This post has been September 20th, 2023. Additionally I was in Paris middle of June 2023 and has a few recommendations from that trip.
I love Paris. We were lucky with the weather being mild for February. Dining was all outside with heaters everywhere. Here are some of my favorite spots and recommendations. Find the closest boulangerie and wine shop and go every day! When I travel I like to immerse myself in the culture, my favorite spots are generally very French. If you prefer American conveniences to a more authentic experience then my blog is not for you.
Drinks, Dinner & Snacks
Le Progrès Marais - Always the first stop when in Paris for a coup champagne and the best people watch. Sit outside anytime of the year I like coming late afternoon early evening. But stays packed till all hours of the night. Lots of heaters, so you can sit outside year round.
1 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Café Charlot - This is my favorite spot at any hour of the day, open from 7:00 am to 2:00pm. Located on happening corner in the Marais the people watching is fabulous. They have delicious food. The tartare saumon/avocat, frites paired with a glass of champagne can't be beat. Try to get a spot outside, they have heaters and blankets in winter.
38 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, France
Maison Plisson Beaumarchais - Fancy food store
Go here to stock up on food for the week, they have amazing prepared food, meats, produce, yogurts.... The lentil salad with an egg on top is a MUST. They also have a little outdoor kiosk at the Tuileries which is a fun spot to have lunch at.
93 Boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris 3ème
Chez Janou - Go to Dinner Spot
I always end up here at least once when in Paris, right around the corner from Le Petit Beau Marchais. I love sitting at the bar. My favorites are the shrimp tartar and the muscles. Its a must to make a reservation. Menu is all in French.
2 Rue Roger Verlomme, 75003 Paris, France | +33 1 42 72 28 41
all located in the Marais
I/O Cafe - some of the best coffee in the Marais. Simple, welcoming and minimalistic interior.
16 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris, France
Yellow Tucan - Right around the corner form Petit Beaumarchais Hotel. A quaint cozy petit spot tucked away on the cutest side street with great coffee. This is my go to and my current favorite coffee shop!
Opens at 9:30, closed on Mondays.
20 rue des Tournelles, Paris 4ème
Boot Café - Weekend Coffee Spot
Picturesque tiny cafe in the heart of Le Marais. I fell in love with this spot back in 2015 and it remains one of my favorites.
Only open weekends, Sat & Sun 10:00 - 5:00.
19 Rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 Paris, France
Le Used Book Café - Located in Merci Concept Store
I just love everything about this place. Come here everytime I'm in Paris. The coffee shop is located in the front of store and is lined with floor to ceiling old books. Be sure to walk around the shop, I always find some goodies. This trip I purchased a beret! Also check out The Ciné Café which serves great salads and casual lunch fare. Its located to the left of the store entrance.
111 Bd Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France
Merci - I just love everything about this place. Come here everytime I'm in Paris. It's in the Trendy Marais neighborhood too. Have a coffee & cake, & people watch. Inside is a fashion shop & homewares shop all under the one roof! Pretty cool!
Ob-La-Di - AS OF JUNE 2023, THEY HAVE CLOSED
Our go to coffee shop this trip. Every cup of coffee is delicious, the whole atmosphere is really cozy and welcoming.
Opens at 9:00 on weekdays and 10:00 on weekends.
54 rue Saintonge, 75 003 Paris
Petit Beaumarchais Hotel - September 2023 was my third stay here!
It is one of the most charming well priced hotels I have ever stayed in. Fabulous location in the Marais, right off Place de la Republique. The Bastile Metro is right there, super easy to jump on a Velib and go straight down to the Seine all on a bike path and just steps away from the heart of the Marais!
This boutique hotel is unique, charming, comfortable and welcoming.
Every room is different, I stayed in a single room on the top floor with a bathtub in the dormer window that had views of the Eiffel Tower (Room 604).
