A Guide to Le Marais, Paris

Travel with me to the 4th in Paris, and discover its many secrets…



And, of course, as you’re getting lost in the 4th’s architecture, you will also be seduced by all of the glam shops that line its streets. But these aren’t your typical “tourist shops.”  These aren’t the “known shops” the media often talks about. These are shops where you will find exclusive posh designer brands available only in Paris. Real. Raw. And only known by “word of mouth.”

A Guide to Le Marais, Paris

Unique home accessories can be found at Luka Luna

Shops like Vintage Bar (yes, a former bar converted to a super upscale fashion outlet that still sometimes operates like a bar); Les Vignoles (with Parisian inspired off-beat designer clothes and accessories); Les Mille Feuilles (a shop filled with gorgeous oddities and home accessories, found only in Japan and Paris); Luka Luna (for more eclectic and interesting home accessories); and I Love My Blender (a delightful bookstore and art shop that ironically DOES NOT serve smoothies). And on and on. These are some of Paris’s best-known secrets, and you’ll want to indulge in them when you visit.

A Guide to Le Marais, Paris

I could browse all day in Les Mille Feuilles

But you’ll also find the streets lined with art galleries and museums where not only can you buy amazing paintings but often also speak with the modern day Picasso’s who are creating the next generation of great art. Check out the Galerie Marian Goodman (one of the most influential art galleries of the 20th Century, a real eye-popper); Galerie Perrotin in a 17th century hotel (Emmanuel Perrotin, the gallery’s owner, is an icon of Paris contemporary art scene and a very deep soul); the Modus Art Gallery, which features paintings, sculptures, and a diverse mix of mediums that is bound to capture your fancy–and a lot your wallet if you’re not careful); and the Centre Pompidou, a controversial (many Parisians don’t like its industrial exterior) high-tech multiplex housing hundreds of art exhibitions (and libraries and restaurants, among other things) that will dazzle you with its over-the-top and expressive personality.

A Guide to Le Marais, Paris

Modus Art Gallery on the Place de Vosges

I can guarantee you won’t be bored venturing into any of these shops or art enclaves, and just could walk away with your dream piece — and a friendship with an artist seducing the world with their creativity.

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Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 69 Comments

  1. Avatar of ELSA


    Paris is beautiful. The Chinese tourists are not. I don’t know what reason they have for going there but they claimed the city their own. Spitting everywhere, being obnoxious like they own everything. Disgusting.

  2. Avatar of Helena Lowson

    Helena Lowson

    There are plenty of nice streets, great restaurants, amazing stores. All you need is to quit the tourist path and make your own. Paris is full of surprises, just find them!

  3. Avatar of Emily Foulkes

    Emily Foulkes

    Just stayed for a week – bustling, without too many tourists. Great area for walking, cafes, and the like. Interesting museums in the Marais or nearby. Definitely will stay in the area next time.

  4. Avatar of Daisy Clarke

    Daisy Clarke

    I love this hip little area. We stayed in an old art gallery that had been converted to an apartment. There are tons of restaurants around and Centre Pompidou is right there. Lots of little clothing stores.

  5. Avatar of Frances Seifert

    Frances Seifert

    We stayed in a flat in Le Marais on vacation recently. I’ve been to Paris many times and never spent much time in this area. It’s a great location for a base of operations. Away from the noise and the crowds, a neighborhood full of locals.

  6. Avatar of Ayla Pennington

    Ayla Pennington

    Hard to believe you have so much to discover in Paris ! Alone in the Marais, you should see the ‘Place des Vosges’ buily by Henri IV and one of the 8 museums to be found there, as well as fabulous fountains and old 17th century buildings and fabulous roofs and carpentry works with high ceilings…

  7. Avatar of Deborah Henry

    Deborah Henry

    Love it there! If you can’t afford the big names and want to see originality, Le Marais offers a variety of boutiques and stores at a fair value. There are a lot of discounters selling the flavor of yesterday, but dig deeper and find something a little different.

  8. Avatar of Catherine White

    Catherine White

    Let’s be honest – all of Paris, Haussmann re-designing or no, is atmospheric and full of romance. But the Marais, even as it becomes more upscale as it gentrifies, retains an old-fashioned Bohemian quality. Wandering the streets, stopping at a cafe, drinking it all in, that’s where it’s at.

  9. Avatar of Leah Helms

    Leah Helms

    Le Marais helps you adjust your pace and regain a certain calm. It is a meeting with times gone by and it invites you to a tourism, which makes you see, really see and not only though the lens of the camera. 🙂

  10. Avatar of Melissa Princeton

    Melissa Princeton

    We went to le Marais to see some of Paris as it was before the big changes under Napoleon III. Hidden gardens were great but so little else is left and the street is still wide. You get a better idea of it from Avignon or old Lyon, I think.

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