The 15th arrondissement of Paris is in the city's southwest on the Left Bank of the Seine. Quite up-market and quiet, it is the largest arrondissement by both area and population. Housing over 230,000 inhabitants and providing around 150,000 jobs, it is dense with residential and office developments, including the high rise skyline of Front de Seine along the northern part of the 15th's bank of the river. On the other hand, it sees relatively little tourist traffic, but it does not mean it is devoid of attractions.
The famous skyscraper Tour Montparnasse as well as the neighbouring railway station Gare du Montparnasse are both on the western border of the 15th arrondissement, although the actual district of Montparnasse is right across the border in the 14th arrondissement.
The 15th arrondissement is further broken up administratively into four quartiers: Grenelle, Necker, Saint-Lambert and Javel.
Grenelle is the quarter closest to the 7th arrondissement and thus directly neighbouring the Champs-de-Mars and the Eiffel Tower. Therefore, it houses many hotels advertising the proximity of the Tower. The waterfront part of Grenelle is home to the 1970s high rise residential development of Beaugrenelle, and the eponymous shopping mall. The more inland parts of the quarter are filled with 19th-century Haussmannian buildings, interspersed with some more modern ones.
The quarter of Necker, situated between Grenelle and the quarter of Montparnasse of the 14th arrondissement, is home to some of the locations named after Montparnasse, most notably the Tour Montparnasse and Gare du Montparnasse. It also houses more large public service and commercial buildings, such as the expansive Hôpital des Enfants malades. Otherwise, it is full of late 20th century residential buildings, with many fewer Haussmannian structures than Grenelle.
The southeast quarter of Saint-Lambert is most known for the Parc des expositions de la porte de Versailles, which is one of the largest and most important exposition centres in France and Europe.
The southwestern quartier Javel has long been an industrial area of Paris, but has been reclaimed as office, residential, and recreational over the decades. It contains the Parc Andre Citroen, created over the former Citroen factory grounds, as well as the Heliport of Paris in it southern extremity.
The Gare Montparnasse is at the northeastern extremity of the arrondissement and offers many good connections within the district and all of Paris. The Transilien N ends its run here.
RER C runs along the left bank of the Seine across the 15th arrondissement.
The following lines go through the 15th arrondissement
- M6 crosses the northern part of the 15th from east to west over an elevated estacade. It forms a southern ring through Paris, running between Etoile and Nation and also stopping at Gare Montparnasse
- 'M8; runs from the south of the 15th arrondissement northwards, continuing through the 7th onto the right bank of the Seine, stopping, in.al., at Opera, Republique and Bastille
- M10 takes an southwest / northeast tangent through the 15th, connecting it to the 5th, 6th and Gare de Austerlitz from one end, and the 16th as well as Boulogne-Billancourt from the other.
- M12 runs north-south through the 15th, entering it at the north at Gare Montparnasse. It also stops further north at Gare du Nord and Saint Lazare
Good changeover stations:
- Montparnasse-Bienvenue (at the foot of Gare Montparnasse) - M4, M6, M12, M13
- La Motte-Picquet - Grenelle - M6, M8, M10
- Porte de Versailles - M12 and trams T2 and T3a
- T2 from La Defense ends its run at Porte Versailles, where it connects to T3a and M12
- T3a runs across the south of the 15th arrondissement, starting from the Seine and continuing into the 14th, 13th and 12th
- Parc André Citroën, 2, rue Cauchy. 08:00-17:45. The large park occupies the 14 ha formerly occupied by a Citroën factory. Several gardens have specific themes, including water games. On sunny weekends or vacation days many people chill out there or do jogging.
- Parc des Expositions (Porte de Versailles). Paris's international exhibition centre (the 4th largest in Europe) has millions of visitors annually.
Museums and Galleries
- Musée Pasteur (Pasteur Museum), Institut Pasteur, 25, rue du Dr-Roux. Visits M-F at 14ː00, 15ː00, 17ː00, closed weekends and public holidays, August. The Pasteur Museum is housed in the apartment where the great scientist spent the last 7 years of his life. Hardly touched since that time, the museum is full of personal memorabilia and scientific instruments. Pasteur is buried on the grounds in a flamboyant mosaic-decorated mausoleum. Entry €7, students €3.
- Tapovan Paris, 9 rue Gutenberg, ☎ . This ayurvedic centre offers both treatment and professional training in various ayurvedic healing arts: hatha & nada yoga, reiki, ayurvedic massage, reflexologie, oil treatments (e.g. Shirodhara).
