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A question about Left Bank Neighborhoods

Good day all!

I am having a hard time deciding where to book an apartment for our stay in May 2018. Our choices are near to each other on the Left Bank. One is located on Rue Monge, very near the open market, and the other one is one Rue St. Jacques very near to Shakespeare and Co. We are a high energy couple in our 40's. Could you give me pros and cons of each? Both are almost the exact same price for 8 days. I am interested in knowing about each neighborhood. Thanks a million!

6 Answers

answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

I have to put in a plug for the Rue Monge option as I lived right around the corner from it for a while and loved it. The Latin Quarter is an incredibly vibrant place and while packed with students, much, much less touristy than the Rue Saint-Jacques option. If you're near the open market there's a metro stop right there and so many great things to do! Like...

Museum National d'Histoire naturelle - amazing natural history museum! Make sure to see the old part of it as well as the new!

Jardin des Plantes - this should be incredible if you're going in May!

Le cabinet de curiosités de Bonnier de La Mosson - incredible cabinet of curiosities just across the street from the Grande Mosquée de Paris which is a great place for lunch (but do NOT use their hamman--it's filthy!).

Rue Mouffetard - beyond incredible, fun street with markets and restaurants and shops and anything else you can think of. It's where Hemingway lived when he lived in Paris. 

Sorbonne - be sure to check out the school and the library. Beyond stunning. 

Luxembourg Garden - some of the most stunning gardens you've ever seen in your life. 

Pantheon - I never found this place terribly interesting but the views from the top are incredible. 

I could go on and on and on but ultimately, you've gotten some great advice here--it really just depends what you want. This will give you a much more "neighborhood-y" feel. Kind of hard to go wrong no matter where you end up!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rue Monge (attraction)
  2. Latin Quarter (attraction)
  3. Rue Saint-Jacques (attraction)
  4. Museum National d'Histoire naturelle (attraction)
  5. Jardin des Plantes (attraction)
  6. Grande Mosquée de Paris (attraction)
  7. Rue Mouffetard (attraction)
  8. Sorbonne (attraction)
  9. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  10. Pantheon (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Romain from Paris

Hello Alexis 


For a quick and easy answer, go to rue saint Jacques : 

- Closer to "Odéon" by foot 

- Closer to "Luxembourg Garden

- Closer to Saint-Germain-des-Prés 

- Closer to the metro  

Nevertheless both adress are great  


I m 36 years old, and lived on Paris since the age of 1 


Enjoy your stay  

And if you choose another place , I know / which / hope that you will love it and have a good Time ! 


Which you all the best in my great City ;)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Odéon (attraction)
  2. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  3. Saint-Germain-des-Prés (neighborhood)
1 thanks

answered by
Holly from West Hollywood

We stayed for 6 weeks in Paris and stayed in an Airbnb. Went to church, asked around at the mall, visited the local farmers markets and began to have "routine". I would not say you would become a local but you would run into some of the same people and perhaps become friendlier with them. One of the locals would have better fruit for us, put things aside and we would bring "presents" for him, he would then return the favor and give us things for free. I tried to learn the language and most appreciate it. Do what you can to be polite, friendly and inquisitive without too intrusive. I found that people love to show off their neighborhood, their favorite places to dine and go, etc. Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)

answered by
Stuart from Redondo Beach

Decide on the basis of proximity to a Metro station.

answered by
Christopher from San Francisco

Is this your first time in paris? And how do you like to travel? Knowing that will help. While both of those are beautiful areas, and both are they’re touristic, one is less so. Shakespeare and Company is very close to all the bars by Rue de la Huchette and Pont Saint-Michel. Rue Monge less so and is close to the Roman ruins of Arènes de Lutèce and, of course, the markets. If you’re looking for more a neighborhood feel, rue Monge would be a better bet.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Shakespeare and Company (attraction)
  2. Rue de la Huchette (attraction)
  3. Pont Saint-Michel (attraction)
  4. Rue Monge (attraction)
  5. Arènes de Lutèce (attraction)

answered first by
John from Carlsbad (California)

I think Christopher hit it on the head.  The area around Shakespeare and Company is more central and closer to the major tourist attractions, but it has something of a party feel, especially as you get over to the Place Saint-Michel  The area around Place Monge is a little farther from the major sights, but has the neighborhood services- the market, the butcher, the baker, etc.  There are good metro connections to the sights from there. If you want to do some cooking and have a little more of a "living-in-Paris" experience, it might be the place for you.

If you do choose the Place Monge area (or even if you don't), there is a little gem of a restaurant called Lilane a block or two from the Place Monge.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Shakespeare and Company (attraction)
  2. Place Saint-Michel (attraction)
  3. Place Monge (attraction)
  4. Lilane (restaurant)

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