Le Marais

Though gentrification has made this one of the city’s most fashionable quarters, it is still heavily Jewish and has been for nearly one hundred years.

TravelCurious Tip

Inkeeping with its bohemian feel, this is one of Paris’ best districts for vintage clothes shopping.

Spread out over the 3rd and 4th Arrondissements on the Right Bank of the Seine, Le Marais is an endlessly charming labyrinth of small crooked alleyways where you can easily wander for a day. It is arguably the most historic district in Paris, with more pre-revolutionary buildings left intact than anywhere else in the city. As well as imbuing the area with a strong sense of history, the age of the place gives Le Marais a completely different feel. While Paris is famed for its wide open squares and avenues (think Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Élysées), these were actually only constructed during the rule of Napoleon after the French Revolution. The architecture and haphazard layout of Le Marais is what all of Paris would once have looked like, and so it offers an intriguing insight into the Paris of old.

The Spirit of the Revolution

Nevertheless, the lack of major world attractions often means that Le Marais is overlooked by visitors to Paris. But what it lacks on this front it more than makes up for in charm, and you can immediately see how its unmistakably Bohemian vibe brought Robespierre, Victor Hugo and Jim Morrison to live here. Particularly worth visiting is the Place des Vosges, one of Paris’ most beautiful parks, built by Henry IV and considered by Napoleon himself to be the jewel of Paris.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre Dame, perched on an island in the heart of Paris, is one of the finest cathedrals in the world.
Île de la Cité
This island in the middle of the River Seine is the historical heart of Paris.
Memorial of the Shoah
The Shoah Memorial and the Holocaust Centre form a single entity whose mission is “understanding the past to illuminate the future.”
Place des Vosges
The oldest planned square in Paris and one of the finest in the city. Located in the Marais district.
Deportation Memorial
Memorial to the 200,000 men, women and children deported from France to Nazi concentration camps between 1940 and 1944 who did not return.
Agoudas Hakehilos Synagogue
Only 5 meters wide by 23 meters from front to back, Art Nouveau genius Hector Guimard used the motif of the Ten Commandments to inspire this building's book-like shape and interior.

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