Travel

5th Arrondissement

Establishment neighborhood
Hotel Monte Cristo
20-22 Rue Pascal, 5th
A hotel inspired by the residences of great 19th century writers and thinkers like Alexandre Dumas—hence the Monte Cristo reference—seems fitting for the Left Bank location. (The neighborhood has long been considered the center of gravity for Parisian intellectuals.) Let's start at the bottom: the pool, surrounded by exotic plants and blue tile, is pretty, intimate, and so necessary after a day spent pounding the cobblestones. And the same goes fort the sauna. The guestrooms (go for the boudoir option) are quietly luxurious with rich navy carpets, beautiful frescoes behind the headboards, and the softest white sheets. Exotic touches like tapestries, sumptuous textiles, and painted wallpaper articulate the communal areas and look a lot like the furnishings the Count of Monte Cristo himself might have encountered during his travels. In a city where everyone goes out, staying in for a swim, a steam, and a rum cocktail at the hotel bar (On November 1st, it'l moonlight as a rum bar, aptly called Le 1802 Monte Cristo) is incredibly appealing. The breakfast spread is also worth mentioning. It's served at the bar and the pastry situation rivals that of the…
Sola
12 Rue de l'Hôtel Colbert, 5th
Divided between two levels (a formal dining room and a more traditional shoes-off situation in the subterranean den) in a historic Latin Quarter building, this Franco-Japanese restaurant—helmed by chef Hiroki Yoshitake—seamlessly incorporates culinary elements of both cultures into a menu that is best enjoyed kaiseki-style, by way of a chef-curated tasting. On any given day, the offering can include everything from shrimp tartare to miso-caramelized foie gras to baby corn tempura. The pastry chef, Pierre Hermé-trained Hironobu Fukano, is nothing short of an artist.
Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle
36 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 5th
While the Jardins des Plantes’ Menagerie houses living endangered species (like red pandas and gaurs), its Natural History Museum houses taxidermy (like dodos and coelacanths), teaching kids and adults alike about the importance of conserving diverse animal life. Highlights include fossils and dinosaur skeletons in the Galerie de Paléontologie et d'Anatomie Comparée and meteorites in the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie.
Panthéon
Place du Panthéon, 5th
Modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, this giant mausoleum houses the remains of some of Paris's most famous citizens: Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Jean Monnet, Marie and Pierre Curie, Emile Zola, and as of 2002, Alexandre Dumas. And it was under the central dome that Léon Foucault constructed his pendulum to demonstrate the rotation of the earth (the original now lives in the Musée des Arts et Métiers). In 2007, Jacques Chirac dedicated a plaque in The Pantheon to the thousands of French citizens who harbored Jews during the German occupation, saving them from concentration camp internment.
Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle
36 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 5th
While the Jardins des Plantes’ Menagerie houses living endangered species (like red pandas and gaurs), its Natural History Museum houses taxidermy (like dodos and coelacanths), teaching kids and adults alike about the importance of conserving diverse animal life. Highlights include fossils and dinosaur skeletons in the Galerie de Paléontologie et d'Anatomie Comparée and meteorites in the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie.
Panthéon
Place du Panthéon, 5th
Modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, this giant mausoleum houses the remains of some of Paris's most famous citizens: Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Jean Monnet, Marie and Pierre Curie, Emile Zola, and as of 2002, Alexandre Dumas. And it was under the central dome that Léon Foucault constructed his pendulum to demonstrate the rotation of the earth (the original now lives in the Musée des Arts et Métiers). In 2007, Jacques Chirac dedicated a plaque in The Pantheon to the thousands of French citizens who harbored Jews during the German occupation, saving them from concentration camp internment.
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