Mr. Misadventures and I never spend any time in Paris without a meal, a coffee, or a walk in the 5th arrondissement. Having spent a little time at the Sorbonne as a student, the 5eme holds sentimental value to my hubby. It also has one of his favorite bande dessinée (comic book) shops (Album – 84 Boulevard Saint-Germain) so we always stop in to see the latest editions! The 5th arrondissement has such an interesting mix of people, it is a great spot to grab a terrace seat and observe the locals and tourists walking by. We once saw Christian Clavier walk by while having a coffee in one of their many cafes (you can’t have a district for students without good coffee!).
Being a fan of cinéma is something I have in common with Selene of Celine Concierge who came to Paris after studying cinematography and never left. She’s had quite an eclectic freelance career while living in Paris affording her a wide variety of experiences, exactly what you would need for a local tour guide, especially for the 5th arrondissement where she lives. I was thrilled that she accepted my invitation to share all her favorite local spots and things to do in the 5eme.
Favorite thing about the 5th arrondissement.
Oh, how I adore the 5th! I love that being in the 5th arrondissement is like being in your own little village tucked away inside Paris. It’s both charming and rustic and full of history! You can find lively parts as well as secluded parts of this neighborhood that help you get lost in the soul of the city. It comprises the Latin Quarter, which is an area known for its university students as well as intellectuals. You will find tranquil streets leading off from the bustling areas as well as quaint cafes and bars filled with locals.
It is without a doubt, one of the hidden gems of Paris and a must-see for first-time visitors as well as returning travelers!
Least favorite thing about the 5th arrondissement.
Hmmm, this is a difficult question to answer! I mean you have everything that a local living in Paris would need in the 5th, you have some really nice monuments like the Panthéon, spacious parks like the Jardin des Plants, as well as Michelin 5-Star restaurants like La Tour D’argent while also having great street food and meals under 10 euros all in the same place.
If I had to pick something I would argue that some people may find it challenging to move around in the 5th if you’re traveling on foot. The 5th has many small streets, often covered in cobblestones, so if you’re not on a scooter or walking, it could be a challenge to move around quickly. Getting around by car may be more challenging in this neighborhood than in others around Paris. You either stick with walking or biking or have to depend on public transport, but I would rule out the car unless absolutely necessary.
What differentiates the 5th arrondissement from all the other parts of the city?
I would say that it’s a great mix of residents and tourists. Besides the popular, humming streets like rue Mouffetard and near Place Saint Michel, the 5th is overall a quiet and peaceful neighborhood. You will find more locals here than you would in other arrondissements that are overflowing with tourists. The 5th is really for those who want to wander and discover the secluded parts of the city. It’s also a great district to walk around in or see by bike, one of the positives about the 5th is that no big boulevards run through it, so you experience an intimacy that you don’t in some neighborhoods because you are right in the heart of the city.
Favorite coffee spot in the 5eme.
It’s so difficult for me to choose just one! Can I pick my top 5 for the 5th? I love, love, love coffee so you know I’ve tested out most of the coffee shops in the 5th!
My tops are: Strada Café (Cardinal Lemoine), Dose (rue Mouffetard), Nuage Cafe (which doubles as a co-working space), Le Loulou which is a fantastic bunch spot as well, and of course Shakespeare and Company, you are sure to get great coffee and a nice view of Notre dame from this lucky spot! Others I’ve heard are great are Jozi Cafe, Nuance Café, and Plus82.
Favorite spot for drinks.
The 5th has such a diversity of bars and restaurants, so you are sure to find something that is upscale as well as modest.
For a more lavish time, I recommend the Hotel Monte Cristo’s bar and lounge for cocktails and drinks. If you’re a lover of craft beers, don’t miss the Brewberry bar à bières (rue du Pot de Fer, near Rue Mouffetard). They feature an excellent selection of quality craft beers from lagers to malts to IPA.
Otherwise, if you want to take it easy for the night, any bar or cafe is worth stepping into on and around the Place de la Contrescarpe as well as Rue Mouffetard and Rue du Cardinal Lemoine. This whole area is very lively during the day and after-hours, too!
Favorite local hangout.
