Paris - Around Town : Create Bookmark Marais and the Bastille (part 2) - Shops, Specialist Shops

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A Day in the Marais


Begin the morning at the Musée Carnavalet , to beat the crowds and allow enough time to view the impressive collections. There is also a lovely garden courtyard. Afterwards, walk to the place des Vosges. Stand in the centre near the fountains to take in the whole square.

Have a coffee at Ma Bourgogne (19 pl des Vosges01 42 78 44 64), right on the square. Afterwards, tour the Maison de Victor Hugo, then go to the southwest corner of the square, through a wooden door to the pretty garden of the Hôtel de Sully . Then walk to place de la Bastille.

A good lunch choice is Bofinger , with its ornate decor and true Parisian feel.


The Place de la Bastille is something of a traffic nightmare, but take time to admire the column in the centre and contemplate the events that happened here when this was the site of the city’s dreaded prison. Walk around the square and along rue Faubourg-St-Antoine, a now fashionable shopping street. Turn off down some of the passageways to see the furniture-makers and craft workshops that have a long history in the area.

From here it’s not far to the Gare de Lyon and dinner in style beneath the chandeliers and frescoes of Le Train Bleu (20 blvd Diderot01 43 43 09 06).


  1. Izraël

    Also called the “World of Spices,” this is a treasure trove of the world’s best food and drink. Tiny but packed with meat, cheese, wine, rum, dates, honey, mustard… it has to be seen.

    • 30 rue François-Miron, 75004

  2. BHV

    The Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville is an upmarket all-round shopper’s paradise at which you can track down everything from DIY products to stylish underwear.

    • 52–64 rue de Rivoli, 75004

  3. Antoine et Lili

    Vibrant and eclectic clothes for women inspired by tzigane and Oriental styles using colourful natural fabrics.

    • 51 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75004

  4. Autour du Monde

    Stylish clothes and objects for the home from French designer Bensimon. The canvas sneakers in pastel colours for kids and adults are a classic.

    • 8, 12 rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003

    • 01 42 77 16 18

  5. Florence Finkelsztajn

    This shop offers a range of cakes with freshly baked rye bread and a deli.

    • 24 rue des Ecouffes, 75004

  6. Buzz

    For the ultimate in contemporary Parisian interior design, this trendy boutique is an unmissable delight.

    • 8 rue Trésor, 75004

  7. Isabel Marant

    A designer better known to Parisians than overseas, her work is hip but elegant.

    • 16 rue de Charonne, 75011

  8. Aladine

    Fabulous displays of old kitchenware, boxes, jars, ashtrays… anything with a colourful old advertisement on it, from the 1960s back to whatever the owner can get her hands on.

    • 12 rue Trousseau, 75011

  9. L’Atelier Boulanger du Marais

    Along with the traditional products on offer here are more unusual flavours such as a raisin rye bread.

    • 32 rue de Turenne, 75003

  10. Emery & Cie

    Stylish, coloured ceramics, tiles, lamps and other goods, run by an interior decorator.

    • 18 passage de la Main d’Or, 75011

Specialist Shops

  1. The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore

    An English-language bookshop where you can pick up that translated French classic you may have been inspired to read.

    • 22 rue St-Paul, 75004

  2. André Bissonnet

    A delightful hidden treasure is this shop/workshop where the owner lovingly restores antique musical instruments such as trumpets, harps and violins.

    • 6 rue du Pas-de-la-Mule, 75003

    André Bissonnet
  3. La Chaiserie du Faubourg

    Bastille has always been the area for furniture makers, and this chair repair shop keeps the tradition alive.

    • 26 rue de Charonne, 75011

  4. Pasta Linea

    Visit for fresh pasta dishes made in-house from organic Italian flour. Not much seating, but the leafy Place des Vosges is nearby.

    • 9 rue de Turenne, 75004

  5. The Filofax Centre

    The name says it all, for the ubiquitous binder that palmtop organizers have not ousted completely.

    • 32 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75003

  6. L’Art du Bureau

    If your desk is your altar, you’ll find everything you could possibly need here, and it’s all in the most modern designs. In fact, this shop is worth visiting for the design aspects alone.

    • 47 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75004

  7. Librairie l’Arbre à Lettres

    Beautiful bookshop, though the content is on the serious side, concentrating on art, philosophy and politics.

    • 56 rue du Faubourg-St-Antoine, 75012

    Librairie l’Arbre à Lettres
  8. A l’Olivier

    For 150 years this shop has specialized in all kinds of oil, from the finest olive oil to massage oil.

    • 23 rue de Rivoli, 75004

  9. Papeterie Saint Sabin

    Parisian stationery shops are a class apart, and here you will find stylish notebooks, pens, pads and other tasteful items.

    • 16 rue St-Sabin, 75011

  10. A la Petite Fabrique

    This shop doesn’t just sell chocolate, you can watch it being made. More than 40 flavours and novelty chocolates in all shapes.

    • 12 rue St-Sabin, 75011

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