The elegant Parisian cafes, stylish students, and the quirky bookshops offer a unique and special Bohemian charm to the Le Quartier Latin or the Latin Quarter of Paris. This eclectic, artsy, and vibrant quarter in the City of Lights is one of the oldest areas in the city. The Sorbonne University of Paris attracted several scholars from different parts of Europe who spoke and learned Latin during the middle ages. This is the reason why this quarter in Paris was named as the Latin Quarter.
Tourists who are visiting the Latin Quarter will be able to can find a number of higher educational institutions such as the Collège de France and La Sorbonne in this historic French Quarter. The Latin Quarter of Paris that represents a major section of the 5th arrondissement of the city is bounded by the Seine River, Boulevard Saint-Germain, and Boulevard Saint-Michel.
The medieval maze of beautiful narrow streets and elegantly designed stone-paved alleyways with a few hidden squares will instantly make you fall in love with the Latin Quarter. The distinct old-world character of this quarter is something that you should definitely explore when you are going on a Paris city tour. Take a stroll through the pedestrian lanes and side streets of the quarter and enjoy the peace and comfort this place offers.
If you wish to make the most of your Latin Quarter tour, then you should visit the ancient churches, check out the Roman amphitheater, and enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner from any of the restaurants in the quarter. The lively feel of the Latin Quarter with the shops, theaters, cinema, and more will make your Latin Quarters tour a delightful and everlasting experience that you will cherish throughout your life. Below are some of the best attractions in the Latin Quarter of Paris that you should not miss.
Musée Cluny (Musée National du Moyen-Âge)
The Cluny Museum in the Latin Quarter allows tourist and other visitors to explore the depth and beauty of the medieval art. You might be surprised to know that this historical museum lies on an ancient Roman bath complex’s evacuation site. Make sure to check out the Gallic and Roman sculptures from the 1st Century AD that are displayed in the museum during your visit. The National Museum of the Middle Ages or the Cluny Museum is highly famous among tourists for its extensive collection of medieval tapestries.
Panthéon is one of the most visited and famous attractions in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Panthéon is actually a mausoleum that is home to the tombs of some of the most prominent citizens of France. You can find an inscription reads “Aux Grands Hommes la Patrie Reconnaissante,” just above the facade of 18 Corinthian columns. The inscription translates as, “To Great Men, Their Country is Grateful”. Some of the famous people who rest at the Panthéon include Emile Zola, Victor Hugo, Rousseau, and Voltaire.
Eglise Saint-Sevérin Saint-Nicolas
Several tourists often miss the historic churches in this historic quarter during their Paris tours and they end up regretting the chance. So, make the most of your Latin Quarter tour by visiting the Eglise Saint-Sevérin Saint-Nicolas church. This religious structure is a fine example of Flamboyant Gothic architecture in the City of Lights. The dark sanctuary of the church that is illuminated with candles brings a spiritual and somber ambiance to the place. This church regularly conducts classical organ recitals that are open to tourists and other visitors.
Boulevard Saint-Michel & Place Saint-Michel
The Place Saint-Michel and the crowded thoroughfare of Boulevard Saint-Miche provide a modern energy to the Latin Quarter. The Boulevard Saint-Michel, which is lined with busy cafés, clothing shops, artsy bookstores, and several other student hubs, was designed in the 19th century by Haussmann. The Place Saint-Michel that sits right at the end of Boulevard Saint-Michel is the heart of this historic quarter. You can also find the Fontaine Saint-Michel monument that was commissioned by Haussmann during the reign Napoleon III in this part of the Latin Quarter.
Bouquinistes & Bookshops
Tourists who wish to discover the quintessential ambiance of the Latin Quarter should take a walk down the Quai de la Tournelles that runs along the River Seine. You can find the open-air bookshop, Les Bouquinistes that contains separate stalls with modern and classic literary works. In addition to books and other literary works, you can also find posters and postcards that are put up for sale. The Shakespeare and Company bookshop, where Celine and Jesse reunited in the movie “Before Sunset” is also located in the Latin Quarter. So, if you have time, you should try to check out that bookstore too.