When friends or family come to visit, I never miss the opportunity to take them on a walking tour around the Panthéon and its neighboring streets. We pass by the Place Monge open-air market if we catch it early enough then head over to La Grande Mosquée de Paris. It’s a cozy place to unwind with un thé à la menthe (homemade mint tea) and Arab and middle-Eastern desserts, especially if it’s chilly outside. It’s there’s time, I’ll take them for a stroll through the Jardin des Plantes and even pop into the Arènes de Lutèce. The latter is an ancient Roman amphiteatre that is really neat to check out – I’m not even sure many Parisians know about this hidden gem.
Favorite breakfast spot the 5th arrondissement.
Hands down Le Loulou – it’s an Aussie-inspired restaurant and cafe. It’s one of my favorite breakfast and brunch spots. From the fresh-pressed juices to the delicious coffee choices to the beautifully presented burgers, sandwiches, and egg dishes, you won’t’ be disappointed to try Le Loulou for yourself.
Favorite lunch spot the 5th arrondissement.
It’s so hard to choose a favorite when you have such a great selection of food from all over the world! From Ethiopian food (Restaurant Godjo) to Greek (Au P’tit Grec) to home-cooked Chinese food (Chez Ann), you get such a diversity of flavors in the 5th! You really have to go with the food craving that you’re feeling in the day in order to choose where to go!
Favorite dinner spot the 5th arrondissement.
As you can see, I have a hard time choosing my favorites! If you want to go out on the town for an extravagant meal, definitely try the Michelin-worthy Greek restaurant Le Mavrommatis. It’s on the pricey side, but well worth it! For a gastronomical experience, you have Flocon (rue Mouffetard), which is a néo-bistro, or a contemporary French restaurant led by the new generation of young restaurant owners serving up colorful and delicious meals. For a low-key dining experience, I would recommend Mimi Ramen for delicious Japanese-style homemade ramen.
One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see.
As a film major and film buff, I love to point out famous streets or spots filmed in movies/TV shows. My tops ones are Place de l’Abbé Basset, the magical steps of the church that take Gil back to the 1920s in Midnight in Paris. And more recently, Place de l’Estrapade, the square leading to Emily’s residence in Emily in Paris.
Another great suggestion from Brian, the owner of The Abbey Bookshop in the 5th is:
I take my guests up the hill, following Abelard’s move (he is the father of the Latin Quarter!) from the Abbey Bookshop up to the top of the Montagne Ste-Genevieve (by the Pantheon, showing them what is left of the 60 medieval colleges that made up the University: parts of only 4 of the colleges remain, but they are stunning: especially the only surviving medieval college chapel, a miniature Sainte Chapelle (after all, they both had the same architect!): the church, now a Romanian Orthodox cathedral, on the rue de Beauvais (formerly the Collège de Beauvais).
Other great spots in the 5th arrondissement curated for you:
5eme/5th Arrondissement Restaurants
> Atelier Maître Albert (1 rue Maître Albert) chic restaurant focused on roasted meats.
> Atlas Couscous (12 Boulevard Saint-Germain) couscous from around the world.
> Au Port du Salut (163 rue Saint-Jacques) historical restaurant serving classic French dishes.
> Balzar (49 rue des Ecoles) German-influenced Alsatian cuisine.
> Bar de Fer (7 Rue du Pot de Fer) hard to choose from their brunch menu!
> Café de la Nouvelle Mairie (19 Rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques) bistro with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
> Café Delmas (2 Place de la Contrescarpe) great breakfast spot!
> Casa Pepe (5 Rue Mouffetard) tapas, paella, a flamenco dancer (mostly weekends), and Spanish guitars most evenings.
> Cave la Bourgogne (144 rue Mouffetard) nice lunch spot.
> Chez René (14 Boulevard Saint-Germain) Parisian bistro (ex-President Mitterand used to eat here a lot).
> Circus Bakery (63 rue Galande) amazing cinnamon rolls.
> Coutume (60 Rue des Écoles) tasty French cuisine.
> I Lazzari (44 Rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève) close to the Panthéon, good for kids.
> Kitchen Ter(re) (26 Boulevard Saint-Germain) Italian and Asian inspired “earthy” foods.
> L’ Agrume (15 Rue des Fossés Saint-Marcel) chic bistro with seasonal dishes.
