The Panthéon: An insider's guide

Join the locals around the Latin Quarter's white-domed monument to the great...

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Le Panthéon

Le Panthéon Heloise Bergman / Time Out


The Panthéon, the Latin Quarter's all-white beacon to France's defunct intelligentsia, is a neo-classical gem that was commissioned by Louis XV and completed in 1790. It nestles on Sainte-Geneviève's knoll like a bijou version of Washington's White House, and tourists come from far and wide to see the tombs of Voltaire, Rousseau, Dumas, Marie Curie and more. You can also climb the colonnade encircling the dome for sweeping views of the city, which is one way to escape the inevitable crowds. But to get fully away from the tourist route, head for these hand-picked local delights...

For more information on the Panthéon, click here.

Around the Panthéon...

Museum: Musée d'Histoire de la Médecine

The history of medicine is the subject of the medical faculty collection. There are ancient Egyptian embalming tools, a 1960s electrocardiograph and a gruesome array of saws used for amputations.

  1. Université René Descartes, 12 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, 6e
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Park: Jardin des Plantes

Less touristy than Jardin de Luxembourg (south of the Panthéon), Paris's botanical garden - which contains more than 10,000 species and includes tropical greenhouses and rose, winter and Alpine

  1. 36 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 2 rue Buffon, place Valhubert ou 57 rue Cuvier, 5e
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Restaurant: Aux Verres de Contact

The name of his new restaurant, Aux Verres de Contact (‘contact lenses’) might lead one to suspect that Guillaume Delage, the former chef at Jadis, is getting short sighted. In fact, it’s a

  1. 52 boulevard Saint-Germain, 5e
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Restaurant: Breakfast in America

Even in Paris, the city of haute cuisine and knock-your-socks-off Brasserie fare, there comes a time when nothing but bacon, fried eggs, juicy burgers and fluffy pancakes drizzled in maple syrup will

  1. 17 rue des Ecoles, 5e
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Café: Le Rostand

Le Rostand has a truly wonderful view of the Jardins du Luxembourg from its classy interior, decked out with Oriental paintings, a long mahogany bar and wall-length mirrors. It's a terribly

  1. 6 place Edmond Rostand, 6e
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Bar: Le Requin Chagrin

‘Requin Chagrin’, or the ‘narked shark’, actually comes from Réunion creole slang, meaning ‘old prostitute’. At the Requin Chagrin, broke students laugh with pleasure as, unlike at the

  1. 10 rue Mouffetard, 5e
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Bar: Le Pantalon

A local café that seems familiar yet is utterly surreal. It has the standard fixtures, including the old soaks at the bar - but the regulars and staff are enough to tip the balance firmly into

  1. 7 rue Royer-Collard, 5e
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Market: Marché Monge

  • Price band: 3/4

This pretty, compact market is set on a leafy square. It has a high proportion of producers and is much less touristy than nearby rue Mouffetard. If you're on a budget (or just fancy a picnic) buy

  1. Pl Monge, 5e
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Shop: The Abbey Bookshop

Celebrating 20 years in business, the tiny Abbey Bookshop is the domain of Canadian renaissance man Brian Spence, who organises weekend hikes as well as dressing up in doublet and hose for a spot of

  1. 29 rue de la Parcheminerie, 5e
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