What to See and Do in the 15th Arrondissement of Paris?
Chic, calm and sophisticated – the 15th arrondissement is one of the lesser known neighborhoods in Paris but it ought not to be. The area’s subtle charm can be found in its many quiet street corner cafes, friendly shopping assistants and small town feel.
While the 15th arrondissement generally has a less chaotic vibe than the rest of the city, it is actually the most populated in Paris. You’ll understand why once you get to the east of the neighborhood, where the Montparnasse Tour – Paris’s tallest skyscraper – protrudes from a bustling thoroughfare. Or when you head to the north of the neighborhood, where the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower come into view.
Other than the eastern and northern sections, this arrondissement doesn’t get a huge amount of tourist traffic, which can definitely be a good thing. You’ll have the place relatively to yourself and there are certainly things to see here.
You’ve seen the Statue of Liberty in New York but have you seen the one in Paris? The more than 37-foot tall statue sits stoically atop the Grenelle Bridge on the western edge of the neighborhood on the Ile aux Cygnes, and looks down the Seine River. While you’re over here, the Ile aux Cygnes is worth checking out as well. The artificial island was created in 1827 and includes a nice tree-lined walkway, running the length of the island.
Visit Paris’ Own Statue of Liberty
If you have children, you’re going to have to check out Aquaboulevard in the southwest corner of the 15th. This is the biggest pool and water park in Paris and a great diversion whether you come to Paris in the summer or in the dead of winter. There’s more than water fun here though – the massive Aquaboulevard also has several eateries plus a multiplex cinema attached.
If you’re looking for a place to go out for a quiet drink or meal, take the metro to Convention to the Saint-Lambert quarter. Stick to Vaugirard street and you’re sure not to miss any of the best offerings. Staying on this street will bring you back up towards Montparnasse, if you want to get a look at the tower or do some shopping.
Heading up north to the tip of the neighborhood is the Maison de la Culture du Japon, where you can visit any number of art exhibitions throughout the year. There’s also a library, cinema and concert hall inside. You’ll be steps away from the Eiffel Tower, so even though it’s not technically in the 15th, you’ll have a hard time passing it by.
While the 15th arrondissement may not be highlighted as a top priority in your Paris guidebook, there’s something uniquely refreshing about this neighborhood. Do what you can to pay it a visit.
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