Paris, or, “The city of lights” has the reputation of being one of the most romantic cities in the world with impeccable culture, art, wine, and food to drool for. Walking through Paris is a treat in itself, with every turn taking you down streets lined with cafés and boulangeries. One of the best parts about Paris is that it’s quite diverse with each pocket feeling different than the last.
Paris is made up of 20 different neighborhoods, known as arrondissements, and the area that occupies the third and fourth arrondissement – Le Marais – has got to be one of the most beloved areas in the city.
Not only is Le Marais centrally located making it an ideal place to base yourself to explore the rest of the city. But Le Marais also has an incredible restaurant scene, nightlife, museums, and shopping! While I would urge you to visit other arrondissements in Paris (especially Montmartre), anything you could ever want is located right in Marais.
The Ultimate Guide to Le Marais in Paris
The Best Restaurants in Le Marais
Dining in France is an experience in itself. The French take their time, ordering slowly and sometimes choosing to drink a bottle of wine before they even start with appetizers. Because it isn’t custom to tip in France, (servers make a fair living wage), it oftentimes feels like service is “slow”, but truly – it’s just how it is in France! So take a seat, relax, and enjoy your meal minute by minute without rushing out of there.
It’s also important to note, at peak travel times, it can be hard to get into some of the more popular restaurants. I highly recommend making reservations ahead of time if you find somewhere you really want to go.
Carette is a Parisian staple with different cafes located all around the city. It’s the perfect spot if you want to stop for a glass of wine or a coffee and have a pastry before dinner (this is common practice in France). I only recommend Carette for a sweet treat or a light breakfast.
Chez Paul has to be my favorite French restaurant in Paris. It is quintessentially French with old decor, a telephone hooked up to a cable cord, a lively atmosphere, and an affordable menu. The food is incredible, shining a light on the complexity and depth of French cuisine. I highly recommend ending your meal with the chocolate profiteroles.
L’AS DU FALLAFEL
L’As du Fallafel is a cheap and simple eatery in the heart of Marais. The restaurant places an emphasis on Israeli cuisine serving big plates of falafels, shawarma, and kebabs. It’s perfect for takeaway or if you’re looking for a quick and casual meal.
LE CLOWN BAR
Le Clown Bar has been featured in major publications throughout the world as it’s made quite a splash on the French dining scene. Well known for serving veal brain (it’s one of the only menu items that doesn’t change seasonally), Le Clown Bar is a beautifully decorated, chic and intimate restaurant. I can promise you, this is one restaurant that you don’t want to miss.
LE MARY CELESTE
Le Mary Celeste is a neighborhood hot-spot known for its breezy, laid-back vibes, and delicious cuisine. They have a large bar so it’s a good spot for drinks and oysters, dinner, or even an after dinner cocktail.
The Best Bars in Le Marais
It’s no secret that Paris knows its nightlife scene. And Le Marais is definitely one of the best areas if you’re looking to go out whether you want to grab casual, laid-back drinks or go all out. From speakeasies, to top cocktail bars, and even clubs, these are the best places to go in Le Marais once the sun goes down.
Andy Wahloo is a riot of a time, and draws a funky, unique crowd. It’s the kind of place where you can stay out late listening to music and dancing, or cozy up to the bar. There’s even an outdoor patio to relax on!
Paris knows its speakeasy’s and Candelaria is a vibe. Located in the back of a Mexican restaurant, when you walk in, the place doesn’t seem like anything special. However, once you advance past the back door you’re let into a moody bar lit by candlelight. It’s a great place to go for pre-dinner cocktails or late night drinks.
EXPERIMENTAL COCKTAIL CLUB
Another “hot” place to be is Experimental Cocktail Club. Experimental Cocktail Club is a bit more clubby and lounge-y with a live DJ, comfortable couches to sit on, and a black door to “hide” the bar from the outside. It can get crowded but it’s definitely worth the wait to get in.
The most unique speakeasy I’ve ever been to is located in the heart of Marais – Lavomatic. The bar is in a laundromat, upstairs, and the way to get to it is to enter through one of the washing machines. Once you arrive up top, you’re welcomed to a fun, warm, small bar area with seating. Plus the cocktails are really good!
