Get in on the secrets, myths and mystique of Paris Latin Quarter:
Paris’ history began on the Left Bank or Rive Gauche. The area, south of the River Seine, has always attracted great artists, writers, philosophers, revolutionaries and musicians. Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Robespierre, Danton, Benjamin Franklin, Bonaparte, Victor Hugo, Verlaine, Musset, Oscar Wilde, Sartre and Hemingway are just some of the famous people who were regulars at the cafés in the area. As such, Paris’ Left Bank is bursting with history and contains more beautiful monuments than anywhere else in the city.
The best way to discover the Left Bank is on foot. You can do this on your own, but if you want to get in on the hidden secrets of this fascinating Paris riverside district, you can join a walk through the Latin Quarter with local experts. Not only will they provide you with valuable insights into Paris, its people, art and spirit, but they will also spice up your walk with myths and mystique of the Left Bank’s famous inhabitants.
The leisurely two-hour walking tour makes its way from the Pantheon, the final resting place of France’s most famous citizens, to the manicured Luxembourg Gardens. You’ll walk along the Latin Quarter’s ancient streets and see Paris’ three most beautiful churches:
- Notre Dame Cathedral – the setting for Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
- St. Chapelle – built to house Christ’s crown of thorns and a piece of the cross
- St. Etienne du Mont – a beautiful church that houses the tomb of St Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris
The walk also passes famous institutes and universities, exquisite fountains and statues, art treasures from the Middle Ages, student haunts and the Left Bank abodes of Sigmund Freud, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, the beat poets and Jim Morrison.
Sights that you’ll see on this Latin Quarter Walking Tour include:
- Notre Dame Cathedral – Learn about its history, architecture and its detailed facade
- Sorbonne University – the most prestigious university in France
- Conciergerie – The Conciergerie witnessed the days when the king lived on the island and has an enormous Gothic hall. During the French Revolution it was turned into a prison for those waiting to be guillotined. It was here that the Queen Marie-Antoinette spent her last days before her execution
- Cluny Museum – the Middle Ages museum of Paris, containing the famous “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestries
- Place St. Michel – the pulse of the Latin Quarter
- “Boquinistes” – the famous book and poster vendors lining the banks of the Seine River
And at the end of the tour, why not reward yourself with a drink at one the Left Bank’s famous cafés: Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore or the Brasserie Lipp.
See our partner Viator’s website for further details about the walk and how to book out. This is a popular walking tour so consider booking early.
St Germain des Pres Hotels
If you are looking to make the Latin Quarter your base, you have no less than 78 hotels to choose from ranging from four-star hotels like the Hotel Madison, opposite Saint-Germain des Prés Church, to the cozy Hotel des Saints Peres, a former 17th century private home, or apartment hotels like the La Maison Saint Germain which has a kitchenette with cooking facilities, fridge, microwave and dishwasher. For the complete list of St Germain des Pres hotels see HERE.What's your next move, after having read this post?