The ultimate guide to the Latin Quarter of Paris

What to See in the Latin Quarter of Paris?

The Latin Quarter of Paris is absorbing. Crammed with iconic landmarks, colorful streets, and a wealth of restaurants from every corner of the world, it is one of Paris’s most compelling neighborhoods. The oldest district in Paris is also home to the Sorbonne and several small museums. A student neighborhood and intellectual melting pot for centuries, it is a Left Bank original with many sights and stories to uncover.

My TOP 5 Highlights of the Latin Quarter in Paris

  • Enjoy the color and life of Rue Mouffetard market (139 Rue Mouffetard, 75005). Referenced by Ernest Hemingway and beloved by Julia Child, this market street bursts with vitality and color. A feast for the senses, especially the tastebuds.
  • Explore dusty bookstores and have coffee at the iconic Shakespeare & Company (37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005). The Latin Quarter once brimmed with nostalgic book stores staffed by passionate bookworms. As more and more close, a visit to one of the neighborhood’s institutions may be the last. A local literary legend, the emblematic Shakespeare & Company is going nowhere right now and remains a choice destination for curious visitors and literature buffs.
  • Travel back to the middle-ages at the evocative Cluny Museum (28 Rue du Sommerard, 75005). The diverse collection at this magical museum breathes life into medieval France with colorful art and artifacts, all displayed in the enchanting old Hôtel de Cluny, itself built on Roman ruins.
  • Take your breath away at the Panthéon (Pl. du Panthéon, 75005). An awe-inspiring list of the great and the good of French history are entombed or commemorated in this breathtaking monument. Take a moment to savor the grandeur of the building before learning a little about the people it lionizes.
  • Explore the hidden corners of this historic quartier. This compact quartier is perfect to explore. Hire a bike or put on your walking shoes, there are surprises around every corner of this ancient quarter: from one of the oldest universities in the world, through bustling café-lined cobblestone streets, to the left bank of the Seine overlooking the majestic Notre Dame cathedral.

General information about the Latin Quarter

Straddling the 5th and 6th arrondissements on the left bank of the River Seine, the Latin Quarter is high on many visitor agendas. Bustling yet laidback, there is little to look out for in personal safety. Like any lively area in Paris, though, it pays to secure your valuables against pickpockets.
While there are quiet spots around, the main streets are rarely quiet. As long as you don’t mind ducking around group photos, exploring by foot (or bike) is ideal, especially as some of the most compelling streets are pedestrian friendly. At night, the district’s bars and cafés really come to life, drawing in visitors and locals to enjoy the boisterous but easygoing nightlife.

How to get to the Latin Quarter?

Several Métro stations serve the Latin Quarter:

  • Line 4 – Saint-Michel Notre-Dame (perfect for Notre Dame and the Latin Quarter)
  • Lines 4, 10 – Odéon
  • Line 7 – Place Monge
  • Lines 7, 10 – Jussieu
  • Line 10 – Cardinal Lemoine, Maubert – Mutualité, Cluny La Sorbonne

Bus lines serving the Latin Quarter:

  • 27, 38, 47, 63, 72, 75, 96.
  • Hop-on, Hop-off bus tours include the Latin Quarter.
  • My Tip:You can also reach the neighbourhood very comfortably with one of the Hop on Hop off buses in Paris. These are also included in many Paris Sightseeing Passes, with which you can save money on sightseeing during your visit to Paris. Take a look!

Attractions, activities, and tours in the Latin Quarter

An enduring favorite with visitors, there is lots to see and do in the Latin Quarter. And with a lively bar or busy bistro always around every corner, the neighborhood is a delightful place to spend time.

Top attractions

In the Latin Quarter there are many attractions that you should visit. You can find the best ones here.

  1. 01

    Cluny Museum

    Museum in Quartier Latin
    Our highlight
    Sarcophagus frieze of the 12 apostles
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    A true treasure hidden away in the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement. One of the more unusual museums in Paris, the Cluny Museum is compact yet fascinating. Sited on the ruins of Gallo-Roman baths, the stirring exhibition brings art and artifacts of the middle-ages to light. In our opinion, this is one of the star attractions in the Latin Quarter. More art museum than gallery.

  2. 02

    Panthéon in Paris

    Museum in Quartier Latin
    Our highlight
    Pantheon-Paris-Sehenswuerdigkeiten.jpg
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    Unmistakable: The Roman Pantheon served as the model for the Parisian version! However, the „copy“ is a good one and a half millennia younger than the original in the Italian capital. However, it is always worth seeing! The building, which was completed in 1790, is France’s “Hall of Fame”: the nation’s greatest personalities found their final resting place in the underground catacombs: from Victor Hugo to Voltaire to Marie Curie.

