Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by April Verge
Are you looking for the best things to do in Le Marais District?
If so, then you’re in the right place!
Ever since I made Paris my home in 2021, Le Marais has quietly but surely become one of my favorite neighborhoods in this enchanting city.
Nestled in the heart of Paris, this historic district is a delightful blend of old-world charm and contemporary zest. It’s a place where every cobbled street and corner tells a story, where the past and present dance in harmony.
Whether it’s your first time in Paris, marveling at the grandeur of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, or you’re a seasoned traveler seeking to uncover the city’s hidden jewels, Le Marais welcomes you with open arms.
My own journey of discovery in these winding streets, from medieval buildings to vibrant markets, has been nothing short of magical.
Let me take you through the myriad treasures that make Le Marais an unmissable part of Paris.
If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of things to do in Marais Paris:
Best Things to Do in Le Marais Paris
1. Historical Gems of Le Marais
Among my personal favorites in Paris is the Musée Carnavalet.
Nestled in Le Marais, this museum, dedicated to the history of Paris, holds a special place in my heart. Housed in two majestic mansions, it unfolds the city’s story through a remarkable collection of art, furniture, and historical artifacts.
Each room, each exhibit, transports you to a different era, from the prehistoric days to modern times. The intricate details, from elaborate doorways to ornate rooms, speak volumes about the city’s evolution.
It’s a place where I often find myself lost in the alleys of history, uncovering yet another layer of Paris’s past with each visit.
Place des Vosges
As you meander through the neighborhood, you’ll soon arrive at the Place des Vosges, known as the oldest planned square in Paris.
Lined with red brick buildings and covered arcades, this square is a testament to the architectural prowess of the early 17th century. The harmonious symmetry and the lush central park make it a perfect spot for a leisurely pause.
Victor Hugo, one of France’s literary giants, made his home here, and his residence is now a museum dedicated to his life and work.
Le Marais is also home to the historic Jewish Quarter. Strolling through this area, you can sense the layers of history and culture that have shaped it.
The Rue des Rosiers is the heart of this quarter, bustling with traditional Jewish bakeries, delis, and bookstores.
The vibrant cultural tapestry here is a poignant reminder of the diverse communities that have contributed to the fabric of Paris.
Hôtel de Ville
A stone’s throw away from the Jewish Quarter Paris, is the Hôtel de Ville, the city hall of Paris.
This building, with its neo-Renaissance architecture, is not just an administrative center; it’s a symbol of Paris’s resilience and heart.
Its public square has witnessed some of the most significant events in French history, from festive celebrations to political demonstrations.
2. Shopping Havens
Marché des Enfants Rouges
A day in Le Marais isn’t complete without a trip to the Marché des Enfants Rouges.
As Paris’s oldest covered market, it is a bustling hub where the senses come alive. The market is a tapestry of colors and aromas, with stalls filled with fresh produce, aromatic spices, and artisanal delights.
It’s not just a place to shop; it’s an experience that immerses you in the local culture and culinary heritage of Paris.
When it comes to Paris shopping, Le Marais is unmatched in its diversity and style. The Broken Arm stands out as a prime example. This contemporary boutique, known for its meticulously curated selection of fashion and lifestyle products, offers an immersive shopping experience.
For vintage enthusiasts, Kilo Shop Paris Marais is a treasure trove. This unique store operates on a weight-based pricing system, allowing you to pick out vintage clothing and pay by the kilo. It’s a sustainable and fun way to shop, offering a vast array of styles from different eras.
3. Arts and Culture
A key cultural landmark in Le Marais is the Musée Picasso. This museum, dedicated to the works of Pablo Picasso, is a treasure trove for art lovers.
Housed in the grand Hôtel Salé, the museum showcases an extensive collection of Picasso’s paintings, sculptures, and sketches. Each visit here is a journey through the creative genius of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
The museum also offers insight into Picasso’s personal life, adding depth to the appreciation of his art.
🎨 Picasso MUSEUM TOURS
My personal experiences at the Centre Pompidou, located just a short walk from Le Marais, have been nothing short of extraordinary.
