Although largely residential, the 14th arrondissement is best known for its northeastern quartier Montparnasse, for the Paris Catacombs and the Parc Montsouris. The Cité Universitaire is also found in this district traditionally known for lively cafés and restaurants around the Boulevard du Montparnasse and the rue Daguerre.
Administratively, both the Tour Montparnasse and Gare Montparnasse are into the 15th arrondissement, but they are described here for consistency.
The station 1 makes for a good entry point.
- 1 Les Catacombes de Paris (Catacombs of Paris), 1 place Denfert-Rochereau (Métro: Denfert-Rochereau). Closed for maintenance until Feb 9, 2017. Otherwise Tu, 11:00-16:00; W-Su, 09:00-16:00. Closed on Mondays and public holidays. One of the most eye-popping sights of Paris, the catacombs represent a network of labyrinthine tunnels, first excavated in the Roman period, that now house the remains of over 6 million burials removed here from the various overcrowded cemeteries and charnel houses all over Paris in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Well worth a visit: the atmosphere is suitably morbid and gloomy (without being too scary), the dark tunnels containing neatly stacked piles of skulls and long bones. Admission €8, seniors €3.30, students 14-26 yrs €4, under 13 free. No credit cards.
- 2 Cimetière de Montparnasse (Montparnasse Cemetery), 3, boul Edgar-Quinet (Métro: Edgar-Quinet, Raspail), ☎ . 16 Mar-5 Nov: M- F, 08:00-18:00, Sa 08:30-18:00, Su, 09:00-18:00; 6 Nov-15 Mar: M-F, 08:00-17:30, Sa, 08:30-17:30, Su, 09:30-17:30. The burial place of existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, feminist Simone de Beauvoir (both of whom lived nearby); musician Serge Gainsbourg; artist Man Ray; the poets Charles Baudelaire, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Sainte-Beuve, and Marguerite Duras; the founders of the Theatre of the Absurd Samuel Becket and Eugene Ionesco; the sculptors Constantin Brancusi and Ossip Zadkine; the composers Camille de Saint-Saens and César Franck; the actors Maria Montez and Jean Seberg; the French officer Alfred Dreyfus; the founder of the Larousse encyclopedia, Pierre Larousse; the industrialist André Citroen, and many others.
- 3 Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (C.I.U.P.) (RER B Cité Universitaire,). The C.I.U.P. is a student quarter established in 1925, providing homes for about 10,000 students, scientists, and artists from 120 countries. It has 40 houses attributed to individual nations. The individual houses organise top quality cultural and political events. Among the most remarkable buildings are the Fondation Deutsch de la Meurthe, the Heinrich Heine House (Maison Heinrich Heine - Fondation de l'Allemagne), the Swedish Student House (Maison des Etudiants Suédois), and the Swiss Pavilion (Pavillon Suisse) which was built in 1933 on plans of Le Corbusier.
- 4 Fondation Henri-Cartier-Bresson, 2, Impasse Lebouis (Métro 13 Gaitè, 6 Edgar Guinet, Bus 28, 58 or 88), ☎ . Tu-Su, 13:00-18:30, W till 20:30. The foundation opened its doors in May 2003. It preserves Henri Cartier-Bresson and Martine Franck’s archives. Exhibition of photographs, paintings, sculptings, and illustrations. €6.
- 5 Lion of Belfort, Place Denfert-Rochereau. This is a bronze replica in smaller scale of a monument created by Bartholdi, the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty, in order to commemorate Denfert-Rochereau, who defended the city of Belfort in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.
- 6 Observatoire, 61, av de l'Observatoire, entrance: 77, av Denfert-Rochereau (RER B: Denfert Rochereau, Métro: Royal Port(Bearing) or Denfert-Rochereau.), ☎ . The observatory was erected by Claude Perrault from 1667 to 1672 by order of Colbert. The building is oriented to the four cardinal directions. It is crossed in the centre by the Paris meridian (2° 20′ 14″ east of Greenwich). The observatory is not open to the public.
- 7 Parc Montsouris, boul Jourdan (RER Cité-Universitaire). Considered one of the most colourful Parisian parks, a local favourite, the Parc Montsouris was opened in 1878, having been designed by Alphand for Baron Haussmann. A large man-made lake and waterfalls are surrounded by long stretches of gently sloping lawns. Bronze statues are to be found studding the grounds, amongst the 1,400 trees, including such exotic varieties as the giant sequoia and the ginkgo. The park is featured in the film Cléo de 5 à 7. It is popular among families (there are two playground areas for children) and students.
- 8 Port-Royal Abbey, 123, boul de Port-Royal. Famous people who stayed here include Marie de Rohan, intriguer during the Fronde; Jeanne Baptiste d'Albert de Luynes, future mistress of a duke of Savoy; Marie Angélique de Fontanges, mistress of Louis XIV, died here giving birth to his child who also died. Today its main cloister (illustration) forms part of the modern Hôpital Cochin.
- 9 Tour Montparnasse (Next to the Gare Montparnasse station). 09.30-22.30. If the queues at the Eiffel Tower are just too much for you and your time is limited, consider a trip up the Montparnasse Tower. This is an office building with an observation and shopping area on the 56th floor, where the elevators stop, and an open viewing area on the roof. Arguably the view is better than from the Eiffel Tower: you are not so high up so things are more visible, and you can see the Eiffel Tower! €11.50, with discounts. Children under 7 are free of charge.
- 10 Monument to Balzac (Boulevard Raspail/Boulevard du Montparnasse). A sculpture by Auguste Rodin in memory of the French novelist Honoré Balzac. The artwork is sometimes considered the first truly modern sculpture.
