Explore ancient streets and visit unusual specialty museums. There’s also a treat for Harry Potter fans.
Take rue Rambuteau past the Centre Pompidou and turn right onto rue Saint-Martin, then onto rue de Monmorency. The mysterious Nicolas Flamel in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was a famous alchemist who lived in Paris in the middle Ages and can still be traced here today.
The Auberge Nicolas Flamel (1, 51 rue de Montmorency) was built in 1407 by Flamel, who rented rooms to the poor. The building is so old that the ground floor looms at an ominous angle. Spot the Gothic script carved above the lintel. Continue along the street and turn right onto rue Beaubourg.
Cross onto Impasse Berthaud for the Musée de la Poupée (2), a tiny doll museum. Most are old china dolls with beautiful hand made clothes; on Thursday, dolls and soft toys may be brought to the doll hospital for repairs.
Back at rue Beaubourg, turn left; then left again onto rue Rambuteau; and take a third left onto rue des Archives. Two noble mansions there now contain the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (3, 62 rue des Archives), where collections about hunting and animals are imginatively displayed. Children can investigate special cabinets devoted to dogs, deer, wolves, and even unicorns, and a tiny room with feathery owls on the ceiling.
Continue up rue des Archives, turning right onto rue de Bretagne to explore the Marché des Enfants Rouges covered market (4). Snack here or enjoy your purchases in the nearby Square du Temple (5), a pretty garden with a small lake and a cast-iron bandstand.
Metro Station : Temple (Line 3), Arts et Métiers (Line 3, 11), Rambuteau (Line 11)