The 5th Arrondissement—otherwise known as the Latin Quarter—is an ancient district of Paris on the left bank of the River Seine that's the site of ancient Gallo-Roman ruins. The area, home to the Sorbonne University, often bustles with students. Of note is the Panthéon, a crypt housing famous French artists and intellectuals.
Beyond its historic sights, the 5th Arrondissement is a popular destination for dinner and drinks and is well worth exploring on foot or as part of a hop-on hop-off bus tour. Make a point to walk down Cours du Commerce St André, a quaint, cobblestoned stretch of shops and restaurants. To enjoy a night on the town, head to the 5th for a cabaret show and dinner; it's best to book advance tickets to secure seats. Things to Know Before You Go
- History fans shouldn't miss a stroll on Rue Saint-Jacques, one of the oldest streets in Paris.
- Shakespeare and Company—a longstanding independent bookseller with a vast selection of English-language books—draws literary enthusiasts.
- Museumgoers find several standout institutions in the 5th, including the Musée Curie, and Cluny Museum, which features an intact Roman bath complex.
How to Get There
Most travelers get to the 5th Arrondissement by public transportation. To travel by metro, take the 7 or 10 lines to the Jussieu metro stop. You can also continue to additional stops on either line—the 7 runs south along Rue Monge, and the 10 runs east on Rue Saint-Germain. If you plan on visiting the Panthéon, hop on the 75 or 89 bus, and get off at the Panthéon stop. Some tours include roundtrip transport. When to Get There
There's no bad time to visit 5th Arrondissement, but it's best to visit during the day if you want to shop and explore the Jardin des Plantes. Sunday is a great day for a stroll, but some shops may be closed, so plan accordingly. If you want to visit for dinner, call in advance for a reservation at the more popular restaurants, and expect to wait for a table on the weekend.
Exploring the Jardin des Plantes
Visitors to the 5th Arrondissement should plan for a stroll through Jardin des Plantes, a stunning park replete with flower displays and walking paths. This oasis was originally founded under the reign of Louis XIII, and it remains a must-see destination today. Beyond the botanical gardens, you can visit the Museum of Natural History and an intimate zoo.The gardens are free, but there is a fee for the zoo.