3rd Arrondissement of Paris: What to Do, What to See
The 3rd arrondissement in Paris is known as the ‘Upper Marais’. It’s above le Marais, a trendy and vibrant neighborhood often simply called ‘the 4th’.
Upper Marais holds a similar energy to the 4th, but it is usually less crowded in terms of street life, and feels notably more peaceful. There is much to see and do here — morning and night. Read on!
Pass by Le Carreau du Temple in the 3rd Arrondissement
The Carreau du Temple is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the 3rd arrondissement. It sits almost in the center of the district, in a small square bordered by great restaurants.
This is a showcase hall that is used throughout the year for many different events. Paris Fashion Week makes use of the space and some big name designers host their shows here.
It’s designed like a giant greenhouse, and the entire ceiling is made of glass. The natural light is beyond comprehension, making it a fabulous location for photographic and video shoots. This is also one of the only naturally warm buildings in Paris, regardless of the season.
The space is open to the public for visitation, provided no brands or events have booked it out. If so, there is likely to be an entry fee/ restricted access.
Hours: Monday TO Saturday — 10am to 9:30pm
ADDRESS: 2 Rue Perrée, 75003 Paris, France
Metro STATION: Temple
Visit the Picasso Museum in the 3rd Arrondissement
There aren’t many museums in the 3rd, compared to other arrondissements. The one you need to make some time for is the Picasso Museum, situated inside of the Hôtel Salé in the lower end of the district, close to where 3rd meets 4th.
The museum is dedicated to the work and life of one of the most esteemed artists to ever have lived in France, Pablo Picasso. Picasso spent much of his life living, loving and working in Paris; the city was instrumental in keeping his creativity alive during his toughest years.
At the museum, you’ll find the richest collection of public works of Picasso originals in the world. There are 297 paintings, 368 sculptures and 3D works, 92 illustrated books & 200,000 archived pieces.
Hours: Tuesday TO Sunday — 9:30am to 6pm
ADDRESS: 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris, France
Metro STATION: Saint-Sébastien Froissart
Eat and Eat Some More in the 3rd Arrondissement
Usually when I head through to the 3rd arrondissement, it’s to eat something that’s been on my mind since my last visit.
The 3rd has some of the best and most progressive restaurants & cafes in Paris. There is an abundance of vegan food, as well as interesting new concept spots. More than this, the Marais in general is known for its phenomenal kosher dining spots and falafel eateries.
The best time to dine in the 3rd is during breakfast and brunch. The following are the restaurants that I frequent most, along with their corresponding cuisines:
- Love Juice Bar (smoothie bowls, acai bowls)
- BigLove Cafe (home-style pizza and pancakes, beautiful setting)
- Candelaria (the best tacos in town, and a speakeasy in the back)
- Season (do some influencer spotting during Fashion Week)
- Kitchen (the tastiest pancakes in this neck of the woods)
- Wild and the Moon (vegan dreams)
- Hank Burger (vegan burger dreams)
Escape to a Different Time in the Cognacq-Jay Museum in the 3rd Arrondissement
There aren’t many museums in Paris that I go back to after first visit, especially if I managed to see the entire contents in one go. But the Cognacq-Jay museum has something that keeps me wanting more, despite the fact that I’ve seen it multiple times already.
This is the old living quarters of Ernest Cognacq and his wife Marie-Louise Jay, between the years 1900 and 1925. They had a flair for art and all things beautiful, and acquired quite the collection during that time.
As you walk through this once inhabited space, you can’t help but wonder what secrets these walls hold, or what conversations this now-antique furniture has born witness to. Who walked these floors?
The museum is open daily, aside from Mondays, and admission is absolutely free.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday — 10am to 6pm
ADDRESS: 8 Rue Elzevir, 75003 Paris, France
Metro STATION: Chemin Vert
Laze in the Sun in the Square du Temple – Elie Wiesel in the 3rd Arrondissement
In the lower Marais, there’s the Place des Vosges. Here in the upper, we enjoy the lush green grass of the Square du Temple, a very green public park space with a cute pond in the centre.
This is a daytime only park, unlike some public spaces in Paris that remain open late into the evening. Come here to read, picnic, nap or simply people watch for a few hours between excursions.
Sometimes I get really cheeky and dip my toes into the water. The 32 degree humidity in summer will drive anyone to desperate measures. It’s probably frowned upon, but that’s Paris!
Hours: Monday to Sunday — 8am to 5:45pm
ADDRESS: 64 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, France
Metro STATION: Temple
Enjoy Some of Paris’ Best Airbnbs in the 3rd Arrondissement
One thing the 3rd arrondissement does better than all other districts, is provide a sense of being central to anything in the French capital. This makes is a great place to seek out an Airbnb for your stay.
Most people think that lower Marais is where it’s at, so this drives prices down here in the upper. The truth is its better to be in the 3rd, because the streets are quieter at night and you can walk to the chaos of the 4th anytime you feel so inclined.
You’re also in walking distance of the Canal Saint Marin, which is a wonderful area to visit for dinner or just to watch the sunset over the water. Nearby is the vibrant nightlife of Oberkampf and Bellville, birthplace of Edith Piaf.