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 by PARISMARAIS© 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.
My shopping tips
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.
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.
Fashion is one of the areas where the French excel with good taste. I have a recommendation for fashionable men who are looking for a chic Parisian look and personalised service. The former label Stanbridge, today known as Costume Manufacture has excellent quality, cool urban designs; fitted shirts with fun details, stylish suits and great service. You can buy off the rack or have suits and shirts tailor made. They also do on-site alterations and ship internationally. There are many locations in Paris but the flagship located in Le Marais, where you find the charismatic and fashion forward Founder David, is in a beautiful old building with a fabulous courtyard on 13 rue de Sevigné.
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.
Merci is a fashion and home concept store that has become 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.
If you happen to be in the area on a Thursday or Sunday between 7am – 2:30pm, 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.
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.
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.
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My Food & Drink Tips
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.
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 their 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 7am to 11:30pm.
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 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 to your table while you look at the menu.
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.
Clasico Argentino is an Argentinian eatery with great empanadas and ice cream. You may eat on-site or takeaway. My favourite 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 till 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. Try their artisanal beer, Schiuma.
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!
By Solange Lavander (www.solangelavander.com)
Born and raised in Lima, Peru. I’ve lived in different places such as Florida, New York, California; U.S., as well as Switzerland, France and UK. I’m a Marketing Communications professional with international experience (U.S., Peru, France) in different sectors such as cosmetics, foreign trade bank, pan-European R&D Programmes and gastronomy; in different company sizes, structures and cultures. Many years ago, I had a career break, moved to Paris, studied at the French school of culinary arts, Le Cordon Bleu, and officially became a chef. I trained with creative and talented chefs in two gastronomic restaurants and an international catering company in Paris. Today, I am a Food and Travel Blogger (solangelavander.com) sharing my favourite homemade recipes; healthy, fresh, colourful, and full of flavour, as well as travel tips of places I visit around the world, photograph and highly recommend. My aim is to share, inspire and give ideas to those who like to cook, travel and enjoy the good things in life.