Want to explore Le Marais but not sure where to start? This article will show you all the best things to do in Le Marais plus where to stay, eat & drink for a fun trip!
Sitting at the heart of Paris and covering parts of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, Le Marais is enveloped by charm at every turn!
With its history-rich cobblestoned streets lined with quirky boutiques, LGBT-friendly bars, art galleries, gourmet restaurants, and 17th-century architectural treasures, including the scenic Places Des Vosges, Le Marais is a district that never fails to make an impression.
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But with so many things to do in Le Marais, it can be challenging to decide how to spend your time.
To help you find your way, I have compiled the perfect list of things to do in Le Marais including places to stay, eat, drink, and wander about, so you can take advantage of everything this beautiful Parisian neighborhood has to offer.
Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips
WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
- Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook.
- Don’t forget a universal travel adapter, a travel neck pouch, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit a lot of attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
- Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.
But before we do, let’s look at where to stay in Le Marais if you haven’t yet found your ideal home away from home!
Where to Stay in Le Marais, Paris
If you have decided to base yourself in this trendy neighborhood but haven’t zeroed in on exactly where to stay, below are some of my recommendations on the best hotels in Marais.
Hôtel Caron: Without breaking the bank, Hôtel Caron provides you with all the amenities you’ll need and puts you close to Le Marais district’s top attractions like The Picasso Museum and you can easily connect to other parts of the city thanks to Saint-Paul metro station being 3 minutes from the hotel door.
Hôtel Jules & Jim: Situated between Place des Vosges and Centre Georges Pompidou and just steps away from the Arts et Métiers metro station, this boutique hotel offers beautiful contemporary rooms, some with views of Paris rooftops. You can indulge in well-crafted cocktails at the onsite cocktail bar or chill in the courtyard with an outdoor fireplace, all at a mid-range budget.
Le Pavillon de la Reine & Spa – Small Luxury Hotels of the World: This hotel is the pinnacle of luxury in Le Marais. Located in the historic Place Des Vosges, this 5-star hotel pairs unmatched luxury with an ideal location giving you the perfect district exploration base. Also, there is a spa, hammam, and fitness center, and the Chemin Vert Metro Station is a 4 minutes walk from the property.
Le Ferdinand – Le Marais Serviced Apartments: This residence offers eight unique, well-located, and elegantly designed apartments fitted with antique-style decor and comfort amenities to suit your vacation needs for those who prefer an apartment to a traditional hotel. And if you get hungry, you can dine at the onsite Le Ferdinand Restaurant which offers delicious contemporary meals.
Best Things to Do in Le Marais, Paris
In no particular order, here is exactly what to do in Le Marais Paris for a fun trip!
1. Take a guided walking tour of Le Marais
The scenic and history-rich district has a new awe-inspiring discovery at every narrow cobblestoned street so you will never be out of sightseeing options.
However, your sightseeing adventure gets even better when you know exactly where to look for this district’s charm and that’s where guided tours come in.
This Le Marais guided walking tour, in particular, will provide you with everything you need to relive the Renaissance version of Le Marais.
Stroll through the district’s well-known architectural highlights and hidden gems tucked away in beautiful little streets.
The best part about this tour is kept a secret that you will only find out when you book it. I promise you’ll love it.
2. Take in the tranquillity of Place Des Vosges
You haven’t visited Le Marais if you don’t walk through the oldest and arguably the most beautiful planned square in Paris, Place Des Vosges.
Steeped in history, this iconic square was completed between 1605 and 1612 and was formerly called Place Royale.
Spend an afternoon admiring the beautiful house fronts lined with red bricks and stone quoins, then walk around the vaulted archways underneath that now house art galleries, restaurants, and antique shops.
For a well-rounded experience, settle on a bench facing the fountains under rows of beautiful square Lindens, or pack a picnic and sit on the grass and soak in the tranquillity of this gorgeous square — which has become one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris.
Address: Pl. des Vosges, 75004 Paris.
