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The Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter represents the essence of intellectual Paris, a place to unwind amidst the rarefied atmosphere of the 5th and 6th arrondissements.

TravelCurious Tip

Try shopping as the Parisians do along Rue Mouffetard for some of the best selections of cheeses, fresh breads, and charcuterie.

Bohemian like you

The area gets its name from the Latin language, which was once widely spoken in and around the University. The district is known for its intellectual atmosphere; students fill every café and it’s common to walk down the street and overhear a snippet of Camus, Sartre or Beckett.

The Latin Quarter is bisected by the Boulevard St. Germain and the Boulevard St. Michel. Hundreds of crooked alleys lead off them full of bistros and restaurants. You could wander through here for hours going from café to café, but the Cluny Museum on Boulevard St. Michel is also well worth visiting.


Medieval feel

Set inside ancient Roman baths, the Cluny displays artifacts and artwork from Medieval Europe - it is an underrated destination, often less visited than the other museums. Inside you will find the original heads knocked from the statues at Notre Dame Cathedral, stained glass, jewellery, early paintings, stonework, and even a medieval garden.

There are good used bookstores and art stalls to browse through on Boulevard St. Michel. The Sorbonne, just a few blocks away, is worth a little detour, or stop at the pleasant Place de la Sorbonne square.

West of the Boulevard St. Michel are the Luxembourg Gardens, perhaps the most beautiful green area of Paris. At the north end stands the Palais du Luxembourg, built in the 17th century for Marie de Médicis, mother of King Louis XIII of France. Today, this is where Parisians sit and read the paper around the fountain, watching their children sail toy boats.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre Dame, perched on an island in the heart of Paris, is one of the finest cathedrals in the world.
Île de la Cité
This island in the middle of the River Seine is the historical heart of Paris.
La Sorbonne
Founded in 1253 to give impoverished students the opportunity to study theology, this is one of the world's most famous universities.
La Conciergerie
Once a royal residence, the Conciergerie became a prison during the French revolution, a notable prisoner being Marie-Antoinette.
Place St-Michel Fountain
One of the city's most well-known meeting places, the statue depicts the archangel Michael vanquishing the Devil.
Shakespeare and Co Bookshop
A legendary meeting place and boarding-house for many aspiring writers. Stocks everything from Shakespeare to Joyce.

Related Tours

Paris Je T'aime: A Half Day Highlights Tour
During this fabulous four hour walking tour of Paris you will explore the most interesting and diverse central neighbourhoods the French capital has to offer. See the sights at your own pace and adapt your tour with your guide who will be happy to offer suggestions based on your preferences. 

  • Visit the historical heart of Paris,  Île de la Cité.
  • See the Sainte-Chappelle chapel and the former Paris prison, the Conciergerie.
  • Pay a visit to the symbolic Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.
  • Explore the wonderful haunts of the Latin Quarter, just a short walk away.
  • Learn about Paris' home of intellectual thought and see where the May '68 revolution unfolded.
  • Visit the Tuileries Gardens,  the Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Elysées.
  • End your walking tour at the stunning Pont Alexander III bridge.

Medieval Paris

One of the two remaining natural islands in the Seine, the Île de la Cité, is considered the historic heart of Paris. The medieval city of Paris was refounded here with magnificent Sainte-Chapelle and the former prison, the Conciergerie. While on Île de la Cité, you will have time to walk around the hauntingly beautiful Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.

The Latin Quarter along the Left Bank was so named because, until the French Revolution, university students in the area spoke only Latin to their professors. You will visit this famed neighbourhood to immerse yourself in the Parisian atmosphere of yesteryear, whilst exploring the medieval streets and meandering through fantastic shops like Shakespeare and Company bookstore, Place Saint-Michel, and its gorgeous fountain.


City of Revolution 

As the tour continues, you will learn little known facts about the French Revolution. You will be exploring the beautiful Tuileries Gardens and the Place de la Concorde, the site at which Louis XVI was beheaded during the French Revolution. Whilst here do not forget to look out for the magnificent Champs-Elysées, the most famous shopping avenue in the world. Lastly, you will stop off at the Pont Alexander III, the most beautiful bridge in Paris, where you can enjoy a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower and beyond to the majestic Seine. J’aime Paris.
Central Paris & Bohemian Montmartre: Full Day Highlights
Uncover the history and art of the quintessentially Parisian neighbourhoods on this tour.

  • Begin crossing onto Île de la Cité.
  • Pass into the Latin Quarter. Explore its colourful streets and back alleys.
  • Amble through The Louvre courtyards, The Tuileries gardens & Place de la Concorde.
  • Travel by metro to bohemian Montmartre, ascend to the highest point in Paris.
  • See the Sacré Coeur, Van Gogh’s former home and the city's last Vineyard.
  • Get well acquainted with the city's topography -  all neighbourhoods and attractions in walking distance.
Begin your walking tour at the medieval Île de la Cité. This small island on the Seine is the most ancient point in Paris. Explore its crooked streets and marvel at Notre Dame's intricate interior and exterior. Pass over the famous ‘love locks bridge’ and into the Latin Quarter. Uncover its most flavoursome streets and treasures. Next reach the Louvre, marvel at the architecture and explore its numerous beautiful courtyards. Then pass through the Tuileries Gardens to the Place de la Concorde, the famous execution site of Louis XVI during the French Revolution. 

