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My first interview hails from Le Marais neighbourhood in Paris. Enjoy these insights and insider tips from Iva, who wouldn’t live anywhere else in Paris.
I met Iva while walking on the streets through le Marais neighbourhood just after the first confinement in the spring of 2020. I think everyone was desperate to renew human encounters. It turned out we were neighbours! When we later met for a picnic by the Seine, we knew we were meant to be true friends
And Who Is Iva?
I’m a Czech ex-pat with a never-ending love for France. I’ve lived in Paris since May 2019, so it’s been more than one year and a half for now. I live in the best arrondissement, as you can hear from everyone living in Paris speaking of their arrondissement as the best one 😀
Well, back to where I live 😀 I’m settled in the 3rd arrondissement, also called “le Marais.”My name is Iva and luckily anyone who has a problem with pronunciation or orthography of my first name, cause it’s as simple as it sounds.
What Are Your Favourite Things About Le Marais Neighbourhood?
The most favourite one is definitely the quantity and quality of coffee shops in le Marais. You will never find so many cafés making a speciality coffee in any other arrondissement. It’s so hard to choose only one of them, they’re all so amazing!
Partisan Café Artisanal, 36 rue de Turbigo
Terres de Café, has five Paris locations. Here are two in le Marais: 36 rue des Blancs Manteaux and 14 rue Rambuteau.
The Broken Arm, 12 rue Perrée
The Broken Arm is a concept store and a café. Browse their unique designs and follow up with a coffee.
Boot Cafe, 19 rue du Pont aux Choux
What Are The Top Three Things You Love To Do In Le Marais?
- grabbing a coffee in one of my fav cafés
- going to the galleries such as Galerie Marian Goodman, Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, and Galerie POLKA
- shopping such as COS and Other Stories
What Is Your Favourite Square Or Park In Le Marais?
Place des Vosges is definitely the most famous square in the le Marais neighbourhood. Many movies and series have been filmed here (eg. the famous French series DIX POUR CENT etc.) I like its unique, Louis XIII architecture. It’s also the oldest planned square in Paris with charming regularity of facades.
Here Are Iva’s Best Picks In Le Marais
I do like Season, but its a very hipster one and sometimes you have to line up for even one hour. (mainly for brunch).
I love EATALY. Well yes, it’s an Italian restaurant but so delicious that you cannot miss it!
I’m fascinated about the restaurant Boulotte with homemade desserts or meal takeaway.
And then, you have to definitely try Marché des Enfants Rouges. It’s nestled in the heart of le Marais neighbourhood and you can get a wide array of food; ranging from Mediterranean to North African to East Asian.
Best Pâtisseries in Le Marais Neighbourhood:
I’m not so much into pâtisserie, but well, I live in Paris. So here are my tips for the best pâtisseries in le Marais neighbourhood:
Pierre Hermé at 4 rue de Bretagne or 18 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie
Ladurée at 14 rue de Bretagne
Yann Couvreur at 23bis rue des Rosiers
and then very newly opened Philippe Conticini, at 31 rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, with fancy croissants and pain au chocolat.
Best Cafés: Some of Iva’s favourite cafés in the Marais are listed above. Here is the “Stylish Coffee” map, created by her friend Veronika that she used when she first moved to Paris.
The Three Best Places To Flâner In Le Marais
If you are spending time in le Marais and want to wander and observe life in Paris (flâner), here are three places to start.
Places des Vosges
As mentioned above, start your visit to le Marais right here. It’s the perfect place to soak up the Parisian vibe. Exit from any side of the square to start exploring the area.
These gardens accessed at 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois or 11 rue des Quatre-Fils are a stunning treasure in the heart of le Marais neighbourhood. Truly tucked away they are the gardens of several hôtels particuliers (mansions) from when the Marais was in its glory days of the 18th century.
Walk up the centre aisle and stop under the glorious dome in this Baroque-style church. The large, luminous dome, one of the first built in Paris, makes stopping by Cathedral Saint-Louis-Saint-Paul very worth the time.
Best Hidden Gems In Le Marais: Iva’s Picks
Swedish Cultural Center, 11 rue Payenne. It is a little taste of Sweden hidden in Paris. Here you’ll find an open-air cinema, concerts, a museum and a café.
Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine is the perfect place to grab a coffee under one of the parasols. The square was built in the 13th century in honour of Saint-Catherine.
Shopping In Le Marais: Iva’s Picks
If you’d like to enjoy shopping, then le Marais is definitely one of the best options in Paris. In le Marais, you can find the most beautiful shops of international chains as COS, Other Stories, UNIQLO, Fragonard and many others.
Aaah, that’s also one of my best parts, of course, 😀 I love The Frankie shop, Officine BULY (oh my gosh, the best cleansing milk ever! And body oil tuberose too!), Jonak, American Vintage, The odder side, Sostrenes Grenes and all small ‘artisanal’ boutiques hidden in the narrow streets of le Marais neighbourhood, for example, Laperruaue.
Iva’s Favourite Way To Spend A Saturday Living In Paris
My favourite way of spending Saturday is a very French one. 😀 I do enjoy long mornings, meaning reading all the news while taking breakfast, then going out for a coffee either with friends or on my own, wandering in the arrondissement without any fixed plan and bumping into random people on the street as happened with Alison 😀
In the evening, when life was still normal, the streets are usually overcrowded by people taking wine with friends so I usually join them, either for dinner with my friends or just for taking a glass of wine as an “apero” – very French style ☺
More Tips For Visiting Le Marais
I love finding out from Iva where her hotspots are in le Marais.
Ile Saint-Louis is in the 4th arrondissement and just a short walk from le Marais. Here is a Guide to Ile Saint-Louis.
Wondering about how to “flâner” in Paris? What is this art of sauntering and observing life? Here is a post that will get you in the mode of the “flaneur.”
I hope you love le Marais neighbourhood as much as Iva and I do. Let us know about your discoveries.
Until next time,
More Paris Info…
If you love that village feel in Paris these areas might interest you:
Montmartre, much like Ile Saint- Louis, feels like a small village. This post on Montmartre leads you to the most popular sites as well as some lesser-known places on the hill.
La Butte aux Cailles, tucked away in the 13th arrondissement, is another place in Paris that has retained its village-like charm. My article on La Butte aux Cailles will lead you to discover some the area and its visually enticing street art.
Canal Saint-Martin is another place full of small restaurants, boutiques and plenty of character. Stroll the bridges of the canal under the chestnut trees and feel like a true Parisian. All the details on this “bobo” district are in this article on Canal Saint-Martin.
If you are looking for food suggestions, read about where to find the best croissants in Paris. And if you are exploring the area around Canal Saint-Martin, here are the best places to stop for a bite or to find the fixings for a picnic.
Travelling to Paris alone? This article on navigating Paris alone is full of tips and tricks for the solo traveller.
This page has all my articles on Paris that will help you plan out your trip, including day trips from Paris. I hope you subscribed to my newsletter to get my free download.
If you are going further afield in France, make sure to check out my page on France.