The hotel has a floatatorium (check out the photos for what this is). With your stay you get a complimentary hour. I scheduled a massage for after my float and the best massage I have ever had. The hotel has a partnership with Institut Calma Paris, which I want to check out on my next stay in Paris.
AIRBNB - charming & cozy apartment
One of the cutest AIRBNBs. Located in the heart of the Marais, we really felt like we lived in Paris when staying here. Our first night we built a fire and enjoyed a bottle of champagne, total perfection. The wife is an artist and husband is a musician. Her art decorates the apartment, I bought a few prints to bring home. They have 3 kids, so this is a fabulous place to stay with a family.
Sweet Inn Apartments - If you are going with kids or a large group I highly recommend staying in an apartment. We had 8 and had a lovely stay at Le Petit Beau Marchais, but it was very expensive and its hard to gather with a big group. In the future with a big group we will use Sweet Inn for an apartment.
Worth Going/ Doing
Velib - I was a bit tentative about biking, but Paris has removed 1 lane from their roads and made it soley dedicated to bikers. The velib bikes are so easy to rent, its 5 euro for 24 hours. We road down to the Seine, past thriough the Louve and across the Seine to Notre Dame and then across
Jardin Des Jardin Des Tuileries - If staying in the Marais its a very easy (straight shot) bike ride (Velib) from Place de la Republique. Maison Plisson has a little outdoor café in the park. Great spot to grab lunch and have a picnic.
Les Bains du Marais - Hammam
For those who don't know what a hammam is, its basically a big steam room. They also have a sauna and some rooms to relax in. The waxing is a traditional Middle Eastern wax, made in the spa, its 100% natural and chemical-free. I highly reccomend. They have a restaurant which looked great, but will have to save that for the next trip.
14 Rue Saint-Fiacre, 75002 Paris, France
01 48 87 20 20
It was so quiet, we had the entire park to ourselves. We wandered around, didn't go up to the top, but would have been the day to, as there were no lines. We took few circles around the carosoel that overlooks the Seine and the Eiffel Tower and wandered down to the Seine to get another look.
Carousel of the Eiffel Tower
A few spins on the carousel is a great thing to do with kids. The view of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine is truly magical. Not only does it provide a unique perspective of the city, but it also offers an excellent opportunity for some remarkable photos.
Opens at 10:00
When in Paris I always make time for a visit to the Musée Picasso. The museum is the perfect size, its not too daunting. This trip the show was a combo with Rodin. And after go right around the corner for a crepe at Breizh Café.
5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris, France
Ride a Velib here, from Le Petit Beaumarchais the whole ride is on a bike path. You will want to leave your bike before you cross the bride, there are no stations on the island. Wonder around, get a glass of champagne at any of the cafes and take in the scenery. It is also fun to ride down here super early in the morning. I did this right at sunrise before I flew out.
These beautiful baseball hats are designed and handmade in Normandy and Vendee. The boutique is tiny nesteled into the Marais. Caps run between 150 and 200 euros.
26 Rue de Poitou, 75003 Paris, France
Transportation To/ From Airport
Metro/Train - Traffic is so bad in Paris these days that you need to plan 2 + hours to get to the airport by car. From Le Petite Beau Marchais it takes 1 hour and 5 minutes and costs 11 euros. This is the route from the hotel to the airport.
- Take Bastille Metro to Gare Nord Stop (about 5 stops)
- Follow signs to Charles de Gaul - It is B Nord (purple signs), this is a really big metro stop so pay close attention to signs.
- When you get to B Nord there are different trains on the line, so don’t just get on the first train. Make sure you get on the one going to Charles de Gaul. It is a nice looking train
- Depending on which terminal you are going to you to its the last 2 stops
- You will take a little tram to the terminal once you get off metro
Welcome Pickups - If you want to do a car service I highly recommend them. You book this in advance and the driver will be waiting for you with a sign when you get out of customs. This is a really nice option for when you arrive as you are very tiered and then don't have to think about everything. For leaving I would take the metro, otherwise you have to leave so early to take in account traffic.
