The Top Things To Do In The Marais – Walking, Eating, Biking

Ask any visitor to name their favorite neighborhood in Paris and they're likely to say the Marais. It's the oldest intact quartier in the city, filled with medieval buildings and narrow streets. Its charm is contagious, which is why that today it's also one of the trendiest places in Paris.

For the first-time visitor (or those who haven't been here in a while) we always suggest starting your stay with one or two guided activities to get to know the Marais and to see a lot in a short time. Our top picks include two of the most popular food tours, two historic walking tours, and a bike ride that takes in the Marais and the Latin Quarter, for a double dose of historic goodness.

Discover The Food & Wine of the Marais

The Food & Wine of the Marais

This walking tour through historic Marais is one of the top-rated food tours in Paris, and for good reason. Starting at the oldest food market in Paris, you spend three-and-a-half hours going deep into the culinary culture of this quartier. You get to visit (and sample at) a fromagerie, charcuterie, boulangerie, and other specialized food shops.

Knowledgeable and friendly guides enhance the experience while the small group size ensures that everyone receives personal attention.

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This was an amazing experience! Our best tour in France, with the best guide; some of the best food we had on this vacation was during this tour! Very highly recommend."
– 5-Star Review

Visit a Cheese Cellar to Taste Cheese & Wine

Cheese & Wine Tasting in a Paris Cheese Cellar

Close behind in popularity is this cheese-specific food activity held in a cheese-aging cellar. You are introduced to seven varieties of cheese; as you sample them you also learn how to match them with the perfect wines. There's something special about being in the climate-controlled cellars where the cheeses undergo their final aging while you learn the history, traditions, and techniques of French cheese production.

The small size of the group makes it seem like a private tour, and ensures you get plenty of samples to eat and drink!

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Our tour guide was wonderful! …We have been to Paris 8 times and had other cheese tours but there is something special about being in a cheese cellar that added to the experience. The shop was excellent along with the cheeses!! We learned so much!!"
– 5-Star Review

Walk & Shop the Historic Streets

The Historic Marais

During the massive renovation of Paris by Baron Haussmann in the mid-19th century, the Marais was one of the few quartiers that escaped the massive demolition and rebuilding that created the wide, straight boulevards and the uniform (but pleasing) 5-story buildings lining the streets of the rest of the city. For various reasons, the Marais was left largely intact, with its medieval buildings, grands hôtels, and narrow streets.

The best way experience the Marais when it was the favored strict of the nobility 400 years ago is by walking its streets and poking into the interesting boutiques that now populate the ancient buildings. Explore the shops along Rue des Francs Bourgeois and stop for a Jewish pastry on Rue des Rosiers. Stop for a glass of wine once in a while, and have lunch at one of the district's enduring bistros.

Go Deep n A Guided Bike Tour

The Marais & Latin Quarter Bike Tour

Other than walking, the best way to see Paris is from two wheels. This bike tour (created by a Parisian-born guide) takes you through the best parts of two of the most-loved neighborhoods in Paris — the Marais and the Latin Quarter. The operators call this activity the "Hidden Paris Secrets Bike Tour" and it lives up to the name, concentrating on the hidden charms of these quartiers that are so loved by locals.

You get to see some of the last vestiges of Roman Paris, the best street art, the church that inspired the Da Vinci Code, parts of the ancient city walls of Paris, and much more. In 4 hours on 2 wheels you can see a lot of Paris, and this bike tour delivers.

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I loved seeing Paris this way! This bike tour was so much fun! Our guide was easy to follow, spoke perfect English, and showed us some great hidden treasures. This tour was a great adventure! I'm 70 years old and was able to do this tour, so don't let age get in your way!"
– 5-Star Review

Discover the Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

In the Marais you'll find the largest and most comprehensive museum in the world dedicated to Pablo Picasso. An unusual aspect of the Musée Picasso Paris is that it is not just a collection of artwork, but a whole Picasso experience that includes letters, journals, sketches, and the pieces that Picasso himself collected — works by Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Georges Braque, and others. It's another one of those Paris don't-miss experiences.

Take a Break at Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges

After strolling the streets set your shopping bags down on a bench of the grass in the oldest place, or square, in Paris and one of the prettiest. Place des Vosges was the inspiration for hundreds of squares (it's where the name came from) in Europe and the first Paris park to be open to the public. A great location to start or end your promenade, Place Royale (as it was first called) was built by Henri IV and is a true square, measuring 140 x 140 metres.

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