  3. 03

    Rue de la Huchette

    Street in Quartier Latin
    Our highlight
    Paris old street sign Rue De La Huchette
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    Refining the spirit of the Latin Quarter into one densely packed street, rue de la Huchette is a colorful counterpoint to the somber Panthéon. A little touristy and less photogenic than the petite cour du Commerce Saint Andre, but a fun place to shop and soak up the atmosphere. It is also one of the oldest existing streets in Paris and has one of the highest concentrations of restaurants, with Greek specialities predominating. The street also has an intense nightlife with no less than four pubs and many bars.

  4. 04

    Rue Mouffetard Market

    Market in Quartier Latin
    Our highlight
    Frenc street sign, Photo image a Beautiful panoramic view of Paris Metropolitan City
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    Matching Rue de la Huchette for vitality is the historic street market on rue Mouffetard. A bustling foodie paradise with a long history and several famous admirers. This street market is located in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the 5th arrondissement.

  5. 05

    Saint-Étienne-du-Mont Paris

    Religious Site in Quartier Latin
    Our highlight
    Saint-Etienne-du-Mont is a church in Paris, France, located on the Montagne Sainte-Genevieve  near the Pantheon.
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    The church Saint-Étienne-du-Mont stands on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. It is one of the architectural jewels of Paris. Not a well-known landmark, but an ornate and calming interior coupled with over 400 years of history make this church a captivating diversion. Pairs nicely with a trip to the nearby Panthéon.

Best tours of the Latin Quarter

There are many things to do in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Here you can find the best tours.

  1. 01

    Paris Bike Tour in the Latin Quarter & Le Marais

    Bike Tour in Quartier Latin
    Bike Tour Latin Quarter
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    The Latin Quarter and Le Marais are great for walking, but jumping on a bike means you can fit all the main sights into one tour. Bikes, helmets, and knowledgeable tour guide included. Explore this vibrant city like a local on this 4-hour bike tour through the Latin Quarter and the Jewish quarter of Le Marais. The tour starts in the heart of the Latin Quarter and ends at the Hotel de Sens. On the tour you will stop at, among others: Sant-Sulpice, Pantheon, Place Monge, Arenes de Lutece, Place des Vosges and many more.

  2. 02

    Paris Walking Tour in the Latin Quarter

    Walking Tour in Quartier Latin
    Paris Latin Quarter Walking Tour getyourguide
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    Take this 2-hour walking tour through the Latin Quarter of Paris. Explore the Church of Sainte Genevieve, the Panthéon, the Luxemburg Gardens and many more. Cobbled streets and a treasure trove of history and landmarks make a walking tour accompanied by an insightful guide a surefire way to discover more. Meeting point is at the fountain at Place Saint Michel (7B Place Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris).

  3. 03

    Private Walking Tour in the Latin Quarter

    Walking Tour in Quartier Latin
    private walking tour latin quarter viator
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    Known as a famous meeting place for artists and intellectuals, the Latin Quarter in Paris is famous for its rich heritage of greats like Hemingway. Explore its casual past and hidden corners on a private 2-hour walking tour. Stroll past highlights such as the Sorbonne, the Pantheon, the Shakespeare & Co. bookshop and locations from Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”. Meeting point is the Metro exit Cité (line 4).

Eating & drinking in the Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter is a laidback place to dine, brimming with relaxed bistros, chic restaurants a bewildering diversity of international cuisines. With a nightlife to match, this is a choice place to find lively watering holes and sophisticated bars.

Top restaurants

  1. 01 Grains Nobles et Plus Restaurant

    Another gem hidden behind an unfussy exterior, this restaurant adds a touch of panache to quality dining. Wooden beams, art-adorned walls, and comfortable seating let you sit back and enjoy seasonal ingredients and creative surprise menus. You will find this restaurant in the 5th arrondissement.

  2. 02 Le Bistro du Perigord Restaurant

    Evoking a homely, traditional bistro vibe and putting together hearty dishes with passion,Le Bistro du Perigord is the archetypal restaurant you always hope to find in the Latin Quarter of Paris.

  3. 03 Le Vent d'Armor Restaurant

    Discrete and unassuming on the outside, this restaurant in the 5th arrondissement is acclaimed for its inventive seafood dishes and modern, intimate setting. Not the cheapest restaurant in the Latin Quarter, but assured to deliver unforgettable food.

  4. 04 Les Papilles Restaurant

    A concise menu of the day is the only offer in this retro-style bistro in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Careful sourcing, meticulous preparation, and the occasional surprise on the menu elevate Les Papilles to another level.