Le Marais is one of those areas in Paris that you will just never be able to get enough of. The neighborhood is packed to the gills with exciting cafes, boutiques and boulangeries… to pop into. Below I am sharing a selection of my personal favorites in Le Marais:
Beautiful Marais Apartment across from the Picasso Museum
22 Rue de Thiorny Le Marais Paris | Airbnb.com
Living like a local, not a tourist is always my aim when traveling. This airbnb is authentic Parisian living located in the heart of my favorite neighborhood Le Marais. Charming, stylish, peaceful and light filled one-bedroom apartment, beautifully renovated and furnished with antique pieces.
Café Charlot – best for lunch
38 Rue de Bretagne
This is the place to be in Le Marais. I can sit here for hours soaking in all the fashionable people. The menu is simple and delicious, the chèvre chaud is devine!
Folks and Sparrows – best for breakfast
14 Rue Sain Sebastian, Paris 75011
Adorable rustic café tucked away on a quiet street in Le Marais. Loved it for breakfast.
Used Book Cafe – best for afternoon coffee after shopping at Merci
111 boulevard Beaumarchais 75003 Paris (located on ground floor of Merci)
Rendez-vous over a cup of coffee or for a quick lunch surrounded by over 10,000 books. Loved it for an apres shopping at Merci cappuccino stop.
Cinèma Café – best for lunch
Bright, chic, fun vibe, great place to meet for lunch around a plate of charcuterie, salad or soup. Try the ginger lemonade.
Broken Arm – best for breakfast
12 Rue Perrée, 75003 Paris
Offers great coffee in a trendy setting inside or out.
Boots Café – best for breakfast or a late afternoon pick me up
19 Rue du Pont Choux, 75003
Open 10 – 6
Paris’s smallest coffee shop. They advertise Coffee to go, but its super cute cafe decor will make you want to stay at one of the two tiny tables and enjoy your coffee there.
Marché des Enfants
39 Rue de Bretagne, 3rd
At 400-years-old, the Marais-based Marché des Enfants Rouges is worth browsing whether you’re hungry or not (you can always stock up on fresh cut flowers, fruits, vegetables and the best butter you will ever have).
Merci – Concept Store
111 blvd du Beaumarchais
It is impossible to go to Le Marais without spending some time wandering through my favorite concept store. Great spot for gifts, check out the Merci line of lines, to have a café crème in their Used Book Café or a bite to eat in the chic Cinema Café.
47 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris
Bought the coziest sweater here. Beautiful chic french line
Rue Debelleyme 22
German company, most clothing is made in Italy. They are known for their denim, but I purchased a beautiful small leather cross saddle bag.
Le Labo Fragrances
7, rue Froissart 75003 Paris
Paris is the place to purchase perfume. Le Labo makes 10 handmade exclusive scents which they customize for you in the shop !
Venturing outside of Le Marais
For 8 euros for a week pass you can bike around the city using one of the 20,000 bikes available in the city. You pick up the bike at one destination and deliver it at another. Be sure to check out the bikes before picking yours, as they often have flat tires…. Biking can be daunting in Paris, stick to the smaller streets and it is a great way to get around. Most busy roads have a bike/bus lane.
Claus– favorite time breakfast, must make a reservation
14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001
On the ground floor there’s a carefully curated selection of biscuits, mueslis, jams and other condiments, and in the green-carpeted dining room upstairs, you settle at a white table for a good feed. Combines a chic boutique vibe with a cozy home atmosphere. Ride bikes from the Marais.
Buvette – 9ème – South Pigalle – favorite time dinner
28 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009 Paris, France
Rustic chic French bistro. Short and sweet menu, order a lot and share. I dream of the tartines slathered in mint pesto and fava beans and for desert the peach tart with whipped crème fraiche.