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Paris 4 Like a Local: Top Sights and Best Things to See & Do


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Paris 4 is maybe our favorite Paris district: full of history, nightlife and shops, this is the kind of place where you can never get bored. One of the liveliest neighborhoods of the city, Paris 4 contains the Hôtel de Ville (Paris’ town hall), Ile de Saint Louis, the Eastern part of Ile de la Cité and it is also home of le Marais (shared with Paris 3).

Formerly known as Lutèce, Ile de la Cité is the oldest district of the city, the place where Paris was born during the Gallic time. On Ile de la Cité you cannot miss Notre Dame Cathedral. Built during the Middle Ages, Notre Dame is a masterpiece of Gothic art and one of the most visited monuments in Paris. If you want to know more about the history of Paris, take the steps down to the Archaeological Crypt. Despite its central location, the crypt is a fascinating place which gets few visitors. And it is a pity because walking through Lutèce’s Roman remains visitors can get a glimpse into the Paris of the past.

Pont de Saint Louis, behind Notre Dame, will lead you to the Ile Saint Louis. This is a nice area with its own atmosphere and a lovely place for a stroll, with nice views of the Seine and the city. On Ile de Saint Louis you will find the best ice cream in Paris, at Berthillon (there are many “Berthillons” but the original one is on 31 rue Saint Louis en l’Ile)

Le Marais: much more than Hôtels Particuliers

Enjoy the liveliest Part of le Marais in Paris 4. This old marsh area became the aristocratic area of Paris in the XIVth century when Charles V decided to move to le Marais. The most important people in the court followed him and built around the new Royal Palace some of the city’s most grand houses (hôtels particuliers). The best way to explore le Marais is to get lost and walk, walk and walk. However don’t forget to check the neighborhood’s main jewels: Place des Vosges, Hôtel de Sully (and its garden) and Hôtel de Beauvais, home of a young Mozart during his first trip to Paris.

Le Marais is far from being a homogeneous neighborhood. On the streets around Rue de la Verrerie there is a lively gay scene and rainbow flags everywhere while Village Saint Paul’s cobblestone courtyards, quiet cafes and vintage shops have a little town vive.

Finally le Marais in Paris 4 is also the heart of the main Jewish community in the city. Cross Rue Rivoli and you can enjoy the particular atmosphere of a little Shtetl in the Pletzl (=little square in Yiddish) of Paris. The first Jewish community settled in this area during the XIIIth century. From 1881 Ashkenazi Jews began to flock to France fleeing the persecutions and they lodged in Paris with their coreligionists established in le Marais. More than half of people living in the Pletzl died in the Nazi concentration camps but the ones who survived managed to keep the Pletzl’s spirit until our days: street merchants, orthodox Jews with their recognizable hats, boulangeries proposing the Hallot and other Jewish delicacies and even a Schnorrer (rue des Rosiers).



No surprises here: you can find all these places on all the guidebooks about Paris so no article talking about the 4th arrondissement would be complete without these Paris tourist places. If you are visiting Paris for the first time you will like to visit some of them, they are very touristy but beautiful !

Notre-Dame de Paris  

Place des Vosges

Marché aux fleurs at l’Île de la Cité

Hôtel de Ville de la ville de Paris  

Centre Pompidou

Victor Hugo’s house

Shoah Memorial

Tour Saint Jacques



Some of them are part of touristy sights, some of them are hidden gems. This is our personal list of best things to see in Paris 4th arrondissement if you want to know Paris 4 like a local.

Paris from Notre-Dame’s towers – a unique view from a unique place

Cloître des Billettes – the only cloister from Middle Ages (XIVth century) that we can still see in Paris

Village Saint Paul – a quiet and stuck in time labyrinth of cobblestone streets, cafes and vintage shops

Half timbered houses and an underground cellar from Middle Ages – at rue François Miron

Censored stalls at Saint Gervais -Saint Protais Church – unexpected profane scenes on the priests’ seats

Guimard’s beautiful Synagogue at rue Pavée

Hidden Jardin des Francs Rosiers – a quiet and unique atmosphere

Sunset in Paris at le Perchoir du Marais – with your favorite drink and favorite company

Brancusi’s Workshop – Get a glimpse of how artists worked during the 20’s

Related:  How to See Paris Differently - Paris from Bottom to Top



We would need two more posts to tell you all the things that we love to do in Paris 4! These are, in our opinion, the best things to do in Paris 4 like a local.

Step on France’s kilometre zero – just in front of Notre Dame, all the roads are measured from this point

Stroll along rue des Rosiers – get a taste of its many street food options in the heart of the Jewish Quarter

Travel back in time inside the Crypte Archéologique– learn about former Lutèce, and the birth of Paris

Coffee break at rue de Barres or rue du Trésor– quiet and shady oasis in the bustle of le Marais

A picnic on the banks of the Seine – a locals’ must. Vin, fromage & baguette, Paris’ beautiful architecture, Bateaux Mouches . . . quintessential Paris as its best

Enjoy the best ice cream of Paris at Berthillon  on Ile de Saint Louis, probably also the almost expensive ice cream in Paris

Check the latest photo exhibition at Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP)  – Always top quality exhibitions

Follow the traces of Philippe Auguste’s walls– these XIIIth century walls (many locations) separated once Paris from the marshland



Foodies will love rue des Rosiers and rue Rambuteau, with endless delicacies shops, street food and little bistrots.

