The best of the Marais and the Canal Saint-Martin

Everyone who’s anyone can be found in this ultra-trendy area with its fashion boutiques, contemporary art galleries, chic eateries, pavement cafés and cocktail bars.

For an update on the very latest trends, head for the heart of Paris, to the stretch between the Marais and the Canal Saint-Martin. Everyone who’s anyone can be found in this ultra-trendy area with its fashion boutiques, contemporary art galleries, chic eateries, pavement cafes and cocktail bars. The area around Place de la République covers several arrondissements and the whole spectrum of hipsterishness, from the high fashion artiness of the Marais to the bohemian quirkiness on the canal banks. Take your pick! Come with us for a tour of Paris at its trendiest.

Haut Marais - the epitome of hip

Also known as ‘old Paris’, the Marais is one of the capital’s most talked-about districts thanks to its charming paved streets, imposing carriage entrances, magnificent mansions and hidden gardens. The northern part of the district is the Haut Marais or North Marais (‘NoMa’ for insiders). This tiny ‘golden triangle’ covers a portion of the 3rd arrondissement, from Rue Vieille-du-Temple to Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, all the way to Place de la République. So what’s the attraction of the Haut Marais? The vibrant mixture of all things avant garde in a very villagey atmosphere. Go to NoMa to shop, wander around galleries, brunch, lunch or sip cocktails in warm, friendly surroundings with a backdrop of world-class historical buildings.

A thriving art scene

The Marais is the preserve of contemporary art and gallery-hopping is the local sport. Go and discover the Sobering Galerie, which defends South-American to European established and emerging artists, Rising stars like Éric Dupont and School Gallery rub shoulders with their widely acclaimed counterparts such as Emmanuel Perrotin and Thaddaeus Ropac.

République, Paris © CREDITCLEM
School Galery - Marais, Paris © R. Ansgar

Time for some culture

Le Marais is home to one of the most original museums in Paris, the newly-refurbished Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature. This hunting museum boasts a huge collection of stuffed animals and is definitely worth a visit.

Fashion alert

NoMa is paradise for fashionistas. The streets are lined with luxury brand names, prêt-à-porter and clothing by young designers who have taken root in the area. A.P.C., Lemaire, Zadig & Voltaire, Abou d’Abi Bazar and Isabel Marant are all here. Following in the footsteps of the famous Colette, several other concept stores have sprung up nearby: Merci, which gives its profits to charity, Bonton for children, the Swedish fashion house ACNE (short for Ambition to Create Novel Expressions) and The Broken Arm, a cross between a shop and a café.

Made in France is in vogue

For style aficionados, buying French has become the height of fashion. The neo-workwear clothing store FrenchTrotters stocks a range of jeans designed in Paris. For men’s underwear made in France, head for the Temple du Slip.

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris © Brett Hammond
Concept-store MERCI © Sarah Brottet

Foodie trail

Rue de Bretagne is overflowing with food stores, all rivalling to entice your palate. The riot of colours, aromas and flavours are a festival for the senses. But the real draw is undoubtedly the 17th-century Enfants-Rouges covered marketone of the oldest markets in Paris. It’s also a great place for a quick bite to eat, and the ideal spot for Sunday brunch. Among the host of excellent eateries, a special mention goes to L’Estaminet for its local dishes made with farm produce and Taeko for its Japanese cuisine. The best buttery croissant in Paris in 2015 is to be found at 134 r.d.t., at 134 Rue de Turenne. If you want to stock up on fine foods, go to La Maison Plisson, a gourmet concept store (a deli, wine shop, bakery, restaurant and takeaway rolled into one) stuffed with the best products France and Europe have to offer. And if that brings on a craving for all things Italian, head for Mmmozza, the mozzarella specialist. Popelini is the place for cream puffs. The one with a salted butter caramel filling is to die for.

Go for a tasteful getaway with Salive. You will receive a kit conaining your cutlery, coupons to exchange and an illustrated map which will be your guide to visit and eat.

Popelini, vitrine, Paris © S. Dessaint
Marché des enfants rouges, Paris © Connie Ma

Sit-down meals

Season offers original organic fare with a daring twist. Kitchen near the Arts-et-Métiers metro is highly recommended for a vegetarian meal.
There is plenty of choice too when it comes to street food and healthy fast food. If you can’t resist a burger, try Blend or Cantine California. More attracted to the flavours of Italy? Then head for Tappo, a wine bar with Italian-style tapas, or Grazie, a very popular bar-pizzeria. 

Soft touch

Have you heard of purr therapy? Try it out while you’re in Paris! Le Café des Chats Marais has recently opened on Rue Michel-Le-Comte. Snuggle up with a hot chocolate in this tea room inspired by the Japanese cat café trend and hang out with a dozen free-ranging felines.

