Have you ever re-discovered a part of town that you never paid much attention to? Recently, I have been visiting the lively and vibrant, Latin Quarter. This district is located in the heart of Paris in the left bank (opposite the Seine River from The Notre-Dame Cathedral).
Imagine a busy, colorful area in a European city packed with tight winding side-streets, cafes, bars, pastry shops, restaurants, eclectic boutiques, and more. Eye candy for a tourist or photo lover!
This quarter is home to the oldest University in France, La Sorbonne (1257), you will still find many students and schools here today! Maybe that s why this area has a youthful vibe?! Latin was the main language for the original schools, hence the name, Latin Quarter 🙂
Boulevard St-Michel is the main drag that runs through this area. Also, Quai de la Tournelle is a large, main road that runs along the Seine river (I make this my starting point, Metro Saint-Michel). Most days, (especially when it’s nice outside) this main road is lined with Les Bouquinistes (riverside vendors selling books), artists/souvenirs stalls, cafes, and more. This is an amazing area to take photos, chill along the river, people watch, or just keep strolling and you will see many Paris sites.
These are my favorites finds in or around The Latin Quarter (so far)!
1) The narrow (maze like) side-streets that you can easily get lost in (on purpose). It’s not the food or the cafes, or even the bars (like usual), that I necessarily love, for me, it’s the vibe, the bright colors, the diversity of the people wandering around, and the excitement I feel when wandering around new corners. There are hidden squares, ancient churches, and random alleyways.
2) Shakespeare and Company bookstore – An english bookstore that is a fixture of Paris! This is a “must see” tourist spot bc of its amazing history and charming vibe. The bookstore was reopened after WWII by George Whitman and he said, “I created this bookstore like a man would write a novel, building each room like a chapter, and I like people to open the door the way they open a book, a book that leads into a magic world in their imaginations.” —George Whitman (these words made me want to visit after living in Paris for over a year and not going lol)
3) Odette Paris – A charming boulangerie (bakery), known for their colorful choux à la crème (cream puffs). The tall narrow building is tucked away at the end of a perfect, Parisienne street (very close to Notre-Dame). The outdoor seating is situated on a very charming side-street, across from one of the oldest churches in paris, Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre.
I have A LOT more to discover in the Latin Quarter, and I will be heading back VERY soon to check out, The Pantheon ( famous landmark of the Latin Quarter), Le Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens), and Péniches (restaurants located on docked boats along the river). I will be sharing these experiences!
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” Paulo Coelho
Thanks for reading XOXO