Spending time in Paris is always a good idea! It is without any doubt my favorite city as it has the most diverse cultural offers you could imagine. Additionally Parisian people, cafés and stores are simply amazing. Well, I could write a book about the beauty of Paris. Instead I’ll just concentrate on some districts of the city.
My absolute favorite area was “Le Marais” which is situated at the right bank of the river Seine in between Place de La République and Place de la Bastille. It’s part of the 3rd and 4th arrondissement/ district. While exploring different spots around this area I noticed a lot of stylish Parisians sitting at cafés, reading books in parks, strolling around the narrow streets, listening to music by street artists, tasting foreign food and visiting local art galleries. In my eyes they were simply enjoying their life and their city. I’d say Le Marais embodies the origins of Parisian lifestyle. The district is also known for its open-minded attitude as it is popular for its LGBT bars/clubs and it is the center of the Jewish faith community.
My five personal hotspots / places you shouldn’t miss in Marais:
I. Admire modern architecture at Centre Pompidou / At the end of the Sixties the French President, Georges Pompidou, decided to create a wide-ranging arts facility devoted to visual culture in all its forms in central Paris. The Centre Pompidou opened in February 1977 and now houses the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe. Designed by the architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers the building is an iconic 20th century monument, striking for its glass and steel architecture, mechanical stairway and colored pipes. The structure boasts a series of technical and futuristic characteristics that make it unique in the world.
Atelier Judith says: “You should definitely pay a visit to this extraordinary art space. Besides the interesting exhibitions (there is currently one about Paul Klee!) you should check out the bookshop right next to the entrance and the square in front of the building, where you will meet a lot of young people from all over the world.”
Métro: Hôtel de Ville (Line 1), Rambuteau (Line 11), Etienne Marcel (Line 4)
II. Visit photography exhibitions at Maison Europénne de la Photographie / Since 1996 this is the major center for contemporary photographic art. The magnificent private mansion from the 18th century regularly presents exhibitions about the themes, movements, and biggests artists in the history of photography. These exhibitions showcase all the countries in the world during the second half of the 20th century.
Atelier Judith says: “Photography-enthusiasts will certainly love this place. I personally liked most the black and white works by the Brazilian photographer Celso Brandão.”
Métro: Saint Paul (Line 1), Pont Marie (Line 7)
III. Take a break from the heat at Place des Vosges / The square was originally called “Place Royale” – it was later renamed after the French Revolution in tribute to the north-east region of Vosges. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful squares in Paris. Visitors are strolling under the arches or along the paths of the central garden, taking time to admire the beautiful facades of red brick. The composition of the square epitomizes the classic French style and is a unique example of seventeenth century architecture.
IV. Taste French food at Marché Bastille / The most acclaimed Thursday and Sunday market takes place at Boulevard Richard Lenoir. Beginning beneath the famous monument at Place de la Bastille, two long alleyways of tempting French gourmet products stretch for almost a kilometer. There are street entertainers and musicians.
Atelier Judith says: “This is the perfect spot for a short lunch break. I tasted some delicious French cheese and bought a tasty Baguette there.”
Métro: Richard Lenoir (Line 5), St. Ambroise (Line 9)
V. Walk around the picturesque streets of Marais / At the end of my trip I walked around the streets of Marais a lot and that’s how I coincidentally found more nice spots like Cafés, Vintage shops or simply some photogenic avenues.
Another amazing spot in Marais is Musée Picasso.