Kitchen, intérieur, Paris © OTCP - DR

When thirst strikes

For daytime breaks, stop off at Le Progrès on the corner of Rue de Bretagne and Rue Vielle-du-Temple, at Café Charlot opposite the Enfants-Rouges market or at La Perle. All three have become the headquarters of the select few. For evening drinks, there are plenty of cocktail barsCandelaria, with its Mexican ambience, is definitely one to try. Mary Céleste comes a close second. And don’t miss the very creative Little Red Door, ranked in the top 50 best cocktail bars in the world by the British magazine Drinks International. The new kid on the block is Lavomatic.

Lawns and leaves

Set out like an English garden, the Square du Temple, opposite the arrondissement town hall, is the biggest park in the Marais. Further exploration will lead you to more secluded spots such as the Jardin Madeleine-de-Scudéry next to Enfants-Rouges market and the Square Saint-Gilles-Grand-Veneur, which you enter via Rue Villehardouin.

Café Charlot, Paris
Square du Temple, vue sur la Mairie du 3e arrondissement, Paris © Christophe Noël

It’s hip to be square

Forming a crossroads between the 3rd, 10th and 11th arrondissements, Place de la République links the Marais to the other hipster quarter, the Canal Saint-Martin. The square was completely renovated in 2013 and is now a large contemporary pedestrian area and popular meeting place.

Watch the world go by

To the east of Place de la République lies another of the French capital’s trendy districts, the Canal Saint-Martin. The canal is Paris at its most picturesque and attracts the bourgeois-bohemian, ethical, ecological crowd. Parisians like to stroll along the banks, picnic by the locks, play boules or have a lazy drink at a pavement café.

In search of a different perspective?

Board a barge and peruse Paris from the canal. Less of a tourist attraction than a cruise on the Seine, a Canal Saint-Martin boat trip reveals another side of the city.

Place de la république, Paris © OTCP - Sarah Sergent
Canal Saint Martin, Paris © OTCP - Jacques Lebar

Key spots

There are plenty of relaxed bars and restaurants around the canal, in particular Le Valmy, which has a lovely terrace. An institution in these parts, Chez Prune is a meeting place for youngsters, students, forty-somethings and seniors alike. With a great location near the famous Hôtel du Nord, this friendly café is a favourite with locals who come for a drink after work or for Sunday brunch. If you’re looking for something more offbeat, you’ll love Le Comptoir Général. It is a bar, restaurant, secondhand shop, museum and cinema. The ecologically-minded establishment is in an old factory tucked away at the back of a courtyard. As you sip your wine in the bric-à-brac decor you could be forgiven for thinking you were in an alternative joint in Berlin. At the top of Canal Saint-MartinLe Point Ephémère is a quirky underground artistic centre that hosts exhibitions, concerts and workshops practically at the water’s edge or in the new rooftop area.

Fashion addict

On Quai de Valmy, the pretty facades of the three Antoine & Lili shops seem part of the landscape. French fashion stretches beyond the canal with a number of boutiques on Rue Beaurepaire, Rue Yves-Toudic and Rue de Marseille: Agnès B, A.P.C. and The Kooples, as well as the concept store Centre Commercial, which sells Arpenteur, the Lyon-based, 100% French brand. For good deals on chic labels, don’t miss the Les PetitesMaje and Claudie Pierlot outlet stores.

Le Comptoir Général, Paris
Le Point Ephémère, bord du canal, Paris © Laurent Guedon

Le Paris de Sophie

Guided tours

With Le Paris de Sophie, you’re gonna meet the most authentic tour guide in Paris during cultural and historical private......

Little Red Door

60 rue Charlot, Paris, 75003

A Parisian institution of the art of mixology since 2012, and counted among the best 50 cocktail bars on the planet for the last......

Mystery Bag

Guided tours
  • Le Marais

Mystery Bag offers a mix between an escape game and a treasure hunt in the streets of Paris. Set off on an adventure with a......


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Let’s go on a tasteful getaway with Salive! During an outdoor and on-the-go meal, discover restaurants and hidden gems of......

Sobering Galerie

Exhibition and Trade Show venue
87 rue de Turenne, Paris, 75003

Sobering Galerie is a contemporary art gallery established since 2013 at rue de Turenne, in the Marais neighborhood. The genesis......

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Paris private guided tours with Yves, a postgraduate certified tour guide. Yvesis Broaden Horizons' sole guide in Paris, and has......

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Virginie Gravier

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Paris Gay Village

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  • Châtelet - Les Halles

ParisGayVillage is an association under the French law of 1901 which brings together those who wish to get involved in the......

Bonton Filles du Calvaire

Concept stores, multi-brands | Children's fashion
5 boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, Paris, 75003

800m² dedicated to the top-quality and colours of Bonton merchandise for children up to 3 years old: ready-to-wear collections,......

Blend - Argout

Fast food
44 rue d'Argout, Paris, 75002

The ambition of the house is clearly displayed: to offer the best hamburger in Paris. To achieve this, Blend does not skimp on......


Men's fashion
38 rue Madame, Paris, 75006

It is no longer the classic and relaxed style of the Workshop Production and Creation, but rather its simple forms, quality......

Acne Studios

Women's fashion | Men's fashion
3 rue Froissart, Paris, 75003

A well-known Swedish brand of off-the-rack collections created in 1997, Acne Studios creates jean collections and accessories in......

