Situated in the historic heart of Paris, in the area between the 1st arrondissement and the Bastille, the 4th arrondissement is one of the most pleasant neighborhoods to visit in the French capital. It contains part of the Marais—the historic heart of medieval Paris—as well as half of the Île de la Cité and all of the gorgeous Île Saint-Louis.
The 4th arrondissement is home to many of Paris’ most important sites, and it’s frequently visited by tour groups and independent travelers alike. Highlights include the Renaissance-era Hȏtel de Ville, the Pompidou Centre, and the Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in the city. Paris’ gay district is also here, with many LGBTQ clubs and bars in the southern parts of the arrondissement. A large Jewish community centers around the Rue des Rosiers.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The 4th arrondissement is a must-visit for anyone who wants to see medieval Parisian architecture, shop at quaint boutiques, or learn about Paris’ LGBTQ and Jewish communities.
- Wear comfortable footwear and be prepared to explore this pedestrian-friendly area by foot.
- The Marais is inconvenient for wheelchair users and travelers with strollers due to narrow sidewalks and lots of cobblestones.
The 4th arrondissement sits on the Right Bank of Paris, east of the 1st arrondissement, south of the 3rd arrondissement, and west of the Bastille. It encompasses half of the Île de la Cité, all of the Île Saint-Louis, and the southern part of the Marais neighborhood. Metro stops include Saint-Paul, Hȏtel de Ville, Cité, and Sully–Morland.
When to Get There
The 4th arrondissement is a year-round destination, with great shopping during the day and lots of nightlife, with the bulk of the city’s LGBTQ bars and clubs situated here. If you visit during the summer, you may get to see parts of the riverbanks transformed into artificial beaches in a local initiative known as Paris Plages. In the winter, the Hȏtel de Ville hosts a Christmas market and ice-skating rink.
Rue des Rosiers
At the heart of the small Jewish Quarter in the Marais, the Rue des Rosiers is home to a number of kosher shops, bakeries, and restaurants. It's best-known outside the Jewish community for L'As du Fallafel, perhaps the city's most famous falafel joint. Note that most shops in this area are closed on Saturdays for Shabbat, but unlike most Parisian places of business, they are open on Sundays.