  5. 05 Savannah Café

    There’s no shortage of Mediterranean-inspired restaurants in the Latin Quarter, but this is a local favorite. A bright, cheery restaurant serving authentic Lebanese cuisine.

The most beautiful cafés

A Left Bank rendezvous for generations, frequented by visitors and students, the Latin Quarter has a rich coffee shop heritage and a handful of cafés with traditional character.

  1. 01 Café Delmas

    Overlooking a charming small square lined with shops and restaurants that bring it to life, this traditional French café is the place to watch the world go by in the 5th arrondissement.

  2. 02 Café Malongo Atelier Barista

    The online consensus seems to be that Malongo Atelier Barista serves some of the best coffee in the Latin Quarter of Paris. They’ll even sell you the beans in their on-trend coffee workshop.

  3. 03 Café Shakespeare & Company

    Shakespeare & Company is iconic and located in the 5th arrondissement. A dusty bookshop immortalized by Ernest Hemingway and a fixture for local tours. The in-store café taps into the rich heritage and offers views over Notre Dame.

  4. 04 Nuance Café

    Brunch is especially popular at the Nuance Café, a decidedly local hangout in the 5th arrondissement with a warm welcome and comfortable space.

  5. 05 Strada Café

    A bright, airy, and modern café with decent coffee and tempting sweet treats. This coffeeshop is located in the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement.

Shopping in the Latin Quarter

Gifted with great markets and lively thoroughfares filled with independent stores and, perhaps, too many souvenir shops, shopping in the Latin Quarter is always entertaining. Some stores to look out for include:

The best art galleries and museums in the Latin Quarter

Paris’s oldest district is home to several unique museums and bijou art galleries. Here are a few of the best, both in the district and just outside the Latin Quarter.

  1. Sarcophagus frieze of the 12 apostles

    01 Cluny Museum

    A true treasure hidden away in the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement. One of the more unusual museums in Paris, the Cluny Museum is compact yet fascinating. Sited on the ruins of Gallo-Roman baths, the stirring exhibition brings art and artifacts of the middle-ages to light. In our opinion, this is one of the star attractions in the Latin Quarter. More art museum than gallery.

  2. Pantheon-Paris-Sehenswuerdigkeiten.jpg

    02 Panthéon in Paris

    Unmistakable: The Roman Pantheon served as the model for the Parisian version! However, the „copy“ is a good one and a half millennia younger than the original in the Italian capital. However, it is always worth seeing! The building, which was completed in 1790, is France’s “Hall of Fame”: the nation’s greatest personalities found their final resting place in the underground catacombs: from Victor Hugo to Voltaire to Marie Curie.

  3. 03 ArtEthic Gallery

    Tiny but inviting gallery displaying sculptures, photographs, and paintings from a handful of working artists. You will find this art gallery in the 5th arrondissement.

  4. 04 Botanical Garden Jardins des Plantes

    A green oasis next to the Latin Quarter and home to two natural history museums, art exhibitions, venerable botanic gardens, and La Menagerie (the second oldest zoo in the world.)

The most beautiful hotels in the Latin Quarter

Hotels in the Latin Quarter (and adjacent quarters) tend towards the pricier end for Paris. But that means there are some exceptional lodgings to be found there, especially around the neighborhood fringes.

  1. Boutique Hotel Paris Hoteltipp

    01 French Theory EN

    3 Sterne | Was für ein cooles Hotel-Konzept: es verbindet nicht nur ein Boutique Hotel mit einem ausgesprochen einzigartigem Design, es ist auch ein Concept Store und Musikstudio! Mitten im entspannten Viertel “Quartier Latin” gelegen ist es gerade einmal 200 Meter vom Louvre entfernt. Und gleichzeitig seid ihr umgeben von vielen kleinen Cafés, Bars und Restaurants, die Paris so ausmachen.

    Für mich zählt das French Theory zu den besten günstigen Hotels in Paris, deshalb wollte ich es dir hier nicht vorenthalten!

    Das Hotel ist auch auf diesen Bestenlisten zu finden:

  2. Hôtel des Grands Hommes Boutique Hotel Paris Hoteltipp

    02 Hôtel des Grands Hommes EN

    3 Sterne | Das Hôtel des Grands Hommes ist ein kleines romantisches Boutique Hotel am Place Panthéon im Stadtteil Quartier Latin von Paris. Hier seid ihr im Herzen von Paris, aber ohne den Stress und Trubel – neben dem Panthéon seid ihr ganz schnell an der Seine, an der Kirche Notre Dame und dem Jardin du Luxembourg.

    Mein Tipp: Lasst euch am besten ein Zimmer mit Blick auf den Platz geben, dann schaut ihr auf ganz Paris – einfach ein Traum!