3. Visit Maison de Victor Hugo
Before leaving Place Des Vosges, be sure to stop by Maison de Victor Hugo or Victor Hugo’s house which was converted into a museum.
Maison de Victor Hugo recounts the writer’s life and houses the bedroom where he died in 1885.
Wander around the seven rooms Hugo built a life in and wrote a significant part of “Les Misérables.”
On the first floor, you will find his drawings and illustrations of his literary works and when you look down from the upstairs window, you’ll have a memorable view of Place Des Vosges.
The best part about Maison de Victor Hugo is that it’s free to visit making it one of the best free museums in Paris.
Address: 6 Pl. des Vosges, 75004 Paris.
4. Go on a Le Marais Food Tour
For foodies, this is one of the best things to do in Le Marais Paris.
Explore the charming district with an expert guide and discover trendy spots offering exceptional flavors and must-try cuisines on this food walking tour.
On this tour, you will enjoy French classics made with locally sourced ingredients and served over unique stories and fun facts about French food.
Prepare to nosh on savory and sweet delicacies like fresh French cheeses paired with wine, cured hams, delicious chocolates, and various French pastries.
You’ll also explore Le Marais’ buildings, cafés, galleries, and a convivial traditional market that will make a lasting impression on you.
5. Admire the architectural beauty of Hôtel De Ville
One of the best things to do in the Marais is to take in the beauty of Hôtel de Ville which is a government building rather than an actual hotel as its name might suggest.
This architectural masterpiece is ingrained in the roots of France’s history and houses the office of the Mayor of Paris.
After going through turbulent years, including a fire outbreak during the Paris Commune in 1871, the City Hall still stands in all its glory.
Hôtel de Ville first started as the seat of the Paris City Council in 1357 and has remained on the same ground ever since.
Although you can’t visit the inside, you can take in the rich history behind this Parisian monument through its exterior architectural design, and during occasional exhibitions, usually during heritage week every 3rd week of September, you can wander the interior for a trip down memory lane.
And if you visit Paris during Christmas, you’ll be able to admire the dazzling front exterior that transforms into a bright blue color with falling snowflakes and sparkling lights! After all, it has one of the best Christmas lights in Paris and there is always a small Christmas market in its front yard. It’s a view you shouldn’t miss.
Address: Pl. de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris.
6. Go on a shopping spree at BHV Marais
Is there anything you can’t find in BHV Marais? You be the judge of that.
Standing since 1856, Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville or BHV Marais as commonly known is a Parisian department store that sits across the magnificent Hotel de Ville and was opened by ironmonger Xavier Ruel where he sold hardware.
Spread across eight floors, you will find everything you can think of. From women’s fashion, perfumes, and handbags, to arts and crafts, culinary arts, home decor, toys, food, household items, and the DIY and hardware stuff the departmental store was initially known for.
Address: 52 Rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris.
7. Explore Picasso’s works at Musée National Picasso
A stunning mansion dedicated to an iconic artist, the Musée National Picasso housed in a 17th-century grand townhouse and opened in 1985 reenacts the artistic career of renowned artist Pablo Picasso across the meticulously detailed mansion.
Located in the Hôtel Salé, climb up the grand staircase and marvel at more than 5,000 paintings, sculptures, sketches, notebooks, and documents that replay Picasso’s creative process at different points of his career. You will also find the iconic La Celestina painting here.
Before you go, you’ll need to purchase this entry ticket in advance to avoid wasting time in a long queue.
Address: 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris.
You can also check out my recommended tours and activities in Le Marais in the widget below all offered by my favorite tour provider GetYourGuide.
8. See Modern Art at Centre Pompidou
An ultra-modern masterpiece, Centre Pompidou’s colorful tubing and exterior design will steal your attention before the interior booming with the 20th and 21st-centuries culture does.
Take the escalator and spend an afternoon marveling at more than 50,000 modern and contemporary artworks from 1905 to the present, and later peruse the Bibliothèque Publique d’information (public information library) and the museum’s design shop.
After taking in the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe, crown your experience by dining at the picturesque Georges restaurant, a Parisian rooftop restaurant set on the 6th floor of the building.
