I’ve been asked about the walks I’ve done in Paris, and here’s my latest one – exploring around Rive Gauche – the Left Bank, and more specifically around Latin Quarters – as the hotel where I stayed was in the heart of this area. I had no specific must-see places on my list this time other than Saint Sulpice, as I enjoyed reading Da Vinci Code -book and wanted to see the church from that perspective.
In general I just love walking around and admiring beautiful buildings and flowers, as well as visiting shops and getting style tips from passing chic Parisiennes. So I did also take time just to walk up and down the little streets of Latin Quarters, stopped for some music, enjoyed the street performers, and of course had a traditional crepe with chocolate and a cafe au lait: that’s just an unbeatable combination! This loop walk from the Select Hotel Rive Gauche is around 5km/3 miles depending on which roads you take and how much you keep side-stepping when you spot a lovely little store or a building. Time-wise it’s 3-4 hours depending on whether you want to climb up the bell tower of Notre Dame (always a long wait) and how many times you stop for a coffee or something else. This route had six main stops:
- Jardin de Luxembourg – lovely Palace and gardens with a great cafe by the basin
- Saint Sulpice Church
- Abbey of St Germain-de-Pres
- Notre Dame
- Pont de l’Archevêché – the Bridge of Love
The distance from Luxembourg park to Saint-Sulpice and further on to St Germain-De-Pres is not long, but certainly a very beautiful one. Paris has so many grand and memorable churches to explore, and by far all that I have visited have been free of charge.
From St-Germain I continued to the river and to the most famous church of the City, Notre Dame, which is celebrating 800th anniversary in 2013. As a memento one can buy a souvenir coin of this anniversary inside the church. The wait time was only about 5 minutes to enter the church and the entrance is free, but if you want to climb up the tower be prepared to queue 1-2 hours – and probably even longer on summer weekends. Crossing back to Left Bank of Paris, there is the narrowest bridge in Paris , Pont de l’Archevêché, also called the bridge of Love as there are probably thousands of locks left by couples declaring their love. Very romantic indeed!
…Pont de l’Archevêché is the narrowest bridge in Paris and the ultimate bridge of love with thousands of locks on it
There is also the famous Panthéon to explore nearby (although it’s partially under restorations at the moment), not to forget of course the key attraction of Latin Quarters: those narrow little cobbled streets filled with stores and restaurants. The whole world is on display with restaurants, and one can enjoy a lovely three-course menu for about 10 euros, then move on the next place for some drinks, or a coffee and those delicious crepes. And then there is the hotel itself – there is a little bar and several cozy little lounges to sit down and chat away with friends.
The best part of being in the latin Quarters is just exploring around – walking up and down those narrow, cute little cobblestoned streets, peeking into fun shops, stopping for delicious parties or drinks in the evening while enjoying streets artist performing or little bands playing music. Just take time to enjoy the local life and relax!
I love luxury travel and bringing global inspirations to our daily life. As a mother of three, I am always in the look for best places to visit with the kids. If you like the global lifestyle as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Lifestyle weekly feed.