The best falafel in the city is at l’As du Falafel (34 rue des Rosiers, closed on Saturday). Its competitor and neighbor, le Roi du Falafel, is not bad at all either.

Miss Manon (87 Rue Saint-Antoine) has INCREDIBLE French pastries. If you like sweet treats you don’t want to miss this place.

Check our proposals of best places to eat in Paris (by Paris arrondissement) on Yummy Paris. This is a living page which we are continuously “feeding” with our Parisian friends’ suggestions so we recommend you to come back from time to time to check the newest additions.



On Where to Stay in Paris section we always try to give 3 top options of best hotels in Paris in each price brackets. Have in mind that this is very trendy area and the prices are higher. For the same price you can have better quality in other districts. Because the budget proposals in the 4th arrondissement do not convince us, we prefer to propose a luxury hotel and two mid range options instead. You can check all the hotel options for the 4th arrondissement here


luxury hotels in paris 4HOTEL SAINT LOUIS EN L’ISLE – LUXURY HOTEL (200€+ PER NIGHT)

Excellent location, on the heart of Ile de Saint Louis. Its classic Parisian décor, wooden beams and exposed stone walks make this hotel unique and an excellent option for your stay in Paris.

Check the hotel’s latest offers

best hotels in Paris 4CASTEX HOTEL – MID RANGE HOTEL (100-200€ PER NIGHT)

Stay in the heart of busy Marais, and finish your days in the hotel’s quiet garden. Rooms are cute and bright with a very defined contemporary design and breakfast is served in the hotel’s impressive stone cellar

Check the hotel’s latest offers

luxury hotels in paris 4


In the heart of Marais and very close to Place des Vosges, this hotel combines and excellent location with a good price. Rooms and common spaces are cute and the hotel proposes a “comptoir gourmand” with free coffee, tea and French pastries

Check the hotel’s latest offers



Related:  Paris 2 Like a Local: Top Sights and Our Must See's & Do's
Related:  Paris 3 Like a Local: Top Sights and Best Things to See & Do



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  • Reply
    Carmen Edelson
    06/22/2017 at 10:54 pm

    You are my go to blog for Paris tips! I always love your foodie suggestions so I’m looking forward to checking out your hotel recommendations. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      06/25/2017 at 3:48 pm

      Cool to know that you think about us when thinking about Paris! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nina | Nina Near and Far
    06/22/2017 at 4:45 pm

    This is such a great guide, I love the list of quirky things to see! Makes for the best photos 😉

    • Reply
      06/22/2017 at 6:12 pm

      Indeed! 🙂

  • Reply
    06/21/2017 at 3:50 pm

    This is a fantastic list! looks like you could spend a few weeks just in this city and still have lots of stuff to do. It’s great to get a local’s perspective on the great spots to visit and eat.

    • Reply
      06/22/2017 at 9:46 am

      Thanks for your kind comment Miranda! Actually you could spend years and still have lots of stuff to do!

  • Reply
    06/21/2017 at 1:07 pm

    I’ve seen so much of the world but I’ve never been to Pairs, despite living in London! This is such a comprehensive guide, I much prefer to travel like a local so I’ll definitely use your suggestions if I make it over the pond! And I’ll check out Yummy Pairs too!

    • Reply
      06/22/2017 at 9:54 am

      Same here with London! Last time I was there I was 18, we are talking about last century, lol

  • Reply
    06/21/2017 at 10:40 am

    I have been to Paris a few times and not sure what districts I have visited but I did go to Notre Dame and explore around there too. It’s a beautiful city and I also loved doing a river cruise too. I mainly walked around, which is a great way to explore and see the city.

    • Reply
      06/22/2017 at 9:55 am

      Yeah, walking is the best way to explore Paris 🙂

  • Reply
    06/21/2017 at 6:14 am

    Wow with all of those amazing sights and landmarks, Paris 4 really does sound like the best to explore! Thanks for sharing this amazing guide!

  • Reply
    Megan Jerrard
    06/21/2017 at 12:05 am

    Thanks for this list! I didn’t realize just how far back the history of Paris 4 was! Notre Dame Cathedral was my favorite from Paris 4, and some of my favorite views over the city once you’re at the top of the towers. I have the obligatory cheesy tourist photos with the Gargoyles lol

    • Reply
      06/22/2017 at 9:57 am

      Cool that you made it to the top of the towers, when the weather is nice there are super long queues to climb!

  • Reply
    Carol Colborn
    06/20/2017 at 8:15 pm

    I love how you dissect Paris! Didn’t know Victor Hugo’s house was in this part!