LITTLE RED DOOR
The Little Red Door in Paris is known for frequently showing up on the world’s “50 best bars” list and once you go you’ll see why. The drinks are incredibly unique and made with ingredients that I personally have never heard of being put in a drink. The bartenders are knowledgable and the atmosphere is lively. I highly recommend waiting in line to try out this cocktail lounge.
Things to See and Do in Le Marais
Aside from eating and drinking, there are tons of other things to do in Paris’s most fun arrondissement. There are famous parks, incredible shopping, and even museums to stroll through. (Have I convinced you visit Le Marias yet?). Below you’ll find the best ways to spend your time in Le Marais.
BHV Marais is a huge, indoor department store. If you’re wanting to do any shopping in Paris, this is a great place to go. Plus there’s a rooftop bar – Le Perchoir Marais – that allows you views over the city and of the Eiffel Tower.
The Musée Carnavalet tells the history of the city of Paris and has been open since 1880. With tiny replicas of the popular Parisian buildings and rooms that showcase the history of Paris, it’s a great way to spend your afternoon learning about the city. It’s one of the more unique museums I’ve had the chance of visiting.
MARCHE DES ENFANTS ROUGES
Marche des Enfants Rouges is the oldest food market in Paris since the 1600s. The covered market has food stalls to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats, flower shops, and now has some pretty incredible restaurants and wine shops too. You could spend at least an afternoon here, sitting down at different outdoor restaurants and ordering a couple of dishes from each menu (which I highly recommend). Just make sure to finish with a cheese plate and bottle of wine from Bibo Vino.
MUSEE DE LA CHASSE ET DE LA NATURE
The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature is one of the more unique museums that I visited in Paris. It’s a private museum of hunting and and nature and while I thought that this museum was interesting, I wouldn’t make it a priority to visit. Nothing is written in English so it’s hard to decipher what’s being displayed. However, I will say that it is one of the more ornate and beautifully decorated museums in Paris and that is what really intrigued me.
Please note, this museum does not take the Museum Pass. Entrance is 12 Euros.
MUSEE NATIONAL PICASSO
The Picasso Museum is also located in Marais and features works from Pablo Picasso and other artists that are linked to him. The museum is a bit smaller so you can get in and out pretty quickly. This museum does take the Museum Pass.
PLACE DES VOSGES
Place des Vosges is the oldest planned square in all of Paris. (It’s even rumored to be where Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt once shared a home). The square is quite beautiful and the perfect place to go for a picnic or an afternoon in the sun.
One Day Le Marais Sample Itinerary
If you’re planning on visiting Paris and you’re going to spend a day in Le Marais, here’s the perfect sample itinerary of how I would spend my day. Start at a boulangerie, grabbing croissants and baguettes and taking them to go eat outside at Place des Vosges. Then spend the early morning visiting the museums, making sure to prioritize the Carnavalet Museum followed by the Picasso Museum and finally the Museum of National History. For lunch, head to Marche des Enfants Rouges, sampling food from many different restaurants in the market; ending with a cheese plate and bottle of wine at Bibo Vino. Depending on the weather and how full you are, you could head back to Place des Vosges to relax in the sun or instead head to Carette for French pastries. Once dinner rolls around head to pre-dinner drinks at Lavomatic or Candelaria before eating dinner at one of the restaurants listed above, (for classic French I recommend Chez Paul). Cap out your night barhopping from Little Red Door to Andy Wahloo, ending at Experimental Cocktail Club.
While this list of the best places to find in Le Marais was short and concise, the truth is that there is so much more to Paris than can be discovered in a single trip. It would take years of living in this romantic and elegant city to do more than scratch the surface of what Paris has to offer. (An intriguing and exciting challenge that I hope to one day accomplish). So while I personally believe that what is listed above is the best that Le Marais has to offer, I also encourage you to stop off at any bar, restaurant, or cafe that looks inviting to you. You might just find a hidden gem in the middle of Marais.
For more ideas on things to see and do in Paris, make sure to check out my Instagram page/highlight reel by searching “#ppinfrance” and under the highlights, “France”