What to do on the Left Bank in Paris
If you’ve already visited the Right Bank of Paris, cross the Seine River and you will reach the chic and artistic Left Bank or Rive Gauche. From monuments and museums to a sophisticated café culture, there’s plenty to see and do on Paris’ historic Left Bank. So from a local’s perspective, here’s a guide to what to do on the Left Bank in Paris.
Visit the Pantheon on the Left Bank in Paris
The Panthéon is a building located in the heart of the Latin Quarter of Paris. Originally it was a church but after many changes it is today a mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens. There are a lot of statues of famous French intellectuals such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo or Alexandre Duma, the author of The Three Musketeers.
If you’re a young person in Paris, definitely take the opportunity to visit this place! The price of a ticket for adults is of 9 euros, and it is free for people who are between 18 and 25 years old and who are residents of the European Union.
But if you really want to experience the best the Pantheon has to offer, I recommend you try the guided tour of the dome. This tour lasts about an hour and costs an extra three euros per person. But the panoramic view from their rooftop looking out over Paris is unbeatable! So don’t forget to bring your camera. There are several tours per day leaving in the afternoon from April until October, and you can find all the information on their website. The dome is unfortunately closed in the Winter months.
pantheon – place du pantheon 75005 paris
metro station: cardinal lemoine
opening hours: open daily 10AM//6:30PM
Marvel at La Sorbonne University on the Left Bank in Paris
Now that you’ve seen the Pantheon, it’s time to discover another historic Left Bank spot. Just next to the Panthéon you have La Sorbonne University, one of the best known universities worldwide. This university dates back to the 12th century, and is one of the oldest universities still around today. La Sorbonne has been teaching students for nearly a thousand years! Today, the university is still very prestigious and draws some renowned professors from around the world.
You can visit the university during the daytime, just remember to be quiet and respectful of the students hard at work! The architecture is really impressive, so be sure to take a classic picture from Place de la Sorbonne. It will make a great souvenir!
la sorbonne université – place de la sorbonne 75005 paris
metro station: sorbonne université
Take a stroll along the riverbanks
The riverbanks or quai in French are a favorite place for locals to kick back and relax, or get in their daily exercise. No matter the weather, you can always spot someone out for a stroll or enjoying a picnic along the Left Bank.
From the Quai Voltaire, you can walk along the river’s edge with a view of either the Louvre or Notre-Dame in the background. This is one spot where you can really lose yourself in the charm of Paris, just be careful on the cobblestones!
Go walking in the Jardin des Plantes on the Left Bank in Paris
What else can you do on the Left Bank in Paris? Go to the Jardin des Plantes! It is one of the most beautiful gardens in the Left Bank in Paris. This one is lesser-known than the Luxembourg gardens, but I think it’s every bit as impressive.
The Jardin des PLanted located in the fifth arrondissement and covers more than 28 hectare (28 soccer fields!). It is my favorite park in Paris, because you have plenty of activities in it! You can go walking in the park or go into the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, the Natural History Museum. There is even a zoo, known as Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes inside the garden itself. If you’re traveling to Paris with kids, this place is a must-see!
jardin des plantes – 57 rue cuvier 75005 paris
metro station: jussieu, gare d’austerlitz, or place monge
opening hours: open daily 8AM//5:30PM
Discover Saint-Germain-des-Prés Quarter on the Left Bank in Paris
Some say that Saint-Germain-des-Prés is the most Parisian quarter of all Paris! This is the place on the Left Bank in Paris where you can experience traditional Parisian café culture and do some serious shopping.
Along the Boulevard Saint-Germain, there are plenty of famous and not so famous spots alike. But one things is for sure, this is where you can witness a truly sophisticated side of the city. Whether you’re in the mood for designer boutique shopping, hunting down a great bookstore or enjoy a Parisian café, you can do it all in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
This quarter is home to famous Café de Flore as well as other lesser-known spots like la Palette or Saint-Pearl. The nieghborhood cafés were once frequented by artists and writers like Hemingway and Picasso, who helped make them famous. Today, this area is known for having some of the best classic cafés of Paris. The Saint-Germain neighborhood is a real immersion into the “Paris of Parisians”.
The Invalides: One of the most beautiful French monuments on the Left Bank in Paris
Finally, if you are on the Left Bank in Paris, you shouldn’t miss the Invalides! This is one of the most emblematic French monuments in Paris. It is home for the Musée de l’armée. The building is relating with the military history of France. It was a hospital and also a retirement home for war veterans. The entrance is free of charge for children, and it will cost 12 euros for adults. And, even if you don’t feel like visiting the museum, you will be impressed by its gilded architecture that is really amazing!
You now know what to do on the Left Bank in Paris! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information about anything. As you will be walking the Left Bank, you will discover plenty of new places filled with history and Parisian charm. These were my favorite things to do in the Left Bank of Paris but I am sure you will find out plenty more interesting things to do. So, let me know how you’ve liked this part of Paris and what you’ve liked about it. See you soon in Paris!