Left Bank (Rive Gauche)
Left Bank (Rive Gauche)
4.5
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The section of Paris south of the River Seine.
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The area
Neighbourhood: 5th Arr. - Panthéon
How to get there
  • Luxembourg Station • 4 min walk
  • Luxembourg • 5 min walk

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4.5
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BrakiWorldTraveler
Belgrade, Serbia18,666 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
While the right bank of Seine river in Paris is formal, noble and royal with many palaces and upscale addresses, the left bank is a laid back area.
Rive Gauche involves a pretty big area streching from the Eiffel tower all the way to Latin quarter. It's mostly a residential area with hundreds of cozy cafes and restaurants, set in winding streets, where you can really have reasonably priced and delicious meals. The area is also notable for famous artists and writers who resided here, as well the liberal minded.
Written 24 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mitch w
Bordeaux, France745 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
We love the 6th and 5th Arr. Have stayed at several hotels in the 6thARR. Blvd Saint Germain has great shopping and tons of places to stop for a bite or a drink. Metro stops are quite available in several locations.
Written 29 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dimitris L
Sydney, Australia49,869 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
The Left Bank of the Seine River is possibly the sentimental heart of Paris. In days gone by it was the part of Paris where you would find philosophers, poets, artists, teachers, writers, anybody who was somebody would be here. This sentiment has carried to the present day but how true it is now is another matter. On this side of the Seine you will find some of the most wonderful sights, like the Sorbonne University, the Pantheon, the Latin Quarter, the Musee d'Orsay, the Army Museum, the Rodin Museum, the Eiffel Tower, the Luxembourg Gardens and many others. There are some wide roads but there are many narrow streets as well and it is these that convey the old Paris. You must walk! You haven't been to Paris if you miss the Left Bank!
Written 21 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SylvieFrancois444
Ontario Canada1,337 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Couples
La Rive Gauche, so many things to see and do! We were fortunate enough to stay in the Latin Quarter and had the opportunity to visit another area of the left bank every night on our return to the hotel. I won't repeat what was said in the previous comments, but one thing that is important to do, is to see it all again at night. Visiting la Rive Gauche during the day is great, but visiting at night is completely different, you see it in another light. Just beautiful!
Written 10 August 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alexasholidays
Bury St. Edmunds, UK215 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2013 • Couples
Having downloaded the Trip Advisor City Guides app onto the iPhone before going away to Paris for 3 days, we used the 'The Left Bank & The Latin Quarter' route which had been suggested as it had quite a few sights and stops which interested us. We were blessed with lovely sunny weather this morning as well, so everything looked even more magical. This app is great for city holidays as you are able to use it offline and avoid expensive data roaming charges! *WIN*.... Other things we found handy were the restaurant reviews for different neighbourhoods.

First of all the trip took us down to Montparnasse and we learnt about the history of Paris' only skyscraper... Parisians hated the building so much all buildings of this style have been banned from the main City centre ever since! On the Wednesday we were also able to see the local food market taking place along Boulevard Edgar Quinet, full of locals buying colourful fruit & veg and smelly cheese.

The next stop was Montparnasse Cemetery which has some famous French writers and artists resting. There was an actual funeral taking place when we walked past though so we skipped this stop as we thought it would be disrespectful.

Worth a look on this tour is Rue Campagne Premiere which features a beautiful building with a Art Deco facade at the end of the street, which also used to be home to American photographer Man-Ray. The street was also home to a few other famous modern artists including Yves Klein.

One of my favourite stops of this tour is the Jardin du Luxembourg, absolutely beautiful. Full of families, locals, couples, fitness junkies and snap happy tourists. It'd be a great stop for a picnic on a sunny day with the Palais du Luxembourg in the background. There's also the octagonal pool where chairs are set up around with parents catching the sun whilst children play with the mini sailing boats in the pool. The sparking blue water looks fantastic in front of the Palace also and had a lovely romantic feel as you walk around. I'm really glad I got to see this part of Paris as it feels like you have stepped out of the city for a while and I feel the pictures in tour books don't do the gardens justice!! We also walked past one evening as the sun was setting and it looked amazing, definitely worth a visit at this time of day too, especially if you want things a bit quieter (a.k.a... no children running around). I personally like to see the mixture of people all ages enjoying Paris though as it gives you an idea of how people live their lives in the city!

Next up.... Eglise Saint-Sulpice... the second largest church in Paris after Notre Dame. This is worth having a walk past also. Its quite interesting to look at from the outside as it was built over 100 years so the two towers don't actually match and have quite large differences. After this you can treat yourself to some delicious Macaroons from Pierre Herme.... pricey yes, but worth it. Honestly they were like small explosions of amazing flavour in your mouth. We had macaroons from Le Grand Epicerie as well and they didn't even compare to the ones from here.... now we know why Pierre Herme is so famous!

