Seven Secret Gardens Of The Marais

7 Secret Gardens Of The Marais

Walking the narrow cobblestone streets of the Marais, it's hard to imagine that the district is home to a surprising number of gardens. That's because, from the 12th to the 17th century, the Marais was the favored quartier of the French aristocracy. Behind many of the imposing limestone facades you walk past today, this small elite created courtyards and gardens for their own pleasure. Today, some those luxurious green spaces (or their modern restorations) have become public gardens.

1. Jardin Anne Frank

Jardin Anne Frank Jardin Anne Frank, photo Ville de Paris

It's easy to miss this small, secret garden. Access is via Impasse Berthaud, an alley off of busy Rue Beaubourg. Worse yet, when you peer down Impasse Berthaud it looks as if it dead-ends against a building. (In fact, that's what impasse means: dead end.) But, if you persevere you will discover that the alley doglegs to the left to take you to a pretty garden dedicated to Anne Frank.

Appropriately, the garden is attached to Hôtel Saint-Aignan, a classic mansion, which houses the Museum of Art and History of Judaism. (The entrance to the museum is on Rue de Temple.) The garden is sprawling, in a small way; on a map it looks something like a pinwheel.

The Jardin Anne Frank, though relatively recent (2007), preserves the memory of an older layout — the central part, surrounded by a wall, has the same shape as the original garden of the seventeenth century. The historical central garden has been expanded by the addition of two other parcels bought by the City of Paris to create the public garden, which give it its pinwheel-like outline.

By the way, at the end of the impasse, next to the garden, is historic Parisian bistro Le Hangar,, which we write about in this article.

2. Jardin Lazare Rachline

Jardin Lazare Rachline Jardin Lazare Rachline, photo Ville de Paris

Surprisingly, this pretty garden in the classic French style was created in the 1980s in the courtyard of Hôtel Donon (built in 1757 and, since 1990, the home of Musée Cognacq-Jay). Even though the garden is modern, it exhibits the classical style with strict geometry and symmetry, bordered by boxwood, geometrically cut. Access is via Rue Payenne, while the entrance to the Hôtel Donon and the Musée Cognacq-Jay is on Rue Elzevir. The mansion itself had been used for commercial purposes for many decades and was in a sorry state until purchased and restored by the City of Paris in 1974.


Seine River Dinner Cruises In Paris

VIP Dinner Cruise with Bateaux Parisiens
This romantic dinner cruise includes champagne, wine & a classic meal. Choose the Service Privilege option for the best seating, best meal, and the ultimate experience.
Reserve your table…

Dinner Cruise by Maxim's of Paris
The legendary Parisian restaurant takes you on a dinner cruise complete with champagne and wine. Choose the 2-hour cruise for a stellar evening in Paris.
Check Availability…

3. Jardin des Arts – Albert Schweitzer

Jardin des Arts Jardin des Arts – Albert Schweitzer, photo Ville de Paris by Clement Dorval

Just off the banks of the Seine in the 4th, Jardin des Arts is a composite garden, created by a recent (2020) merging of three green spaces — the garden of the Cité Internationale des Arts (a rather unattractive building facing the Seine), the garden of the Square Albert Schweitzer, and the French garden of the Hôtel d'Aumont, the 17th-century mansion home of the Administrative Tribunal of Paris.

Unlike many Paris parks, visitors are welcome to sit on the lawns here, offering a pleasant resting place after a long walk through the Marais. There are pathways lined with trees as well as a play area for children.


Delicious Activities in the Marais

Marais Food Tour with Wine & Cheese Tastings
Walk through the historic Marais neighborhood with a food-expert guide to visit the top food & wine shops, tasting iconic Parisian foods.
Check Availability…

Cheese & Wine Tasting in a Paris Cellar
In the cheese-aging cellar of a Paris fromagerie you discover 7 classic French cheeses and the wines that pair with them. Lots of sampling!
Check Availability…

4. Jardin des Rosiers – Joseph-Migneret

Jardin des Rosiers Jardin des Rosiers – Joseph-Migneret, photo VIlle de Paris by Christophe Noël

Here is another three-part and hyphenated-name garden hidden in the Marais. The 2100-sq-m green space was created by merging together the gardens behind three Marais mansions — Hôtel de Coulanges, Hôtel Barbes, and Hôtel d'Albret. Hôtel de Coulanges was built in the early 17th century, in danger of demolition in 1960, and acquired by the City of Paris in 1967 who restored it in 1978.