But even if you choose not to eat there, you can also unwind on the terrace located on the same floor and take in stunning views of the Eiffel tower and Paris rooftops.
To access both the museum and the rooftop, you’ll need to purchase this Centre Pompidou entry ticket and if you want to get an in-depth insight about it, you can sign up for this private tour to go with a knowledgeable and friendly guide.
Address: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris.
9. Admire 18th Century Artworks at Musée Cognacq-Jay
Relive 18th-century France at the mercy of an art-loving couple who spent their fortune collecting masterpieces.
Théodore-Ernest Cognacq and his wife, Marie-Louise Jaÿ who founded La Samaritaine departmental store spent 27 years of their lives collecting 18th-century French artworks and Musée Cognacq-Jay opened its doors to show us their beautiful collection.
Housed in the 16th century Hôtel Donon since 1929 and recently renovated in 2015, you will find about 1,200 artworks spread across four floors.
You will love the diversity of these artworks with everything from paintings by Canaletto, Louis-Léopold Boilly, and Giovanni Tiepolo to 17th-18th centuries furniture, jewelry, and porcelains displayed in paneled rooms.
Like Maison de Victor Hugo, Musée Cognacq-Jay is also free to visit.
Address: 8 Rue Elzevir, 75003 Paris.
10. Take a picture with the red fiat 500 at the Merci concept store
If you’re looking for Instagrammable places in Paris, then head to Merci Concept Store in the hip neighborhood of Le Marais.
Visit this concept store housed in a 19th-century building and you will be greeted by a red Fiat 500 parked in the paved courtyard.
Take your first photo of the day with the car then walk into the beautifully-curated setting selling eye-catching interior decor and fashion accessories.
Downstairs, you will find a Café and restaurant Flor Cantina overlooking a beautiful garden.
But wait till you walk into the Used Books Café where you can sip coffee while reading one of the 10,000 books.
Still wondering why you should add visiting this store to your list of things to do in Le Marais? The profits from your purchase go to educating underprivileged women and children.
Address: 111 Bd Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris.
11. Learn about Paris’ history at Musée Carnavalet
The history of Paris is inexhaustible but Musée Carnavalet opened in 1880 gives a good insight into the City of Lights.
Situated in 2 stunning 16th and 17th-century buildings, Hôtel Carnavalet and Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau, the museum uncovers different stages of Paris’ development with historical objects, paintings, and artworks that defined those periods spread across various rooms.
And after a long day wandering, you can sip a coffee or just cool off in its lovely courtyard.
Address: 23 Rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris.
12. Discover Jewish culture at the Museum of the Art and History of Judaism (MAHJ)
If you didn’t know, Le Marais was once the Jewish quarter of Paris and this next attraction on my Le Marais Paris guide recounts that!
Set in the 17th-century Hotel de Saint-Aignan mansion, the Museum Of The Art And History Of Judaism (MAHJ) traces the history of the European and North African Jewish community from the middle ages to the present.
Opened in 1998 and currently the third largest Judaism collection in the world, wander around the mediatheque containing over 12,000 religious objects, archives, and cultural arts that explore the rich history and culture of Judaism in France.
You will also find paintings by famous artists like Marc Chagall and Amedeo Modigliani.
Don’t forget to go through the bookshelf of Jewish art books and purchase any that piques your interest.
Address: Hôtel de Saint-Aignan, 71 Rue du Temple, 75003 Paris.
13. Visit Eglise Saint-Paul Saint-Louis
Walk through the huge and beautiful red door and you know why visiting this church should be on your list of things to do in Le Marais.
Unlike other gothic-style French churches in Paris, Eglise Saint-Paul Saint-Louis was the first to adopt a Baroque-style architecture and was constructed between 1627 and 1641.
Besides its impressive exterior architecture, the interior is equally captivating! There is a grand 19th-century gallery organ worth seeing and you will also see the stunning painting of Eugène Delacroix, (a famous French painter) named “Christ in agony in the garden of olive trees,” on top of the lavish sculptures that adorn its walls.
