Overview of Marais

Marais is a historic district in Paris, known for its stunning architecture, charming streets, and lively cultural scene. Located on the right bank of the Seine River, it has long been a hub of Parisian life, with a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages.

Today, Marais is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood that attracts visitors from all over the world. It's home to a wide range of art galleries, museums, and cultural institutions, including the Musee Picasso, the Centre Pompidou, and the Maison de Victor Hugo.

Marais is also a popular destination for shoppers, with a wide variety of boutiques and stores selling everything from high-end fashion to vintage finds. And for foodies, the district offers a wealth of culinary delights, from traditional French cuisine to international flavors.

But perhaps what makes Marais so special is its unique blend of old and new. Amidst the historic buildings and cobblestone streets, you'll find trendy cafes, modern art galleries, and hip boutiques, creating a dynamic and exciting atmosphere that's truly one-of-a-kind.

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Things To Do in Marais Paris

Place des Vosges
Visit the Place des Vosges

The Place des Vosges is a beautiful public square in the heart of Marais. Surrounded by elegant brick and stone buildings, the square features neatly trimmed trees, benches, and a central fountain. It's a great place to take a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or simply people-watch.

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Musee Picasso
Explore the Musee Picasso

The Musee Picasso is one of the world's premier collections of the artist's work. The museum houses over 5,000 of Picasso's paintings, sculptures, and drawings, as well as personal letters and photographs. The collection spans the entirety of Picasso's career, from his early years as a student to his later, more abstract works. The museum is housed in the Hotel Sale, a 17th-century mansion that is a work of art in its own right.

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Centre Pompidou
Check out the Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou is a modern art museum that houses one of the world's largest collections of contemporary art. The museum's exhibits include works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse, and Jackson Pollock. The building itself is an iconic work of architecture, with its exposed steel frame, colorful pipes, and escalators on the exterior.

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Marche des Enfants Rouges
Wander through the Marche des Enfants Rouges

The Marche des Enfants Rouges is a covered market that dates back to the 17th century. It's the oldest market in Paris and is home to a diverse range of food stalls, selling everything from freshly baked bread to Moroccan tagines. The market is a great place to sample a wide range of cuisines and to mingle with locals.

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Maison de Victor Hugo
Visit the House of Victor Hugo

The Maison de Victor Hugo is the former home of the famous French writer. The museum is dedicated to his life and works and features exhibits on his writing process, personal life, and political views. The building itself is a beautiful example of Marais' historic architecture, with its elegant facade and interior courtyard.

Rue des Francs-Bourgeois
Go shopping

Marais is known for its shopping, with a wide range of boutiques and stores to explore. The district is home to many high-end fashion stores, but it's also a great place to find unique, independent boutiques. The Rue des Francs-Bourgeois is particularly popular, with its trendy clothing stores, antique shops, and cafes.

Enjoy some nightlife
Enjoy some nightlife

Marais has a lively nightlife scene, with a range of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from. Many of the bars are housed in historic buildings, and the atmosphere is generally laid-back and welcoming. The Rue de Lappe is a particularly popular destination, with its row of bars and clubs.

Relax in a park
Relax in a park

Marais has several beautiful parks and green spaces, which provide a welcome respite from the bustling city streets. The Square du Temple is a lovely park with a central fountain, a rose garden, and plenty of benches. It's a great place to sit and read a book or enjoy a picnic.

Hotel de Sully
Visit the Hotel de Sully

The Hotel de Sully is a stunning mansion that dates back to the 17th century. It was once the home of the Duke of Sully, and today it houses the headquarters of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux. Visitors can explore the mansion's beautiful courtyard and gardens, which feature sculptures, fountains, and manicured hedges. The interior of the mansion is also open to the public, and features exhibitions on French history and culture.

Tips To Visit Marais Paris

Tips To Visit Marais Paris
  • Wear comfortable shoes: Marais is a great district to explore on foot, with its narrow streets and charming architecture. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as you'll be doing a lot of walking.
  • Bring a map or use a navigation app: Marais can be a bit confusing to navigate, with its winding streets and hidden courtyards. Bring a map or use a navigation app on your phone to help you find your way around.
  • Visit during the week: Marais can get quite crowded on weekends, particularly in the afternoons. To avoid the crowds, try to visit during the week if possible.
  • Try the food: Marais is known for its food, so be sure to try some of the local cuisine. The Marche des Enfants Rouges is a great place to sample a variety of foods, from French pastries to Moroccan tagines.
  • Take a guided tour: If you want to learn more about the history and culture of Marais, consider taking a guided tour. There are several tour companies that offer walking tours of the district, with knowledgeable guides who can provide insights and anecdotes about the area.
  • Visit off-the-beaten-path attractions: While the Musee Picasso and the Centre Pompidou are certainly worth visiting, don't overlook some of the lesser-known attractions in Marais, such as the Hotel de Sully or the Square du Temple.
  • Bring cash: While many shops and restaurants in Marais accept credit cards, it's always a good idea to have some cash on hand, particularly if you plan to visit the Marche des Enfants Rouges or other outdoor markets.

History Of Marais Paris

  • Marais was originally a marshy area outside the city walls of Paris, but it was drained and developed in the 12th century.
  • The area became a popular residential neighborhood for the French aristocracy in the 16th and 17th centuries, and many grand mansions and hôtels particuliers were built during this time.
  • The Place des Vosges, one of the oldest and most beautiful squares in Paris, was built in the early 17th century under the reign of King Henry IV.
  • In the late 18th century, Marais became a center of Jewish culture in Paris, and many synagogues, schools, and cultural institutions were established in the area.
  • During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Marais became a more working-class neighborhood, with many immigrants from Eastern Europe settling in the area.
  • In the mid-20th century, many buildings in Marais fell into disrepair, and the neighborhood became known for its bohemian and artistic vibe.
  • In the 1980s and 1990s, the city of Paris launched a major restoration project in Marais, preserving and renovating many of the historic buildings and monuments in the area.
  • Today, Marais is one of the most vibrant and fashionable neighborhoods in Paris, known for its beautiful architecture, art galleries, boutiques, and trendy bars and restaurants.

Know Before You Go Marais Paris

Best Time To Visit
How To Reach
Best Time To Visit
  • Weather: Marais Paris has a temperate climate, with mild winters and warm summers. The peak tourist season is during the summer months (June-August), when the weather is typically sunny and warm. However, this is also the busiest time of year, and the streets can be crowded and hot. If you prefer cooler temperatures and smaller crowds, consider visiting during the spring or fall.
  • Events: Marais Paris hosts several events throughout the year, including fashion shows, cultural festivals, and art exhibitions. If there's a specific event you're interested in attending, make sure to plan your visit accordingly.
  • Cost: The cost of travel and accommodations can vary depending on the season. Summer is typically the most expensive time of year, while prices tend to be lower during the winter months. If you're traveling on a budget, consider visiting during the shoulder season (spring or fall) when prices are typically lower.
  • Museums and attractions: Marais Paris is home to several museums and cultural attractions, many of which have seasonal hours. If there's a particular museum or attraction you're interested in visiting, make sure to check their hours and schedule your visit accordingly.

FAQ's of Marais Paris

What is Marais Paris known for?

    Marais Paris is known for its beautiful architecture, trendy boutiques, art galleries, and vibrant nightlife. It's also a historic district, with many buildings and monuments dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

What are the top attractions in Marais Paris?

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