Best Area to Stay in Paris: Le Marais
If you are looking for the best area to stay in Paris, it is Le Marais. There is nothing in Paris that I love more than the neighborhood of Le Marais. It is without a doubt the cutest area, spread across the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, just north of the Seine on the Right Bank. I stay there every time I go and always dedicate at least a day or two for exploring the area, getting lost while finding new favorite spots.
Le Marais is a historic district known for many things. It is the old Jewish quarter, the LGBT center of Paris, and now the most trendy and fashionable place in the city of lights. The cobblestone streets and old-world charm make it a can’t miss destination and the countless museums, galleries, and shops could easily fill your entire Paris itinerary.
Here is everything you need to know about Paris’ best neighborhood, Le Marais!
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Best Area to Stay in Paris: Le Marais
Where to Stay in Le Marais
Above all else, I recommend staying at Le Pavillon de la Reine. Le Pavillon de la Reine is a jaw-dropping five-star hotel located in the heart of the Marais in Place des Vosges, once of my favorite spots in Paris. It is drenched in ivy and such a luxurious, wonderful gem tucked away from the hustle and bustle of le Marais. I have stayed here personally and highly recommend it. Of all the hotels in Le Marais Paris, this is the best of the best! Click here to see the latest prices.
Read more: Where to Stay in Paris: Le Pavillon de la Reine.
If Airbnb is more your style, I have also stayed in a long list of Airbnbs in le Marais. Click here for 8 Le Marais Airbnbs you must stay in.
Le Marais Restaurants
The Marais district Paris is full of many wonderful places to eat and drink. My favorite are:
OBER MAMMA (107 Boulevard Richard Lenoir) is an Italian restaurant that is part of the ever so popular Big Mamma restaurant group. They have many restaurants sprinkled throughout Paris, all rumored to be fantastic, but this is the only one I have been to so far. It is extremely popular so get here as early as you can!
L’AS DU FALLAFEL (32-34 Rue des Rosiers) is easily one of the most touristy places in le Marais (maybe even all of Paris) but I LOVE IT. I basically dream about it when I am away from Paris. L’as du Fallafel a middle eastern restaurant famous for it’s falafel pita sandwich which is exactly what you must order! If you come during normal dining hours, expect to see a very long line. You can either dine in (very causal) or get takeaway — especially helpful if you are in a rush or traveling solo! I come here numerous times every single trip I make to Paris.
MIZNON (22 Rue des Ecouffes) is a very popular Israeli restaurant close to L’As du Fallafel. It is also extremely touristy so you can expect a long line especially during normal dining hours. There are a few seats but it is for the most part a takeaway type of restaurant. The pitas are delicious (such good sauces!) and make sure to try the cauliflower.
LES PHILOSOPHES (28 Rue Vieille du Temple) is a spot I almost never hear anyone else talking about which surprises me because I think it’s great. Years ago I stayed at an Airbnb very close to here so we stopped in for dinner. I ordered the asian style chicken salad and liked it so much that we went back twice more thaT trip (and almost every trip since). The employees aren’t the most friendly people on earth but the salad makes up for it, in my opinion.
LE PETIT MARCHE (9 Rue de Béarn) is a non-touristy French restaurant that I was taken to by a local friend of mine. The menu is in French only.
OB-LA-DI (54 Rue de Saintonge) is a cute cafe and coffee shop — great for breakfast! I was drawn in by the avo toast with pomegranate seeds, non-surprisingly.
CANDELARIA (52 Rue de Saintonge) is a Mexican restaurant but more importantly there’s a hidden speakeasy in the back! Super fun especially late night.
HOLYBELLY 5 (5 Rue Lucien Sampaix) is a cute cafe and a fantastic brunch spot. It’s popular so don’t be surprised to find a long line.
MARCHE DES ENFANTS ROUGES (39 Rue de Bretagne) is a market — the oldest covered market in all of Paris, actually! You can grab individual ingredients at the market or a takeaway meal from one of the many food stalls.
LA MAISSON PLISSON (93 Boulevard Beaumarchais) is a one stop shop including a fresh market, a wine cellar, a delicatessen and a restaurant.
Other places to eat:
LA BRACIOLA — the best pizza outside of Italy, allegedly!
LA CAFEOTHEQUE — cafe
FONDATION CAFE — coffee shop and cafe with cute green plates
L'ECLAIR DE GENIE — beautiful eclairs!
CARETTE — try the raspberry tart
LE LOIR DANS LA THEIERE — famous lemon meringue tart
AMORINO — touristy gelato chain, shaped like a flower
POZZETTO — gelato
COMME A LISBONNE — bakery
CAFE POUCHKINE — desserts
UNE GLACE A PARIS — ice cream
LE VOLTIGEUR — a cute cafe
JUICE LAB & CO. — fresh juice and good avocado toast!
CASA SAN PABLO — tapas
BIGLOVE — also part of the Big Mamma Group. A wonderful spot for brunch Italiano!
