No visit to Paris is complete without a stroll in Le Marais. This neighbourhood is loved by locals and tourists alike, and considering the bohemian feel, the boutique shops, and the sheer beauty of old Parisian architecture – with very few exceptions untouched by the Haussmannian movement – it’s easy to understand why.
We only had half a day to spend in the area, so we were quite clear about where to go and what to see. Here’s our little itinerary!
- Because we somehow failed, on our previous times in Paris, to pay a visit to Merci – the concept store that is already an institution in the city – we made sure this time it’s hight on the list. And Merci is exactly where we started. The acquisition I’m most proud of is this book.
- Shopping asks for coffee breaks, and there are quite a few specialty coffee shops to choose from in Le Marais. Our intuition guided us to The Broken Arm – the café, as we had no more energy to get into their clothing store. It was a nice break, with good coffee, and as far as I remember, nice music too.
- Time for a sweet treat! It’s hard to stay away from sugar in Paris, but if you’re going to give in to temptation, you might as well do it in style. For this there is Pierre Hermé, the famous pastry and chocolate boutique. We went to the Marais location to get a selection of their deliciously flavoured and melting-in-the-mouth macarons. To me, they are the best! Five minutes later, on a bench in the sun, we ate half of the box.
- At the suggestion of our Parisian friends and hosts, Iza and Paul, we had booked a table for lunch at Derrière. While good food is unarguably the most important thing about a restaurant, an interesting, seductive decor to enjoy your food in comes immediately after. Derrière scored high at both. Just look at the photos!
- After lunch Paul returned to the office, but Iza stayed with us. She was keen on taking me to Centre Pompidou to show me Atelier Brancusi – the studio with the works and tools of Romanian born sculptor Constantin Brancusi. Seeing the interior of the studio was uplifting. On the outside, the name of Brancusi is carved in stone, visible all throughout Georges Pompidou square. People stop here to lay in the sun, to meet friends, or just to take a break. Iza told me she got goosebumps whenever passing by and looking at the name plate: “A piece of the Romanian soul in the very heart of Paris – isn’t that wonderful?” My Romanian self agreed instantly.