> La Bête Noire (58 Rue Henri Barbusse) seasonal menu with one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian dish each day.
> La Colette (17, rue Laplace) Eco-friendly gourmet restaurant.
> Le Coupe Chou (9-11 Rue de Lanneau) traditional French dishes in medieval decor.
> L’Epoque (81, rue du Cardinal Lemoine) historic Belle-Epoque restuarant.
> La Fourmi Ailée (8 rue du Fouarre) former bookstore turned tea salon.
> La Grange Aux Canards (23 Rue Frédéric Sauton) pick anything along as it has their sautéed potatoes!
> La Jacobine (59-61 Rue Saint-André des Arts) charming spot in a passage.
> La Nouvelle Seine (3 Quai de Montebello) excellent seafood.
> La Rôtisserie (19 Quai de la Tournelle) high-end bistro.
> La Truffière (4, rue Blainville) truffle-focused restaurant!
> La Tour d’Argent (17 Quai de la Tournelle) legendary restaurant, if you go get their duck.
> Le Café Saint-Médard (53 Rue Censier) traditional French bistro with nice salads and more.
> Le comptoir des Arts (100 Rue Monge) cafe on the bottom, restaurant on top.
> Le Loulou (90 Boulevard Saint-Germain) awesome burger, mentioned by Selene above for a great breakfast too.
> L’enclos de Ninon (68 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine) Sugarplum cake shop.
> Le Petit Prince (12, rue de Lanneau) lovely local restaurant.
> Les Papilles (30 Rue Gay-Lussac) quaint little bistro.
> Le Verre à Pied (118 Rue Mouffetard) tiny French bistro.
> L’invitée (8 rue Thénard) seasonal menu with Asian influence.
> Little Cantine (51 Rue des Ecoles) darn good burger, but don’t miss the fries and their aioli!
> Maison Sauvage (5 Rue de Buci) if nothing else you have to check out the building with flowers all over it!
> Nuance Café (16 Rue Linné) really nice brunch menu.
> Pirosmani (6 Rue Boutebrie) Georgian with 16 Euros for two very hearty course lunches.
> Salle à Manger (138 Rue Mouffetard) yummy brunch spot.
> Salon de Thé de la Grande Mosquee (2bis Place du Puits de l’Ermite) great spot for lunch or a coffee.
> Shiso Burger (21 Quai Saint-Michel) a damn good burger.
> Sola (12 Rue de l’Hôtel Colbert) Franco-Japanese restaurant.
5eme/5th Arrondissement Coffee + Tea Shops
> Adulis Cafe Abyssinien (46 rue Galande) coffee from around the world.
> Da Zavola (24 rue des Bernadins) Italian deli with Italian espresso!
> Dose Dealer de Café (73 Rue Mouffetard) awesome coffee = a “to-go” window! Mentioned by Selene above.
> Jozi Café (3 Rue Valette) quaint coffee spot.
> Malongo Café (50 Rue Saint-André des Arts) nice cafe, free wifi!
> Odette (77 Rue Galande) yes they have choux but they also have excellent tea!
> Strada Café (24 Rue Monge) cozy coffee spot, mentioned by Selene above.
> Tram Café Librairie (47 Rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève) a bookstore/restaurant with a great selection of books and sweet and salty treats!
5eme/5th Arrondissement Bars
> Bar Le 1802 (22 Rue Pascal) rum bar in the hotel Monte Cristo.
> Café Universel (267 Rue Saint-Jacques) cool jazz club/bar.
> Caveau des Oubliettes (52 Rue Galande) another bar with jazz.
> Castor Club (14 Rue Hautefeuille) crafted cocktails.
> Le Caveau de la Huchette (5 Rue de la Huchette) bar with jazz.
> Le Porte-Pot (14 Rue Boutebrie) Wine bar with small plates.
> Le Requin Chagrin (10 Rue Mouffetard) classic pub.
> Solera (283 Rue Saint-Jacques) well made cocktails.
> Teddy’s Bar (3 Rue Thouin) cocktail bar.
5eme/5th Arrondissement Parks, Museums & Things to Do
> Arab World Institute/Institut du Monde Arabe (1 Rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard) the rooftop view is very nice.
> Arenes de Lutèce (49 Rue Monge) Roman-era colosseum/amphitheater.