- 11 Barrière d’Enfer (Gate of Hell), Place Denfert-Rochereau (Métro Denfert-Rochereau). The two pavilions were built in 1784 to 1787 by the French architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, who erected many similar toll houses at the entrances to the city.
- 12 Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art (Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain), 261 boul Raspail (Métro Raspail), ☎ . Tu, 11:00-22:00, W-Su, 11:00-20:00, M closed. A museum of contemporary art. It was founded in 1984 by the well-known jewel and watch manufacturer, Cartier. In 1994 it moved to the new building erected on plans of the architect Jean Nouvel. €9.50.
There are a number of cheap eateries around Montparnasse, especially Breton crêperies. The district is also known for its traditional bistros.
- L'Amuse Bouche, 186, rue du Château (Métro Mouton Duvernet), ☎ . Closed Su, M and 1-20 Aug. Cheese soufflés (soufflé au fromage) and Soufflé au Grand Marnier are highly recommended. €35+.
- Aquarius, 40, rue Gergovie (Métro Pernety), ☎ . By all reports a nice casual 100% vegetarian restaurant with excellent hummus among other offerings.
- L'Assiette, 181, rue du Château (Métro Mouton Duvernet), ☎ . Closed M, Tu, 3 weeks in Aug. Reservation recommended. €35-55.
- L'Atelier d'Antan, 9, rue L.-Robert (Métro Raspail), ☎ . Closed Sa lunch and Su. €20 (lunch), €33 (dinner).
- Le Bis du Severo, 16, rue des Plantes (Métro Mouton Duvernet), ☎ . Closed Sa evening, Su, and M lunch, 2 weeks in Apr, Aug and 24 Dec-3 Jan. €25 (lunch at weekdays), €30-60 (dinner a la carte).
- Bistot du Dôme, 1, rue Delambre (Métro Vavin), ☎ . Closed Su, M in Aug. Seafood. € 50.
- La Cagouille, 10, place Constantin-Brancusi (Métro Gaité), ☎ . Menu €38 including drinks, a la carte from €35-60.
- La Cantine du Troquet, 101, rue de l'Ouest (Métro Pernety). Closed Sa, Su. €30.
- La Cerisaie, 60, boul E. Quniet (Métro Edgar Quinet), ☎ . Closed Sa, Su, mid-Jul-mid-Aug, 20 Dec-4 Jan. Reservation recommended. €32-40.
- La Coupole, 102, boul du Montparnasse (Métro Vavin), ☎ . 08:30-01:00, closed Su. The famous Art Deco brasserie, convenient for a quick meal before / after a train journey to / from Montparnasse station. Average plate €35-40, all cards accepted.
- Le Dôme, 108, boul Montparnasse (Métro Vavin), ☎ . Closed Su, M in Jul and Aug. €75-140.
- Le Duc, 243, boul Raspail (Metro Raspail), ☎ . Closed Su, M, 3 weeks in Aug, 24 Dec-3 Jan. Set lunch €49, dinner a la carte €60-150.
- Les Grillades de Buenos Aires, 54, rue de Montparnasse, ☎ . Lunch, 12:00-14:00, dinner, 19:45-23:00, closed Su. Small and intimate Argentinian restaurant. Amazing steaks. Everything about the food is wonderful. €28 per main.
- Le Moulin Vert.
- Le Zeyer, Place d'Alesia (Métro Alesia). 08:30-01:00. Famous Art Deco-style brasserie. Average plate €20-40, all cards accepted.
- Hotel Formula 1, 23, av de la Porte de Chatillon (Go to Porte d'Orleans metro, then 3 blocks west and one block south). Check-in: Noon, check-out: Noon. Dirt cheap private rooms, close enough to the metro to make it worth it. Rooms are very clean, and have TV, free Wi-Fi, and washbasin only. Shared showers and toilets. The showers are fine, but, there are no toilet-seats and no urinals (thus, the shared toilets get very nasty, very fast), so the quality of the bathrooms may keep this hotel chain out of reach for serious germ-a-phobes. It is, nevertheless, cheaper for two people to stay here than just about any youth hostel in Paris. Nice and safe neighbourhood, too, with several supermarkets and kebab vendors for eats. €48.
- Holiday Inn Paris Montparnasse, 79-81, av du Maine.
- Hotel Aiglon, 232, boul Raspail. Bunuel and Giacometti stayed in this hotel, which has good views, just next to the metro.
- L'hôtel du Lion. An independent hotel on Place Denfert-Rochereau, near Montparnasse. From €70.
- 1 Hotel Le M, 20 bis, rue de la Gaîté (100 m from Gare Montparnasse and Tour Montparnasse, very close to Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Luxembourg Gardens), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The hotel offers 59 fully renovated, comfortable and soundproofed rooms, in an elegant designer setting. €125-250.
- Hotel Sophie Germain, 12, rue Sophie Germain (Near Place Denfert-Rochereau, a few minutes away from Montparnasse train station and the Latin Quarter), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. From €90.
- Marriott Rive Gauche. A nice hotel and within two blocks of both the St Jacques and Glaciere metro stations. Very friendly staff. €270.
- [dead link] Pullman Paris Montparnasse (formerly Le Meridien Montparnasse, originally built as Sheraton Paris), 19, rue du Commandant Mouchotte (Metro Gaite), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The gargantuan former Le Meridien was taken over by Accor's upscale brand Pullman and saw a complete renovation of its massive building housing 953 hotel rooms (the largest room count in Paris) on 26 floors. It has all the pros and cons of a huge business hotel, plus the added value of sweeping vistas from its rooms, due to its unusual height (116 metres) versus the Paris average. €165+.
|Routes through 14th arrondissement|
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