Our growing selection of apartments to rent in the Marais reflects the fact that this is undoubtedly one of the most popular areas in Paris to stay, and where we love to stay too! Positioned between the Ile St Louis and the Seine, the Bastille, the Pompidou Centre and République, it is a very convenient base for exploring Paris. With its narrow streets and tall narrow buildings, seemingly unchanged since the late Middle Ages when they were occupied by nobility, the Marais retains a unique and charming ‘village’ atmosphere. Today the area is alive with bars, restaurants, art galleries, food shops and markets, and fashion boutiques, and is regarded as one of the most desirable areas to live in Paris. More recently, the north Marais (the small streets between the Picasso Museum and the Place de la République known as the Haut Marais), has also become increasingly more trendy, with the opening of designer fashion and foodie orientated shops, bars and restaurants. The recent restoration of Le Carreau du Temple, a 19th Century covered market, now redesigned as a cultural centre for exhibitions, theatrical performances, restaurants and bars, is further evidence of the regentrification of the area.
Here are some tried and tested suggestions to help you get the most out of your stay in the Marais, particularly if you only in Paris for a short stay:
For starters, we recommend you wander down the Rue des Franc Bourgeois, the main shopping street in the area which has, unusually for Paris, shops open on a Sunday. The side streets off here, such as Rue de Sévigne, Rue Pavée and Rue Vieille du Temple are also fun to explore, with many fashion boutiques and galleries. If you go further north, to the Haut Marais, there is some great shopping in the streets here, including the Rue de Turenne, Rue Charlot, Rue Saintonge and the Boulevard Beaumarchais. Don’t miss Merci, Paris’s latest ‘concept store’, in a renovated 19th century fabric factory in the Boulevard Beaumarchais, with three loft-like floors displaying everything from furniture and household products to fashion and childrenswear. It also has literary café where visitors can browse through an impressive book collection, and a canteen serving lunch.
Cultural Sights, Galleries and Museums
The impressive Musée Carnavalet is also situated in the Rue des Francs Bourgeois. This beautiful historic museum, accessed via a stunning courtyard, is dedicated to the history of Paris. Collections are presented in rooms which reconstruct the atmosphere of 14th and 15th century private residences, and there are also often exhibitions shown in the impressive Orangery.
Another unmissable museum is the Musée Picasso at 5 Rue de Thorigny, in the Haut Marais, to the north of Rue des Francs Bourgeois, between Rue Vieille du Temple and Rue de Turenne.
Don’t even think of leaving the Marais without visiting the Place des Vosges (at the end of Rue des Francs Bourgeois), which is considered to be the most beautiful square in Paris. Built during the reign of Henry 1V, this perfect square is a unique example of seventeenth century architecture and structured around two pavilions, that of the Queen at the north part of the square, and that of the King at the south part. The pavilions are not open to the public, but it is possible to visit the house of Victor Hugo, which is now a museum.
For a complete contrast, the very modern Pompidou Centre, which borders the Marais area on the other side, is definitely worth a visit. There is currently a fascinating Paul Klee exhibition showing there until 1st August 2016.
The Marché des Enfants Rouges in Rue de Bretagne in the Haut Marais is a great market to visit for fresh produce, especially if you are preparing food in your apartment. You can also get delicious takeaway dishes here, including Italian, Lebanese, African and Japanese. Métro : Filles du Calvaire or Saint-Sébastien Froissart. Open Tuesday – Thursday 8.30am-1pm, 4pm-7.30pm; Friday and Saturday 8.30am-1pm, 4pm-8pm, and Sunday 8.30am-2pm.
There are also two other food markets worth visiting. One is the Bastille Market which is situated in the Boulevard Richard Lenoir (metro: Bastille). This market is one of the biggest in Paris, where you will find a good selection of Spanish Asian and West Indian food, as well as a wide range of vegetables. Opening hours are: Thursday 7 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. for food, and Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. for arts and crafts.
The other is the Marché Baudoyer in the Place Baudoyer, which is also a fresh food market, near Hôtel de Ville and the lower edge of the Marais. (Metro: Hôtel de Ville). This one is only open on Wednesday (12.30pm-8.30pm) and Saturday (7am-3pm).
