A Stroll through the Real Latin Quarter, Paris
In the heart of Paris, on the left bank of river Seine, is found one of the most typical and visited districts of the city, the so-called Latin Quarter, which is not actually a true district, as it has its own administrative unit. This is one of my favourite places in Paris. There are many things to do in the Latin Quarter, from interesting attractions to strolling through its many shops and restaurants, but let’s see some tips to have an authentic stroll through the real Latin Quarter away from the touristy traps.
In the Latin Quarter are located some important monuments, but in truth, the district is known not so much for the cultural and architectural treasures, as for its fervent life. Here are located the universities, including the famous and prestigious Sorbonne, and so students, professors, and scholars animate, together with the tourists, the streets of this area at all hours. This fervent life feeds many small interesting shops and an endless series of all kinds of restaurants perfect for a casual dinner.
There are many places to eat in Latin Quarter that alternate restaurants serving Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, and Sushi dishes with the delicious French cuisine, some of them even run by immigrants offering traditional dishes at honest prices. There is no need to book in advance and not even the need of looking through the menu… just take a walk and choose directly from the dishes offered in the windows, then enjoy dinner in the authentic Paris atmosphere.
Following the classic tourist trail, there are many attractions in Latin Quarter that will inspire you. I started my visit from the Pantheon, visible from many angles of the city being placed on top of the hill of Sainte Genevieve. Its neoclassical architecture resembles a Greek temple and encloses a church that has become, over the years, a mausoleum dedicated to the remains of the most important people of France: revolutionaries, politicians, painters, writers and scientists.
A visit to the big crypt is a refresher of the last three centuries of French history. Don’t fail to note the original Foucault pendulum, which demonstrates the Earth’s motion, also famous for being the hub of a novel by Umberto Eco.
Nearby are also located the Sorbonne University, the Church of Saint Etienne du Mont, and increasingly among the religious significance of the buildings, the Church of St Julien le Pauvre, one of the oldest churches in Paris. The other very important building in the district is the Palais du Luxembourg, seat of the Senate, which attracts tourists and Parisians in its lush Italian style gardens.
When it comes to shopping in Latin Quarter a real “must” of the neighbourhood is the bookstore Shakespeare & Co. Celebrated by guides and documentaries about Paris, this is an old shop where you can find, in a tidy chaos, every kind of book in English. The peculiarity is that it is also a meeting place and its narrow spaces serve as a reading room and even as accommodation for young writers animated by a bohemian spirit. Here were guests Hemingway and Joyce, and even today one can find young writers in pyjamaswandering among the shelves of the bookshop.
Now what are you waiting for? Pack your suitcases and go for a real adventure in Paris!
Author Biography : My name is Urvi with a big smile and my passions: People, Travel and Social Media. Travelling intrigues me and that is why I like to read and share my traveling experiences specially. Currently working for leading serviced apartments named thesqua.re. It holds expertise in offering world-class accommodation option to business travelers.