The 4th Arrondissement is the medieval heart of Paris. Find history everywhere you look, with a cathedral, old houses and museums lining the streets. The historic center is known as Le Marais. Its lower section is known affectionately as Gay Paris. Walk through the region for a memorable time with some of the world’s most iconic structures.
The highlight of the arrondissement is the world-famous Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris, construction of which began in the 12th century. Approach it from its spacious plaza to see the magnificent Gothic façade. Delve into the crypt to see riverside foundation stones dating back to Roman times.
Another architectural gem is the Hôtel de Ville or City Hall. Admire its lavish décor and white stone façade. Make your way to La Bastille via the metro station of the same name. Inspect the stones remaining from the historic fortress and prison. Near City Hall are many bars, restaurants and shops with a gay culture. Party at one of the heterosexual or LGBTQ discos in the evening and enjoy the liberal atmosphere.
To appreciate the city’s modern art scene, visit the Centre Georges Pompidou. Marvel at its odd and intriguing building, which looks like a construction site of mechanical tubes and ladders. See its accessible paintings and contemporary works. Relax at a café in the lively plaza outside the museum, where you will find street performers and cultural events around the elegant Stravinsky Fountain.
Relax in the pleasant gardens of the Place des Vosges, which has a majestic fountain and trimmed hedges. One of the city’s oldest planned squares, it dates back to 1605.
The rectangular region lies in the city center, covering the Seine River and its Île de la Cité. Take the metro to Saint-Paul or Pont Marie to reach the center of the zone. Lines 1, 4, 7 and 11 travel through this part of Paris.
The liberal atmosphere of the 4th Arrondissement provides an ideal contrast to the medieval vestiges at Paris’ core.