Thursday, 20 March 2014

Things to do and see in the Marais



Paris being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, there are plenty of places to be seen and visited. If you come to Paris for the first time, you will definitely want to see the main monuments such as:
  1. Eiffel tower
  2. Avenue des Champs Elysées, with Arc de Triomphe on one side and Concorde on the other side
  3. Louvre
  4. Notre-Dame de Paris Cathredral
  5. Sacré-Coeur Basilica - Montmartre Hill
  6. Opéra Garnier
But there is much more to see and do in the city of lights. The best way to see and feel Paris is to walk around the city. 

Today, I will speak the Marais, my favorite district in Paris. It's like a village inside the city. I just love it. The buildings are outstanding. Many of them are listed because of their architectural and/or historical importance. From the 17th century, the Marais was the French nobility's favorite place of residence. Many nobles built their "hotel particulier" (urban mansions) there.

Place des Vosges

To me, one of the most beautiful architectural piece is place des Vosges. The housefronts are all built to the same design of red brick with strips of stone quoins over vaulted arcades.
Enjoy the garden and walk around place des Vosges to see all the art galleries. You will also find lovely shops such as Damman Frères and Pourchet.
If you wish to enjoy a proper French meal, stop at Ma Bourgogne. For a cup of tea and a piece of cake, I would advise, Carette.


The Jewish quarter

Another typical place in the Marais is the Jewish quarter and more precisely rue des Rosiers. If you are hungry, stop by As du Falafel, the best Falafel in town. If you prefer ashkenazi food, go to Marianne. They serve typical eastern european jewish food. My favorite delicatessen is Florence Kahn.
On Sundays it's overcrowded, by don't go there on Saturday; everything is closed.


Shopping

To me, the Marais is the best place to shop. All the French brands are there and are open on Sunday (which is very rare in France). The main streets to shop are :
Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, rue de Turenne, rue de Sévigné and rue Vieille du Temple.
You will also find some boutique which sell stocks from previous collections (Sandro, Zadig@Voltaire...)


Museums

Musée Picasso, musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme, musée Carnavalet, Maison européenne de la photographie, musée Victor Hugo... some great museums are located in the Marais and most of the time they are housed in fantastic "hotels particuliers".


Squares

Another thing I like in the Marais are the squares. There are plenty of them and there are charming.