3rd Arrondissement

Encounter some of the oldest architecture in Paris. Learn about the city’s relationship with Jewish and Chinese cultures.

The 3rd Arrondissement is among Paris’ smallest and oldest zones. In its historic center, find the Jewish quarter, many rows of medieval structures and the oldest surviving house in Paris. Along with the 4th Arrondissement, it is known for Le Marais, a neighborhood of historic buildings. Take photos of the extraordinary structures that survived wars to tell the story of old Paris.

See intriguing prototypes of inventions at the Conservatoire national des arts et Métiers It includes artifacts and the original model of the Statue of Liberty. Enter the Picasso Museum in the Hôtel Salé to see the Spanish master’s works.

Find yourself in the aristocratic district of Le Marais, which was built around the former Order of the Temple Church. Admire the mansions of one-time French noblemen, including the Hôtel de Sens, Hôtel de Sully and Hôtel Carnavalet, which now hosts the Paris Historical Museum. The House of Nicolas Flamel is the oldest in Paris, dating back to 1407.

Dine at one of the glamorous restaurants after shopping at upscale boutiques.

Spend an afternoon learning about the culture of Parisian Jews in the Pletzl, Yiddish for “Little Place.” Take a guided tour of the Museum of Jewish Art and History to see its permanent collection. Find out about the Dreyfus Affair through more than 3,000 documents on the scandal surrounding a wrongly jailed French Jewish artillery officer.

Nearby, visit the Agoudas Hakehilos Synagogue to see its intriguing style, designed by architect Hector Guimard. Although fully restored today, it was one of seven Parisian synagogues blown up on Yom Kippur in 1941.

Walk along the streets of upscale boutiques mixed with traditional Jewish stores. Visit the gradually expanding Chinatown area.

The neighborhood is just north of the Seine River in the center of Paris. Take the metro to Arts et Métiers to arrive in Chinatown or to Rambuteau for the Jewish Quarter.

The 3rd Arrondissement’s medieval zone has a fascinating blend of cultures, demonstrated through museums and historic structures.

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