Paris Metro Line 4 Must-Sees

The North-South Line for Market Shopping & Sightseeing
Metro Cité near Notre Dame cathedral Metro Cité near Notre Dame cathedral
January 25, 2021
Taking you from north to south, straight down the middle of Paris, this line leads you past plenty of great shopping spots and to the must-see Ile de la Cité, the island home to many of Paris’s most stunning monuments.
Portrait of Urbansider Paris author Ulrike
by Ulrike

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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.

Get to know the other lines of the Paris metro with Our Guide to Which Metro Line Goes Where and discover the Dos and Don’ts of Taking the Metro.

Stops on Line 4 Paris metro

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.

Paris shopping center Les Halles
Les Halles is an enormous underground shopping center in the center of Paris.

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.

View of Notre Dame from the Seine river.
Cité is the metro stop for the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sainte-Chapelle, the Conciergerie, and many more must-see spots on the Ile de la Cité.

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.

Classic Parisian café in Saint Germain, Les Deux Magots
The Saint-Germain Neighborhood of Paris is known for its café culture, with some of the city’s most famous literary cafés.

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.

Fall colors at Montparnasse Cemetery
The quiet Cimetière du Montparnasse is where you can visit the graves of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Charles Baudelaire, Serge Gainsbourg, and Samuel Beckett.
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