The Latin Quarter: immerse yourself in the history of Paris
The Rive Gauche is renowned for its universities and grandes écoles. The heart of Paris beats to the rhythm of its students! The Sorbonne, the school of medicine, the École Normale Supérieure, and the Collège de France, among others, have shaped this neighborhood since the 17th century.
The dome of the Sorbonne, recognizable from miles away, is not far from the Arènes de Lutèce (47 rue Monge). This mecca of Gallic life serves as a reminder that Paris is a two-millennia-old city. For those who like old stones, the Cluny Museum (6 place Paul Painlevé) will invite you to travel back to the heart of the Middle Ages.
A little farther away you can go on a romantic stroll on the Île de la Cité, where you will be able visit Notre-Dame-de-Paris, the Sainte-Chappelle, and the Conciergerie, even if you will not be bumping into Victor Hugo. After walking along the quays, flower markets, and second-hand book sellers, you can return to the Rive Gauche to immerse yourself in the unique charm of this very lively neighborhood. Around the Place de la Contrescarpe, in particular, all night long you will be able to enjoy the exciting atmosphere and a broad range of restaurants.
Not to miss at the Latin Quarter
- The Museum of Natural History and the Jardin des Plantes: a 24-hectare green lung in the heart of Paris, specialty gardens and greenhouses that are a real open-air plant encyclopedia: this garden, at place Valhubert, is worth a visit. It will lead you to the Museum of Natural History, the largest in the world, with 62 million specimens displayed in an atmosphere worthy of a novel. Remarkable exhibits are held throughout the year.
- Institut du Monde Arabe and the Grande Mosquée: the South in Paris? For an experience that will take you to the Hispano-Moorish universe, visit the IMA and its contemporary architecture designed by Jean Nouvel. Enjoy a majestic view from the terrace and treat yourself to a cup of green tea before experiencing one of the most pleasant Turkish baths of the Capital at the Grande Mosquée (39, rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire).
- The Panthéon: near the mythic Montagne Sainte-Geneviève—named after the patron saint of Paris—stands the Panthéon. Currently being renovated, this neoclassical temple was erected to the glory of the great literary and political figures of the country. Visiting the Panthéon is an unforgettable experience of immersing yourself in the history of French ideas.