The best things to do in Latin Quarter are some of the top attractions in Paris. The Latin Quarter is a must visit neighborhood in Paris with a vibrant atmosphere and fascinating history dating back to the Roman times. There are many interesting buildings, prestigious educational centers such as the Sorbonne and Le Collège France, as well as dozens of booksellers, independent cinemas, and beautiful restaurants and bars. In addition to being saved from major works from Baron Haussmann, Latin Quarter is also very historic and retains a prominent position among Paris’ best districts.
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A brief history of the Latin Quarter
Invaded by the Romans since the 16th century, the Latin Quarter has a rich past of over 2,000 years that can be examined. The district has become a nickname due to medieval students in the nearby Sorbonne University speaking primarily Latin in the mid-century, including Clergyman students walked the narrow alleys to converse on Latin. Despite extensive renovations throughout the 19th-century, some of the areas remain intact and a few of the vestiges are visible from the early Haussman periods. Located directly on the left bank of the Seine, the Latin Quartier covers many of the fifth and a few of the sixth districts in the City.
Latin Quarter Metro & RER Stations
Line 10 represents a significant metro line linking La Place Latine with the remainder of Paris. The route is to the west in Boulogne – Pont Saint Cloud, through Paris and ends at its most western destination Gare d ‘Austerlitz. Metro lines 7 traverse Paris north to south along a straight line between Mairie d’Ivry north and Villejuif-Louis Aragon south. The route ends at the Latin Quarter near places like Mongé, Jussieu or Censier/Daubenton. Lastly at Saint-Michel Saint-Denise, you can take subway 4 and RER B & B.
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1. Purchase a book at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore
37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
Visiting Shakespeare and Company sits at the top of our list of things to do in Latin Quarter Paris. Established in 1919, this renowned book store includes a café where you can enjoy a cup of an inexpensive coffee with views over the Notre Dame Cathedral nearby. Although it closed its original shop from 1919 during the Nazi invasion and never opened again, George Whitman revived the business by opening a new shop under the name in the 1950s. Eventually, a hub for writer’s work was built, and there are libraries on its first floor.
2. Admire Sorbonne University
It is probably a fitting fit that this part of the Latin Quarter has long been associated with students. Inside the courtyards of Sorbonne, you will see its students passing by from one building to another. Because of the number of students from Sorbonne in the Latin Quarter, the whole district has affordable restaurants and pubs that tourists can enjoy as well.
3. Visit the Paris Panthéon
Pantheon stands on a large avenue just like the buildings of its predecessor from the early 1800s. Construction began in 1789 a year before the French revolution. The former church was built to honor the patron of Paris, Saint Genevieve. Today its grave is behind the Pantheon but it also acts as a mausoleum. The Pantheon is also the burial site for Voltaire and Marie Curie.
4. . Wander around the Luxembourg Gardens
The Luxembourg Garden contains numerous architectural delights, including the Medici Fountain. Marie Medici commissioned it in 17th-century to create a private garden. The public garden today is built on a site designed as the garden of Pitti Palace, the Medici’s childhood home in Florence. On the paths through the trees, you’ll see joggers and groups of people on roller skates. Others relax in the green chairs that line the pond. Happy children sail colorful wooden toy boats, pushing them with poles. Luxembourg gardens boasts more than 100 sculptures. You will even find a small-scale replica of the American Statue of Liberty.
5. Go Shopping on Rue Mouffetard
In addition to being the oldest street in Paris, Rue Mouffetard is located in 5th arrondissement and is particularly famous for its many stores. This quaint street in the Latin Quarter has a range of shops that sells fresh produce, clothing, and books.
6. Visit Saint Etienne du Mont
Behind the Paris Pantheon is the equally impressive Church of Saint Etienne Du Mont. Its roots date back at least to the 6th century and it was associated with an ancient abandoned Abbey that had been destroyed. Today, it is a secular church building where you can find an impressive glass tomb, the burial of Paris’ patron Saint, Saint Genevieve.
7. Visit Abbey Bookshop
The popular bookshop is the only English language bookstore in the Latin Quarter, where you can find many discounted books. Once you make your way inside, you will find piles and piles of books for you to discover. All in all, Abbey Bookshop provides a unique book shopping experience is definitely an excellent secret spot in the Latin Quarter.
8. Marvel at the Église Saint-Éphrem-le-Syriaque
17 Rue des Carmes, 75005 Paris, France
The chapel dedicated to Sainte Ephrémy, situated between Paris Pantheon and River Seine. Built in the 14th-century, it is widely considered as one of the most beautiful Churches in Paris where classical music concerts also takes place.
9. Admire the Jardin des Plantes
57 Rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, France
One of the biggest gardens in Paris is located in the Latin Quarter, next to the Museum for Natural History. Once a herbal and medicinal garden during the 16th century, the greenspace has now become a refuge from the narrow streets of the Latin Quarter. The ‘garden of plants’ comprises eleven distinct gardens and many greenhouses. Highlights include romantic gardens of flowers and roses, and the Jardin des Pinoyanes, and the Paris Natural History Museum that feature endangered and extinct species.
