How to Choose the Best Airbnb in le Marais
Choosing an Airbnb in Paris is a bit of a lottery if you aren’t previously familiar with any of the neighborhoods that make up the city.
In Paris, there are some major attractions that are nice to be closer to, like the Eiffel Tower for example. Then there are other, such as the Louvre Museum, where staying a bit further away becomes preferable due to the busyness of its surrounding streets.
For first time visitors, the district of le Marais promises the central, glamorous location in Paris that most travelers seek from their trips. It is sold as the heart of Paris; a neighborhood that celebrates history, art, fashion, food and nightlife all in one.
Le Marais is indeed this, plus a whole lot more. When choosing an Airbnb in the area one needs to consider a few factors that will ultimately contribute either to the enjoyment or disdain for their home base.
Read on to find out how you can get the most out of your time and Airbnb in le Marais.
What to Expect in Le Marais
I remember my first encounter with le Marais as a neighborhood as if it were yesterday. I got off at the République metro stop in the far north of the district after having spent my first few days in Paris exploring only Montmartre.
En route to track down the free guided walking tour I was going to be part of, I remember my neck being tilted back the entire time as I made my way through the cobblestone streets.
Everything was simply a marvel. The architecture with the shallow balconies, the cafes tucked neatly under the high rise apartments, the color that the stone walls refracted when the sun hit them from behind the clouds.
Le Marais is what the daydreamer who has never been to Paris before pictures in their heads when they think of the destination. It’s the fashionable, trendy, aesthetically pleasing congregation of streets that drip with authentic French vibrancy and you are very, very aware of this the minute you step into the district.
Le Marais takes up a considerable part of the 4th arrondissement. Other than Airbnbs, the area is made up of vintage stores, bookshops, art galleries, gay bars, coffee shops, concept cafes, museums and parks — you name it.
The area was once Paris’ official Jewish Quarter and there are many remnants of this through the streets as well; namely kosher restaurants and synagogues. Some of the road names are even still written in Hebrew.
What you must know before arriving in le Marais is that although all of these varying businesses exist here and form most of the daily life, the neighborhood never actually feels as chaotic as it is.
People move between attractions calmly, some streets hold foot traffic, others hold vehicle traffic, and everything seems to flow in a way that doesn’t leave you energetically depleted from spending an hour outside.
Main Streets and Attractions in Le Marais
Despite its seamless functionality, there are still major streets and attractions in le Marais that one may way to avoid when booking an Airbnb, solely for the purpose of ensuring peace and quiet after a certain time.
The Rue des Rosiers is the most well known road in the Marais district. It runs east to west through the middle of the neighborhood and is still a central hub for the Jewish community that still calls this suburb home.
The Rue des Rosiers is an unmissable part of le Marais and should be explored by all visitors over the course of a day, in my opinion. However staying in accommodation on the actual road may be less than desirable.
There are many late night food spots on this road to which the locals flock to by night when in need of fast, cheap eats. The famous L’As du Fallafel, endorsed by Lenny Kravitz, is on this street and is known for having long queues at just about every time of day. They stay open until midnight daily, and until 3:30am on Fridays!
Keeping with the Lebanese cuisine, Chez Hana competes with L’As du Fallafel just a few blocks down. They too remain open until 12am daily and are popular with the bar hopping crowds who come in search of late night food, usually yelling on top of their voices and being generally rambunctious.
While not technically part of le Marais, The Centre Pompidou does share a western boundary with the neighborhood and thus the flow of traffic goes right through here from early mornings until late into the evenings.
The Picasso Museum in the north of the district sees the same kind of movement on the surrounding streets.
If peace and quiet is your goal during your stay in Paris then the above locations need to be taken into consideration when looking to book an Airbnb. You’re better avoiding them and retreating to one of the quieter side streets instead. You’ll still be within walking distance to all of the excitement but you’ll also be able to remove yourself from it for some rest at the end of the day — win win.
A booking tip: the eastern side of le Marais is naturally calmer and quieter than the western. The western touches the 1st and 2nd arrondissements which are tourist traps at their finest!
Public Transport in Le Marais
No matter where in Paris you are looking to book an Airbnb, public transport should be a point of consideration if you’d like to not have to taxi everywhere.
