I’m Avnish Singh from Day Itinerary Planner, and today I’m exploring one of Paris’s most colorful neighborhoods, that’s right, the Marais, right here. The Marais neighborhood is in the historic core of Paris and runs from the Pompidou Center all the way to the Bastille, which covers the third and fourth arrondissements, all the way to the edges of the River from the Louvre.
So, why Le Marais? Well, it’s not just a neighborhood; it’s a symphony of timeless beauty, centuries-old history, and oh, the culinary wonders! We’ve put on our adventure hats and crafted a meticulous plan to unveil the very best experiences in Le Marais, ensuring your day is nothing short of spectacular.
We’ll lead you through the cobblestone streets, take you down lively boulevards, and dive deep into the very soul of this iconic Parisian quarter. Trust us; by the end of the day, you’ll feel like you’ve discovered the secret heartbeat of Le Marais, all against the enchanting backdrop of the City of Lights.
Ready for an unforgettable journey? Let’s dive in and capture the spirit of Le Marais in a day – because in Paris, every corner tells a story, and we’ve got the roadmap!
Navigating the Marais: Tips for Travelers
You’re about a 10 to 15-minute walk to mega monuments like the Notre Dame and the Louvre. Metro Line Number One and Bus Number 69, which stops at the Louvre, are easily accessible and run along Rue Saint-Antoine, which becomes Rue Riv. Also, you can find Metro Line 11 and Metro Line Number 8 running North and South along the edges of the neighborhood. So, if you’re coming from a different part of Paris, stop at the St. Paul stop, which is off Line One, one of the major Metro lines here in Paris. It takes you here to Rue Saint-Antoine, which turns into Rue Riv, one of the major arteries of the Marais, and you have the whole neighborhood right in front of you.
The Charm of Marais: A Slice of Modern Paris in Historic Surroundings
The trendy boutiques and restaurants, top cocktail bars, narrow romantic streets, and diverse community make this neighborhood a vibrant slice of modern-day Paris that is still encapsulated in a historic surrounding. We created the perfect routing plan to get you from A to Z. Check out the blog for great information on maximizing your time and increasing your fun.
Starting the Day Right: Breakfast in the Marais
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When it comes to breakfast in Paris, you want to skip the hotel breakfast. Parisian locals don’t eat breakfast in the hotel. You want to go to a local boulangerie like this one. It’s an award-winning bakery. There are tons of croissants, baguettes, all the good stuff that you want to try first thing in the morning.
Hidden Gems: Le Petit Versailles Boulangerie
So, we’re in the heart of the Marais here near the St. Paul metro stop, and we’re at a boulangerie called Le Petit Versailles. It’s an award-winning boulangerie. Boulangerie is a French word for bakery, and not only do they have baked goods, but they also have pâtisserie, which are sort of the really sweet, good-looking pastries.
Culinary Delights of Marais: Beast of St. Paul
Another great little café here in the Marais is Beast of St. Paul, run by Monsieur Jean-Pierre. And it’s such a chill place. You might recognize this place from our Paris in 2-day videos. Shawn was sitting here, Brandon was sitting here. And I just love coming here because M. Jean-Pierre is a cool guy. This is a traditional French bistro, seats facing out, and it’s off the main street off of Rue Riv. And I love coming here, even though the guys aren’t here this time, I’m going to go ahead and have breakfast.
Also Read: One Day Itinerary Trastevere
Art and History: Marais’ Cultural Offerings
While there are no mega monuments in this neighborhood, there is still plenty to see and do. The Pompidou Center is one of the best modern art museums in all of Europe. If you love 20th-century art, see it now before it closes for five years starting in 2025.
Historical Marvels: Place des Vosges and Place de la Bastille
Pablo Picasso lived in Paris, and the Picasso Museum houses over 400 pieces of his art. The Carnavalet Museum will teach you all about the history of Paris from the French Revolution. The Marais is the Jewish neighborhood of Paris, and there is a moving Holocaust Museum in the neighborhood.
Aesthetic Splendor: Place des Vosges
And places you can visit any time of day are Place des Vosges and Place de la Bastille. One of the places that you can’t miss in the Marais is the Place des Vosges. In my opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful squares in Paris. It was built in 1605 by Henry IV. It’s sort of the first urban housing project in all of France. Loads of famous people used to live here, including Victor Hugo, who wrote most of Les Misérables while he lived here.
Revolutionary Landmarks: Bastille Day Celebration
I love coming here to hang out, maybe have a sandwich on the bench or a lay out on the grass in the summertime. It’s extremely popular to come here and sort of people-watch and just sort of relax. You would walk by this off the main road and never know it’s here. And that’s what I love about Paris is sometimes you have these hidden gems and wonderful places that survived the French Revolution. I mean, this is like a time capsule, and I absolutely love coming here.
On the edge of the Marais is a spot where history happened that changed the world. On July 14th, 1789, French citizens stormed the Royal Fortress that was turned into a prison known as the Bastille, which had become a symbol of Royal tyranny. These events shocked the world and led to the French Revolution. To this day, July 14th is celebrated as Bastille Day. Don’t come here looking for the prison because all you’re going to find is a big square with a monument dedicated to French democracy and a modern Opera House.
Market Days: Carnavalet Museum and Falafel Row
On Sundays and Thursdays, this becomes one of the best markets in Paris. So, if you want to do a bit of sightseeing when you’re here in the Marais, come check out the Carnavalet Museum, which talks about the history of Paris and does a deep dive into the French Revolution. I love it because it’s a small museum, very manageable. And if you’re looking for a lesser-known museum here in Paris, come check this out.
