Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Wandering around the Marais in Paris

I love wandering around the Marais in Paris. Which is exactly what I do every time I'm there. It's my favourite neighborhood to do this in. The Marais is located right in the heart of the city, on the Right Bank of the river Seine. It's one of the most historic areas in Paris, but also one of the most trendy areas. You'll find many quirky shops, top-notch restaurants and hip cafes here, but also some interesting museums and art galleries.

Photo by Sonja Schloesser

Here are some of my favourite spots in Le Marais:

  • I love, love, love my teas and tea shop Mariage Frères in the rue Bourg-Tibourg has the same effect on me as a candy shop on a child. The shelves are stocked with rows and rows of tea  tins filled with blends bearing enticing names such as Marco Polo, Love Song and French Summer. In the back of the shop you'll find a lovely tea room, which is a good spot to have some lunch.

Photo by Sonja Schloesser
  • Rue des Rosiers is the centre of the Parisian Jewish community. Here you'll find the best falafel in the world. Or at least outside of Israel. There are quite a few falafel shops, but Chez Marianne is #1 in my book. There's usually a long queue here, but don't let that put you off. Believe me, the food here is worth the wait.

  • Shopaholics beware! The Marais is a shopper's heaven as you'll find an enormous range of clothing shops here. Whether you like your vintage frocks, high street brands or even top end labels, you will find it in the Marais. My favourite place to rummage through the racks is a lovely vintage clothing shop called  Free'p'star on the rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie. Make sure you have space in your suitcase as you'll be sure to need it.
Photo by Sonja Schloesser

  • Of all the art galleries and museums in the area, I like to wander through the opulent rooms of the former residence of Victor Hugo located on the Place des Vosges. It's easy to imagine what it must have been like for the Hugos to live here in the 1500s. 

  • After all that strolling around and wandering through the narrow Marais streets, the Place des Vosges is THE place to take a breather. It's surrounded by lovely cafes and restaurants, and in summer the grassy bit in the middle is especially great to do some people watching.


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