Wandering the Marais: Medieval Architecture and Infinite Shopping in Paris’ Eldest Arrondissement

I came to Paris hoping to find an endless mine of smart boutiques with au courant Parisian finds, but instead I encountered a repetitive stream of chain stores. The damage potential is high, as all of the big names, designers, and lesser chains have infiltrated the area, but I was unable to find one store that was worth the trip to the neighborhood; all of the stores can be found in other locations throughout Paris. Although it is now seemingly ‘discovered’ and quite touristy, the Marais remains worthy of an afternoon stroll, if not to ooh and ahh over the medieval architecture and to indulge on kosher meats at a boucherie. The Marais is a destination for history lovers and art enthusiasts, as well as architecture appreciators. The Place des Vosges is nearby, and the Musee Carnavalet with its beautiful garden houses many of Paris’ aristocratic artifacts and artwork. If you are at all riveted by the palace of Versailles, you will certainly be fond of the Musee Carnavelet.


The two oldest buildings in Paris

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