High culture is a quintessential part of Paris’ personality, and nowhere is that better expressed than in the city’s wealth of world-class museums. From art-world heavyweights to modernist stylings, here are six of the City of Light’s top museums.
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
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.
How to Get There
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.
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- Ile Saint-Louis
- Museum of Magic (Musée de la Magie)
- Mémorial de la Shoah (Shoah Memorial)
- Arab World Institute (Institut du Monde Arabe)
- Carnavalet Museum (Musée Carnavalet)
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Hotel de Ville
- Place des Vosges
- Notre-Dame Cathedral Towers (Tours de la Cathédrale Notre-Dame)
- Le Marais
- Maison de Victor Hugo
- Museum of Jewish Art and History (Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme)
- Paradis Latin
- Archaeological Crypt of Notre Dame