    Das Hotel ist auch auf diesen Bestenlisten zu finden:

  3. booking Hotel La Lanterne Latin Quarter
    Quelle: booking.com

    03 Hotel La Lanterne

    4 Stars| Boasting a cute pool and courtyard, crisp and stylish décor, and balcony rooms, this boutique hotel at the heart of the Latin Quarter strives for premium comfort and serenity.

  4. Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon

    04 Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon EN

    4 Sterne | Du möchtest direkt auf das berühmte Pantheon am Place du Pantheon von deinem Hotelzimmer aus schauen? Dann ist das Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon deine erste Wahl! Es zählt zu den beliebtesten Hotels in dieser Gegend, weil ihr einerseits nah an den Sehenswürdigkeiten von Paris seid, andererseits es sich in einem ruhigen Viertel befindet. Hier könnt ihr es richtig gut aushalten!

    Übrigens: Einige der Zimmer haben die Paris-typischen kleinen Balkone, auf denen ihr den Blick von oben genießen könnt!

    Das Hotel ist auch auf diesen Bestenlisten zu finden:

  5. Hotel Monge Quartier Latin Paris Boutique Hotel Paris Hoteltipp

    05 Hotel Monge EN

    4 Sterne | Das Hotel Monge ist ein Boutique Hotel im Quartier Latin von Paris, mitten im 5. Arrondissement. Es ist super-stylisch, daher durfte es auf meiner Bestenliste nicht fehlen! Die Zimmer sind zwar Paris-typisch etwas kleiner, dafür aber sehr hochwertig und harmonisch eingerichtet. Von hier aus seid ihr ganz schnell an der Seine, am botanischen Garten und der Kirche Notre Dame. Einfach toll – speziell wenn ihr eine “normale” Gegend um euch herum haben wollt, ist das Quartier Latin perfekt. Viele kleine Cafés, Bücherläden und Restaurants zu fairen Preise findet ihr in direkter Nachbarschaft.

    Es ist definitiv eines der Boutique Hotels, die ihr euch einmal ansehen solltet, wenn ihr typisch-französischen Charme erleben wollt!

    Das Hotel ist auch auf diesen Bestenlisten zu finden:

History & Facts about the Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter is founded on the Roman site Lutetia, the foundation stone of modern Paris. It is the oldest district in Paris, even if the vanquished Gauls had already settled île de la Cité opposite. The Romans left behind the Arènes de Lutèce, an amphitheater you can still play in today (even if little remains from the original structure.) île de la Cité would soon become the preferred site of Roman governors and subsequent French kings. But the Latin Quarter remained important and would eventually become home to France’s first university, La Sorbonne (Université de Paris). Opened in 1150, it quickly became a center of learning for Europeans.

By the middle-ages, the university had expanded and the students who filled the street were well-versed in the noble language of the day, Latin. Around this time, the district earned its name, Le Quartier Latin. Despite brief closures during the French Revolution (reopened in 1806) and the student uprisings of 1968, the university continued to grow in stature. Gaining illustrious alumni like Voltaire and exerting influence in France and beyond, it remains the nation’s most prestigious seat of learning.

The other grand monument in the arrondissement is the Panthéon. Commissioned by King Louis XV of France in the 1750s, he never got to see his magnificent church completed. Nor did he know that it would be dedicated to the great and glorious of France. From Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Victor Hugo, the list of names interred and commemorated at the mausoleum is a roll call of France’s finest and a piece of national history.

FAQ

Is the Latin Quarter easy to explore on foot?

Yes – The Latin Quarter is a compact neighborhood of cobbled streets and alleyways best explored on foot.

Do I need a map to explore the Latin Quarter?

Probably. It is impossible to get lost, but with many old streets to explore it can be easy to miss points of interest and even easier to find yourself wandering into an adjacent quartier.

Is the Latin Quarter in Paris safe?

Yes – It’s a student neighborhood and tourist hotspot that rarely sees trouble, even late at night. As ever, store your valuables safely as pickpockets are the biggest risk.

Neighbouring districts

The Latin Quarter is a prime Parisian destination surrounded by similarly popular locales. Opposite the district — in the middle of the Seine — is Paris’s storied island, île de la Cité. Home to Paris’s star attraction, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, and the resplendent Sainte-Chapelle, crossing the historic Pont Saint-Michel bridge from the Latin Quarter is a moment for your camera. Touching the western borders of the Latin Quarter is the chic Saint-Germain-des- Prés, the leafy garden quartier Odeon, and the former home to Paris’s mint, the tiny Monnaie district.

About the author
Steffen

I am an absolute travel enthusiast with a great love for the USA, Spain and Italy. And England. And France. You can find lots of travel inspiration from me regularly on our YouTube-channel .

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