Metro Line 4, the magenta-colored line on the Paris subway map, was built in three parts. The first section of the line opened in 1908, running between the Porte de Clignancourt in northern Paris and Châtelet in the city center.
Then, in 1909, the opposite end opened, taking riders from the Porte d’Orléans in the south of the city up to Raspail. The two parts were finally connected via a tunnel under the Seine in 1910.
The first metro line to cross the Seine underground, Metro Line 4 is also the line dotted with some of the best market stops all along the way.
Starting in the north of Paris at Porte de Clignancourt, it’s Metro Line 4 that takes you to the fabulous flea markets of Saint-Ouen, as well as the great eco-café in an old train station, La REcyclerie. The metro then takes you down to the bustling corner of Barbès-Rochechouart with its brasserie and the Egyptian-themed Le Louxor cinema.
Line 4 leads you to the train stations of Gare du Nord—where you can take the Eurostar—and Gare de l’Est. Next, it’s on to the popular shopping areas of Réaumur-Sébastopol and Étienne Marcel, before reaching Les Halles. Formerly a gigantic food market feeding central Paris—it was even called the Belly of Paris—, Les Halles is now a modern shopping mall with a spectacular roof.
Then it’s on to Châtelet, the notorious transport knot where you can connect to four other metro lines and two RER trains to reach nearly everywhere in Paris. But you often have to walk for what seems like miles to change lines.
The next stop, Cité, is the place to hop off not only to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Conciergerie, the Sainte-Chapelle, and the Palais de Justice, but also one of Paris’s prettiest flower markets.
Full of history, beautiful buildings, and charming little corners, the Ile de la Cité is the perfect place to take a long walk in Paris. Find our step-by-step itinerary around the island here.
Line 4 then continues south, crossing the Seine and into the Latin Quarter. Exit at Odéon for access to the lovely 18th-century passageway La Cour du Commerce Saint-André or, if you’re after some creepier sights to see, the History of Medicine Museum.
Stop at Saint-Germain-des-Prés for its church, the classic Parisian cafés such as Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, and the covered market hall of Saint-Germain, nestled within a shopping area filled with unique boutiques.
After enjoying the area’s iconic Left Bank atmosphere, get back on the Line 4 to reach another large Paris train station, Gare Montparnasse-Bienvenüe. Here, you can connect to trains heading to Bordeaux or Tours, or get some of the most amazing views of Paris from the panoramic rooftop of the Tour de Montparnasse.
Another can’t-miss stop on Line 4 is Denfert-Rochereau. A public transportation hub in the 14th Arrondissement, it’s worth spending some time in this often-overlooked area of Paris. Get off here to explore the Catacombs, visit the graves of famous writers and philosophers at the Montparnasse Cemetery, and shop—and eat—on the market street of Rue Daguerre.
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