Completely renovated in recent years, walk around this church and you might just be standing in the same spot Victor Hugo stood when his daughter, Leopoldine, celebrated her wedding in 1843.
Address: 99 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris.
14. Examine photographs at Maison Européenne de la Photographie
Opened in February 1996, Maison Européenne De La Photographie (MEP) is the place to go if you are a photography buff looking for what to do in Le Marais Paris.
You will find both works by internationally renowned and budding photographers in the 18th-century Hotel Henault de Cantobre.
Browse through the heritage library of over 24,000 reference works and the video library holding 750 films on photography.
Each year, exhibitions focusing on a particular artist, theme, or movement are held so be sure to catch one.
Address: 5/7 Rue de Fourcy, 75004 Paris.
15. Visit The National Archives Museum
An exceptional place not to miss when looking for what to see in Marais is National Archives Museum.
Set in Hôtel de Soubise, almost all the important digital files, microfilms, sound recordings, and documents in French history from the Merovingian period to 1958 can be found in the national archives, including Napoleon’s last will and Louis XVI’s journal.
Once you explore the archives, walk in the picturesque garden — a result of four merged gardens.
Walk through this garden’s beautiful trees, orchards, and secret green spaces for an unforgettable experience.
If you are lucky, you might even find some of the musical events that go on year-round.
Address: 60 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003 Paris.
16. Shop and Eat at Marché des Enfants Rouges
Situated in the heart of Le Marais, the oldest food market in Paris, Marché des Enfants Rouges got its name from the young orphans who walked the area in red clothes donated by Christian charities.
Opened in 1615, bring your appetite and chew your way down this market offering diverse foods and craft beverages.
Discover the thriving food scene of Le Marais and purchase fresh produce from the maze of stalls.
Whether you want Italian, Japanese, or Lebanese flavors, multicultural eats are plentiful at this market.
Address: 39 rue de Bretagne – 75003 Paris.
17. Pay Tribute to the victims of the genocide at Mémorial de la Shoah
The genocide of the Jews during the Second World War was a painful tragedy and every 27th of January, an International Holocaust Remembrance Day is held in its honor.
Former French President Jacques Chirac chose the same date in 2005 to inaugurate the Mémorial de la Shoah (Paris Holocaust Memorial) in a neighborhood that had the largest Jewish community.
The museum holds archeological findings of this painful event, a crypt, a wall with names of Jewish people who were deported and killed by the Nazis, and offers teachings and guided tours of its history.
Browse through over 40 million documents, photographs, personal objects of deportees, and video and audio recordings from a four years-long tragedy.
Address: 17 Rue Geoffroy l’Asnier, 75004 Paris.
Where to Eat in Le Marais
There are a number of restaurants in Le Marais but these are the ones you should eat at when you work out an appetite after all the sightseeing.
Salento Marais: Enjoy flavor-filled Italian dishes paired with tasty beverages in an intimate retro-chic setting at Salento Marais. This restaurant will feed both your eyes and mouth with large portions of beautifully plated and mouthwatering Salento-inspired dishes. Address: 6 Rue de Jarente, 75004 Paris, France.
Le Colimaçon: Come here to savor generous portions of colorful, homemade French dishes and Le Colimaçon will use fresh produce and seasonally – updated flavors to keep you returning. Make sure to order their famous Grandmother’s French toast. Address: 44 Rue Vieille-du-Temple, 75004 Paris, France.
Restaurant L’Ange 20: Make reservations at Restaurant L’Ange 20 and watch Chef Thierry bring your dish to life from the open kitchen. The restaurant offers everything French, from its menu of homemade French classics down to its tasty wine selection. Their signature seven-hour lamb fondant is a must-try. Address: 44 Rue des Tournelles, 75004 Paris, France.
L’Aller Retour Marais: Head over to L’Aller Retour Marais for the perfect pairing of home-roasted meat and wine in a warm and intimate setting. Besides putting an emphasis on tasty meals and exceptional service, they also serve delicious wines. With an extensive wine selection featuring over 100 varieties, you’ll definitely find something that suits your palate. Address: 5 Rue Charles-François Dupuis, 75003 Paris, France.
