets and be amazed by squares, sculptures, museums, fountains and green areas. You will see fashionable people, artists, LGBT, young families, and travellers.
It might help to download a map of Le Marais before you continue reading: Click here
Le Marais is great for shopping. You find the main French and international fashion labels, as well as independent designers. Walk around and be tempted!
Where to find great boutiques in le Marais
Busy shopping streets
- rue des Archives,
- rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie,
- rue des Francs Bourgeois,
- rue Vieille du Temple,
- rue des Rosiers,
- rue de Bretagne,
- boulevard Beaumarchais.
Calm shopping streets
- rue de Sevigné,
- rue du Bourg Tibourg,
- rue de Turenne,
- rue de Saintonge,
- rue de Picardie,
- rue Charlot,
- rue de Poitou.
Rue des Rosiers is in the middle of the Jewish area. Among the fashion shops you find several kosher middle eastern restaurants such as L’As du Fallafel. When the weather permits, many people queue for takeaway and enjoy their food in Place des Vosges.
A musician using the acoustic of the arches around Place des Vosges
There are many fashion labels that have outlet shops in Le Marais. You find some on rue de Sevigné, rue de Turenne, rue du Bourg Tibourg, and you might even find a pop-up sample sale while strolling.
Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest covered market in Paris (16th century.) It has fresh and colourful products, delicatessen stands and great market-style restaurants. It’s located on rue de Bretagne which has many cafes, great food shops, and a flea market on weekends.
Rue des Francs-Bourgeois
Merci is a fashion and home concept store that has become a paradise for creative people who do not settle for average. Located on boulevard Beaumarchais, it has two beautiful cafes and a restaurant where you can unwind and enjoy the atmosphere. Definitely worth a visit.
Used book cafe – merci Paris
If you happen to be in the area on a Thursday or Sunday between 7 am – 2:30 pm, you must go to Marche Bastille on Boulevard Richard Lenoir. Fresh produce, all kinds of fish and seafood, an array of meat, poultry, cold meats, cheese and anything you find in an authentic French market are available. It is loud with vendors advertising their promotions left and right. You may also order oysters, sea urchins and white wine to taste on-site, in some of the seafood stands.
Bastille market – vegetable stand
Seafood paradise in Bastille market
Beautiful squares in Le Marais
Place des Vosges is probably the most beautiful square in Paris and one of the oldest. Walk under the arches, visit the art galleries, have a drink on a terrace, go into the square and enjoy the beauty. Visit the apartment that Victor Hugo rented between 1832-1848. It has beautiful views of Place des Vosges and the entrance is free.
Place des Vosges
Square Georges-Cain on rue Payenne is an oasis of peace and quiet with a 17th-century statue in the middle, roses around, sculptures in stone from the Carnavalet museum and even a table to play chess. It’s the perfect detour from the hustle and bustle of rue des Francs Bourgeois.
Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine, at the junction of rue Caron, rue d’Ormesson and rue de Jarente, near metro Saint-Paul, is a beautiful square surrounded by restaurants, terraces, 18th-century buildings and is paved with cobblestones.
Where to eat and grab a drink
Brasserie Bofinger is a fine dining restaurant founded in 1864 and decorated in ‘Belle Epoque’ style. The menu features food from the French eastern region of Alsace, close to Germany and therefore, sauerkraut is the specialty. However, the extensive menu has a variety of meat, fish and seafood dishes including exquisite seafood platters. For dessert, I love the profiteroles with Valrhona hot chocolate and the crêpes flambéed in Grand Marnier.
Seafood platter at Brasserie Bofinger
Le Petit Commines is a cosy bistro with creative French dishes made with seasonal fresh ingredients. The menu is not extensive but you will definitely find something to delight your palate. The atmosphere is intimate, warm, with beautiful stone walls and an extensive wine cellar showcased. Making a reservation is highly recommended.
Carette is known for its beautiful pastries and mini sandwiches. Today, there are three locations in Paris, one in Place des Vosges in Le Marais. The first café opened in 1927 and has become an institution for Parisians. The menu includes delicious sandwiches, colourful salads, succulent breakfast options, and of course mouth-watering pastries. It is conveniently open every day non-stop from 7 am to 11:30 pm.
Morris columns advertise theatre, cinema and shows
Au Petit Fer à Cheval is a typical old French bar and bistro. The decoration is full of small details, nothing too chic but a real French experience. It has tables outside on the terrace, perfect for people-watch, especially because it’s located on the busy rue Vieille du Temple. It also has tables in the back with more privacy. The horseshoe-shaped small bar that you’ll see as you go in, is unique. It is open all day for food or just a drink.
Robert et Louise is a paradise for meat lovers. It has an open kitchen where you can see the meat grilling over the open flames of a fireplace. You may eat at any of the two bars or at a table. The atmosphere is friendly, lively and casual. The decoration has authentic beamed ceilings and stone walls. The menu has delicious French delicacies such as duck confit, foie gras and snails.
Des Gars Dans la Cuisine is an intimate modern and stylish restaurant. The menu offers creative dishes beautifully decorated. The atmosphere is friendly, diverse, fun, and cosy. Don’t be surprised if a glass of champagne on the house, arrives at your table while you look at the menu.
Rue Vieille du Temple
Candelaria is a small and cosy Mexican ‘taqueria.’ The food is so good that it gets very crowded and feels like a college party. In the back, you’ll see a door which takes you to a wonderful hype cocktail bar…who would’ve imagined! It’s always a surprise for first-timers.
Le Mary Celeste is a busy bar and restaurant. It has a big hexagonal bar in the middle where most of the action happens. You’ll observe the art of cocktail making, the preparation of cold dishes and the opening of oysters. The vibe is friendly, vibrant, international, and with a decor inspired by the sea. The food is creative with colour and spices.
Pedestrian rue des Barres
Clasico Argentino is an Argentinian eatery with great empanadas and ice cream. You may eat on-site or takeaway. My favourites are the meat empanadas and the ‘dulce de leche’ ice cream. It has two locations in Le Marais; Place des Voges and rue Saintonge.
Café la Perle is a great address in Le Marais for people-watch. It offers a first-row seat in this fashionable hipster part of town. It is open from breakfast until late night drinks. The vibe is cool, friendly, casual and diverse.
Café Charlot is a retro decorated café/restaurant, located on rue de Bretagne, across the street from Marché des Enfants Rouges. Many Parisians from the area go for coffee, a glass of wine or brunch. It has a busy terrace, perfect to sit down, relax and watch the world go by. Sunday brunch is quite popular.
Chez Janou is a restaurant in a beautiful calm corner that will transport you to the south of France. The food, wine and the vibe are typical from La Provence. It’s usually very busy, with a lot of hustle and bustle. You may have aperitif and olives at the bar while you wait for a table. The duck breast in red wine sauce, the mussels and the chocolate mousse are the highlights of the menu.
Amici Miei is an authentic Sardinian restaurant owned by charismatic Paolo who opened it some twenty years ago. It is located on rue Saint Sabin, not far from Place des Vosges. People who live in the area frequent this neighbourhood restaurant which makes the experience authentic. The chef uses only fresh ingredients of high-quality. The burrata salad, the ‘carpaccio di polpo’ and the pizza are delightful. They don’t take reservations but there is a bar where you can wait while you get a table.
Bontemps Paris is a wonderful pastry shop and salon de thé; a great place for brunch on the weekends. The bread and pastries are perfectly made, the decoration inside is cosy and elegant, the French secret garden outside is beautiful.
I’d love to hear about your experience in the comment section. Share this post with anyone you know will appreciate it, and finally…enjoy Le Marais!
Hotel de Sully
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