> Catholic Church of the Val-de-Grâce (1 Place Alphonse Laveran) now a hospital but formerly a royal abbey with a beautiful dome.
> Cluny Museum (28 Rue du Sommerard) National Museum of the Middle Ages.
> College des Bernardins (20 rue de Poissy) a Cistercian building from the 13th century, now a research centre and a place for exhibits and events.
> Grande Mosquée de Paris (2bis Place du Puits de l’Ermite) one of the largest mosques in France.
> Jardin des Plantes (57 Rue Cuvier) beautiful botanical gardens.
> La Sorbonne (Rue des Écoles) one of the first universities in Europe.
> La rue du Chat-qui-Pêche (Rue du Chat Qui Peche) quirky, narrowest street from 1540 with cute cate street art.
> National Museum of Natural History of Paris/Museum national d’histoire naturelle (57 Rue Cuvier) you guessed it, natural history.
> Nef du College des Bernardins (18-20 rue de Poissy) oldest medieval buildings in Paris, with vaulted ceilings and a gothic style hall.
> Panthéon (Place du Panthéon) I highly recommend this spot with a 360 rooftop view of Paris.
> Piscine Pontoise (19 Rue de Pontoise) art-deco public swimming pool.
> Place de la Contrescarpe – a great spot for a chat with friends or a cocktail and the setting for Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.
> Place Monge and the open-air market open every day, mornings until around 1 PM
> Saint-Étienne-du-Mont (Place Sainte-Geneviève) church which has the patron saint of Paris inside.
> Square René Viviani (25 Quai de Montebello) houses Paris’s oldest tree.
5eme/5th Arrondissement Shopping
> Abbey Bookshop (29 Rue de la Parcheminerie) visit Brian and support a local book shop!
> Boulevard Saint Michel – lots of shops on this street.
> Cluny Museum/Musée National du Moyen Age (28 Rue du Sommerard) museum covering the Middle Ages.
> Curie Museum/Musée Curie (1 Rue Pierre et Marie Curie) museum dedicated to Madam Curie.
> Fromagerie Laurent Dubois (47 ter Bd Saint Germain) Cheese shop.
> Galactic Stories (6 bis rue des écoles) comic book shop.
> La Tuile à Loup (35 Rue Daubenton) a charming boutique for colorful ceramics.
> Rue Mouffetard – the oldest street in Paris with a farmer’s market and plenty of shops.
> Shakespeare and Company (37 Rue de la Bûcherie) famous English language bookstore and expat hangout.
> Tout Noté (35 rue Jussieu) cute stationary shop.
5eme/5th Arrondissement Lodging
> Grand Hotel Saint-Michel (19 Rue Cujas) luxury hotel, try to get a room with a view of the Sorbonne.
> Hotel Atmosphères (31 Rue des Écoles) modern decor.
> Hotel des Grand Hommes (17 Place du Panthéon) in honor of the men laid to rest in the Panthéon in an 18th-Century building.
> Hotel La Lanterne (12 Rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève) fashionable boutique hotel with its own indoor swimming pool!
> Hotel Les Dames du Panthéon (19 place du Panthéon) in honor of the 2 women buried in the Panthéon, in a 17th-century building.
> Hotel Le Lapin Blanc (41 Boulevard Saint-Michel) retro 1950’s decor.
> Hotel Monge (55 Rue Monge) chic boutique hotel in a 19th-century building.
> Hôtel Observatoire Luxembourg (107 Boulevard Saint-Michel) chic hotel located in front of the Luxembourg Gardens.
> Hotel Parc Saint Severin (22 Rue de La Parcheminerie) try to get a room with a terrace.
> Le Lapin Blanc (41 Boulevard Saint-Michel) hotel that provides macarons in the room at check-in is a hotel.
> Residence Henri IV (50 rue des Bernardins) luxury hotel with larger rooms.
> Villa Pantheon (41 Rue des Écoles) British theme and Scottish bar!
You can connect with Selene on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course on her site, Celine Concierge. Don’t forget to check out her upcoming ebook, The Ultimate Paris Survival Guide coming this Spring!
How about you? Do you have any 5th arrondissement additions? Have you been to this area of Paris? Did you find this post helpful for a future trip?
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