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Located in the geographic center of Paris, the “MARAIS”, which literally translates to “SWAMP” in reference to the land it was originally built on, is a historic RELIC saved from Baron Haussmann’s sweeping city overhaul of the 1900s. Its narrow labyrinth-like streets and Medieval architecture were spared, giving it the unique feel and personality it has today.

Today, Le Marais is home to an eclectic population: mostly young affluent professionals, with some traditional Jewish areas around rue des Rosiers and trendy gay men here and there, mostly along rue des Archives. 

Le Marais stretches from the strikingly modern Pompidou Center to the classically historic Place des Vosges, and invites you to discover it’s fun cafés, irresistible boulangeries, and great restaurants, mixed with trendy boutiques that have become notable with the fashonista, enchanting (and sometimes secret!) gardens, lively open markets, and squares that act as resting places for a quick break or people-watching, by tourists and Parisians alike.

The upper Marais or Haut Marais is located about 5 minutes on foot north of the most central parts.  This area has jumped in popularity over the past few years and has attracted hip art galleries, stylish high-end boutiques, as well as tasty restaurants, making it one of Paris’s most trendy and up-and-coming neighborhoods.  Home to Paris’ oldest covered market, Marché des Enfants Rouge which was built in 1612, renovated in 2002, is opened several days a week and features a beautiful array of prepared foods and produce stands.  The market is on the area’s main street, rue du Bretagne, lined with cafes and restaurants, with a selection of food and drink you will never tire of: from Moroccan, Japanese bento box, Mexican tacos, Italian pizzas, and, of course, a creative spin on traditional French cuisine – all blended together among intriguing cocktail bars - making it a fine area for spending time at all hours of the day or night.

Le Marais is one of Paris’ most lively areas - even on Sundays, when many streets become pedestrian, and shops have special permission to stay open (while the rest of Paris is closed), so simply sipping a drink on a café terrace will always provide you with the spectacle of simply watching Parisiens… being Parisiens.

Le Marais photos

Le Marais map