Paris Marais Walk

Walk the Marais in 2 hours

Paris Marais Walk

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Tour Information

The Marais is one of the few areas that Baron Haussmann largely ignored when he was tearing up the rest of the city; for that reason, it still retains a medieval feel. Though very few buildings actually date from the Middle Ages, this warren of narrow streets and picturesque squares is layered with a rich history, which is apparent in the pleasing hodgepodge of architectural styles. The neighborhood’s glory days date from the 16th and 17th centuries, when anyone who was anyone simply had to build a mansion or a palace here. Though the area fell from grace in the 18th and 19th centuries, many of the grand hôtels particuliers (private mansions) survived the slings and arrows of time and were reborn as museums and public archives when the neighborhood was restored in the latter half of the 20th century. Today, the Marais is a fascinating mix of hip gentrification and the remnants of a working-class neighborhood. It is at once the center of the city’s gay life, as well as the historic Jewish quarter, even if a much larger community lives in the 19th arrondissement. Some of the city’s best museums and boutiques are in the Marais, so you could easily spend an entire day here.


Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

1
Bijoux Blues

Costume jewlery shop open 2pm - 7pm, Tuesday through Saturday
2
Village St Paul

Many centuries ago, a small hamlet sat on this spot when the area was still mostly marshland (marais means “swamp”). While the neighborhood has transformed many times since, a small reminder of this village lives on, hidden behind an o... Read more
3
Rampart of Philippe Auguste

Before you is the best-preserved stretch of the city walls built by Philippe Auguste. Before leaving town on a crusade in 1190, Philippe decided the time had come to beef up security. The result was a mighty rampart that defined what was th... Read more
4
Hotel (Mansion) de Sens

Built between 1475 and 1519, this splendid fortress/mansion is a rare example of medieval urban architecture. When Paris came under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Sens back in the 15th century, he promptly built himself a suitably fabulo... Read more
5
Rue François Miron

Walk left down rue François Miron to the corner of rue Cloche Perce. You will notice two multistoried half-timbered houses: the Maison à l’Enseigne du Faucheur (no. 11) and the Maison à l’Enseigne du Mouton (no. 13). Pre-Haussman... Read more
6
The Pletzl

You are now entering the city’s oldest Jewish quarter, once called the Pletzl (“little place” in Yiddish), where there has been a Jewish presence since the 13th century. This community swelled and shrank over the centuries, in line ... Read more
7
Rue des Rosiers

Rumor has it that this street got its name from the rose bushes that once lined its edges, back in the days when it ran along the exterior of the city walls. Up until recently, it was the main artery of the Jewish quarter; today, all that... Read more
8
L'as du Falafel

Open 11am to 7:30pm except Saturday

 

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