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Place des Vosges, le Marais | © Nico Crisafulli/Flickr
Place des Vosges, le Marais | © Nico Crisafulli/Flickr

31 Absolutely Magical Views Of The Marais

Picture of Natalie Marin
Updated: 3 January 2017
Le Marais (literally “the swamp”) is one of the most ancient neighborhoods in Paris, and is perhaps also the most strikingly gorgeous. It is the best place in the city to experience “Old Paris,” as it still shelters the ancient city’s narrow, crooked medieval lanes and the pre-revolutionary noble palaces — Paris’ oldest, most eccentric and most beguiling neighborhood.


The Marais is a feast for the eyes, brimming with stunning examples of French architecture dating back over six hundred years.

This amazing medieval building is a wizened survivor from the 14th century.

This Late Gothic-Renaissance turret, at the Hôtel de Sens, is a lovely surprise in a modern capital city!

The Marais is home to many noble palaces, thankfully spared from the destructive frenzy of the French Revolution and Haussmann‘s city-wide remodel in the 1860s.

Many of these palaces are now museums, where you can step back in time into Old-World Europe.

The Marais is also home numerous exquisite gardens. Quiet and tucked away, these green spaces are peaceful retreats from the buzzing, bustling city.

Cars, crowds and mobile phones can’t make it past these walls. The only sounds here are birdsong and the breeze in the leaves.

These spots make the perfect retreat to sit back, stretch out, and get some air.

The Marais’ most famous and grandiose garden is the Place des Vosges.

Splendor trickles down even to its lion-head fountains!

Fountain at the Place des Vosges | © Guillaume Baviere/Flickr

Fountain at the Place des Vosges | © Guillaume Baviere/Flickr

And it has many fantastic sun-drenched spots to sit and watch the world go by.

But the magic of the Marais often lies in its quiet, hidden courtyards.

Like this stately spot, washed in charming pink and covered in ivy.

Often the magic can be found in tiny details on the outsides of buildings.

Like this revolutionary declaration, spanning this quiet lintel.

Or this fantastical and imaginative door-knocker guardian!

But other times, it’s best to keep your eyes to the sky.

Look up to take in the many equisistely sculpted windows.

Not a single, elegant detail spared.

With such enchanting streets, simply walking around the Marais is delightful.

You can even peek out for a view along the riverside.

The Marais is also famous for its lively Jewish quarter, offering delectable pastries and downright heavenly falafel.

It’s also a great place for spotting street art. Paris’ famous Space Invader makes an appearance on this corner.

Street art can be playful, but also full of meaning. This one says, “Look at the sky!”

Artists in the Marais are not afraid to challenge, either. This one says, “In which world, Vuitton?”

Dans quel monde, Louis Vuitton? | © Guilhem Vellut

Dans quel monde, Louis Vuitton? | © Guilhem Vellut

This neighborhood likes to speak its mind to the world.

Some here just say it like it is. The perfect example: “Bad Boy Street,” the gateway to the Marais’ wild gay district.

The Marais loves to have fun. Bars, clubs, and rowdy nightlife make this a hopping district after hours.

Even the pastries are scandalous!

Of course, some of the Marais is downright eccentric.

But in the end, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this funky, ancient, and spectacularly beautiful corner of Paris!