Le Marais: Paris Hidden Gem

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Basic Information
Total time
2 hours
Language
English (check the booking calendar for availability)
Price
„Pay what you wish” tours do not have a fixed price. It is up to you to evaluate your guide’s work and reward it. Some people give 10€, others 50€ depending on their satisfaction and abilities.
Meeting point
Exit of metro Saint Paul. Look for a guide with an yellow umbrella. Go to map
About

Tucked away behind the famous Notre Dame is a small gem of a neighbourhood where amongst mediaeval architecture, nowhere to be found in the rest of Paris, you can discover the trendiest boutiques and galleries, chic spots for brunch and the best night bars. The area is a home to two distinctive communities: Jewish and LGBT+ and a favourite meeting place for Parisians. Join us to discover Le Marais, a local treasure with tons of stories to tell and flavours to discover.


Its story begins in the 13th century when it was primarily marshland (hence the name “Marais,” meaning “marsh” in French) before being transformed into a district favoured by the nobility in the 16th and 17th centuries. This era saw the construction of opulent mansions and private hotels, such as the Hôtel de Sens and Hôtel de Sully, which exemplify the architectural elegance of the period. Le Marais was spared from Haussmann’s urban renewal, preserving remnants of its illustrious past, mediaeval and renaissance. Over the centuries, Le Marais has been a melting pot of cultural influences, notably becoming a prominent Jewish community hub in the 19th and 20th centuries. Despite facing challenges such as neglect and proposed demolition in the 20th century, preservation efforts have since protected and revitalised the area. Today, Le Marais stands as a cherished emblem of Parisian history, art, and diversity, attracting visitors and locals alike to its picturesque streets, historic buildings, and vibrant cultural scene.


Join our tour to marvel at the architectural masterpieces like the Hôtel de Sully and the ancient Wall of Philippe Auguste, the oldest city wall of Paris, dating back to the 12th century. Let us show you picturesque private mansions offering a glimpse into the district’s opulent history. Stroll through lush hidden gardens, leading to the iconic Place des Vosges, favourite local meeting place. Follow the footsteps of literary giant Victor Hugo and hear the story of the Museum of the History of Paris, deeply intertwined with the district’s rich heritage. Discover the vibrant Jewish quarter, home to Paris’s Jewish community since the 13th century. In the 19th and 20th century it started to be called the Pletzl, meaning “little place” in Yiddish and became a hub for Eastern European Jews fleeing persecution. Walk through Rue des Rosiers to indulge in the flavours of the area, from traditional Jewish delicacies to the best falafel in town. 


Let us guide you through Le Marais, offering local insider tips on the best eateries, patisseries, museums, and galleries and immerse yourself in the unique vibe of this iconic Parisian neighbourhood.


During this 2 hour tour you will see and discover:



  • Hotel Sens 

  • Ancient city walls of Paris 

  • Village Saint Paul 

  • Hotel Sully 

  • Place de Vosges and Victor Hugo House 

  • Musee Carnavalet ( Museum of the History of Paris ) 

  • The Pletzl (Jewish district) and Rue des Rosiers 


Meeting Point
Exit of metro Saint Paul. Look for a guide with an yellow umbrella.

BOOKING RULES
Booking is obligatory. Our pay as you wish tours are designed for individual travellers and small groups. We don’t accept parties of more than people on them. If you travel in a party of 8 or more (school groups, bigger groups of friends etc.), please choose a paid option, if it's available, or book a Private Tour. For more information on the latter, please contact us.


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This tour is also available as
a Private Tour.

Private tour