City guide

What to visit in the Marais?

The Marais is a treasure trove of historical and cultural gems. Follow Highstay on this itinerary designed to help you discover the essential sites to visit in this fascinating neighborhood with something for every taste!

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    • Place des Vosges and Hôtel de Sully
    • Musée Carnavalet
    • Institut suédois
    • Musée national Paris-Picasso
    • Musée Cognacq-Jay
    • Carreau du Temple
    • Musée de la Nature et de la Chasse
    • Musée des Archives Nationales
    • Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme
    • Centre Pompidou
    • Saint-Gervais Church
    • Forney Library
    • Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP)
    • Saint-Paul Saint-Louis Church
    • The Home of Victor Hugo

    Place des Vosges and Hôtel de Sully

    We honor what was once the Place Royale and is now the Place des Vosges as the starting point of our visit to the Marais. This Parisian icon is the oldest square in Paris and a symbolic place that was named in recognition of the first new administrative entity to pay taxes during the French Revolution. Around the Square Louis XIII, thirty-six private mansions harmoniously surround the courtyard of the King and Queen’s pavilions. Do not hesitate to enter the Hôtel de Sully to discover the admirable bookshop of the Center for National Monuments.

    Musée Carnavalet

    Taking the rue des Francs-Bourgeois, head to the Musée Carnavalet to enter the History of the city of Paris, from prehistory to the present. The two buildings that house the oldest museum in Paris, the Hôtel Carnvalet and the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, feature architecture as remarkable as the collections they house.

    Institut suédois

    When you open the door to the Hôtel de Marle, you are entering a space belonging to the Swedish State since 1965. The Institut Suédois, its temporary exhibitions, and its permanent collection are today housed underneath a roof structure designed by 16th-century architect Philibert Delorme and remarkable painted ceilings.

    Musée national Paris-Picasso

    “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” awaits you alongside “Man with a Mandolin” at the Musée Picasso. Here you can discover over 5,000 of the artist’s works and archives.

    Musée Cognacq-Jay

    Ernest Cognacq and Marie-Louise Jay, the couple behind the Samaritaine department stores, had a great sense of business but also remarkable taste. Between 1900 and 1927, they acquired a great number of 18th-century artworks, which are now on display in the museum. Among the masterpieces they kept, you can admire paintings by François Boucher, Rembrandt, or Louis-Léopold Boilly. Before reaching the Carreau du Temple market, make a side trip to the Enfants rouges covered market created in 1615, where you will be drawn in by a friendly and easy-going atmosphere as you pass by its shimmering and fragrant stalls.

    Carreau du Temple

    A step back in time takes us to this metallic structure made of metal beams, glass, and bricks, where you can discover athletic and artistic activities as well as a program of performances and large public events.

    Musée de la Nature et de la Chasse

    The Hôtel de Guénégaud and Hôtel de Mongelas have been combined into one museum so that visitors can (re)discover the link between humans and animals over the course of History through artworks, taxidermied animals, and interpretive elements on display.

    Musée des Archives Nationales

    As in the musée Cognacq-Jay, visitors to the Hôtel de Soubise will find works by Boucher that illustrate the remarkable documents of the National Archives that can be consulted here. The collections that make up the permanent and temporary exhibitions come from the Rococo (18th century), Neo-Classical (18th-19th centuries), and Romantic periods (18th-19th centuries.)

    Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme

    The History of the Jews of France is put into perspective here with the History of Judaism. Still in the Marais, on rue Geoffroy l’Asnier, the Shoah Memorial deals with the History of 20th-century genocides through its exhibitions and activities.

    Centre Pompidou

    The Musée National d'Art Moderne has found its place in the middle of 17th-century façades. The creativity and originality of our contemporary era add colors that further enhance the appeal of this neighborhood.

    Saint-Gervais Church

    Before reaching the Saint-Gervais Church, pass in front of the Hôtel de Ville, which is only open to the public on rare occasions. Paris’ city hall never fails to wear the colors of the moment, adorning itself for instance, with the emblem of the Olympic Games to showcase the projects the municipal team is working on.

    Voltaire himself recognized the Saint Gervais Church as a masterpiece. Gothic, classical, flamboyant gothic, classical façade: different architectural styles combine to form a sky of stone above paintings by Grand Masters and Couperin’s organ.

    Forney Library

    Whoever seeks to discover decorative arts and crafts will be blown away by the Forney Library, now housed in the Hôtel des Archevêques de Sens.

    Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP)

    International photographic works from the 1950s to today are revealed to visitors here through 36,000 printed works, 24,000 works on display, over a hundred videos by artists, and just under 900 documentary films.

    Saint-Paul Saint-Louis Church

    In the Saint-Paul Saint-Louis Church, you can find two holy water fonts that Victor Hugo gave to his daughter Léopoldine for her wedding to Charles Vacquerie on February 15, 1843.

    The Home of Victor Hugo

    After this stop in the Saint-Paul Saint-Louis Church, we return to the Place des Vosges, where we conclude our visit at the home of Victor Hugo. Here you can discover the life of the author through the furniture that belonged to him.

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