The Latin Quarter
- The Pantheon: This neoclassical-style mausoleum is the resting place of noteworthy French thinkers such as Voltaire and Victor Hugo. Entry is 7 Euros (free for children under 18).
From the Pantheon's plaza, look straight ahead. You will see the Luxemburg Gardens and, in the distance, the Eiffel Tower.
Nearby: The medieval Saint Etienne-du-Mont Church is worth a visit. (Place St.-Geneviève)
Next stop: The Sorbonne
Directions: From the Pantheon, walk down Rue Soufflot. Turn right on Rue Victor Cousin. Continue until you reach Place de la Sorbonne; the university is to your right.
- Founded in the 13th century as a religious school, The Sorbonne is one of Europe's oldest universities. Admire its dramatic dome from the plaza, and explore the little streets around it if you wish. Lots of charming old movie theaters and some of the best Parisian bookstores abound in the area.
Next stop: Luxemburg Gardens or Medieval Museum
Directions: Luxemburg Gardens is located at the bottom of Rue Soufflot on Blvd Saint Michel (RER: Luxembourg). The Medieval Museum is just North of the Sorbonne, at 6 Place Paul-Painlevé.
- Luxembourg Gardens is one of Paris' most charming parks. It was constructed by Marie de Medicis in the 15th century and is a wonderful place to stroll. The spring brings dramatic blooms.
- The National Medieval Museum includes a stunning collection of medieval tapestries (including the famed The Lady and the Unicorn) and everday objects. It also houses a lovely medieval-style aromatic garden. The museum is built atop roman thermal baths, part of which are still visible, and the tepidarium and frigidarium can be visited, often hosting temporary exhibits.
Next stop: Lunch at Le Balzar
Directions: Le Balzar is located at 49 Rue des Ecoles, near the Sorbonne.
- Le Balzar opened in 1898 and was a favorite brasserie among people like Sartre and Camus. The traditional French fare is a solid bet. Reservations recommended: +33(0)1 43 54 13 67