Did you know le marais means “swamp” in French. It may be named after the former swampy land but it is a cultural hot spot today. Our guide to Le Marais neighborhood will make it easy for you to find all the local treasures!
Once built up, Le Marais became the favorite stomping grounds of many French kings before losing its aristocratic airs during the French Revolution. Over the last few decades, Le Marais has evolved from a popular, working-class neighborhood into one of the chicest and most coveted districts in the entire city.
Trendy, chic, vibrant, and charming: welcome to Le Marais!
The Marais neighborhood includes both the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of Paris. The part of the Marais in the 4th arrondissement is normally considered chic, while the 3rd arrondissement is considered more hip. There’s a lot to see in the Marais, and you can easily plan on spending a full day or two in the neighborhood if you’d like.
What to Do
If you’re interested in making a few new purchases while in Paris, this neighborhood is for you! The Marais is considered one of Paris’s greatest shopping districts. The area is peppered with cute boutique shops, and you’ll find a few bigger name stores like Chanel on one of the district’s main streets, Rue des Francs-Bourgeois.
Place des Vosges (sightseeing and museum)
Place des Vosges was built in the early 1600s and is the oldest planned square in Paris. Many say it is the city’s most beautiful square today, and its architecture and fountains are more than deserving of a stop on your stroll. If you’re a literature admirer, don’t forget to check out the house where writer Victor Hugo lived for sixteen years, which is now a museum and located at Place des Vosges.
Closest metro stop: Saint-Paul (line 1)
Marché des Enfants Rouges (sightseeing and market)
A trip to the Marais is not complete without a stop at the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris. This market is a little less traditional, but just as fun to explore. It is filled with various food vendors selling everything from crêpes and cheeses to Lebanese and Italian specialties. We recommend trying the Moroccan stand (Le Traiteur Moroccan) for great authentic couscous.
Closest metro stop: Filles du Calvaire (line 8) or Arts et Métiers (lines 3 and 11)
In addition to the Victor Hugo Museum by Place des Vosges, other museums in the Marais merit your attention.
-The Centre Pompidou in the 4th arrondissement is a top-notch modern art museum. The outside of the museum features exterior escalators and giant colorful tubing, making it an exceptional building in historic Paris.
-The district is also home to the Picasso Museum, which houses over 5,000 of Picasso’s works and tens of thousands of archived pieces. A must for any art lover!
Where to Stay
We would not be guiding you in the right direction if we didn’t recommend staying in Le Marais. It is trendy, full of restaurants & bars, and even close to the main attractions like Notre Dame and the Louvre. Below is our hotel guide on le Marais.
Below is a list of places in Le Marais, but don’t miss our full guide to hotels in Paris!
Hôtel Jeanne d’Arc Le Marais
3 Star | Le Marais | 4th Arr.
For a relatively inexpensive hotel, Hôtel Jeanne d’Arc is located in a great area, is clean and stylish. No, you won’t stay in a suite formerly occupied by Joséphine Bonaparte, but do you really need to?
Le Marais is very close to the two major Seine islands, the Louvre, Latin Quarter, and has a great food scene. I personally try and choose a new area each time I visit Paris, but would recommend Le Marais above all for first-time visitors to Paris.
Turenne Le Marais
3 Star | Le Marais | 4th Arr. | Modern
Comfortable hotel in great area for decent prices. You won’t find marble counters in your bathroom or large soaker tubs, but very clean hotel with good service in a perfect area.
Hôtel Du Haut Marais
3 Star | Le Marais (kind of) | 3rd Arr.
This hotel is my “go-to” hotel for business trips. It offers a lot of space in a modern, but cool space right in the center of Paris. Clean beds that are comfortable with all the amenities you’d want and sometimes even more.
Some rooms have cool soaker tubs that work great for a romantic stay or after a long day of walking around Paris!
The hotel claims “Le Marais” but is about a block outside the unofficial boundaries. That said, it is basically right there and the price is right. I’ll take it!
Hotel Goralska Résidences Hôtel Paris Bastille
4 Star | Place de Bastille | 4th Arr. | Suites
Goralska Résidences is a fantastic choice for traveling families or couples who simply want more space. It is in one of my personal favorite areas of Paris in the 4th near Île Saint-Louis and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Easy walking into Le Marais which has great restaurants and bars. This is an excellent choice if you can afford the near 300€+ per night rates on suites.
Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais
3 Star | Le Marias
Dedicated to the art de vivre that 18th-century writers exemplified in France, this charming hotel will transport you back in time. The decorations are typically Parisian and romantic, with an emphasis on antique furniture and floral prints. Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais is located in the 4th arrondissement, next to one of the neighborhood’s main streets, Rue de Rivoli.
Hotel du Vieux Saule
3 Star | Le Marias
While there aren’t a variety of budget options in the Marais, this hotel will provide you with what you need at a more affordable price. By choosing this hotel, you’ll be steps away from the Marché des Enfants Rouges and the bakeries and shops on charming Rue de Bretagne.
What to Eat
The below list is good, but check out our annually updated list of the best places to eat in Le Marais!
Caractère de Cochon
Caractère de Cochon on Rue Charlot is a great choice for when you don’t want greasy takeout food, but don’t necessarily have time to stop for a sit-down lunch either. This tiny shop is home to different varieties of meats, mostly hams, sausages and chorizos. Think hams flavored with rosemary and mushrooms, or even truffle butter. You can select the type of meat you want and they’ll cut it and prepare a delicious, quality sandwich for you on the spot. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with choices, opt for a classic French sandwich, a jambon beurre – the result of a good baguette generously slabbed with butter and stacked with good ham.
L’As du Fallafel
The Marais district has been home to a vibrant Jewish community since the 13th century. There’s no place that makes this clearer than on Rue des Rosiers, the heart of the city’s Jewish quarter. This street is also the location of the most famous falafel restaurant in Paris, L’As du Fallafel. The line might be long, but when you take a bite of their crispy falafel, you’ll realize it was worth it!
In the mood for seafood? Then L’îlot is your spot! One of the best parts of this quaint restaurant is its atmosphere, which blends an intimate and cozy setting without any sort of pretentiousness. The place describes itself as an oyster bar but serves up much more, including fresh shrimp, smoked salmon and various kinds of fish. During the week they’re only open after 6:30pm, so you’ll want to head here for appetizers or dinner.
La Brasserie du Pied de Fouet
In France, a brasserie signifies a restaurant serving traditional French food, usually in a casual setting. La Brasserie du Pied de Fouet does just that, offering classic French dishes at affordable prices. Come here if you’re looking to try French onion soup, duck confit or a tasty dessert like profiteroles.
La Cidrerie du Marais
A great place to try another French staple: crêpes. Both savory and sweet crêpes are offered here. The menu is very diverse, so you’ll be sure to find something for everyone in your group. Don’t forget to try some hard cider with your meal. Cider (cidre in French) is the typical beverage served with crêpes, and you can choose between a brut (dry cider) or doux (sweet cider) version.
Where to Grab a Drink
There’s plenty of nightlife in Le Marais, as well. For some of the trendiest bars in the city, check out Candelaria on Rue de Saintonge. This restaurant originally appears to be a small taqueria spot serving up small bites.
But head through the “secret” back door, and you’ll step into a dark yet inviting bar that serves excellent cocktails and food. For another great cocktail option, try Little Red Door on Rue Charlot. This hip spot was voted one of the world’s best bars in 2018. There will most likely be a line to get in, so try to get there early!
Check out our guide to the best bars in Paris for more places to drink in Le Marais and beyond!