The second part of your tour takes you to the bohemian Montmartre neighbourhood. By metro you will quickly arrive at the steps of the Sacré Coeur. Ascend by tram or foot to the highest point in the city and take in the most spectacular, panoramic views. Explore Montmartre's vibrant streets, where artists and craftsmen sell their work. See where Vincent Van Gogh resided as a young man, and visit the last remaining vineyard in Paris. Finish the tour seeing the famous Moulin Rouge and its iconic neon windmill.
The Latin Quarter: Parisian Authors & Thinkers
The Latin Quarter is one of Paris' most quirky and interesting neighbourhoods. It is an ambient juxtaposition of medieval backstreets, churches and grand Haussmman-style boulevards, which were built in the 19th century as part of Paris’ modernisation, the area takes its name from medieval times when the majority of local residents were clergy or students who spoke Latin. 

  • Begin at Île de la Cité and see the stunning Notre Dame.
  • Experience the artistic haunts of Sartre, Hemingway, and Camus.
  • Get off the beaten track at Paris’ best-hidden squares and parks.
  • Learn all about the area’s post-Medieval history.
  • End your tour in one of the most beautiful parks in the world - the Luxembourg Gardens.
This three-hour walking tour begins on the edge of the Latin Quarter, on the island Île de la Cité, the city’s historical medieval epicentre. Here you will see the famous Notre Dame and will explore some other architecturally notable sights on the island, including the Conciergerie, Place Dauphine, and Square du Vert-Galan, before venturing across the distinctively Parisian Pont Neuf bridge into the heart of the Latin Quarter.

The Latin Quarter was the scene of the student uprising in May ’68, even though its medieval facade strikes a strong contrast to its liberal, intellectual and artistic side. On Boulevard St-Michel and Boulevard St Germain, you will find many cafes where the likes of Camus, Orwell, and Hemingway passed hours discussing philosophy and literature. The area is also rich with interesting book shops, most notably the Shakespeare and Company - a legendary meeting place and boarding house for many aspiring writers.

Your tour guide will direct you through the neighbourhood’s best cultural haunts: experience the wonders of medieval backstreets that are adorned with theatres and jazz clubs, unchanged since their post-war beginnings, and see the narrowest street in Paris. Visit the city’s oldest church in St Julien le Pauvre and see one of the most famous academic institutions in the world - La Sorbonne. Next stop off at the Panthéon, a mausoleum where many distinguished French figures such as Voltaire, Braille, and Rousseau were laid to rest. Then wander through the grounds of the stunning Luxembourg Gardens and Palace, the perfect place to people watch, enjoy nature, and feel like a true Parisian.
Latin Quarter and Seine Cruise
This tour acts as the perfect introduction to Paris' history, culture and most interesting neighbourhoods.

  • Begin by learning the history of iconic Notre Dame.
  • See Paris in all its wonderful different forms: from medieval  Île de la Cité to the vibrant, artsy hub of the Latin Quarter.
  • Travel down the Seine by river cruise and experience the picturesque area around the Eiffel Tower.
  • Return by river cruise to Paris' well connected historical centre.
Begin the walking portion of your tour at the famous Notre Dame before passing over the famous ‘love locks bridge’ into the Latin Quarter. Pay visits to historical bookshops, once frequented by the likes of Hemingway and Orwell, and explore an area that is renowned for being the starting point of the May 68' Revolution as well as the home of French intellectual thought.

Next, take in the amazing sights on a cruise down the Seine to the Eiffel Tower. An iconic residential neighbourhood with French noble associations, the seventh arrondissement comprises some of the most amazing gardens, eateries and markets in Paris. You will also find the city’s oldest department store here. Work with your guide to sample some of the best sights in the local area. Then return to centrally located  Île de la Cité by cruise or take the time to explore the stunning area around the Eiffel Tower at night on your own. 
Paris by Night: Seine Cruise and Walking Tour
Experience the majesty of the City of Lights with an evening walk through Paris' most romantic and scenic areas –medieval Île de la Cité and the Latin Quarter. Take a relaxing cruise ride along the Seine to the seventh arrondissement, where the Eiffel Tower is found. Expect some fine photo opportunities to crop up on the way!

  • Experience the wonders of Paris at night with your own private local guide.
  • Visit the city's most beautiful and romantic neighbourhoods.
  • See Paris in all its wonderful different guises: from medieval  Île de la Cité to the vibrant, artsy hub of the Latin Quarter.
  • Travel down the Seine by river cruise at night and experience the picturesque area around the Eiffel Tower.
  • End your tour in the buzzing cultural hub of the Latin Quarter - bars and jazz clubs galore.
You will begin your walking tour at the famous Notre Dame, the perfect gothic attraction for a visit late in the day. Then pass over the famous ‘love locks bridge’ and board a cruise that will whisk you along the Seine, with all of its scenic points of interest on display, to the Eiffel Tower. Soak up the tranquil atmosphere of an iconic residential neighbourhood that has French noble associations and is famous for its grand, pristine gardens and luxurious residential homes.

Next, take a cruise back up river and explore the vibrant Latin Quarter. Pay visits to a late-night bookshop, once frequented by the likes of Hemingway and Orwell, and explore a buzzing area that is renowned for being the starting point of the May 68' Revolution as well as the home of French intellectual thought. Plenty of quirky bars, jazz clubs and cool backstreets to explore in the moonlight!

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