This architectural marvel is not just a museum; it’s a cultural hub. Housing an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art, it features masterpieces by artists like Marc Chagall and Louise Bourgeois.
I remember being mesmerized by the sheer diversity and depth of the artworks on display. The Centre Pompidou is also a place of innovation and inclusivity, offering tours for the visually impaired, which I found profoundly impactful.
Additionally, the presence of a restaurant and the variety of live performances make it a place where art is celebrated in many forms.
You should either reserve a skip the line ticket in advance or be ready to wait in line.
Please note: After Paris hosts the Olympic Games in 2024, the Pompidou Centre is slated to close from 2024 to 2028 for multi-year repairs.
4. Best Le Marais Restaurants
Among the must-visit dining spots in Le Marais is Bistrot Instinct, a gem that has captured my palate and heart.
This cozy bistro, with its warm ambiance, offers a menu that is a delightful blend of traditional French cuisine with a modern twist. The dishes here, crafted with locally sourced ingredients, are a testament to the chef’s creativity and skill.
Each plate is not just a meal but a culinary artwork, perfectly balanced in flavor and presentation. The duck confit and the seasonal risottos have particularly left an indelible mark on my taste buds.
Le Ju’ Restaurant
Another culinary highlight in Le Marais is Le Ju’ Restaurant. This eatery stands out for its fusion of traditional Jewish flavors with contemporary French cooking.
The restaurant’s atmosphere, combining a sense of history with modern chic, makes it a perfect spot for both casual lunches and romantic dinners.
Their falafel and shakshuka are personal favorites, offering a taste of the Middle East with a Parisian flair. It’s a place where each visit feels like a new culinary adventure.
🍰Take this Food and Wine Tasting Walking Tour in Le Marais to learn more about French cuisine than just croissants. On this food tour, find even more delicious things to eat in Le Marais with native Parisian.
5. What to Do in Le Marais at Night
38Riv Jazz Club
or those who love the sultry notes of jazz, 38Riv Jazz Club is a must-visit. This intimate venue, with its underground stone vault, offers an authentic jazz experience.
The ambiance here is reminiscent of the classic jazz bars of yesteryear, creating an atmosphere that’s both cozy and electrifying.
Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or new to the genre, the live performances here are sure to captivate. It’s a place where I’ve spent many an evening, lost in the music and the timeless charm of the setting.
For a vibrant and inclusive night out, COX nightclub stands as a renowned destination in Le Marais, particularly popular within the LGBTQIA+ community.
Known for its energetic atmosphere and welcoming spirit, COX is a celebration of diversity and fun. The club pulses with life, offering a mix of music genres that keep the dance floor lively until dawn.
It’s a space where everyone is free to be themselves, making it a staple of Le Marais’ inclusive nightlife.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back evening, Maria Loca is a hidden gem. This cocktail bar, with its unique Brazilian-French fusion, offers a wide range of expertly crafted cocktails.
The ambiance is chic yet relaxed, making it an ideal spot for a casual night out with friends or a romantic evening.
Their caipirinhas and creative cocktail blends have been a personal highlight, offering a taste of Brazil in the heart of Paris.
6. Things to Do in Le Marais with Kids
Le Marais is a delightful neighborhood for families, offering a variety of kid-friendly activities that are both enjoyable and educational.
- Visit the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature: This unique museum is a hit with kids who are interested in nature and wildlife. It features fascinating exhibits on hunting, nature, and art, making it an educational and entertaining experience.
- Explore the Jardin des Rosiers – Joseph Migneret: This hidden garden is a peaceful oasis perfect for a family picnic or a quiet break. The garden’s play area is ideal for children to play and explore.
- Enjoy a Sweet Treat at L’Éclair de Génie: Treat the kids to some delicious éclairs at this famous pastry shop. Their colorful and inventive éclairs are sure to delight both kids and adults alike.
- Participate in Workshops at Centre Pompidou: The Centre Pompidou offers workshops and activities for children, where they can engage in art-making and creative processes. It’s a fun way to introduce kids to contemporary art.