LE MARY CELESTE — craft cocktails, seafood, locally sourced meat and seafood from the same people as Candelaria
BAFFO — Italian by a Tuscan chef
SHERRY BUTT — cocktails
MANCORA CEBICHERIA — Peruvian
What to do in Le Marais
My favorite things to do in le Marais, hands down, is to just wander. I love to get up early before the crowds, grab my camera, and head out for some pre-pastry and espresso roaming.
If a guided tour is more your style, here are some different options:
Le Marais is also home to many museums:
Musee de Picasso — full day priority access ticket here
Maison Européene de la Photographie (The European House of Photography)
Musée Carnavalet, highlighting the past of Paris
Les Archives Nationales (The National Archives)
Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (Jewish History Museum)
Musée des Arts et Métiers (Museum of Arts and Crafts)
Musee National d’Art Moderne (National Museum of Modern Art) at The Centre Pompidou — entrance ticket here
And last but certainly not least, le Marais is home to the best shopping in all of Paris! It’s trendy, it’s designer, and it’s pricey (unfortunately). The main shopping streets are said to be Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Rue des Rosiers, and Rue du Vieille du Temple but you can find cute shops outside of those, too.
Some of my favorite Le Marais Paris shopping:
Merci — fashion, interior design, unique goods
Fleux — home decor, gifts, design
Free’p’Star — vintage, second-hand fashion
Les Petites — vibrant and colorful fashion
Antoine & Lili — colorful, unique local (founded in 1994 in Montmarte) fashion
Closed — streetwear from Germany
Bring France Home — souvenirs made in France!
Jamin Puech — (wild) bags and leatherwear
L'Éclaireur — fashion, art, design. Out there but worth walking through
Tom Greyhound — womenswear, menswear, lifestyle
Also don’t miss Place des Vosges, the the oldest square in Paris. It dates back to the 17th century, and is absolutely beautiful. A great place to people watch, enjoy a picnic, or take a break from seeing the sights!
There are also many other gardens you can visit, such as Jardin Anne Frank, Jardin de l’Hôtel de Sens, Jardins des Archives Nationales, and Square Georges Cain to name a few.
Paris is very popular so tours and activities are likely to sell out far in advance. Click below to see the latest prices and reserve your spot for popular Paris activities:
WHAT TO PACK FOR PARIS
COMFORTABLE WHITE LEATHER SNEAKERS. You will likely (hopefully) be doing a lot of walking so this is very important! My very favorite are M. Gemi’s white leather sneakers. I literally never travel anywhere without them. Click here to see latest prices.
NO-SHOW SOCKS. To go with the above mentioned shoes! I have tried so many different ones and find that most fall down under your heel (ouch) but these do not. Click here for the ones I love.
DAY HEELS. Heels you can actually walk in? Yup! These Day Heels are heels you can walk in all day long. Tres chic. Click here to check availability (they sell out constantly, get them while you can!).
SUNDRESSES. I personally live in dresses when I go to Paris because they are so easy to just throw on and go. Click here for my favorite sundresses for Europe. I also shop for them here , here , here and here (that's the US store - for the Aus version which has more products and also ships to the US, click here !).
QUALITY BASICS. I think investing in quality pieces is important always, but especially when traveling. Why? Because you want the fabric to be breathable and durable and for the items to be well made and versatile. But at the same time you don’t want to overpay, which is why Everlane is my favorite place to buy basics! They make timeless products with transparent pricing — telling you exactly how much it cost to make, how much they’re selling it for, and how much competitors traditionally sell it for. I’ve been shopping here for years and so far everything has been great! Click here to see the latest prices.
LIGHTWEIGHT TRAVEL CARDIGAN. Barefoot Dreams’ circle cardigan is honestly one of the best travel-related purchase I have made. So warm and absolutely necessary, I’ve brought mine on every single trip since purchasing it. Also great for transit days and hotel lounging! Click here to see the latest prices.
CONVERTER ADAPTER. This one is universal and works no matter where you’re going so it’s a must. When going to the EU I also bring along this very inexpensive 6 pack so that I have extras. So much to charge these days! Need other recommendations? Click here to see 20 Must Have Travel Products from Amazon Prime.
Some other Amazon travel recommendations:
MAKEUP. My recommendations for travel specifically are:
SKINCARE. If you follow me on Instagram then you know I am a skincare fanatic. While I have an incredibly lengthly process while at home in SF, I try to keep it a little more low-key on the road. Click here to see more detailed skincare info or below for the items I believe are most essential for travel:
LUGGAGE. Away makes the best luggage, hands down. Their suitcases have an unbreakable polycarbonate shell (also scratch resistant), interior compartments, removable laundry bags, and built-in USB chargers and TSA approved locks (so fancy!). They are minimalistic yet contain everything you could need, all at a reasonable price point. Click here to check out their suitcases.
STYLISH CAMERA BAG… if you are bringing a camera! You can’t go to Paris with anything that isn’t chic ;) Since pickpocketing is a thing in Paris I bring GATTA’s Christie camera backpack (named after me) because it’s hands free, has a zipper AND a buttoned flap, and fully protects my camera yet is so cute no one will ever know it’s a camera bag. Click here to see the latest prices.
A FEW PARIS THEMED THINGS. I love bringing a few themed things to Paris, especially for photos!