The lively Marais district surrounds the oldest square in Paris, the legendary Place des Vosges, and lies between the city’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements. A veritable crossroads of fashion, lifestyle and culture, it really is no surprise that this historic district is also one of the capital’s trendiest, with its private mansions on Rue des Archives, its art galleries and museums, its fashion boutiques on Rue des Francs-Bourgeois and its restaurants and food stores on Rue de Bretagne earning it a reputation for being a truly trend-setting neighbourhood.
The real estate market
The market has grown by around 10% over the past five years and is among the most expensive in Paris. Prices are around €14,000 per sq.m on average but can soar depending on the location and the nature of the property. A Place des Vosges address or a view of the Seine will fetch between €30,000 and €35,000 per sq.m, while a top-floor property in a building with a lift (very rare) or a property with all the old period features (parquet flooring, mouldings, fireplaces, etc.) will fetch around €20,000 per sq.m.
With its listed and historic properties and as an ever-greater name on the art and luxury landscapes, the Marais is a district unlike any other. It’s a very popular neighbourhood with a young, arty and partly foreign clientèle, and its classic feel combined with the modern conveniences it offers make this a safe bet for a long-term investment.
The opening of new galleries, the latest store belonging to leading pastry chef Philippe Conticini (at 31 Rue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth) and the many showrooms to be found here make the Arts-et-Métiers area (3rd arrondissement) a trendy place to be.
Also of note is the Morland neighbourhood building project, renamed “La Félicité“ (‘Bliss’), in the Arsenal district (17 Bd Morland and 36 Quai Henri IV, in the city’s 4th arrondissement). This 40,000 sq.m (430,556 sq ft) space combining shops, housing, a 5-star hotel, offices, art galleries, restaurants, youth hostels, a swimming pool and urban agricultural projects is expected to give the neighbourhood a real boost. - Caroline Baudry, BARNES Le Marais
Art of living
The popular and trendy Marais district is the beating heart of the capital, a place to stroll, soak up the culture and generally enjoy life. Here are the BARNES hot tips.
Galerie de l'Instant
@Facbook Galerie de l'instant
This photo gallery concealed behind an old-fashioned red shop front is a must for any connoisseur. Having previously hosted photographic exhibitions featuring legends such as Brigitte Bardot, Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin, the time has come for eternal popstar Madonna to take centre stage in a photoshoot directed by Kenji Wakasugi in 1985.
46 Rue de Poitou, 75003 Paris
Azzedine Alaïa Foundation
@ Facebook Fondation Azzedine Alaïa
Housed in the former studio and living quarters of the great couturier, this hybrid space pays tribute to Alaïa’s world through various exhibitions based on his iconic looks in its bookshop, where his portrait, painted by Julian Schnabel, is displayed along with a selection of books on fashion, art, design and literature.
18 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
@Facebook Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
This fairytale castle-like museum opened by André Malraux at the beautiful Hôtel de Guénégaud in 1967 and extended to the Hôtel de Mongelas in 2007 takes visitors on a journey into a magical world where wildlife reclaims what is rightfully its own. Watch out for the polar bear lurking in the maze of corridors as you explore the various collections of ancient, modern and contemporary art housed here that pay tribute to the animal kingdom.
62 Rue des Archives, 75003 Paris
Maison Européenne de la Photographie
@Facebook Maison Européenne de la photographie
Not far from the Saint-Paul metro station and the delightful banks of the Seine stands this fascinating museum providing an opportunity to admire works by both well-known and emerging photographers in an intimate and peaceful setting. This autumn the museum will be hosting the largest retrospective exhibition ever devoted to Ukrainian photographer Boris Mikhailov.
5-7 Rue de Fourcy, 75004 Paris
The Marché des Enfants Rouges
@Marché des Enfants Rouges
The capital’s oldest indoor market, built in 1615, has become a key destination for the bohemian middle-class on their weekend stroll, coming here to enjoy foods from far corners of the world in a period setting.
39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
@Facebook Le Marais
Paris’s chicest concept store lies tucked away in a small, cobbled courtyard and comprises three floors of wonderful wares including tableware, decorative pieces, stationery, fashion and some delightful books. A true temple of good taste where you’re sure to find the perfect gift.
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris
@Facebook Kevin Couliau
Just a stone’s throw from the Carreau du Temple, bookshop-cum-gallery Ofr is a must for those with a passion for influential and arty fashion magazines, new-style city guides or contemporary art by emerging artists. AaRON singer Simon Buret actually exhibited his Cocteau-inspired creations here.
20 Rue Dupetit-Thouras, 75003 Paris
The hottest reservations in town
L’Auberge Nicolas Flamel
@Facebook Nicolas Flamel
This brand-new recently renovated restaurant, which was awarded a Michelin star in 2022, is the oldest inn in Paris (1407). Honouring the great history of French gastronomy, chef Grégory Garimbay serves up “instinctive cuisine” that includes blue lobster and Culoiselle chicken.
51 Rue de Montmorency, 75003 Paris
Cour des Vosges
@Facebook Cour des Vosges
This 5-star hotel on the unique and historic Place des Vosges houses both a restaurant and a tea room that offer luxurious, calm and plush surroundings. You’ll get a good meal here at any time of the day, but be sure to stop by at tea time and sample the Tourbillon cakes by Meilleur Ouvrier de France Yann Brys at the Pâtisserie Brach.
19 Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris
@Facebook Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers
From 4pm to midnight, every day of the week, breath-taking views across the rooftops of Paris await on the top floor of the Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers, a welcoming space in which to relax with a cocktail among friends.
Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers, 243 Rue Saint-Martin, 75003 Paris
The formal gardens of the Carnavalet Museum are the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail by Nico de Soto or sample the seasonal menu crafted by Top Chef 2022 Thibaut Spiwack to really make the most of those late-summer days.
16 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75004 Paris (until October 2022)
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