- Stroll along the Seine River: A leisurely walk along the Seine River offers scenic views and a chance to enjoy the outdoors. The riverbanks often have street performers and artists, adding to the lively atmosphere.
7. Le Marais Things to do Nearby
Nearby to the Marais are some more things to do that are worthwhile visiting.
- Place de la Bastille – Once the site of the Bastille prison, a symbol of royal oppression demolished in 1789, the area now features the July Column, celebrating the 1830 uprising. Marked by cobblestones, it’s a hub for vibrant nightlife and hosts grand Bastille Day festivities annually on July 14.
- Bourse de Commerce – showcases French billionaire Francois Pinault’s collection of over 5,000 modern artworks by artists like Cy Twombly and Jeff Koons. The top floor offers stunning views of Paris landmarks, including the Saint-Eustache church and Centre Pompidou.
- Tour Saint-Jacques – The Tour Saint-Jacques, a stunning Gothic tower constructed from 1509 to 1523, stands as the sole remnant of the Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie Church, demolished in 1797 during the French Revolution.
Le Marais Paris Map
To add this map to your Google Maps account, click the ‘Star’ icon next to the map name. You can then view it on your cell phone or computer by heading to your Google Maps account, click the menu and add it to ‘Your Places’.
Where Are the Best Le Marais Hotels?
Le Marais, with its vibrant culture and historic charm, offers a variety of accommodations to suit every traveler’s need. Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly options, comfortable mid-range stays, or luxury indulgences, this Parisian neighborhood has it all.
- Hôtel Marais Hôme stands out with its modern, comfortable rooms at an affordable price.
- Hôtel Les Tournelles is a perfect blend of comfort and Parisian elegance at a mid-range price.
- For a luxurious stay, Pavillon de la Reine in the historic Place des Vosges offers opulence and exclusivity.
Final Thoughts on Things to Do in the Marais
Any Paris itinerary I create for someone always include a visit to Le Marais. It’s a historically rich, vibrant, and enjoyable neighborhood.
Le Marais is a neighborhood that truly has something for everyone. From its rich history and vibrant art scene to its diverse culinary offerings and lively nightlife, it’s a microcosm of Parisian life.
Hopefully, this guide covered all there is to love about Le. Marais, from the well-known to the secret treasures known only to the locals.
France Travel Planning 🇫🇷
For any trip to be successful, preparation is key. Do it the easy way:
- Booking.com – Find diverse accommodations, enjoy easy booking with great deals, and rely on real reviews and 24/7 support.
- Expedia.com – With its user-friendly interface, it simplifies the process of booking hotels and holiday packages to France.
- VRBO.com – Your go-to platform for unique and comfortable vacation rentals in France.
- DiscoverCars.com – Offers a seamless booking experience, ensuring you find the ideal car for your adventures in France.
- GetTransfer.com – Is the ultimate solution for your travel transfer needs, offering an efficient, flexible service and comfortable transportation.
- Trainline.com stands as a quintessential tool for savvy travelers seeking to navigate France’s extensive rail network with ease and confidence.
- Skyscanner.com – Simplifies your travel planning with its user-friendly interface, offering a comprehensive comparison of flights.
Attractions, Activities and Tours 🇫🇷
- Viator.com – Stands out as a trusted resource for travelers seeking unparalleled experiences across the globe.
- GetYourGuide.com – Offers an extensive collection of tours, activities, and attractions in France.
- ParisCityVision.com – This tour company specializes in crafting exceptional experiences across Paris and France.
- Orange Sim Card – Discover seamless connectivity on your French travels with an Orange Holiday Europe Sim Card, a top choice for tourists.
- Airalo.com – The world’s first eSIM store that solves the pain of high roaming bills by giving travelers access to eSIMs (digital SIM cards).
Travel Insurance ✈️
- SafetyWing.com – Travel with peace of mind knowing you’re protected in almost every corner of the world.
- Travel Insurance Master – Visit their website to discover the ideal insurance plan that aligns with your travel dreams.
These are only a few of my favorites; for more, see my comprehensive guide to the top travel booking websites for France.