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Districts of Paris Guides: 4th Arrondissement of Paris
The 4th Arrondissement of Paris is perhaps our favorite district of Paris. This Paris Arrondissement is full of history, nice cafes, and shops, the kind of place where you can never get bored!
Definitely one of the liveliest districts of the city, the fourth arrondissement comprises Hôtel de Ville (Paris’ town hall), Ile de Saint Louis, the Eastern part of Ile de la Cité and the southern part of Le Marais (3rd and 4th arrondissements in Paris).
A nice introduction to Paris
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A walk around Paris Ile de la Cité & Ile Saint Louis
In the 4th Arrondissement of Paris, we find the Eastern part of Ile de la Cité (the Western part is in Paris 1), one of the oldest areas of the city. 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*, one of the most fascinating sites of Underground Paris. Despite its central location, just in front of Notre Dame, the Archaeological Crypt gets few visitors which is a pity! After reading some information panels about Parisii and its first inhabitants, visitors can walk through Lutetia’s Roman remains and get a glimpse of Paris during Roman times.
Pont de Saint Louis, behind Notre Dame, will lead you to Ile Saint Louis. This is a lovely place for a stroll, with a particular atmosphere and 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” in Ile Saint Louis but the original one is on 31 rue Saint Louis en l’Ile (you will recognize it by the long lines!).
*NOTRE DAME UPDATE: Following Notre-Dame Fire, Notre Dame and the Crypt are temporarily unable to welcome visitors
Le Marais: much more than Hôtels Particuliers
Enjoy the liveliest part of Le Marais, in Paris 4. This old marsh area became in the 14th century the aristocratic neighborhood of Paris when King Charles V decided to move to Le Marais. The most important people in the court followed the king 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 Le Marais’s most beautiful sights: Place des Vosges, Hôtel de Sully (and it’s garden) and Hôtel de Beauvais, home of a young Mozart during his first trip to Paris.
Le Marais is neither a neighborhood nor a district of Paris. It is an area which corresponds to 3rd and 4th arrondissements in Paris. Le Marais means “marsh” in French and long, long time ago it was just this, a marshland. Things changed in the XIV century when Charles V drained the marshlands and included this area inside the new ramparts surrounding the city.
Le Marais is far from being a homogeneous area. On the streets around Rue de la Verrerie, there is the gay district of Paris with rainbow flags everywhere while the little courtyards, quiet cafes and vintage shops of Village Saint Paul have a small-town vibe.
Finally, le Marais in Paris 4 is also the heart of the main Jewish community in the city. Cross Rue Rivoli and you will find yourself in a small Pletzl (=little square in Yiddish) in the heart of Paris. The first Jewish community settled in this area during the 18th century. From 1881 Ashkenazi Jews began to flock to France fleeing the persecutions and they found shelter with their coreligionists established in le Marais. More than half of the people living in the Pletzl died in the Nazi concentration camps whilst the survivors 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).
Famous Places in Paris, Ile de la Cité & Le Marais
These are the top tourist attractions in Paris 4 and no article talking about Paris 4th arrondissement would be complete without these famous places in Paris. If this is your first trip to Paris you will like to visit some of them, they are very touristy but beautiful!
» Notre-Dame de Paris – temporarily closed
» Place des Vosges – a Royal Square, the oldest square in Paris
» Marché aux fleurs at l’Île de la Cité – for a colorful and scented stroll
» Hôtel de Ville – the heart of many city events
» Centre Pompidou (Beaubourg) – for contemporary art lovers
» Tour Saint Jacques – a break for pilgrims on the way to Saint Jacques
Unique Things to See in the Fourth Arrondissement
Some of them are part of famous places in Paris. Some of them are Paris best-kept secrets. This is our personal list of unusual things to see in Paris 4th Arrondissement to enjoy Paris Like a Local.
» Paris from Notre-Dame’s towers with its gargoyles – temporarily closed
» Cloître des Billettes – the only cloister from Middle Ages (14th 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
» The Half-timbered houses of Rue Francois Miron – just like in Medieval times!