Best Bars in Le Marais
Le Marais is beaming with trendy bars that it can be hard to choose if you want to wind your day with a drink in hand. To help you decide, below are some bars to consider.
Bisou: Who needs a menu? Bisou definitely doesn’t. Say how you like it, and the mixologists will tailor it to your taste. Here, in an intimate atmosphere, you will enjoy an eclectic range of seasonally-inspired bespoke cocktails made using France-grown produce. Address: 15 Bd du Temple, 75003 Paris, France.
FAT: French. Art. Touch! FAT has created a graffiti-covered space for urban culture and hip-hop lovers to grab a drink, connect and play beer pong. Downstairs, you will find a bustling Parisian nightclub space covered in pop art. Address: 8 Rue de Beauce, 75003 Paris, France.
Little Red Door: A regular on the world’s 50 Best Bars list, Little Red Door sticks to a farm-to-glass concept made from locally sourced ingredients. Exuding speakeasy vibes, enter through the red door and you will find a dim-lighted setting serving well-thought cocktails. In fact, it’s one of the best cocktail bars in Paris. Address: 60 Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris, France.
Candelaria: For a taste of Mexico in Le Marais, head to the speakeasy Candelaria. A taqueria serving mouthwatering tacos is the front for this stone-walled bar serving unusual flavor blends of tequila and mezcal in a vibrant atmosphere with occasional DJ visits. Address: 52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris, France.
FAQS About Visiting Le Marais In Paris
What is the Marais in Paris known for?
Le Marais is known for its trendy LGBT-friendly bars, funky and electric bars, historical landmarks, and its history as a Jewish quarter.
How long does it take to walk around Le Marais?
This really depends on how much time you spend at each attraction. If you spend 3 hours in every museum, you might need a couple of days but if you’re just walking around its quaint streets without spending much time inside the museums, I’d say an afternoon would be enough to explore Le Marais.
What is the main shopping street in Le Marais?
The main shopping street in Le Marais is Rue des Francs-Bourgeois which starts around Centre Pompidou. Even when most parts of Paris sleep on Sunday, this street is still full of energy with various brunch spots open to patrons.
What is the famous street in Le Marais Paris?
Rue des Francs-Bourgeois is still the most famous street in Le Marais. Also, Rue de Rivoli, especially around BHV Marais, is very popular although it serves other neighborhoods, not just Le Marais.
Is Le Marais touristy?
Le Marais is quite touristy, especially if you stay around the popular attractions and streets mentioned above, but it’s also easy to find hidden gems and quiet streets in the area.
Which metro goes to Le Marais?
Le Marais is served by Metro lines 1, 8, and 11 depending on where you’re coming from and where you want to stop.
Is Marais a good area to stay in Paris?
Definitely! The area is safe, and centrally located so you can easily access most attractions in Paris and it has accommodations for all kinds of travelers.
Some of my recommended places to stay include Hôtel Caron for budget travelers, Hôtel Jules & Jim for mid-range travelers, Le Pavillon de la Reine & Spa for luxury travelers, and Le Ferdinand – Le Marais Serviced Apartments for those who prefer a homey vibe as opposed to hotels.
What not to miss in the Marais?
Some of the must-visit places in Le Marais include; Hotel de Ville, Maison De Victor Hugo, Place Des Vosges, BHV Marais, Centre Pompidou, Musée Carnavalet, and so much more. You’ll have to read the full article to find out about others.
Final Thoughts on the Best Things to Do in Le Marais Paris
Make sure to swing through Le Marais as the district harbors a wealth of notable historical landmarks, innovative museums, cafés, and unique shopping options for you to experience.
With so many things to do in Le Marais, you will surely have an unforgettable stay in the district.
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- Most beautiful neighborhoods of Paris
- Fun free things to do in Paris
- Famous Churches to Visit in Paris
- Best Museums in Paris
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