Historically, the Marais neighborhood has always been the center of the “festive” life in Paris. It’s quite funny to notice that time is going on but … things do not change. Read our guide to visit the Marais neighborhood: things to do in the Marais, top museums, attractions, and itineraries.
The Place des Vosges square has been the center of the excitement since the seventeenth century. Members of the bourgeoisie society and elegant people loved to meet themselves at this place. It hosts the house of the famous writer Victor Hugo (Les Misérables, Le Bossu de Notre Dame…)
The revolution has somehow changed the situation and unintentionally restored interest in the neighborhood that now stretches from the Place des Vosges to Saint Paul until the “top” of the rue Vieille du Temple. “
A trendy neighborhood with a rich nightlife
Today, the Marais district is a dynamic living area which is alive late at night, with the beat of its trendy boutiques, its small art galleries and its (very) numerous bars.
Point of rendezvous of the gay community, this area also benefits of exclusive shop opening hours on Sundays. Here, the animation never break! Despite the narrow streets and little spaces, the Marais is always one of the Parisian walkers favorite places. So, we have no time to lose, let’s go!
Paris Marais attractions map
This map gives an example for a walk in the Marais district starting and ending by place de la Bastille through Place des Vosges (4) where you can find the famous Victor Hugo House (6), many museums (Picasso Museum 9, Carnavalet Museum 7), mansions to see and the rue des Rosiers street with its famous kosher restaurants.
You can find below another walk to discover this neighborhood.
What to do in the Marais Neighborhood: Top sights and attractions
Our walk starts in a small typical street of the Marais area: rue du Bourg Tibourg . You can (already) stop for eating at the Coude Fou .
This is the perfect place to lunch. Jérémy the manager will gladly advise you on its many wines. The menu will surely satisfy the most discerning palates.
At the Coude Fou , the ideal meal consists of coconut Saint Jacques mango and coriander, accompanied by a cup of Menetou Pelle 2004.
At the Next door, on the same sidewalk, a charming little shop awaits you with a scientific name: Anatomica.
Anatomica : a trendy shopping stop
The name of this place can thrill but inside the heat soothe you. Completely wooden, the place is functional and practical. It makes us think to yesteryear shops . Places where you had to wipe your feet before entering, where the bell rang when you through the door .
For products, you will find the basics, noble materials, simple and above all practical goods.
Inspired by the working class, their products are above all comfortable. It includes everything from “black” laundry to gardening tools, Japanese knives, reversed sewing jeans. From Largeot pants to French army jacket of the late nineteenth century or finally Alden luxury shoes. A complete shop, the place is really funky!
Continue then up the rue du Bourg Tibourg street to the junction with rue Sainte Croix de Bretonnerie street. Then turn right to the rue Vieille du Temple Street.
Rue Vieille du temple: the dynamic heart of the Marais
Then you are in the (very) dynamic heart of the Marais. A must- neighborhood streets, lively and full of mansions. Down slightly until No. 15. This is the hotel Vibray. One of the oldest butchers in Paris. You can also admire the mansion named Hotel des Ambassadeurs de Hollande (16).
It’s time to take a break and to taste a hot chocolate at ” Cocoa et Chocolate .” As a bonus, a charming young lady is here to advise you …
Of course, Don’t miss the Picasso Museum! It has one of the most important collections of the master of the Cubism.
read more: Museums in Paris, map , prices, tips
Rue des Rosiers – the Jewish quarter
You are now not very far from the Jewish quarter and the rue des Rosiers street. It’s time for some History . After the revolution , many Jews have sought refuge here to escape persecution in Eastern Europe . After the Second World War, many Sephardim arrived from North Africa , it’s one of the oldest Jewish area in France.
So don’t be surprise to smell odors of borscht and hot pastrami flavoring this particular street known for its famous falafel . Five specialty restaurants are waging a fierce competition .(L’As du Falafel and its kosher falafel is almost an institution).
Rue des Francs – Bourgeois: a rich and trendy shopping place
Always in the heart of the Marais, you can now join another famous street: rue des Francs Bourgeois. A public garden has also been built, accessible by the No 10 of rue des Rosiers street , which can reach the rue des Francs -Bourgeois.
You can find there the new collection and stock clearance shops of many Fashion designers (Sandro, Maje, Les Petites, Claudie Pierlot…)
Musée Carnavalet: History of Paris (Free entrance )
Do not miss, in the rue de Sévigné , the Carnavalet museum(7) tracing the History of Paris .
Want a coffee-break? The Camille restaurant and its lovely terrace can enjoy you .
A little higher, taking rue Elzévir you arrive at the rue Thorigny. But why is it so important? Because at 5, figure one of the most interesting museums in Paris: The Picasso Museum (9).
At Picasso’s death in 1973, thousands of works were given to France. And Parisian can enjoy the largest collection of the artist. And well worth the look!
Then you can discover other mansions in the district or finish this rich walking down the rue de Turenne street until Metro Saint Paul. It is a quite different Marais, more artistic and less crowded. It is very pleasant to walk there and Place des Vosges is near…
At Saint Paul Metro Station you can also continue to discover the Saint Paul Village and walk down to reach the seine river at the awesome Hotel de Sens Mansion (19)
Other Landmarks and attractions in the Marais
MEP Maison Européenne de la Photographie
This one of the museum preferred by Parisian who likes Photography exhibitions.
Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme
This museum is devoted to 2000 years of history of the Jewish community in France and artistic exhibitions in relation with Jewish culture. It is one of the most interesting museums in Paris.
Marché des Enfants Rouge Market
The Marché des Enfants Rouges (The Red kids’ Market ) is a covered market open every day that proposes organic and regional products. This the oldest market in Paris. It’s nowadays very appreciated for the eat-in tables where you can have a good lunch at a reasonable price. Many kinds of dishes are available: French, Moroccan (delicious couscous and tajines), Italian, Briton …
Read also: Paris neighborhoods