Paris art galleries: self-guided walk in Le Marais

This guide will help you explore the fantastic selection of art galleries in Le Marais, Paris.

Get a map of all the galleries in this guide

There are some big and well-known art spaces where you can see contemporary art in Paris, such as the Louis Vuitton Foundation or Centre Pompidou.

Alongside those, there are many small and medium-sized art galleries in Paris that showcase contemporary art. Many of those are in and around the district of Le Marais.

Le Marais is a historic district in the centre of Paris, located on the right bank (north side) of the Seine River.

It has long been a hub of arts and culture, full of museums, galleries, and cultural centres. It has always been one of my favourite parts of the city.

Le Marais is a must-see destination for art lovers in Paris. When you visit you can see why Paris is one of the art capitals of the world.

There are many, many places to see great art in this area, including some of the most prominent international galleries, and plenty of small art spaces.

Together they feature an impressive range of modern and contemporary art styles.

I made a self-guided walk highlighting some of the galleries in Le Marais.

All the galleries are close to each other, so you can easily take this walk in one day. There’s no need to use public transport between the stops on the tour.

Along the way, you’ll also come across design shops and unique boutiques, trendy restaurants and elegant Parisian cafes.

Self-guided walk: Le Marais Art Galleries

Start the gallery walk at the Saint-Paul metro station. It is located in the heart of the district and provides easy access to all the stops on the tour. You can reach it with Paris Metro Line 1.

From the metro station, it’s a 2-minute walk to the first stop on the tour: Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP) (address: 5-7 rue de Fourcy). This centre features a wide and diverse range of contemporary photography.

From there go back in the direction of the metro station and head toward Place des Vosges. It’s one of those charming little Parisian green spaces worth seeing, especially on a sunny day.

Cross the square and go to Galerie Marguo (address: 4 R. des Minimes). This relatively young contemporary art gallery was founded by Vanessa Guo and Jean Mathieu Martini. They showcase innovative emerging artists, with a focus on Asian art.

From there, it’s a very short walk to Polka Galerie (address: Cour de Venise, 12 Rue Saint-Gilles). Founded in 2007, this gallery features French and international photographers, with both artistic and documentary exhibitions.

Very close to it you’ll find Galerie Chez Valentin (address: 9 Rue Saint-Gilles). It’s a small art space displaying contemporary art, with many conceptual art exhibitions by local and international artists. Expect to find installations, sculptures, paintings, and video art.

Next, take a short walk to Galerie Martine Aboucaya (address: 5 Rue Sainte-Anastase). This gallery presents international contemporary artists with a focus on installation art and conceptual art.

Our next stop is Galerie Perrotin (address: 76 rue de Turenne). This is one of the most famous Paris galleries. It features contemporary art and showcases emerging artists from around the world. Back in 1991, Damien Hirst had his first solo exhibition at this gallery.

The nearby Galerie Sobering (address: 87 Rue de Turenne) represents established and emerging artists from Europe and beyond, showcasing mostly paintings and conceptual art.

Walk to our next stop, Galerie Karsten Greve (address: 5 rue Debelleyme). This gallery has been around for over 40 years. It represents both emerging and established artists in many diverse genres, including painting, sculpture, photography and installations.

From there it takes just a minute to reach Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, (address: 7 rue Debelleyme). This is a world-famous gallery with additional locations in London, Salzburg and Seoul. It features contemporary art from around the world.

End the tour at the Picasso Museum (address: 5 rue de Thorigny). Housed in an impressive, renovated building, the Musée National Picasso-Paris is the place to learn about the life and work of Pablo Picasso.

It features his range of artworks from different periods, alongside historical documents like sketches and photos. This is a popular attraction in Paris, so I recommend you book your tickets in advance.

Tips for visiting the galleries in Le Marais

  • Most galleries in Paris have limited opening times. Typically, they’d be open from Tuesday to Saturday, with some exceptions. I recommend you always check in advance.
  • Many galleries go on vacation in August, at least for a couple of weeks, if not the whole month. If you visit Paris in summer, double-check the opening times of each gallery you want to see.
  • Sometimes the info on opening times and vacation times isn’t up to date on the galleries’ official websites, so I prefer to check on Instagram or Facebook as well.
  • While moving from one gallery to the next around Le Marais, don’t miss out on the architecture and the street art. Look up and enjoy some of the most beautiful buildings in Paris. Look around for some super creative urban art.
  • If you want to visit more museums in Paris, check out the Paris Museum Pass.

More tours in Le Marais

Le Marais is one of the best artistic hubs in Paris, but there’s much more to discover in this district.

It’s considered the gay village of Paris, has an interesting Jewish history, has diverse cuisines for all kinds of foodies, and it’s one of the best street art districts in Paris. In short, it’s a fascinating area.

Here are some guided tours you can take to get to know more about Le Marais:

History and Lifestyle Tours in Le Marais

Food tours in Le Marais

General tours in Le Marais

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