A Visit to the Jewish Quarter in Paris

2 minutes of reading
article published on 20/04/2023

Today we’re heading to the Jewish Quarter in Paris, The Marais. This famously friendly district is host to tons of adorable boutiques, divine restaurants, peaceful gardens, impressive historic lodgings, and charming squares where you’ll never tire of the exciting atmosphere. Ready to check it out? 

The historic Jewish neighborhood of Paris 

Let’s start with a look back in time: The Marais first became a thriving Jewish community in the 13th century. Into the 1930s, thousands of families settled in the Marais, more precisely around rue des Rosiers and Place Saint-Paul, alias Pletzl, which means “small square” in Yiddish. During this period, synagogues and businesses were established, creating a Yiddishland atmosphere in the neighborhood. Tragically, the Nazi occupation during the Second World War decimated the Marais, deporting or murdering over half of its inhabitants. It was during the 1960s that the area was revived after a few decades of locals picking up the pieces and rebuilding their lives. Today the Jewish quarter is a dynamic place that mixes Jewish schools, synagogues, hammams, shops, must-see spots, street food, the LGBT community, and fashion boutiques. 

The Jewish quarter of Paris, the must-see spots

Do you like strolling while admiring monuments and making exciting discoveries around every corner? What about a shopping break or trying some delicious local food? Lucky you, because the Jewish quarter has all of this and more. You can discover this vibrant part of the Marais via our walk, Le Marais branché. It’s the perfect way to explore this multifaceted area. 

While you wander through the Marais, you’ll inevitably cross rue de Rosiers, which is overflowing with luxury boutiques, restaurants, bookstores, and inviting kosher mini-markets. One of our favourite must-see (or should we say “must-taste”) places? L’As du Fallafel, a true falafel institution. It’s a fantastic restaurant with a nearly permanent line of tourists and locals coming for their fix of famous falafel. They don’t just serve falafel, though! You can also find sandwiches, shawarmas, strudels, shish kebabs, and other tantalizing dishes on the menu. Feeling a little intimidated by the super loooong line? Well, at Rewind, we wanted to make sure that you could still try one of their scrumptious pitas without losing any time on your Rewind walk. So, we’ve teamed up with them to give you a free pass to get your pita right away! Yes, you read that right. To take advantage of it, you just pull out your Rewind app and choose your fast pass ticket with your walk, then follow the guide that will lead you to the restaurant where you’ll pick up your pita! How easy is that?

Several other streets are worth checking out, too, such as rue Malher or rue des Hospitalières-Saint-Gervais, where you can find kosher delis, bakeries, and other shops. And let’s not forget rue Pavée where the beautiful historic Agudath Hakehilot synagogue proudly stands. Finally, take a little trip to the famous Izrael grocery store. Since 1947 this place, which is THE place for the Israeli-Oriental spices, offers olive oils, liqueurs, tapenades, dried fruits… you’re bound to find something to impress your friends there!

By now, it’s probably evident that the Jewish district is a part of the Marais where those curious for unique discoveries, fans of culture, and the most sophisticated gourmets will inevitably find their happy place. The Jewish quarter is a place full of history, animated by unique restaurants and shops. All this lends an energetic air to the district’s streets with its signature friendly atmosphere that has attracted many tourists and Parisians alike for decades. And for an excellent start to your Marais adventure, you can start your walk by discovering The hidden side of the Marais, a visit that ends at the Place des Vosges, right where the visit Le Marais branché starts. Not a bad plan, right? Have a lovely walk!

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