Your proximity to the public access points will be more important if you are traveling with children or elderly individuals. Physically disabled individuals, or persons with limited mobility, will likely also benefit from an Airbnb situated closer to a metro or bus station.
Picture le Marais in a triangular shape, with the bottom side resting along the Seine and the other two sides facing the east and west respectively. The Paris metro stops run along these eastern and western boundaries, life in le Marais takes place in the centre of the triangle.
If accessibility is important during your stay and you want to be able to move around Paris without needing taxis then an Airbnb on either of these boundaries would be most suited to you.
A total of seven major metro stops can be found around the perimeter of le Marais triangle. Between them, an intricate system of bus lines runs as well, making virtually all parts of the neighborhood reachable within minutes.
That being said, if traveling by foot is not an issue for you then this is one part of Paris where this ability should be exercised.
To really get a feel for what le Marais is all about there is no better way to explore than by foot (Read more about Discover walking tours).
Nightlife in Le Marais
During the day in le Marais we shop, we eat, we divulge in art and we enjoy the sunshine from various parks and plazas (check out the Place des Vosges). By night, we dance, drink and connect with people from all over the world who flock to this melting pot in Paris.
Of course it always sounds exciting to live near the “it” spots in a new city. You can walk home after drinking too much and you’re never too far from the action.
Sometimes, however, perpetually loud and bustling bar streets can become overwhelming. Hearing rowdiness on the streets from your Airbnb at three in the morning isn’t as fun as it sounds, especially when you’ve paid good money to be there.
The most saturated parts of le Marais when it comes to nightlife would be between the Rue des Archives and the Rue des Lombards in the southwestern part of the neighborhood.
The blocks and side streets surrounding this part of town can be counted on to provide the party seven days a week, rain or shine. If this sounds less than appealing to you then seek an Airbnb near the northern part of the district. If this sounds wonderful to you, then welcome home!
Le Marais is small enough for all citizens to be able to walk from one end to the other within a matter of minutes, even after knocking back too many beers with the boys. So don’t be deterred that you’ll miss out if you seek a less central property.
Time of Year in Le Marais
This is a big one. Having friends in the fashion industry I’ve been able to monitor the accommodation trends that emerge throughout le Marais during the Paris fashion week periods.
Fashion week happens four times a year in Paris, featuring mens and women’s collections for the various seasons. Since most of the shows and events take place around the 4th arrondissement & city center, le Marais is the sought after place to stay by the thousands of people who need to be in the city during this time.
Models, photographers, influencers; all in need of somewhere to rest their head after a long day at the world famous event.
In Paris the fashion weeks take place during the following months annually: late January to early February, late February, mid June, late September to early October.
Like clockwork, Airbnb prices skyrocket during these week long periods. Apartments in le Marais can be seen doubling and tripling in rental prices as the owners are aware of the high demand to stay in this part of town.
If you are traveling to Paris during these times and desire to stay in le Marais you will need to book well in advance and accept the higher rates.
Despite the hike in accommodation costs, these are exciting times on the streets of le Marais. The most fashionable people from around the world can be seen on the streets and hanging out in the cafes & restaurants day in and day out.
Venues in le Marais are also occasionally used for runway shows, depending on the brand. As you walk the streets you might catch glimpses of the street style scenes taking place, or the audiences making their way from one show to the next.
Since Paris is one of the fashion capitals of the world, being able to witness these events is somewhat history in the making. This year for example, following the passing of creative director Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel held a moment of silence in his honor during the runway show at the Grand Palais in Paris.
The Seine in Le Marais
Lest we forget about the true star of the show in this part of town, out beloved Seine River. She flows along the southern edge of le Marais and should you choose to cross her you’ll find yourself on the Île de la Cité where the Notre Dame finds its home.
An idealist might fantasize their trip to Paris with the inclusion of the iconic Seine as a view from their Airbnb balcony. Seen in so many French films over the years, the Seine is the picture of charm and sets a whimsical tone to any evening in Paris.
Finding an Airbnb along this stretch of land is quite simple. There are many properties along the banks that have units for rent on the inside.
Availability may be tough, depending on the time of year these units book out fast. But if you request a place early enough you’ll be daydreaming from your French balcony in no time while the water flows below.
Being near the Seine, or any large body of water, also drowns out a lot of background noise making the inside of ones space considerably quieter. Just a thought.