Wondering what to do in Le Marais, Paris? I love the neighborhood so much that I got an apartment there. We have everything — restaurants, bars, cafés, markets, the best shopping in the city — all in one very manageable, human-sized package. (Read: gorgeous old limestone buildings.) This itinerary is focused on the Upper Marais, or the third arrondissement. It’s small, packed with things to do and see, and super convenient to the rest of the city. Bienvenue! If somehow you’re not sold on the neighborhood yet, why not check out our “Which Paris neighborhood is right for you?” quiz?? 7 a.m. The Upper Marais doesn’t have as many hotels as other Parisian neighborhoods. Regardless, Hotel Providence offers a boutique hotel experience (read: small rooms with clawfoot bathtubs and the odd vintage find) for under $200 a night. Otherwise, take your pick of Airbnbs — ideally as close as possible to the Square du Temple.
Spring approaches, and with it, cherry blossoms in Paris. Looking for flowering trees? Cherries and pears? New spring flowers? We have lots. The first thing to know: Paris is an absolute wonderland when its trees bloom, which is generally at some point between mid-March and mid-April. (A quick review of my photos from the last five years point to an average peak-bloom date of April 1.) Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong: Walk out your door and look around and you will almost definitely see beautiful blooming trees, and if you don’t, go two more blocks, and you almost certainly will. (Repeat as necessary.)
Paris’s Marais neighborhood doesn’t have an expansive park like the Jardin des Plantes or the bois that edge the city’s western and eastern edges — instead, it has gorgeous pocket parks, ranging from a fraction of an acre to several city blocks. See below for my five top picks, with a number of lunch suggestions — this list is a biased list of personal favorites, and does not include iconic spots like the Place des Vosges — simply because I prefer these. Vive la différence! 1. Square Léopold-Achille Bigger than the Square Georges Cain around the corner, Léopold-Achille was once part of the expansive royal park that stretched all the way to the Place des Vosges. The statues were rescued from the former City Hall, which burned to the ground during the Paris Commune. This park is especially nice in the spring, when the flowering trees are in bloom.