3rd Arrondissement

Welcome to Paris’ hottest — or Paris’ most ruined — neighborhood, depending on who you ask.
Its local nickname is Le Haut-Marais (upper Marais) and it’s where fauxhemians who actually have money live. But right before becoming hip, it was working-class and, when you find and appreciate the old joints that reveal its blue-collar past, that’s when you know you’re a tourist (ahem, visitor) in-the-know. Baron Haussmann unintentionally, depending on the version of fake news you believe, spared the Third from demolition when he created his big boulevards, as with the Fourth and part of the Fifth in the 1860s. And that’s great because his move (or lack thereof) has allowed us all to continue to swoon over wobbling medieval façades on narrow cobbled streets, manicured gardens, courtyards hidden behind massive ornate wood doors and former hôtels particuliers (that’s French for fancy private mansions from the 1600s) turned into sick-as-hell art museums and smart galleries.

Trendy shops (although sad­ly the main­stream brands con­tin­ue to take over), bou­tique hotels, posh galeries, worth-your-time muse­ums like Le Musée Picas­so, Le Musée Car­navalet, Le Musée de la Chas­se et de la Nature (the Muse­um of Hunt­ing and Nature—much, much cool­er than it sounds, trust me), tiny and charm­ing restau­rants and bistros, gor­geous archi­tec­ture and parks; le Haut-Marais has it all. The busy streets are rue Vieille du Tem­ple, rue de Bre­tagne, and rue de Turenne. But wan­der the small­er streets, instead. They’re filled with sur­pris­es, and almost no cars.