The famed Marais neighbourhood spans two Paris districts, the third and the fourth. We visited the fourth last week, and found it to be full of lovely old architecture, ancient islands, and the mighty Seine river. Read more about that here.
But this week, it’s all about the “new” Marais in the third arrondissement. Bustling cafe scenes, hip boutiques with hip characters, and fashionable flaneurs and flaneuses. The third is the place to see and be seen. And we loved it.
Here’s what we found as part of our Paris Countdown, where we spend a full day in every single Paris arrondissement.
The interactive map
First, here’s an interactive map of everything we are about to recommend, to help you find it all easily.
The Earful Tower podcast episode
This podcast episode on the 3rd district of Paris gives a deep dive into the district, our top recommendations, and our total score for the neighbourhood out of 100.
Video guide to the 3rd arrondissement
Here’s our visit, in video format, via our YouTube channel. We’ll be making one of these travel vlogs every week, so be sure to subscribe (you can do it in one click via this link).
The Earful Tower’s guide to the 3rd arrondissement
Get a culture fix at Musée National Picasso
There’s probably nowhere better on earth to see the work of Picasso, and what a setting too! This incredible museum is a must-see for art fans, with a well-curated look into the work and the life of Pablo Picasso. (Hear our 2020 interview with the museum’s curator here). @museepicassoparis Address: 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003
Wander around the Square du Temple
A picturesque corner of Paris that’s ideal for a takeaway lunch. Address: 64 Rue de Bretagne, 75003
Discover one of the best museums in Paris
Ah what’s not to love about the Musee Carnavalet? This museum of Paris history has been closed for years for a mega facelift, but it reopened in June 2022 and looks spectacular. Do not miss this place. @museecarnvalet Address: 23 Rue de Sévigné, 75003
Relax in Square Georges Cain
Another of the tiny yet ultra-charming Marais parks, overflowing with ancient stone relics and friendly Paris dogs (it’s a dog park too!). Address: 8 Rue Payenne, 75003
Explore Musée des Archives Nationales
This is the museum I was raving about on the podcast. Be sure to go upstairs to see Napoleon’s handwritten testament and a letter from Marie Antoinette. Address: 60 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003
Find the best hidden garden in Le Marais
The Square Saint-Gilles du Grand Veneur might have a massive name, but it’s a tiny park. And it may as well be private. Even with the help of a map you might struggle to find it, but once you’re inside, you’ll find yourself in one of the quietest spots in all of central Paris. Address: 9 Rue du Grand Veneur, 75003
Stroll along Rue de Turenne
There’s a lot going on along rue de Turenne, but I especially love it for its collection of incredible doorways. I rank it as the second best “door street” in Paris, following rue de Varenne.
Eat like a local at Marché des Enfants Rouges
There are plenty of choices at this bustling market, it’s hard to go wrong, and it’s also worth visiting just to take a look around, even if you’re not hungry. Address: 39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003
Have a cocktail at one of the ‘best bars in the world’
The Cambridge Public House has landed on the Top 50 Bars in the World list and that’s no surprise, it really is an excellent spot for a cocktail. Extra friendly staff members and a wonderful ambience. @thecambridge_paris Address: 8 Rue de Poitou, 75003
Spot the celebs at Le Mary Celeste
OK, OK, we’ve never actually spotted any celebs here but we’ve heard the rumours. And even if they’re not true, this staple on the Marais bar scene is an excellent choice for refreshing drinks on a warm evening. @lemaryceleste Address: 1 Rue Commines, 75003
People-watching at Le Progrès
Classic people-watching on the terrace with traditional bistro food. Address: 1 Rue de Bretagne, 75003
Grab at flat white at Fringe
Great coffee served by Leonard Cohen fans, it seems. What’s not to love. @fringecoffeeparis Address: 106 Rue de Turenne, 75003
Watch Paris wake up over a coffee
Forty Six and Third cafe offers a beautiful and surprising brunch (popcorn on avocado toast!) and great coffee, best enjoyed from the terrace in the morning so you can see Paris waking up. @46and3rd Address: 46 rue de Turbigo, 75003
Get a vegan fix at Wild and the Moon
It’s popular for a reason and is now a chain across Paris. Their cold drinks selection is expensive and experimental, I had a charcoal lemonade and it tasted great. @wildandthemoon Address: 25 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Address: 55 Rue Charlot, 75003
That will do for now! Next week we’ll be taking you to the 2nd arrondissement as part of this Paris Countdown series, where we’re spending a day in each Paris district.
A big thanks to Augusta Sagnelli for the photos and Charlotte Pleasants for the additional reporting.
Here’s the podcast episode again in case you missed it, new episodes every Monday – next time, the 2nd arrondissement.
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5 thoughts on “Guide to the 3rd arrondissement: The New Marais”
You can’t visit all the wonderful places in the 3rd. But, I am sorry you missed Loustic coffee on Rue Chapon. They’ve been in business since 2013 and were one of the first coffee houses to open. Great coffee and a laid back vibe gets it high marks. In general the 3rd is my favorite arrondisement
The Picasso Museum in the 3rd is just one of the various Picasso Museums. In France, there are two others, in Antibes and the National Picasso Museum in Vallauris. And in Spain there is the quite large Picasso Museum in Barcelona, and the Picasso Museum in Malaga (his birthplace), along with the modern art museum, Reina Sofia, in Madrid which has a special focus on Picasso and has his most famous painting, Guernica.
We always stay at Hotel Des Duex-Iles on I’lle St-Louis. Small rooms but wonderful location. Staff super nice. Like St.Regis, Cafe Med and Chez Janou just north of Place de Vosges.
Oliver, please do not stop exploring Paris and France. Your guidance is impeccable.