If you’re planning a vacation in Paris, why not try renting on Paris’s Left Bank, for an authentic experience of Parisian life? Spend your vacation in Paris at the heart of the capital’s traditional meeting place for bohemians, thinkers and activists, and learn more about the ideas and philosophies that have shaped modern France. Renting in Paris’s best-loved bohemian-intellectual quarter is a never-to-be forgotten experience!
While you're staying in Paris, you’ll soon learn about the famous tradition of the "Left Bank spirit". This is where, in the 1950s, the likes of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus used to sit in cafés to discuss their philosophies, along with such luminaries as novelist Boris Vian or existentialist singer Juliette Gréco. Here, the Paris of the French Nouvelle-Vague (New Wave) of cinema lives on in charming buildings and parks like the Jardin du Luxembourg. And a youthful, cheerful crowd of students enlivens the Quartier Latin, just as it did centuries ago when the Sorbonne University was first founded.
The area positively oozes with historical sights, including the Pantheon and the medieval ruins of Cluny Abbey, and Notre-Dame is just a short walk from boulevard Saint-Michel, away. Before crossing the bridge which leads you to the cathedral, on the île de la Cité, why not drop in at Shakespeare & Company? This famous English bookshop has served as the headquarters of many writers from English-speaking countries. Or perhaps you’d rather work on your French with the help of some old book or vintage magazine, purchased at one of the numerous stalls set on the Quays along the River Seine, which sell postcards and small paintings as well.
The Montparnasse of Ernest Hemingway is also on the Left Bank. Its heart is now more modern, with shopping malls like Galeries Lafayette and megastores, though it keeps its distinctive Parisian feel. From there, you may take the metro and cross (as it rises above ground) the 15th arrondissement, the largest in Paris. It is more residential but still busy and animated.
In a few minutes’ time, you'll reach the Champs de Mars gardens and the Eiffel Tower.
Staying in a delightful, fuly-equipped Parisian apartment is of course no reason to deny yourself the privilege of enjoying breakfast (croissant and double expresso, of course) in one of the elegant cafés lining Boulevard Saint-Germain. On sunny days, sitting outside is highly recommended. Another aspect of the Left Bank experience is buying fresh produce from the numerous street markets, especially on week-ends.
And if you are not confident with your skills as a chef, you may instead pick a traîteur where refined French, Italian, Chinese and other treats are cooked for take-out. Today, Left Bank neighborhoods like Saint-Germain are home to the cutting edge of Parisian fashion and boutiques. Antique shops and galleries offer the best to those who intend to bring back home their own little corner of Paris.
Numerous restaurants, either offering traditional French cuisine and atmosphere or reflecting the ongoing cosmopolitism of Paris through quality exotic fares, line the tiniest streets. Cinemas are just everywhere. As for nearly everything else here, all you need to do is to cross a few streets... So why hesitate? Get into the Left Bank spirit!