The 3rd arrondissement of Paris, Le Marais, is the second smallest in the whole of the French capital, but there is still a huge amount to see and do within its boundaries. Located on the right bank of the River Seine, and right in the centre of Paris, Le Marais is both central and noticeably more peaceful than its neighbours, providing a magnificent base for independent exploration.
The Le Marais arrondissement of Paris has great importance historically. The oldest house in Paris is within the arrondissement, as well as the beautiful Temple Fortress, whose gardens are a haven of peace and nature during the summer. The most recognised symbol of Le Marais is the medieval Priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs, which now houses the Musee des Arts et Metiers, containing some of the most remarkable scientific instruments and inventions from throughout the ages. The museum is an absolute marvel, and if you have no interest in technology upon your arrival, you undoubtedly will by the time you leave! The 3rd arrondissement is also home to the Carnavalet Museum, built in two of Le Marais’ chateau, celebrating the long and turbulent history of Paris.
Le Marais has historically been a distinctly bourgeois area of Paris, and walking the streets you can understand why. There are many notable chateaux in Le Marais, many of which have been turned into museums (to hunting, local crafts, magic and the works of Picasso amongst others) or hotels. Le Marais has a fantastically laid back atmosphere, which is a surprise given its location in the heart of Paris, but it does make staying in the arrondissement a real treat, especially if you are spending the days exploring the centre of Paris along with the rest of the summer crowds.
Holiday makers in Paris with an eye for fashion will also regularly find themselves in Le Marais, as the arrondissement is filled with small, unique fashion boutiques which have be curators of style for many, many decades.
If you are travelling with your family to a holiday property in Le Marais, the allure of Disneyland Paris may be too much to ignore! Located just outside the city in the Seine-et-Marne region, the Disney resort has become the most visited individual attraction in Europe, and is thankfully very easy to reach from the centre of Paris.
Due to the huge number of things to see and do in Paris, there is never a bad time to visit. The main crowds descend on the French capital during the summer months when temperatures regularly reach 30˚C in the midday sun, but outside of this period, you will have many of the finest restaurants, shops and galleries to share only with the locals.
Reaching the 3rd arrondissement from the UK is fantastically simple. There are many routes into Paris from the UK, including short hop flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and the rail links through the Channel Tunnel from Dover and London. Paris’ Metro system is excellent, allowing you to travel through the city with ease.