10. Grande Mosquée de Paris
The Grand Mosque is just a few steps from the Jardin des Plantes, which was built between 1922 and 1926. The mosque serves the local Muslims and provides travelers with a special experience and a unique cultural experience. The interiors of the Grand Mosque are a spectacular masterpiece in hispano-morris style. The prayer room boasts stunning carpets and the hammam replicates North African bathtubs with colourful ceramic tiles.
11. Visit the oldest tree in Paris at Square René-Viviani
The René Vivianisquare is home to what is claimed as the oldest tree in Paris, and sits in an old cemetery dating back from 1600. The Square René-Vivani is one of the most picturesque picnic spots on the city!
12. Eat a Cinnamon Bun at Circus Bakery
63 Rue Galande, 75005 Paris, France
You may want to try Circus Bakery when visiting the Latin Quarter. The newly opened Circus Bakery near the Seine provides delicious French style food. The most prominent item on the list is a cinnamon bun, but you may also find popular items like their jam, comté, and specialty coffee.
13. Boulevard Saint-Michel & Place Saint-Michel
Boulevard Saint-Michel offers a wide modern avenue designed by Haussmann during the 19th century. The area features eclectic bookstores, clothing, and cafés, and other student hangouts. The Saint-Michel is situated on Avenue Saint Michel, just steps from the Seine river.
14. Musée de Cluny (Musée national du Moyen-ge)
Cluny Museum is best known for its medieval tapestry collection, where the earliest tapestry in Flemish history is the Offrande de Couure, which was commissioned in the 15th century. The building sits on archaeological sites of Roman baths and was built by the Romans in the 12th and 17th centuries. One of the museum’s rooms is located within the remnants of a former Frigidarium.
15. Eglise Saint-Sevérin Saint-Nicolas
The Eglise Saint-Séverin Saint-Nicolas is considered to be one of the best Gothic architectural in France. With a dark sanctuary lit up with candle lights, the Church provides somber, spiritual ambience. This building is combines several styles, including an elaborate nave from the 12th century and stained glass windows from the 14th and the 15th. The interior includes the impressive columns with elaborately decorated capitals and bizarre keystone. St. Séverin Saint-Nicolas hosts regular classical organ recitals available for the public.
16. Arènes de Lutèce
The Arènes de Lutèce is located in an urban leafy greenery close to the Garden des Plantes, and is the remnant of an ancient amphitheater discovered in 1869. Wandering in the quiet area feels as though you discovered some mysterious treasure hidden for thousands of years. The Arènes de Lutèce was originally constructed at around 1 and 2nd centuries a.c., but later during a barbarian invasion in 285, the quarry was used to build defended walls in response to a barbarian invasion. Today, locals use the Arènes de Lutèce as a parkwhere kids play soccer. The site is open to the public daily (free of charge) from 8am until 6pm in the winter, with later hours in the spring and summer.
17. Place de l’Odeon
This elegant square is lined with beautiful old Parisian buildings. The most notable monuments in the square are Neoclassical “Tresor l’Ordéone”. The elegant 18th-century venue offers classic French theater productions including dramas by Molière and of Victor Hugo, and modern theater performances. It is also an ideal spot for socializing among residents in the area. Students enjoy relaxing in the arcade patio or steps of the theater during warm days. Tourists may enjoy walking the charming side of the Place d’Oréon and catching up with the trendy shops and trendy restaurants nearby.
Where to stay in the Latin Quarter?
The fiveth and sixth arrondissements offer lots of Paris attractions and have numerous connections to the rest of the city. This list of good hotel options in Latin Quarter (as determined by web reviews and locations), and other visit this Latin Quarter guide for the best accommodations & services.
Hotel Villa d’Estrées
This 4-star hotel near Fontaine SaintMichel and nearby Notre Dame has a huge number of online review reviews and has been highly recommended. This boutique hotel is near all the major attractions within the Latin Quartier. Get the best deals for you.
What is the Latin Quarter in Paris famous for?
The Latin Quarter is famous for bars and cabarets and houses Paradis Latin, a French-style cabaret created by Gustave Eiffel. Next to the Pantheon sits Saint Genevieve Library, the only independent public library on earth.
Is the Latin Quarter worth visiting in Paris?
Latin Quarter is a good place to stay in Paris. Thanks to the central location you’re close to major attractions including the Pantheon and Shakespeare and Company, and so you can get into an energetic nightlife scene right here.
Is the Latin Quarter in Paris a good place to stay?
La quarta del Latino. It is very central and is incredibly convenient to stay in Paris, close to everything. The city is also easily accessible from airports, the area is clean and beautiful. Look through the hotels below for the best value for money.
What is there to do in Latin Quarter at night?
The Latin Quarter is an excellent start to your evening at City Lights. The lighting in the neighbourhood is bright neon when it sets. You can simply stroll through Rue Mouffetard / Rue de Huchette and there are many clubs and bars to pick from.