Paris · Travel

A Ramble through the Haute Marais

I spent a week of my honeymoon in Le Marais, in a little studio apartment on the Rue des Rosiers. Every morning I headed out on a solo walk to buy baguettes and croissants for the day, exploring a new part of the neighborhood each time. With its unique mix of ancient streets, quirky shops, Jewish restaurants, and gay bars, it’s no surprise that I quickly fell in love with this part of the city. 

This trip I am traveling solo, post-divorce, and I needed to know – is the Marais still “mine,” or would I simply feel sad? There was only one way to find out, so I checked my map and headed off on foot to the Rue de Rosiers.

To my great relief, the only thing I found was a rush of happy memories. Many of my favorite bakeries are still there, like Sacha Finkelstajn’s bright yellow storefront where I found the most amazing latkes, and Aux Desirs de Manon, which had a beautiful pear croissant I still dream about. Sadly, neither item was on their shelves today, so I guess I’ll just have to go back. 

Some areas are far more “bobo,” as the French would say, than I remembered. High-end designers mix with the funky, eclectic shops now, creating a mix of bourgeois-bohemian that draws people in. 

Chanel pop-up store, Haute Marais, Paris
A Chanel pop-up store in the Marais. 

I ended up turning a 1 mile walk into an 8 mile ramble, choosing streets randomly and criss-crossing the neighborhood. Along the way, I found some new favorites. 

The Musée Cognacq-Jay was a delightful find, full of 18th century art and antiques in a period setting. Even better, it’s free to visit the museum. 

Artwork at Musée Cognacq-Jay, Marais Paris

The Jardin des Rosiers was a pleasant and quiet spot to stop and rest a while. I have a weakness for gardens that combine beauty with practicality, so the mix of flowers, espaliered trees, and edible plants was right up my alley.

Jardin des Rosiers, Haute Marais, Paris

Like everywhere else in Paris, it’s also a great place to find unique and colorful doors. 

The turrets and angles of the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris also caught my eye. It’s a gorgeous building that houses a collection of documents stretching back to the 16th century. It’s open to the public, which I wish I’d known, but now it’s on my list of places to visit in the future. 

Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, Haute Marais

I ended the day by going out of my comfort zone and stopping at a café for espresso and some people watching. While at home I’d be reaching for the protection of a book, somehow in Paris it feels right to do nothing but sit and enjoy. I’m so happy that this is still one of my favorite neighborhoods, and I’ll definitely be back. 

Travel journal entry for the Marais, Paris

2 thoughts on “A Ramble through the Haute Marais

  1. Thanks! It’s one of my favorite parts of the city. I’m glad I chose Paris for my first solo trip, since cafés and everything else feel so much more natural to me there.

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