Le Marias (SoMa), a district combining culture, entertainment and fashion


The Marais, an emblematic district of Paris in the fourth arrondissement, is in some ways a true historical and cultural “enclave” which embodies both the medieval charm of the city and its vibrant modernity. Located in the center of the French capital, Le Marais – also called SoMa for “south marsh” – is known for its picturesque cobblestone streets, historic buildings, trendy boutiques, art galleries and vibrant nightlife. The French Civilization Courses at the Sorbonne help you discover this district between history and modernity

 History and architecture

The Marais has a rich historical heritage dating back several centuries. In the Middle Ages, it was mainly inhabited by the Parisian nobility and bourgeoisie, which explains the presence of numerous private mansions and aristocratic residences. The architecture of the district is therefore an eclectic mix of styles, ranging from Gothic to Baroque to Rococo. Among the most notable sites is Place des Vosges, one of the oldest squares in Paris, lined with sumptuous mansions dating from the 17th century. A visit to these historic buildings offers a dive into the glorious past of Paris and allows you to appreciate the architectural elegance of the era.

 Culture and arts in the Marais district

The Marais has long been a hotspot for culture and the arts in Paris; Many contemporary art galleries are scattered throughout the area, offering a variety of exhibitions and openings throughout the year. The Center Pompidou, a major cultural complex housing the National Museum of Modern Art, is also on the edge of the Marais. Additionally, the neighborhood is known for its vibrant LGBTQ+ scene, with many bars, clubs, and boutiques contributing to its inclusive and fashion-forward atmosphere. Art students and culture lovers will find what they are looking for by exploring the multiple galleries and participating in the artistic events regularly organized in the neighborhood.

 Le Marais, a place dedicated to shopping and fashion

Le Marais is a paradise for shopaholics and fashion lovers, with SoMa attracting Parisians as well as tourists and students. The streets of SoMa are full of designer boutiques, vintage stores, concept stores, luxury brands and other trendy establishments. Whether you are looking for clothing, accessories, works of art or unique souvenirs, you will surely find what you are looking for in the many stores in the neighborhood. Saint-Antoine, des Francs-Bourgeois and des Archives streets are particularly renowned for their varied offering of trendy boutiques. Additionally, the Marais is home to the famous BHV Marais, a department store that offers an impressive selection of fashion, decoration and design products.

 Cuisine and gastronomy

Like many other areas of the capital, SoMa is also a hotspot for Parisian gastronomy, with a plethora of restaurants, cafes, wine bars and patisseries to discover. From traditional brasseries to Michelin-starred establishments, including ethnic restaurants and trendy addresses, there is something for all tastes and budgets. The district is also renowned for its food markets, notably the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris, where you can taste a variety of dishes from around the world in a friendly atmosphere. Foreign students will have the opportunity to discover the diversity of French cuisine by exploring the many culinary options offered by the Marais.

 SoMa, a neighborhood marked by its atmosphere and nightlife

Once night falls, the Marais comes alive with an electric atmosphere thanks to a lively nightlife which attracts many students. Cocktail bars, trendy clubs, café theaters, concert halls and nightclubs line the streets of the neighborhood, attracting an eclectic crowd of night owls. Whether you’re a fan of live music, dancing, theater or simply good cocktails, you’re sure to find a place to entertain yourself until the early hours in the Marais. From lively evenings in intimate wine bars to open-air concerts in interior courtyards, the Marais offers a multitude of options for enjoying Parisian nightlife.

SoMa is thus a district that is both historic and modern, where tradition and avant-garde, culture and entertainment, heritage and creativity blend harmoniously. Whether you are a lover of history, art, or shopping, gastronomy or nightlife, this emblematic district of Paris offers a rich and varied experience to all those who are lucky enough to discover it, international students included. Whether for a day of strolling through its medieval streets or a party night in its lively bars, the Marais will not fail to seduce visitors looking for authenticity and diversity in the French capital.






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The secretariat will be exceptionally closed on Wednesday, January 17th. 

Information sur la session de printemps 2024

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Dates des prochains examens TCF

Les prochaines sessions d’examen TCF auront lieu dans les locaux de l’institution aux dates suivantes :

Le 30 janvier et le 27 février :

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