There’s something magical about the Paris Latin Quarter that attracts millions of tourists every year, from the beautifully preserved Pantheon through to the hidden bookshops lining its streets. While you’re less likely to hear as much Latin spoken hear nowadays, you’ll get by just fine as it’s a hotbed of activity with the university’s nearby students, in-the-know locals and other savvy tourists exploring the historical area. Whether you’re keen on strolling through the Luxembourg Gardens, finding a vintage read at Shakespeare and Co or visiting one of its many churches, here’s our conclusive guide to the Paris Latin Quarter below.
Located a stone’s throw from the River Seine, this charismatic neighbourhood sprawls comfortably between the fifth and sixth arrondissement. As one of the most visited spots on the Seine’s left bank, it’s filled with universities so you can do your touristing in the day here and your partying at night.
The Paris Latin Quarter was once a place teeming with students from the nearby universities, many of whom spoke Latin and the now ancient language once rang out everywhere in the area – hence the neighbourhood’s name. Filled with gorgeous architectural landmarks like the Roman-inspired Paris Pantheon, Luxembourg Gardens and hidden gems like the Shakespeare and Co bookshop, it’s easy to spend a whole day here and then wrap things up at a student bar in the night.
For a modern chic experience, this boutique hotel on the outskirts of the Latin Quarter is as Instagrammable as it gets. Perfect for solo travellers, couples and smaller families, the rooms are a pastel daydream of wallpaper and lush textures - plus, there’s a wide array of books available to guests and a lush garden to sprawl out in when the crystal weather kicks in.
If you want to wake up in the morning and be greeted by the ivory columns of the Pantheon, this Paris Latin Quarter hotel is a great shout. Dating all the way back to the 17th century, the hotel is named for the two women buried in the Pantheon and it’s an easy walk to the botanical gardens from the front door. If you’re willing to splash out, you can also score a room with a view of the Sacre Couer.
If you’re something of a literary buff, L’Hotel is a significant landmark for being a place where Oscar Wilde was fond of and eventually passed away in. With glowing reviews from the Telegraph and Time Out Paris, you’ll never want to leave this hotel nearby the Latin Quarter. With sumptuous old world decor, a Michelin-starred restaurant and - wait for it - free wifi, it’s a total dream. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can even book the Oscar Wilde’s room which has a number of the writer’s possessions framed in tribute.
While this space may not be quite as big as the likes of Bastille Market, there’s no end of quality produce on display here. It’s a perfect pit stop to grab your picnic supplies if you’re heading off to the nearby botanical gardens, so do as the Parisians do and grab some artisan baguette, cheese and wine while you’re here. Open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Looking for a sweet treat? The quaint little cafe is well beloved for its choux la cream, a pastry filled to bursting with cream or custard. If you can grab a spot in its busy tea room, you’ll be able to tuck into one of its rainbow confections with a view of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Another perk is that it’s right nearby Shakespeare and Co, one of the most famous bookshops in Paris, so you can grab something to read and pour over its pages here.
For a taste of Parisian tradition, this atmospheric brasserie has been a stalwart on the scene since 1686 and the quality hasn’t wavered since. Listed on our best brasseries in Paris guide, it’s impossible not to have a great meal at Le Procope and you’ll get all the French staples here: towering platters of oysters, beef tartare, steak frites and creme brulee to round off your meal. If you’re feeling brave, try the veal’s head - it’s supposed to be delicious.
January 11, 2020 by Anneliese
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