After stopping here we had a general mooch around the St Germain area and the streets which led off from Boulevard St Germain. We were able to see the famous duelling cafe's - Cafe de Flore and Cafe Les Deux Magots with its trendy Parisian types smoking and drinking outside. The Trip Advisor tour suggested a few other places to eat but we made our own way to Rue de Buci close by which is full of bars, shops and cafe's and had a really great buzz and atmosphere about it. We ate at The Smiths bakery which had a variety of different Baguettes and other cakes and pastries that all looked delicious. That's the trouble with Paris... everything looks so amazing, you want to eat it all!

The final spot of this tour is Pont des Arts bridge on the River Seine. The bridge is famous for its padlocks as couples from across the world write their name on a padlock, attach it to the bridge and throw the key in the river as a symbol of ever lasting love. There's great views of the Instituit de France and the Louvre, you can also look directly down to Pont Neuf and Ile-de-Cite. This bridge holds a special place for me now as at the end of our walk my boyfriend proposed to me and we now have our very own padlock on Pont des Arts. All in all a very lovely day!
Written 29 June 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rumples
Tucson, AZ11,681 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Solo
The Left Bank signifies the area south of the Seine River. It is smaller than the Right Bank and encompasses arrondissements 5, 6, 7, 13, 14 and 15. One of its most famous areas is the Latin Quarter (the 5th and part of the 6th), which is filled with students by the Sorbonne and other higher-education institutions, book sellers and inexpensive, but not necessarily good, restaurants. The Pantheon (currently displaying scaffolding) is close-by and contains the remains of illustrious French citizens, such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Rousseau.

Though I find it fun to wander through the twisting cobbled streets around the Sorbonne and other landmarks, I especially enjoy ambling through the quiet Jardin des Plantes, France's main botanical gardens, founded in 1626, and stopping for mint tea and a pastry at the garden by the Grand Mosque across the street. Nearby Rue Mouffetard, a market street, provides a great place to stroll and some good places to eat, such as La Crete, which serves simple, well-prepared Greek food.

Moving west, the 6th is another favorite stop for me because of the stunning Luxembourg Gardens. It is a great place to stroll or to sit and people watch, and the gardens offer much for children to do. This arrondissement is full of designer boutiques, art stores and antique shops.Two churches -- Saint Sulpice and Saint-Germain-des-Pres -- are well worth visiting. Cafe Les Deux Magot and Cafe de Flore are popular with tourists, because of the famous writers and intellectuals who used to frequent them. But I think that both charge far more than the experience is worth.

The upscale 7th is further west. This is Paris' richest district in average income. It is also rich in museums. My favorites -- Orsay, Rodin and Quai Branly -- are all located here. The iconic Eiffel Tower, however, presents the biggest draw. Perhaps the most unusual (and smelly) attraction is Les Egouts de Paris (underground sewers).

Directly south of the 7th spreads the 15th arrondissement. Here the 689-foot Montparnasse Tower offers a rooftop view that covers 25 miles. Many joke that the view beats that from the Eiffel Tower because you don't have to look at the Montparnasse Tower, an unattractive structure. But I prefer Montparnasse, because it is not mobbed like the Eiffel Tower and I have always been able to ascend to the viewpoint without a wait.

East from the 15th, the 14th arrondissement contains most of what is known as the Montparnasse District. This area gained fame in the 1920s and 30s for being the district where artists and intellectuals lived. Montparnasse Cemetery holds many of France's intellectual elite, such as Simon de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. A much different resting place -- the Catacombs -- is also located here.

