From a historical perspective, Paris’ 5th arrondissement (located on the left bank of the River Seine) is one of the most fascinating. It is also one of the liveliest in the city. Known as the “Latin Quarter,” the 5th arrondissement is home to the Sorbonne, The Pantheon and a number of Gallo-Roman ruins.
The Latin Quarter’s narrow streets are filled with eclectic eateries and shops geared toward the area’s student population (which is dwindling due to high rent in the area—most of Paris’ students have moved to more affordable arrondissements).
Metro and RER stops
St. Michel, Luxembourg, Cluny/la Sorbonne, Maubert/Mutualité, Cardinal Lemoine, Jussieu
What to do in the Latin Quarter
This mausoleum for France’s most renowned philosophers, artists and intellectuals was originally a large neo-Classical church. It is the final resting place of great minds such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Zola, the Curies and Alexandre Dumas. Climb up to the top of the dome for impressive views of the city.
Place du Panthéon
Métro: Cardinal Lemoine,
Tel: 33 1 43 54 34 51
Hours: Daily 10AM to 8PM.
Jardin des Plantes
Paris’ impressive botanical garden holds a zoo (La Ménagerie), acres of flora, and the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (natural history museum). A great place to spend an afternoon.
Métro: Jussieu, Austerlitz
Arenes de Lutece
This impressive ancient Roman theater is one of two that have survived over the years in Paris (the other being Thermes de Cluny). Visit this lovely archeological park to get away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city.
47 rue Monge et rue de Navarre
Métro: Place Monge, Jussieu, Cardinal Lemoine
Hours: Daily 8AM – 5.30PM (winter), 8AM – 10PM (summer)
Musée de l’Institut du Monde Arabe The Arab institute is part museum, part boutique, part library, part research center. Even if you don’t go inside, be sure to stroll by the impressive façade.
1 rue des Fossés-St Bernard
Tel: +33 1 40 51 38 38
Hours: Tue – Sun 10AM – 6PM closed Mondays.
Where to shop in the 5th Arrondissement:
Foodies should definitely visit the specialty shops on Rue Mouffetard (follow it the opposite direction of the Pantheon).
Wine lovers will adore La Fontaine aux Vins, a comprehensive wine shop along rue Mouffetard. Sample their selection in-store and ship a case home as a souvenir.
107 rue Mouffetard
Métro: Censier Daubenton
One of Paris’ most celebrated children’s stores is l’Epée de Bois (meaning “wood sword”). Here you’ll find a lovely selection of wooden toys, books and games for young children (and the young at heart).
12 rue de l’Epée de Bois
Métro: Pl. Monge
Paris’ most renowned English bookstore is also located in the Latin Quarter. Shakespeare and Co., is packed with both rare books and newer paperbacks. You’re sure to find plenty of British and American ex-pats roaming the crowded shop.
37 rue de la Bûcherie
Written by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for EuropeUpClose.com