The Latin Quarter is Paris' traditional center of great thinking. Some of the world's most important artists, philosophers, and writers have passed through the area throughout history, frequenting the centuries-old Sorbonne University or the many now-legendary cafes around the area. The Latin quarter retains the nostalgic charm of past ages, while still being an important hub of education and ideas to this day. It's also a lush, picturesque area of Paris, with lots of quiet squares and gardens, winding backstreets, and vibrant open-air markets.
To explore the Latin Quarter, which is located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, try getting off at Metro Cluny-la-Sorbonne (Line 10) or RER Luxembourg (Line B), and let your feet carry you where they will.
The Closerie des Lilas, a café famed for the literary greats that once set up shop here, including French poet Apollinaire and American novelist Ernest Hemingway.
Jardin Marco Polo
The Jardin Marco Polo is the southern-most extension of the Luxembourg Gardens in the Latin Quarter.
Read related: 11 Most Beautiful Parks and Gardens in Paris
Marie de Medicis' Royal Residence at Luxembourg Gardens
This shot shows Queen Marie de Medicis' residence at the Jardin du Luxembourg. It was constructed, along with the majestic gardens, during the Renaissance to match Queen Marie's elegant tastes.
Luxemburg Gardens 2
This shot shows Paris' Jardin du Luxembourg in bright autumnal light. Even in late October, Parisians welcome any rays of sunlight they can get.
Dusky August Evening at Luxemburg Garden
A picture of a sculpture at Paris' Jardin du Luxembourg on a dusky August evening.
Freud Residence and Plaque
Sigmund Freud, father of modern psychology and psychoanalysis, once lived in this building three blocks away from the Sorbonne. French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre's childhood apartment is at 1, Rue Le Goff, but there is no plaque.
Pantheon: Memorial to France's Great Minds
The Pantheon is a neoclassical-style mausoleum where many of France's great minds are buried. From the Pantheon, a distant Eiffel Tower can be seen.
Place de la Pantheon, 5th arrondissement
Metro/RER: Cluny la Sorbonne, RER Luxembourg
April 1st to September 30th : 10am-6:30pm
October 1st to March 31st : 10am-6pm
Last admission 45 mins before closing
Reflet Medicis Cinema
The Reflet Medicis is one of Paris' most beloved arthouse cinemas. Students of the Sorbonne are known to frequent this historic theater in the heart of the Latin Quarter.
Le Champo Cinema
Le Champo is another of the Latin Quarter's historic movie theaters.
Hôtel de Cluny
The Hôtel de Cluny, a medieval residence that now houses the National Medieval Museum. The famous Flanders tapestry, "The Lady and the Unicorn", is displayed there.
Another View of the Hôtel de Cluny
Another view of the Hôtel de Cluny and its botanical gardens. Roman thermal baths are part of the Hôtel de Cluny's foundations.
Gibert Joseph Bookstore
Gibert Joseph is one of the Latin Quarter's most frequented bookstores, since it's just a couple of blocks from the old Sorbonne University. When university students head back to school in the fall, the lines often extend out onto the sidewalk.
The St.-Etienne du Mont Church
This shot shows the elegant, Gothic-era St. Etienne du Mont Church in Paris' historic Latin Quarter.
Lycée Henri IV: One of Paris' Most Prestigious Secondary Schools
France's elite have been schooled for centuries at this prestigious secondary school behind the Pantheon.
Place de la Contrescarpe
Many cafés dotting the Place de la Contrescarpe are famed for the artists and writers that once chose them as haunts.
Quiet Courtyard Off of Rue Mouffetard
This shot shows a quiet private courtyard off of Rue Mouffetard in Paris. Rue Mouffetard is a lively market street where scores of quality bakers, fruit and vegetable vendors, and other shops are found.
Rue Mouffetard in Paris
Rue Mouffetard is one of Paris' liveliest market streets. On this charming, centuries-old street, one can find dozens of artisan bakeries, cheese or pastry shops, plus some of the city's best fruit and vegetable stands.
See related content on Paris markets:
Shops on Rue Mouffetard
Rue Mouffetard in Paris counts many shops selling fine traditional French products like cheeses, meats, wine, and fruits and vegetables.
Read related features on Paris markets:
La Sorbonne University: A Symbol of Parisian Prestige
The Sorbonne is one of Europe's oldest universities, and still enjoys a certain prestige today. The Sorbonne plaza (Place de la Sorbonne) is lined with cafes, but most are occupied by tourists rather than students, who tend to prefer gathering in dim, smoky cafes nearby.
Read Related: Is it Possible to Visit La Sorbonne?
Sorbonne University Bathed in Dusky August Light
This shot shows a twilight-kissed Place de la Sorbonne in Paris, late August 2007.
Read Related: Is it Possible to Visit La Sorbonne?
Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine
The Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine in Paris is situated between the Sorbonne University and the Odeon District in the Latin Quarter. This is the historic center of Parisian medical studies (hence the name) and medical students still congregate here today, in the stately old "facultés" that take up most of the street.
Narrow Latin Quarter Street
A dusky view of one of the Latin Quarter's narrow streets, lined with cinemas and bookshops.
Marco Polo Fountain Under Stormy Canopy
The Marco Polo Fountain's elegant sculpture shows as a silhouette against stormy August skies.