Antoine & Lili

Art de vivre | Children's fashion | Women's fashion
95 quai de Valmy, Paris, 75010

In this row of three brightly-coloured shops on the quai de Valmy, you can find the brand's bright and colourful women's and......


Fast food
74 rue des Gravilliers, Paris, 75003

In his no-frills veggie canteen, Bob serves homemade smoothies, soups, salads and dishes made with fresh vegetables, all at great......

Café Charlot

38 rue de Bretagne, Paris, 75003

The establishment’s facade and awning catch the eye of passers-by. Formerly a bakery, the Café Charlot was converted into a......


Traditional French cuisine
52 rue de Saintonge, Paris, 75003

The Candelaria is a Mexican taquería which isn’t much to look at but offers homemade tacos and tostadas at very reasonable......

Cantine California

Fast food
46 rue de Turbigo, Paris, 75003

The Cantine California started with a single foodtruck roaming the streets of Paris. Since April 2014, a fixed restaurant has......

Chez Prune

36 rue Beaurepaire, Paris, 75010

At aperitif time, people meet up with friends at Chez Prune for a glass of wine and to share a platter of charcuterie. This......


Traditional French cuisine
91 boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris, 75003

With the huge bay windows in the style of a New York loft, this beautiful venue houses a cocktail bar and chic pizzeria.

Galerie Eric Dupont

Exhibition and Trade Show venue
138 rue du Temple, Paris, 75003

This contemporary art gallery in the Marais district was created in 1997, and displays works by contemporary artists in a large,......

Galerie Olivier Castaing Team School Gallery

Exhibition and Trade Show venue
322 rue Saint-Martin, Paris, 75003

Opened in January 2008, the School Gallery is a place for the discovery and promotion of contemporary art in all its forms:......

Marché couvert les Enfants Rouges

Food markets
39 rue de Bretagne, Paris, 75003

The Enfants Rouges covered market, created in 1615, hasn’t aged a bit! Paris’s oldest food market is situated in the Haut......

Maison Plisson

Art de vivre | Concept stores, multi-brands | Gastronomy (caterers, confectioners, etc.) | Food markets | Vins & alcools
93 boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris, 75003

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La Perle

78 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, 75003

Ideally situated in the Marais, in front of the superb Musée des Archives Nationales, La Perle is a former tote bar featuring......

Le Comptoir Général

80 quai de Jemmapes, Paris, 75010

The Comptoir Général, a bar, restaurant, art gallery and shop rolled into one, defines itself as a museum dedicated to ghetto......

Le Point Ephémère

Concert hall
200 quai Valmy, Paris, 75010

Located on the Canal St Martin, the Point Ephémère is a large cultural centre allowing artists to develop their art projects.......

Le Progrès

1 rue de Bretagne, Paris, 75003

At the intersection of three very lively roads in the Haut Marais (rue de Bretagne, rue de Turenne and rue Vielle du Temple), Le......

Le Mary Celeste

1 rue Commines, Paris, 75003

Brought to you by the creators of Candelaria and Glass, Le Mary Celeste opts for simplicity. Situated in the trendy Haut-Marais,......

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

62 rue des Archives, Paris, 75003

The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature is situated in the two mansions, the Hôtel particulier de Guénégaud (17th century) and......


Gastronomy (caterers, confectioners, etc.)
29 rue Debelleyme, Paris, 75003

The Popelini pâtisserie specializes in a whole range of cream puffs, in several flavours: classic coffee, chocolate, or praline......


Traditional French cuisine
19 rue Commines, Paris, 75003

Tappo, an Italian tapas and wine bar, is located on rue Commines. On the menu: cicchetti (Italian tapas), the famous spritz, a......

The Broken Arm

Concept stores, multi-brands | Women's fashion | Men's fashion
12 rue Perrée, Paris, 75003

Opened in the beginning of 2013, The Broken Arm is both a concept-store and a cafe. Here, you can find designer clothes and......

Claudie Pierlot

Women's fashion
30 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris, 75003

« Casual chic » and timeless, Claudie Pierlot has created feminine fashion with a sense of detail - from a little, sensible......

Stock Maje

Stock outlets
4 rue de Marseille, Paris, 75010

Judith Milgrom's famous chic, bohemian label sells the previous year's designs at reduced prices.

Outlet les Petites...

Stock outlets
11 rue de Marseille, Paris, 75010

It's impossible to resist their chic and Parisian collections with discounts from 50-70%.


Concept stores, multi-brands
111 boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris, 75003

This trendy and individual concept-store, measuring 1500 m², sells decorative objects, furniture, casual wear and couture......

Isabel Marant

Women's fashion
47 rue de Saintonge, Paris, 75003

A designer favourited by independent city-dwellers, Isabel Marant made clothes for women sprinkled with a masculine touch. The......

French Trotters (le Marais)

Women's fashion | Men's fashion
128 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, 75003

In 2012, this brand chose the Marais district to open its flagship store. This 200m² space stocks the mens, womens, children,......