The quarter of Saint-Lambert contains many cafés and small restaurants, some of them in nice and quiet pedestrian streets or squares. You get get out on the Metro station Convention and explore the myriads of small streets. Ideally not wandering too far off Vaugirard street, which fully traverses the 15th arrondissement. If you choose to go up to Montparnasse, there are several good places with fair prices before getting to the train station. On the other hand if you go in direction of Porte de Versailles you will have more choice, but whith very fluctuating quality.
- Café Zinc-Zen, 114, rue de la Convention (Boucicaut), ☎ . Small café with 2 seating areas - seats in the windows and a darker back room. Elegant but not expensive, great lunches/dinners, and superb crème brûlée for a night cap with coffee.
- Le Pétel, 4 rue Petel (Métro: Vaugirard), ☎ . Intimate, delicious, and local traditional cuisine.
- Le Volant, 13 rue Beatrix Dussane (Metro: Dupleix), ☎ . M-Sa 12:00–14:30, 19:00–23:00. The Basque restaurant is excelling in meat. If you are lucky the soup of the day is the "soupe au marron". There is a possibility to get an 3 course evening menu including entrée, plat and dessert. The home made "mousse au chocolat" is really big. Also the bistro is generous on the sides, usually one gets "purée", rice and polenta. Inside the restaurant is on display the former tricot of the famous french football player Zinedine Zidane. As the small place fills rapidly reservation is recommended. €30 evening menu.
- Afaria, 15, rue Desnouettes (Convention), ☎ . This Basque restaurant mainly serves meat or some fancy tapas on the bar. €8-28.
- Crocodile Vert, 6 Rue du Hameau, ☎ . The small hidden Cuban bar is a bit away from rue de Vaugirard. It is quite popular for the salsa music on the weekends. At later times you'll recognise it by the number of people standing outside.
- Aloha Youth Hostel, 1, Rue Borromée, ☎ . No membership card required.
- 3 Ducks Hostel, 6 pl. Etienne Pernet (near the Eiffel Tower), ☎ .
- Campanile Paris XV - Tour Eiffel, 30, rue Saint Charles / 21 Rue Sextius-Michel (2 min from the Dupleix metro station, Line 6; 2 min from the Charles Michel metro station, Line 10; and 5 min from the RER C station, Champs de Mars), ☎ , fax: +33 1 45 79 41 13, e-mail: email@example.com. English & Spanish spoken at reception. €70-120.
- Eiffel Seine, 140, boul de Grenelle, ☎ , fax: +33 1 45 79 46 96.
- Hôtel Oceania Paris Porte de Versailles, 52, rue d'Oradour-sur-Glane, ☎ , fax: +33 2 98 43 69 69, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. €100-205.
- Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel, 20, rue Jean Rey (Station Tour Eiffel (RER C) / Bir-Hakeim (Metro 6)), ☎ , e-mail: H2175@accor.com. A relatively large mid-range hotel very close to the Eiffel Tower, in a nice, quiet and green area of Grenelle. Despite the closeness, only about a quarter of the rooms, designated as such and commanding higher rates, feature a view of the tower itself. All of the rooms and common spaces have been renovated and feature modern decor inspired by the tower and the metro. The rooms are very functional and feature operable windows, but the amounts of plastic and the violet theme may not provide for a romantic Parisian experience. €145+.
- Mercure Paris Tour Eiffel Grenelle, 64, boul de Grenelle (Dupleix Station, Metro 6), ☎ , e-mail: H1598@accor.com. Not to be confused with the other Mercure, this one is not far away but in quite a different setting, facing the busy Boulevard Grenelle and the overground Metro 6 line. Neither as quiet nor as modern or comfortable as the other Mercure. On balance it is one of the cheaper hotels in its class close to the core tourist centre of Paris. €125+.
- Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel, 61 Quai De Grenelle. The largest Novotel in the world was originally built as a Japanese hotel Nikko, and retains many interesting design elements of the former, like the capsule-style windows, and the Japanese restaurant Benkay. It is by now not ageing that well though and awaits the long-overdue renovation.
- Hotel Sublim Eiffel, 94 Boulevard Garibaldi, ☎ , fax: +33 1 42730713, e-mail: email@example.com.
- Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel, 18 avenue de Suffren (entrance is from 22 rue Jean Rey), ☎ , fax: +331-44385610, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The former Hilton was taken over by Accor's upscale business hotel brand Pullman and is, as of 2013, undergoing extensive renovation to its tired rooms and public spaces. It continues to offer close-up views of the Tour Eiffel from the balconies of its relatively spacious for Paris (32 sqm) unrenovated rooms, while the non-Tour-facing rooms (26 sqm) have already been brought up to Pullman's current standards. Room-only rates starting from €205, breakfast is €25 per person.