Finally, the 13 arrondissement, even further east, holds one of the city's two Chinatowns, though it is actually an Asian quarter with Place d'Italie as the center. This is a good place to come for Vietnamese food and other Asian cuisines. I've gone to many restaurants here and they've all been good and inexpensive.
Written 1 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravellingGypsy
Tirana, Albania39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Download iJourneys: Paris the Left Bank from iTunes or audible.com. The walk starts at the Louvre so it is great to start it after you have finished at the Louvre. The walk is 2 hours and takes you through the back streets of the Left Bank and ends at Notre Dame. During the walk, you go past L'Hotel where Oscar Wilde died and said those infamous words, "Either the wallpaper goes or I go." You also go to the market that Picasso frequented, will see the smallest house in Paris (only 2 windows wide), the last actual boneyard in Paris at San Severin church, the Shakespseare and Co. bookshop (all English), go to Procope was the restauarant to serve the first cup of coffee and is on a small back alley, Cafe Deux Magots, and many other attractions. iJourneys is incredible and makes a guide for just about everywhere. It's also handy because you can put it right on your iPod or MP3 player.
Written 19 March 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CHUNARAG
London, UK503 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2013 • Friends
Visiting Paris in 2013 I decided to do the left bank on foot. La Rive Gauche is situated on the south bank of the river Seine. I started my walk from Eiffel Tower on the left bank of the river, observing many famous sights as possible in a day and finishing in the Latin Quarter: one can't fail to spot Les Invalides where Napoleon is entombed, the belle epoque Paris-Orleans railway station now a museum of modern art,the gothic Notre Dame Cathedral and many embellished bridges linking left with right bank over the river. Stop and check out or secondhand books posters and souvenirs sold by all kinds of sellers - from the intellectuals to the almost down and outs. Turn into Blvd St Michel by the fountain and statue of St Michel with its bohemian atmosphere day and night; there are middle eastern restaurants, brassaries, french bistros, fast food joints, cafes and is the main haunts of the students from the Sorbonne nearby. Blvd St Germain on the other hand has been linked with the writers/artists/thinkers/politicians/singers/philosophers/actors for over two centuries: Le Pre aux Clercs, Brassarie Lipp, Le Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots are associated with Jean Paul Sartre,Simone de Beauvoir, Bergerac,Hemmingway, Camus, Gide, Duras Proust, Balzac,Oscar Wilde, Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Picasso, Matisse, Henry Miller, Georgius, Kiki, Breton, Dali, Nina Hamnet, Orwell, Modigliani, Lenin, Trotsky, Erik Satie, Man Ray,Cocteau, Beckett, Joyce, Anais Nin, Gertrude Stein, Rivera, Russo,Maddox Ford, Alice B Toklas Duchamp, Dali, Degas,Giacometti and Slyvia Beech the owner of Shakespeare & Company Book Shop made famous by the beat generation American writers like Kerouac,Ginsberg and Burroughs in the 1960s. My apologies for leaving out many others who deserved to be remembered. Some of these people resided in Montparnasse, Odeon or Jardin du Luxembourg and met up to discuss politics, literature or simply exchange their views over a cup of coffe or a drink and a guloise with the exception of Degas and Wilde who had no choice but to spend their remaining years in poverty. Many of the digs, flats and houses have plaques to say who had lived or died there. Expand further towards Panteon to see the tombs of the french writers, poets and politicians, then to the medieval Sorbonne University and the grim reminder of the students demos in the 1960s that put a blot on its intellectual landscape briefly. Next to La Place de la Contrescarpe where George Orwell lived briefly and wrote Down and Out in Paris and London and rue Mouffetard a living proof of the medieval market. Montparnasse Cemetary was the final resting place for some of them, but you need half a day to grave crawl and Tour Montparnasse is open day and night to visitors.
Written 23 August 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brad
Hong Kong, China173,731 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Couples
The Left Bank is a historical reference to the area, mostly around the Latin Quarter, South of the Seine River. This was a thriving hot spot for artists, philosophers and writers of a bygone era.

Today, the name refers more generally to a wider stretch of districts South of the river, including Invalides & Eiffel Tower Quarter, Montparnasse, St Germain Des Pres, Luxembourg Quarter, Latin Quarter and Jardin Des Plantes Quarter.

By contrast, the Right Bank represents the area North of the Seine River includes districts of the Chaillot Quarter, Champs-Elysees, Tuileries Quarter, Opera Quarter, Beaubourg and Les Halles and The Marais.

In the center of the Seine River, the small Ile de la Cite and Ile St-Louis can be found.

There are important and interesting things to see on both the Left and Right Bank and it is well worth spending considerable time on both sides exploring the various city districts during your time in Paris
Written 17 January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BruinontheGo
Eugene, OR53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2019 • Family
We recently visited Paris, France and spent a week traveling all over the city. I'm writing this review because I wish to dispel the warnings we heard prior to our trip.
We were told to watch out for terrorists, muggers, pick pockets, thugs and other hooligans. We were told the people would be unfriendly and that Americans would be scorned. None of this turned out to be remotely true. Our family found the French citizens to be genuinely helpful. In not all cases did they speak English, and our French is quite minimal. Yet, we were able to communicate in all cases. I've lived or travelled to all of the major cities in the US and have a good sense about urban danger and not once did we feel endangered. People were out and about enjoying themselves, the old and the young. We were told not to dress like an American as we would be a target. However, people dressed exactly as they do in the US, wearing every type of clothing imaginable: white shoes, white pants, shirts with logos, shirts without logos, you name it. We strolled the river, and near the Eiffel Tower, and near the Louvre late at night without any concerns. The subways were clean and fairly easy to navigate. So, let's get real. This is a great country with amazing food, art and culture. Go visit and see it yourself!
Written 9 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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