July 14, 2024

5 Cheap Things to Do in the Latin Quarter, Paris

The Latin Quarter, Paris is a must visit when in the city.  A historic centre of art and learning, it’s a truly beautiful place where culture abounds.  However, unfortunately, due to its notoriety, it’s also an especially popular area for tourists and it can be easy to fall into the tourist trap of high prices.  If you’re willing to avoid the big ticket attractions, there are some hidden gems to be found.  Keep reading for a list of five cheap things to do in the Latin Quarter.

1. Discover the Curie Museum

Nestled in the heart of the Latin Quarter, Paris, at 11 rue Pierre is the Curie Museum.  Here, visitors can explore the works of the well known physicist Marie Curie and find out more about her monumental scientific achievement.  The museum is housed in the building where Curie conducted many of her radium experiments and some believe the door handle to still be radioactive!  Whether it is or not, visitors will get to see the equipment and lab space used by her as everything has been preserved. It’s a must for any science or history buff!

The Curie Museum is open Wednesday-Saturday from 1pm-5pm.  Admission is free, and most visits take an hour.  You can find out more regarding specific dates on the Curie Museum website.

2. Browse the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop

Nestled in the cosy location of 37 Rue de la Bûcherie in the Latin Quarter, Paris, is the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop.  This quaint little shop is a book lover’s dream and is well worth a visit.  It opened in 1951 and was originally famous for its collection of books by literary greats like James Joyce.  Nowadays, it’s a haven for English speaking readers and many find it a comforting refuge in a busy city.  The shop’s narrow, uneven shelves are best browsed during the early morning when its most quiet, but you might also want to get tickets for a workshop or reading if one is happening during your visit.

Being a shop, the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop is free to enter, and is open from 10am-8pm Monday to Saturday, and 12pm-7pm on Sunday.  You can find out more about the different events held here on the bookshop’s website.

3. Walk Through the Jardin de Luxembourg

Located on the border of the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Jardin de Luxembourg is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a leisurely stroll in peace.  The gardens were inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence.  They cover over 25 hectares of land and are split into English gardens and French gardens.  Between the two sides, visitors will find a large pond, a geometric forest, and an orchard filled with apples.  Visitors can also check out the apiary and learn more about bee keeping if they’re interested!  Better still, if travelling with children, they won’t miss out.  There are plenty of attractions for little ones including puppet shows, rides, parks, remote control boats, and even chess and tennis.

Opening times for the Jardin de Luxembourg vary depending on the time of year.  You can find out more here.

4. Tour the Pantheon

Erected in the late 18th century, the Pantheon may not be one of the most popular attractions in Paris, but we think it’s still worth a visit.  Important from a historical standpoint, the mausoleum pays tribute to some of the country’s great minds, including Alexandre Dumas, Marie Curie, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Victor Hugo.  Perched atop the Montagne St-Genevieve knoll, the views outside of the Pantheon are truly spectacular, especially on a clear day.

While there is a charge for visiting the Pantheon, the monument is free to visit during European heritage days. It’s also free on the 1st Sunday of the month during the winter.  You can find out more on the Pantheon’s website.

5. Browse the Rue Mouffetard Market

Finally, you can’t visit the Latin Quarter, Paris, without checking out the Rue Mouffetard Market.  One of the most beloved and busiest market streets in the the whole country, you’ll find everything from artisanal food to bakeries and cheese sellers here.  Treat yourself to a delicious pastry, or a fresh baguette as you walk around the rest of the Latin Quarter.  You could even purchase a picnic lunch to enjoy at the Jardin de Luxembourg.  While the market is only open during the mornings, there are plenty of restaurants open all day.

Have you been to the Latin Quarter, Paris?  I’d love to hear more about your favourite free places to visit in the comments!

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