Where to Eat
For the best falafels, go to Rue des Rosiers, right at the heart of the old Jewish quarter. One of the best we tried here was from L’As du Falafel – there is a small (busy) restaurant, but you can also just get one as a takeaway to enjoy back in your apartment. L’As du Falafel, 34, rue des Rosiers, 75004. Metro: St Paul.
Les Enfants Rouges is a quirky little restaurant close to the Marché des Enfants Rouges, offering an interesting menu of classic French dishes with a Japanese twist. 9 rue de Beauce, 75003. Metro: Arts et Métiers and Filles du Calvaire.
Café Charlot is situated opposite the ‘Marche des Enfants Rouge’ food market and we can highly recommend it for everything from morning coffee, to arguably the best hamburgers in Paris, to Happy Hour cocktails between 7- 9pm. 38 rue de Bretagne 75003 Metro: Filles du Cavalaire
If you fancy a walk down to the beautiful Ile St Louis, the Le St Régis here is a cosy and atmosphere-filled historic café, offering an excellent brunch. 6 Rue Jean du Bellay, Ile St Louis,75004 Metro : Pont Marie and Sully-Morland.
Close to the Place des Vosges, under the plane trees in the Place du Marché Ste Catherine, this friendly restaurant, simply called Le Marché, specializes in traditional French bistro food at a reasonable price. 2 Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine, 75004, Metro: St Paul
Clown Bar is a historical, Belle Epoque-style bar and restaurant in Rue Amelot, near the Cirque d’Hiver. It has been recently revamped, and is very popular for its creative small plates (the work of the Japanese chef) including raw bonito/horseradish/tosazu, langoustine beignets/acacia, shaved truffle mushrooms and more! 114, rue Amelot, 75011. Tel, +33 1 43 55 87 35 Metro: Filles du Calvaire
Le Dome du Marais in the Rue des Francs Bourgeois is a delight for its weekend brunch, as well as dinner. Situated in a pre-Revolution building with a glassed-in courtyard and octagonal-shaped dining room, the ambience is as impressive as the menu. 53 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75004 Tel:+33 1 42 74 54 17. Metro: Rambuteau or St Paul.
For a special night out at a 3 Michelin star restaurant, in an amazing location, try L’Ambrosie in the beautiful Place des Vosges. 9 Place des Vosges, 75004 Tel: 01.42.78.51.45. Metro: St Paul or Bastille.
If you are after a coffee fix, Fondation Café is consolidating its position as the place to drink coffee in Paris. 16 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Metro: Temple, Arts et Métiers or République
134 RdT at both 134 Rue de Turenne and 59 rue de Saintonge, 75003, has won several awards for its delicious baguettes and croissants.
Close by at 133 Rue de Turenne, Jacques Genin is irresistible for chocoholics and pastry lovers. There is also a café where visitors can enjoy a made-to-order millefeuille or a pot of decadent chocolat chaud.
For the best macarons to buy, as well as bread and pastries, we also recommend Pain du Sucre at 14 Rue Rambuteau, 75003
Best Ice Cream
Amorino, with its irresistible selection of delicious gelati has two Marais location, one at 1 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, and the other at 31 Rue Vieille du Temple.
Where to Stay: two examples of Marais apartments we have added to our portfolio very recently:
Rue Chapon 2
A two bedroom apartment close to the Pompidou Centre, the Carnavalet Museum and all the attractions of the Marais, offering a great choice of bars, restaurants, boutiques and galleries. It is also an easy walk to the Marché des Enfants Rouges. The interiors have been designed to create a very relaxing and cosy ambience, with warm colours and retro furniture.
Rue des Ecouffes
A stunning three bedroom apartment in the ideal Marais location, in a pedestrian street just off the famous Rue des Rosiers, and accessed by a beautiful 18th century courtyard. Renovated throughout to a very high standard, the accommodation is on three floors. The double-volume living room is elegant and stylish, furnished with bright colours and paintings, set against the dominant white paintwork.