Latin Quarter

Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter, Quartier Latin, is one of the most popular places in Paris to spend time in one of the many local cafes or restaurants. The fact that it is a student quarter contributes greatly to the relaxed atmosphere, after all, the Latin Quarter is home to one of the world's most important universities , the Sorbonne.

It has been a quarter of intellectuals, students and their professors since time immemorial, which is why it got its name. It is said that in the Sorbonne's heyday, intellectuals spoke nothing but Latin in the local cafés.

Cafes, restaurants, narrow streets

Quartier Latin is the place with the largest concentration of traditional Parisian cafés, patisseries and classic restaurants. The Latin Quarter is rightly described as the beating heart of Paris.

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Look for the highest density of restaurants in the alleyways around the seafront promenade along the Seine, but you'll find at least 2 or 3 cafés on literally every local street. The centrepiece of the Latin Quarter, however, is undoubtedly the pedestrianised Rue Mouffetard at the top of the whole area.

Personally, however, we absolutely loved the little square near the main entrance to the Sorbonne - Place de la Sorbonne, see map.

Like Montmartre, the Latin Quarter escaped the intervention of Georges-Eugène Haussmann, the Baron and Architect of Paris, and his idea of long wide boulevards did not carry over here. Here you will enjoy the great atmosphere of narrow, winding streets rising from the Seine towards the Panthéné.

Farmers' markets

France gave the world street markets for fresh food, and some of the most famous are held every day except Mondays in the heart of the Latin Quarter, on Rue Mouffetard.

Arrive ideally in the morning, the largest concentration of stallholders will be here between 8am and 10am, buy fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses and great hams and of course always fresh French pastries and have a picnic on the banks of the Seine.


As well as students, restaurants and farmers, the Latin Quarter is also home to two of Paris' great museums.

The National Museum of the Middle Ages

Musée National du Moyen Âge stands out for its vast scope and displays the most valuable works of art from the Middle Ages. Among the museum's most famous permanent collections are:

  • 70 tapestries, including the famous Lady with a Unicorn series.
  • Monuments from the Late Antiquity led by the famous Column of the Ferrymen
  • Romanesque and Gothic wooden and stone sculptures from all over Europe
  • paintings by European painters from the 14th to 16th centuries

For ticket prices and opening times, visit the museum's official website:

National Museum of Natural History

The Muséum national d'histoire naturelle is one of the favourite destinations for families with children, as like any good natural history museum it is particularly proud of the skeletal remains of huge extinct animals that take up the largest area of the museum.

Ticket prices and opening times can be found on the museum's official website:

Jardin des Plantes

The Natural History Museum also includes a large public garden and park, the Jardin des Plantes, located on the southern edge of the Latin Quarter and an ideal place to relax while walking around the city.

Detailed information is provided in the mini-guide.


Staying right in the Latin Quarter is ideal for those who want to be in the heart of the action and soak up the atmosphere until late without having to take public transport across Paris. Even though it's a student neighbourhood, accommodation prices here are not the lowest, ranging from 110 eur per night in a double room upwards.

The cheapest hotels, with prices between 2,000 and 110 eur per night, include the small Europe Saint Severin-Paris Notre Dame or the simple Hotel des Carmes.

If you're looking for hotels with the best value for money, check out the Hotel Cluny Square right by the metro station or the Best Western Hotel Apolonia right on the popular Rue Mouffetard.

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