    • Reply
      06/22/2017 at 9:56 am

      Victor Hugo’s house has nice views over Place des Vosges 🙂

  • Reply
    Edith & Juan
    06/20/2017 at 7:52 pm

    These are great tips! All your posts make me really want to visit Paris sooner than later. Will definitely visit this district when I’m there.

    • Reply
      06/20/2017 at 8:03 pm

      Paris 4 is the heart of Paris so if you come to the city you cannot miss it! 😉

  • Reply
    Jade Mortimer
    06/20/2017 at 4:51 am

    sounds amazing! i haven’t yet been to Paris so it’s great to keep track of all these tips! might just have to move there one day – i didn’t know there was so much to do in just one city!

    • Reply
      06/20/2017 at 9:01 am

      Living in a big city like Paris has also its downs and sometimes life is stressful here. But it is such a beautiful city with lots of things to do that it compensates 🙂

  • Reply
    06/19/2017 at 10:41 pm

    Have heard a lot of good things about Paris maybe someday I will pay a visit.

    • Reply
      06/20/2017 at 9:01 am

      Hope you will make it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Veronika Tomanova
    06/19/2017 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for practical tips how to survive and enjoy this elegant but touristy destination. It is already some years since I have visited Paris. I loved Notre-Dame, Montmartre and other places. I would like to come back though – so thanks for recommending!

    • Reply
      06/20/2017 at 9:02 am

      You are welcome, Veronika! Hope you will make it to Paris again soon 🙂

  • Reply
    Mike Cotton
    06/19/2017 at 12:43 pm

    It’s been years since I set foot in Paris but this article certainly makes me want to return. I wasn’t aware that Paris had district numbered like this, it makes it easier to navigate.

    • Reply
      06/20/2017 at 9:04 am

      Glad to have “teased” you with Paris. Hope you will return soon, for sure you will find lots of new tings to see & do 🙂

  • Reply
    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie
    06/19/2017 at 12:50 am

    The 4th is also one of my favorite arrondissements in Paris! Village St. Paul and Place de Vosges are such great spots to wander. On all of my Paris trips, I still haven’t seen the cloisters or the hidden garden, to name a few. Ile Saint-Louis is so charming and I have a favorite scarf shop I always return to for a splurge. My goodness, I just love Paris! 🙂

    • Reply
      06/19/2017 at 9:38 am

      Oh, I love scarfs! I usually buy a scarf when I travel to exotic destinations. Do you remember the shop’s name or the address? I would like to have a look 😉

  • Reply
    Carol Perehudoff
    06/18/2017 at 6:27 pm

    I had no idea the Ile de la Cité used to be called Lutèce, Ile de la Cité – so that’s why there is a Lutèce hotel. That arondissiment has so much to offer and every time I go I learn a little more. Next up, I’ll explore the crypt of Notre Dame. Why have I never thought of doing that before?

    • Reply
      06/18/2017 at 7:48 pm

      Like I said, despite being very close to one of the most visited sights in Paris the crypt has few visitors. And it is a very cool place to discover, especially in hot days like today 😉

  • Reply
    Marion Halliday (Red Nomad OZ)
    06/18/2017 at 10:42 am

    I so love your personal favourites guide – while I would want to see the tourist places like Notre Dame, your great suggestions are the things I would want to discover for myself to make my Paris experience a lot more personal and memorable. Of course anything with food (especially ice cream!) gets my vote, but exploring the historic cloister, half-timbered house and admiring the sunset with a drink are also very appealing!

    • Reply
      06/18/2017 at 7:50 pm

      Glad that you loved this post! As we said, this is a personal list of favorite things we like to do but by doing this you are sure to experience Paris in a more local way 🙂

  • Reply
    Punita Malhotra
    06/18/2017 at 6:25 am

    The more posts I read on your website, the more it reinforces my belief that no one can ever get enough of Paris. The more you explore, the more you feel remains unseen.

    • Reply
      06/18/2017 at 9:46 am

      Thanks for your beautiful comment Punita! I cannot get enough of paris, there is always sth new to explore! 🙂

  • Reply
    Rosi C.
    06/18/2017 at 3:59 am

    Really love Paris. Been 19 years and hope to visit next year. Cool itinerary

    • Reply
      06/18/2017 at 9:46 am

      You will find lots of new things to explore 😉

  • Reply
    Rhonda Albom
    06/17/2017 at 11:19 pm

    I didn’t even realise there were different districts in Paris. We went several years back but only for a couple days because we had a flight to Morocco. I’ve heard quite a lot about the Notre Dame Cathedral and I would love to revisit Paris so I could see it one day.

    • Reply
      06/18/2017 at 9:47 am

      Oh, yes, it would be a pity to miss Notre Dame. Hope you will make it next time 🙂

  • Reply
    Fiona Maclean
    06/17/2017 at 1:36 pm

    I love Paris’s boutique hotels, though I generally stay in the 6ieme or 7ieme. Next time I’ll venture in the the 4ieme – you have some fab looking places to see!

    • Reply
      06/18/2017 at 9:48 am

      There are different districts for different tastes. Maybe you will get surprised if you try other districts than 6th or 7th 😉

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