The Latin Quarter is located in the 5th and 6th arrondissements of Paris.
It’s an academic, historic area that still remains very popular with students. While its young, dynamic population makes it very lively, day and night, there are also things for tourists to do in the area. Follow the guide !
So as not to lose one’s Latin, it must be practiced
In the thirteenth century, the Sorbonne, a college for theology students, was born. At the time, classes were taught exclusively in Latin… Hence the nickname, the Latin Quarter!
In the morning, head to Place de la Sorbonne (1), where you can (by appointment) visit the prestigious University, which has had an important role in the history of France. In the past, it condemned the Templars, Joan of Arc, fought against Protestantism and Enlightenment philosophy, and was the heart of the 1968 riots. It’s most famous head was none other than Cardinal Richelieu, whose tomb is in the chapel, only original relic on the premises. During your visit, be sure to admire the façade, the great amphitheater, library, and the courtyard, with its Corinthian columns.
When you step outside, enjoy the atmosphere of the neighborhood, the little pedestrian streets with students on all sides, crowded cafés, bouquinistes, and bookshops on the Boulevard St Michel.
You can’t go through the Latin quarter without visiting the Pantheon (2), one of the most symbolic monuments of Paris. In this building, whose floorplan is arranged like a Greek cross, lie the great men and women who have marked the history of France. Writers, painters, political and religious figures… It is a very solemn place that should not be missed. Check out the paintings and go down into the crypt to pay tribute to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Braille, and Curie.(1) La Sorbonne – 17, Rue de la Sorbonne
Prices : 9 € / 4 €
Mondays to Fridays and a Saturday each month
www.sorbonne.fr (2) Le Panthéon – Place du Panthéon
Prices : 7,50 € /4,50 € / 6,00 € / Free (young people UE, job seekers, disabled people, journalists…)
A lunch break on Rue Mouffetard
Feeling hungry ? Head to the Place de la Contrescarpe, a small pedestrian square lined with cafés, built in 1852. With its cobblestones and old street lights, and its fountain, it is the perfect embodiment of the traditional charm of Paris. From here you can go directly down the Rue Mouffetard, one of the oldest streets in Paris.
Its gently-sloped 650 meters (by only 7 meters wide) are home to many snack bars, restaurants, little shops, and cinemas. It’s a charming, bustling street that ends at a small daily market, surrounded by butchers, fish and cheese mongers, and bakeries.
An afternoon outside
With belly full, you can head out again on a digestive walk in the fresh air. Rue Monge, here is the entrance for the Arènes de Lutèce (ancient name for Paris), the remains of a 1st century Roman arena discovery in 1869 and named after the Roman name for Paris. With its 52 meter long and 46 meter wide ellipse, in Roman times it could hold up to 17,000 spectators. Today you can still see the locations of the dressing rooms, the bleachers, the stage… but bocce ball and soccer have replaced the fights.
Not far from here is Natural History Museum of Paris (4). Its huge collection makes it the 3rd largest in the world ! The magnificent building is spread out over 3 floors, where you can discover magnificent collections of skeletons, fossils, and taxidermied animals of all kinds. Guests can also enjoy themed exhibitions, conferences, films, etc. A visit not to be missed, as interesting for the little ones as it is for grown-ups !
As you leave the museum, you will arrive directly in the botanical gardens, a great place to end your day. Take a walk through the aisles of plane trees in the various specialized gardens, and breathe in the fresh air… But above all, don’t forget to visit the 4 magnificent large greenhouses containing some real natural treasures ! If you still have some time after that, you can pop into the zoo…
49 rue de Monge
From 8.00 a.m. or 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m./7.30 p.m. depending on the season. (4) Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle
57 rue Cuvier 75005
Prices : 7,00 € / 5 € / Free (Free for the under 26 , job seekers and et welfare beneficiaries, members of the ICOM, journalists)
Open every day except on Tuesday from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
www.mnhn.fr (5) Jardin des plantes
57 rue Cuvier
Prices: 6 € / 4 € (greenhouse)
Open every day from 7.30 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. in summer, and from 8.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. in winter.