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The Marais

Listed under Shopping in Paris, France.

  • Photo of The Marais
  • Photo of The Marais
Photo of The Marais
Photo by flickr user chany14
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Sidewalk cafes, antique shops, and an eclectic group of some of the most individual little boutiques set the mood as you stroll down the Marais area of Paris on a sunny day. Come here to get away from the hustle and bustle of larger, department type stores with trendy fashion. The Marais is a mix of Greenwich village and SoHo fashion shops, with small art galleries sprinkled between. Walk in and out of the shops at your own pace, admiring handmade trinkets and fabulous bohemian handbags. There are many up and coming designers who are featured on Rue de Rosiers that are definitely worth a look, as well as Satellite, on Rue de Francs- Bourgeois, a beautiful jewelry boutique. Fresh scents and eye-catching decorations fill each shop and invite you to taste the fun and funky fashions that each shop offers. For a bite to eat, Miss Manor on 87 rue Saint-Antoine offers delicious Viennese bread and buns, hot drinks, croques, paninis, delectable salads, and other treats that will satisfy all taste buds.

Although some may find the shops at Marais a little too quirky, the differences are a refreshing change of pace. The main streets of Marais are Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Place des Vosges, Rue de Turenne, and Rue des Rosiers. You can easily access this smart neighborhood by taking either the Metro Saint Paul (Line 1) or Hotel de Ville (Line 1,11). Alternatively stay in one of an increasing number of chic hotels in the area.

Shop for: Bohemian and vintage fashion

Cafe Stop: Miss Manor

How to get here: Line 1 or 11

Best sales: For about six weeks after Christmas and six weeks in the summer

Written by  Mary Kate Alfieri.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Weekends in Marais

I wish I lived here. The buildings all look as if they survived both wars and were once the homes of stylish Parisian ladies and artists - or the love nests of both. The streets don't allow for much more than foot traffic and the layout is wonderfully unplanned, resulting in irregular sized buildings squeezed between old hotels with high walls which seem to sprawl out onto the streets. Some of the hotels and larger houses are now the art museums, including the Musee Picasso in a beautifully re-touched 17th century hotel.

These are streets for wandering and watching. People in cafes smoke and drink coffee or wine in small glasses or stroll the streets, baguettes under the arms.

Flagstones make heels slip and slide, but that doesn't stop some women from insisting on them, after all there's no point seeing if not to be seen as well.

With too many cafes and bakeries to choose from go for the most full - locals here are bound to have exquisite taste considering the art, architecture, food and fashion that surrounds them.

Busy during the week - laid back at the weekend, expect to lose your way a little and find yourself outside a cafe or gallery - or even better the Lizard Lounge, next to the magical Mariage Frères tea shop. I couldn't afford to buy the tea here but I did buy some nougat of a nun, which isn't something you can do just anywhere.

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