Image – Quai des Bourbons at the tip of Ile St Louis.

The centre of the Marais on the Right Bank, Arsenal, the Ile de la Cité , Ile de St-Louis, Cathedral Notre-Dame, hotel de Sully  and the Pompidou Centre.

At times it seems as if the 4th has it all: not only Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cité, but Ile St-Louis, with its aristocratic town houses, courtyards, and antique shops.

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Ile St-Louis

Ile St-Louis, a former cow pasture and duelling ground, is home to dozens of 17th century mansions and 6,000 lucky Louisiens, its permanent residents. Voltaire found it “the second best” address in all the world, citing the straits of the Bosporus separating Europe from Asia as number one.

Ile de la Cité

Of course, the whole area is touristy and overrun. On the Ile de la Cité, forget the “I Love Paris” bumper stickers and seek out Ile St-Louis’s two gems of gothic architecture, La Saint Chapelle and Notre Dame, a majestic and dignified structure that, according to the poet EE cummings, doesn’t budge an inch for all the idiocies of this world. The heart of medieval Paris, the 4th evokes memories of Danton, Robespierre, and even of Charlotte Corday, who stabbed Marat in his bath. Here you not only get France’s finest bird and flower markets, but the nation’s law courts. Though Balzac described the courts as a “cathedral of chicanery,” they have a long tradition of dispensing justice, French-style: it was here that Marie Antoinette was sentenced to death in 1793.

Centre Georges Pompidou

If all this weren’t enough, the 4th is also home to the Centre Georges Pompidou, now one of the top three tourist attractions of France, partly because of its National Museum of Modern Art.
Finally, after all this pomp and glory, you can retreat to the place des Vosges, a square of perfect harmony and beauty where Victor Hugo lived from 1832 to 1848 and penned many of his famous masterpieces.

List of attractions in the 4eme

Centre Pompidou, 19 Rue Beaubourg  75004
Fontaine Charlemagne, rue Charlemagne, 75004
Hôtel de Sens,  1 rue du Figuier, 75004
Hôtel de Sully,  62 rue Saint-Antoine, 75004
Hôtel de Ville, Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004
Île de la Cité, 75004
Île Saint-Louis, 75004
Notre Dame Cathedral, 75004
Place de la Bastille, 75004, 75011 & 75012
Place des Vosges, 75004
Place Igor Stravinsky, (Pompidou Centre), 75004
Point Zero, Notre-Dame Cathedral Square, 75004
Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, 99, rue Saint-Antoine, 75004
Tour St-Jacques, 39 Rue de Rivoli, 75004