Sometimes people call this part of the Marais “Falafel Row” because there’s a ton of falafel places. So, we’re going to go by, say hi to the fellas, and give them a shout out again. I ordered just the classic falafel sandwich, which is very inexpensive, it’s under €10, and you get several pieces of falafel, lots of sauce, veg. So, it’s fully vegetarian, which is quite nice.
Classic Bistros: Camille and Café Louis-Philippe
I love it. Camille is a classic bistro restaurant in the Marais that is super popular with locals. So, you have to make sure to book well in advance. They serve all of the French classics, so you can’t go wrong with the menu. And the interior decor reminds me of an old Hollywood movie. I’ve never had a bad meal here, and you are guaranteed to have a good time.
Café Louis-Philippe is a place that’s near and dear to me. I’ve been coming here for years. It’s on a quiet little corner right off of Pont Louis-Philippe, technically in the Marais. So again, it’s one of the recommended places in the Marais, but it’s so close to the Notre-Dame as well. I recommend coming here either for lunch or dinner or simply sitting down for a glass of champagne and enjoying Paris.
Cultural Heritage: Marais as the Jewish Area
Not every place in Paris that you go to has to be on a touristy street or on a busy street. So, santé, cheers!
The Marais neighborhood is well-known as the Jewish area of Paris and was once the largest Jewish neighborhood in all of Europe. Today, it still retains its identity, and you’ll see many Jewish bakeries and lots of locals walking around. Look at this beautiful challah right here. Ooh good.
Remembering History: Shoah Memorial
It’s pretty fitting since the Marais is the old Jewish neighborhood that there would be a museum and a memorial to the Shoah, which is the Holocaust. So, this museum talks about not only what Jewish life was like in this neighborhood but the atrocities that happened during World War II, which definitely impacted not only all of France and Paris but certainly this neighborhood.
So, there were 11,000 Jewish children deported during World War II, and 500 came from just this neighborhood, this arrondissement. If you’re not sitting down for a glass of champagne after a long day of sightseeing, then I think you have to reorganize your priorities here in Paris. I love to come here to Ophélie here in the Marais. It’s just such a small, classic place. It’s on Rue de Temple right next to Le Philosoph. Which is its sort of cooler cousin. They share the same menu. So, I like to come here, have a glass of champagne, order some small bites, and chill out in the late afternoon.
Seafood Delight: L’Îlot
I’m telling you something pretty dang good. If you love seafood, a great place to start off the night or for dinner is L’Îlot, which is one of those places that is trendy because it maintains the friendliness of a family restaurant while the Mexican-born executive chef brings an international flair to the seafood.
If you want a cool place to hang out in here in the Marais, come to L’Îlot. They have an excellent wine list, but they also have eats if you’re hungry. So, you might want to come here before dinner to have some appetizers. They specialize in seafood, so their chef has prepared some oysters, some ceviche, some shrimp, and these potatoes with a very particular sort of French seaweed. Absolutely delicious.
Culinary Haven: Au Bourguignon
There is no shortage of great restaurants right here in the Marais. Don’t forget to bookmark our blog for a full listing. And if you like food as much as we do, don’t worry, we got you. Our Marais food tour is a fun way to learn more about French food.
I’m a man of simple tastes. I only like the best, and this is amazing. One of the things that I love about the Marais is that it’s full of really great restaurants. And one of my favorites has to be Au Bourguignon. They serve typical dishes here from Burgundy, and I eat here every time I’m in Paris, actually. So, I wanted to show this off to you and order some classic French dishes.
Savoring the Moment: Au Bourguignon’s Delights
I ordered a glass of typical Burgundy wine that she recommended. Josh has his glass, and we’re waiting for our start. So basically, what you do is you take a little bit of the foie gras like that, and then you spread it over some bread. And then the bread is the vessel to bring it into your mouth. So, the main event here is obviously the beef Bourguignon. It’s not the bread; the bread is just the vessel. I wish you could smell this because this is the most rich beef stew you could possibly think of having. It’s essentially beef cooked in Burgundy wine with pieces of bacon. Those are the pieces of bacon and onions and carrots and potatoes.
A Sweet Finale: Dessert in Paris
So simplest dishes sometimes are the best, and this is a beef Bourguignon from Au Bourguignon get out of here. This is why you come to France; this is why you come to Paris. I mean, it’s just so tender and at the same time so rich. You get the beef and the wine flavors just perfectly melting together. Love it.
So here we go, this is what I ordered for dessert because in France, you can order cheese for dessert. And I ordered Saint-Marcellin cheese. So, it’s like a Camembert. Instead of being from the north of France, it’s from Burgundy, and it is exquisite. Probably one of my favorite all-time cheeses. Trying to live my best life here in Paris, and this is definitely helping.
Nighttime Revelry: Little Red Door and Cambridge Public House
The nighttime energy of the Little Red Door has kept me coming back for years. What I consider to be my local neighborhood bar in the Marais was recently ranked as one of the top 10 bars in the world for the second straight year. From behind the bar, skilled mixologists shake and stir curated organic ingredients, creating unique flavor combinations. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink with friends or a lively night out, the Little Red Door is my go-to spot to end an evening right here in the heart of Paris.
Even though Cambridge Public House is a friendly neighborhood pub with a casual atmosphere, their cocktails are so good they’re one of the top 50 cocktail bars in the world. The motto here is tradition and transition; they’re experts at the classics while continuously searching for new flavors and ingredients every month to create innovative and delicious cocktails.
Thanks for joining me on an epic day in my favorite neighborhood right here in Paris, Le Marais. Don’t forget to comment, like, and subscribe. And santé.”