The first part of the current garden (the Hôtel de Coulanges portion) opened to the public in 2007. In case you're wondering: Joseph Migneret was the director of a school in the Marais who saved several Jewish students during the Nazi Occupation. (165 others were sent to the Nazi death camps, with the cooperation of Vichy authorities.) In the garden is a memorial stele to honor the even younger Jewish children who died in deportation.
  • 35-37 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois (Hôtel de Coulanges)
  • Alternative access: 10 Rue des Rosiers
  • Information

5. Jardin de l'Hotel Lamoignon – Mark Ashton

Jardin de l'Hotel Lamoignon Jardin de l'Hotel Lamoignon, view from Rue des Francs Bourgeois

We don't know about you, but we've passed this garden (also located on Rue des Francs Bourgeois) many times, so maybe it's not so secret. However, you may not know about the nightly light show here in which a thousand small colored bulbs light up the park, thanks to the work of Véronique Joumard. Even better, the display is recharged during daylight hours with solar panels.

In 2018 the garden's paths and benches were renovated; planters now decorate the terrace. At that time it was re-inaugurated, adding Mark Ashton to its name. Ashton was a a gay rights activist and member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.


Find Hotel Deals for Your Dates in Paris

Check with to find today's sale prices on hotel rooms in every arrondissement of Paris. Save 20% to 30%… or even more!

Booking.Com Paris Hotel Deals
Find hotels in the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain, the Right Bank, the Marais, near the Eiffel Tower.
Search for your hotel

Save on hotels in every arrondissement of Paris – the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain, the Right Bank, the Marais, near the Eiffel Tower. Save 20% to 30%… or even more!
Search for your hotel

6. Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur – Pauline-Roland

Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur – Pauline-Roland, photo Flickr

This lovely little park is really hidden, tucked away in the Marais between busy Boulevard Beaumarchais and Rue de Turenne. A rose garden is to be found in this calm oasis that is only accessible from a couple of narrow alleyways. But, once you arrive you can enjoy the serenity of the rose arbor as you relax on a park bench with a lovely view of the rear facade of Hôtel du Grand Veneur (1646).

  • Address: 9 Rue du Grand Veneur
  • Access: 12 Rue Villehardouin or 5 Rue des Arquebusiers
  • Information


Two Of The Most Popular Paris Activities

VIP Dinner Cruise with Bateaux Parisiens
This romantic, VIP dinner cruise is the #1 nighttime activity. Be sure to choose the Service Privilege option for the best seating, the most champagne, the best meal, and the ultimate experience.
Reserve your table…

Dinner on the Eiffel Tower at Madame Brasserie
Dining on the Eiffel Tower is as amazing as it sounds. With Paris 200 feet beneath you, and a glass of champagne in your hand, you'll congratulate yourself on having made this reservation.
Check Availability…

7. Jardin des Archives Nationales

Jardin des Archives Nationales Jardin des Archives Nationales, photo Ville de Paris by Frederic Combeau

It's only been a since the late two-thousand-aughts that this 8,000-sq-m garden re-opened to the public. (The gardens were closed following a 1995 terrorist attack in Paris, and remained so for more than a decade.) Such a huge garden in the middle of one of the most bustling quartiers of Paris was made possible by combining the gardens of the Marais mansions that surround it — mansions found on Rue des Archivers, Rue du Temple, Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, and Rue des Quatre-Fils.

Because four gardens were amalgamated, the Jardin des Archives Nationales is itself an amalgam of styles — classic French garden design from the 16th and 17th centuries with plane trees and lawns, a park from the 19th-century Romantic period, even a mini-orchard.

In case you're interested, the four gardens that were combined are: Jardin de l'Hôtel de Rohan (restored in 2008), Jardin des Hôtels d'Assy et de Breteuil (one garden, two mansions), Jardin de l'Hôtel de Fontenay, and Jardin de l'Hôtel de Jaucourt.

  • Address: 87 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris, Franc
  • Access; 60 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois or 11 Rue des Quatre-Fils
  • Information

Six Free Paris Planning Guides

A Gift from Us to You.
Bon Voyage !