» Censored stalls at Saint Gervais et Saint Protais Church – unexpected profane scenes on the priests’ seats
» Guimard’s beautiful Synagogue at rue Pavée – religious architecture built in Art Nouveau style
» Hidden Jardin des Francs Rosiers – a quiet and unique atmosphere in the heart of Le Marais
» Brancusi’s Workshop – Get a glimpse of how artists worked during the ’20s
Unusual Things to Do in Paris 4th Arrondissement
On our Paris Arrondissement Guides, we like to encourage people to beat the crowds and explore Paris beyond its main sights. Despite being one of the most touristy Paris arrondissements, we like to walk around Ile de la Cité or le Marais, there are always so many things to do! This is our personal list of unique things to do in Paris 4.
» Step on France’s kilometer zero – temporarily closed
» Wander around 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*– temporarily closed
» Coffee break at Rue de Barres or Rue du Trésor– a small-town feeling in the heart of Paris
»A picnic on the banks of the Seine – a locals’ must. Baguette & Fromage, the rooftops of Paris and the Seine Riverboats
» Enjoy the best ice cream of Paris at Berthillon – on Ile de Saint Louis, probably also the most 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 King Philippe Augustus’ Walls – these 14th-century walls (many locations) once separated Paris from the marshland
Best Local Restaurants in Paris 4
Foodies in Paris will love colorful Rue des Rosiers, with great cheap eats (and the best falafels of the city!) and Rue Rambuteau, with its delicacies shops. Le Marais is an area with some good Parisian bistros.
Don’t you know where to eat in Paris 4? Our list of best local restaurants in Paris 4, proposing good French cuisine, includes:
» L’Ange 20 – 44 Rue des Tournelles, 75004 Paris. Typical Parisian bistro, not far from Place des Vosges, with good food and a relaxed atmosphere.
» Le Chanard – 8 Rue Saint-Paul 75004 Paris. This is a small Parisian bistro, with a warm and friendly setting, with a countryside touch. The cuisine is both authentic and modern, with a menu that changes every day.
» Le Caveau de l’Isle – 36 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile 75004 Paris. Located in the heart of Ile Saint Louis, enjoy traditional but very refined cuisine in a very charming place from another era.
Where to Stay in Paris 4
On “Where to Stay in Paris” section we like to help you plan your trip to Paris by proposing some great options in each price bracket (budget hotels in Paris, mid-range hotels in Paris and luxury hotels in Paris) for a specific district of Paris.
Staying in Paris the Latin Quarter is not that expensive compared to other districts around. These are our best hotels in Latin Quarter Paris, hope you will like them!
Located in Le Marais, in a former convent, Hotel de Josephine is inspired by Napoleon’s wife, Josephine de Bonaparte. Its unique decorated rooms are elegant and romantic and its cozy saloons are the perfect place for a last glass of champagne.
Located between Place des Vosges and Bastille, this is a good and comfortable hotel with contemporary rooms – fairly spacious for the Parisian standards – and a breakfast buffet which is really good.
Hotel France Louvre is a typical Haussmaniann-style hotel located in Le Marais. The rooms are small but cozy, all elegantly furnished in Louis XIV style. Some of them have lovely views over Hôtel de Ville and Tour Saint Jacques.
SHORT TERM RENTAL PARIS
Hotels are still the most popular option to rest your head at the end of the day but if you dream of living the Paris lifestyle, then an apartment is the best way to get a feel for the local atmosphere. We are talking about enjoying your Parisian holiday in the comfort of your own Paris furnished apartment, regardless of the length of your stay.
Paris Forth Arrondissement Directory
Paris from Notre-Dame’s towers with its gargoyles: 6 parvis Notre-Dame – Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris
Cloître des Billettes: 24 Rue des Archives, 75004 Paris
Village Saint Paul: Rue Saint-Paul, 75004 Paris
The Half-timbered houses of Rue Francois Miron: 11-13 Rue François Miron, 75004 Paris
Censored stalls at Saint Gervais et Saint Protais Church: 13 Rue des Barres, 75004 Paris
Guimard’s beautiful Synagogue at rue Pavée: 10 Rue Pavée, 75004 Paris
Hidden Jardin des Francs Rosiers: 10 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris
Brancusi’s Workshop: Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris
France’s kilometer zero: 6 parvis Notre-Dame – Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris
Crypte Archéologique: 7 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris
Berthillon:31 rue Saint Louis en l’Ile, 75004 Paris
Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP): 5/7 Rue de Fourcy, 75004 Paris
Want to Explore Beyond Paris 4?
- Paris 3 Like a Local: where to eat, play & stay in le Marais and Temple
- Paris 5 Like a Local: Where To Eat, Play & Stay In Paris The Latin Quarter
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