The Marais is one of Paris' main localities for art galleries and fashion shopping, trendy restaurants, fashion houses, hype galleries and also a growing gay presence as evidenced by the existence of many gay cafés, nightclubs, cabarets and shops. These establishments are mainly concentrated near the streets Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie and rue des Archives.
The Place des Vosges (Vosges' square) lies in the heart of the fashionable Marais district, not far from the new Bastille opera. King Henri IV decided its construction at the beginning of the 17th century. The Place des Vosges has a brick and stone architecture unique in Paris. It also features an homogeneous square design and lovely arcades.
The Place des Vosges is close to the metro station Saint-Paul on line 1. It can also be reached on foot from the Pompidou center (15 minutes), the Bastille opera (10 minutes) or the Notre-Dame cathedral (20 minutes), all of them very pleasant walks.