Located in the ancient Marias district of Paris, on the right bank of the River Seine, the 3rd Arrondissement is one of the smallest in Paris, but there is still enough there to keep you enthralled.
The 3rd Arrondissement is considered to be one of the best places to live in Paris simply because it contains several very good open air markets, great speciality food shops and a large covered flea market.
For visitors there are a couple of museums which deserve to be visited.
The first of these is Musee Picasso which is located at 5 rue de Thorigny in the Hotel Sale which is considered to be one of the finest historic houses in the Marais. The collection was accumulated because in 1968, France created a law that permitted heirs to pay inheritance taxes with works of art instead of money, as long as the art is considered an important contribution to the French cultural heritage. Much of the collection was owned by Picasso himself and contains of 3,000 works of his art including drawings, ceramics and paintings. This is complemented by Picasso’s own personal art collection of works by other artists, including Cezanne, Degas and Matisse.
Another important museum is the Musee de Arts et Metiers (the Museum of Arts and Crafts), located in the rue Reamur, it has on display the first prototype of virtually every important French invention. Exhibits include the world’s first monoplane and Foucault’s Pendulum which was built to demonstrate proof of the Earth’s rotation. The museum has over 80,000 objects and 15,000 drawings in its collection.
And for a peak into true Parisian history, you should make the effort to visit the Musee Carnavalet at 23 rue de Sevigne as this lovely museum takes visitors on a historical tour of Paris through thousands objects artfully displayed in over 140 rooms of two historic Parisian homes.
As you would expect in a rather chic Parisian location the 3rd Arrondissement is full of hotels and restaurants of all types, including Le Potager du Marais, at 22 rue Rambuteau. In a country which celebrates the eating of beasts of all kinds, this is a vegetarians delight. The Potager is a 100% vegetarian restaurant which specialises in re-creating the French country dining experience without any of the meat.
There are two Metro stations that will get you to the 3rd Arrondissement, Station Arts et Metiers and Station Republique.