During the Middle Ages the students of the University of Paris spoke Latin, and so the Latin Quarter was named. Today the district has an intimate and friendly village feel with a mixture of students and professionals living and working there. The Latin Quarter has its roots in Medieval times but the area is modern and vibrant, which over the years has appealed to famous artists and writers and now tourists.
The appeal of the Latin Quarter to visitors is its wealth of historic sights, laid back atmosphere and some great and affordable places to eat and drink. Lose yourself down the myriad of streets that shoot off from the main Boulevard St. Germain and see what interesting shops and bars you can find tucked away on a Paris city break. Dotted throughout the Latin Quarter are hidden gems such as the bistro Polidor that was established in 1845 and is one of the oldest in Paris.
What’s great about the Latin Quarter?
- Due to the large student population in the Latin Quarter the area is a great place to visit for groups and young couples after some nightlife. The area isn’t too loud and boisterous to put families off either and there’s a small zoo in the Jardin des Plantes to entertain the kids.
- If you’re on a budget then the Rue de la Huchette is a great place to go for affordable fast food, bakeries and bars.
- The Rue Mouffetard, one of the Latin Quarter’s main streets is packed with some great restaurants, cafés and bars that will appeal to younger travellers and there are lots of excellent bistros and restaurants lining the Place St. André.
Things to do in the Latin Quarter
With its impressive Greek columns this incredible looking mausoleum has Marie Curie, Voltaire, Rousseau, Émile Zola and Louis Braille amongst others buried in its crypt.
Musée de Cluny
The National Museum of the Middle Ages is housed in the Hôtel de Cluny, a large house once owned by the monks of Cluny. It’s a fascinating place featuring artwork from Medieval Europe, artefacts including manuscripts, jewellery and tapestries and a beautiful Medieval garden.
Jardin des Plantes
Louis XIII’s physician, Guy de la Brosse, established this botanic garden in 1626 as a royal garden, and today there are around 69 acres of stunning gardens located on the left bank of the River Seine. Hothouses are filled with tropical plants and there’s also a rose and alpine garden and an Art Deco-style winter garden.
Place de la Contrescarpe
This famous Parisian square is lined with cafés and was once frequented by great writers. Sit outside one of the many cafés that line the square and enjoy the view whilst people watching over a glass of wine.
Where To Stay In The Latin Quarter
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