What to See and Do in the 14th Arrondissement of Paris?
The 14th arrondissement is largely residential, but nevertheless plays host to some of Paris’ best sites. It starts at the end of the famous Latin quarter and stretches down to the southern Péripherique (the highway that surrounds the city). If you find yourself staying in, or visiting, the “quatorzième”, here’s a half-day’s itinerary (overall walking time is under an hour) to help you discover the best the 14th has to offer!
Start your afternoon at the Montparnasse Tower. Sure, it doesn’t look like much from down below, but this is where I recommend tourists to go for a panoramic view of the city (what’s the one thing you can’t see from the Eiffel Tower? The Eiffel Tower!) plus there is rarely ever a queue. [Book here]
Take the elevator back down the 59 floors and get your balance again by taking a stroll through the Montparnasse theater district, around the Rue de la Gaîté, which is always buzzing. You may notice the abundance of Breton crêperies around here. This is because the train from Montparnasse goes to Brittany, so a lot of Bretons have moved in. There’s a real village atmosphere, with some delicious crêpes and cider to sample!
After tucking into a galette or a crêpe (the former is savory, the latter sweet), we recommend you take a leisurely walk through the Montparnasse cemetery. Pay your respects to the likes of Sartre, Baudelaire, Beckett and Serge Gainsbourg, and marvel at the famous “Kiss” by Brancusi. Pick up a map at the entrance.
Exit via the Rue Emile Richard, and join the Boulevard Raspail to get to the Fondation Cartier only a couple of minutes walk away. Behind the imposing glass facade is the new contemporary arts exhibition hall, which always has good exhibitions on. Set over three floors, it’s not too big, and the space is a very pleasant one to wander round. The garden, called Theatrum Botanicum is also very pretty. [Book here]
A visit around the 14th on the weekend is not complete without picking up some picnic provisions from the bustling Rue Daguerre. Cheese, meat, chocolate and wine…you’ll be spoilt for choice! For an altogether less *lively* experience why not take a long and winding trip down the steps at Denfert Rochereau to the catacombs? The queue can be very long over so we suggest our Skip the Line – All Access Catacombs Tour or our Skip the Line – Catacombs Ticket with Audio Guide. [Book here]
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Recover from the dark tunnels and skeletons with a sunny stroll to the Montsouris Park. One of my favorites, there’s a lovely lake, a waterfall, and sloping English-style lawns and flowerbeds (as opposed to the more rigid French park style). This is where you can rest your feet to enjoy your well-deserved picnic. Get the train or metro back home from the neighboring Cité Universitaire station.