An Insider’s Guide to What’s New on Paris’ Left Bank

Whether you’re looking for a glimpse of Paris’s literary past or to explore its more modern restaurants and bars, the Left Bank has so much to offer.

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Many notable figures have lived and worked around Paris’ Left Bank, from Ernest Hemingway to Henry Miller, creating a lasting literary and artistic impression on the area. Today, the Left Bank, known by the French as the Rive Gauche, is a thriving collection of neighborhoods known for boutique shopping, chic cafes and narrow, picturesque streets. It comprises six arrondissements, including the fashionable 5th and 6th, which tend to be where most visitors stay and explore. In recent years, the Left Bank has become even more popular with travelers thanks to notable new hotel and restaurant openings, and significant exhibitions at the iconic Musée d'Orsay. 

Saint-Germain-des-Prés is perhaps the most famous of the Left Bank’s neighborhoods, and is beloved for its high-end shopping and historical spots like Café des Deux Magots, but the Latin Quarter and Montparnasse have a lot to offer, including the Catacombs of Paris. Farther west, visitors can find the Eiffel Tower, Musée du Quai Branly and Musée Rodin, but it’s best to base yourself in the 5th or 6th. Whether you’re looking for a glimpse of Paris’ literary past or to explore its more modern restaurants and bars, the Left Bank has so much to see, and makes both an ideal home base when visiting the French city and a lovely spot for locals to explore further. Here's what’s new on the Left Bank. 

Where to Stay

Hôtel Dame des Arts

  • 4 Rue Danton, 75006 Paris, France

Since opening in early 2023, Hôtel Dame des Arts has established itself as one the City of Light’s most enviable stays. The hotel, located in the Latin Quarter not far from the Seine, is artistic and stylish, with a rooftop bar that offers one of the top panoramas in the city (including of the Eiffel Tower). Its restaurant, a modern Mexican eatery helmed by Othoniel Alvarez Castaneda, serves a memorable lunch and dinner, with the option to enjoy the intimate courtyard terrace. Guests can take advantage of a notably chic gym and sauna, as well as access to the coveted rooftop. Book a terrace room or suite with views of the Eiffel Tower for the full-on Paris Left Bank experience. 

Hôtel Dame des Arts. Jerome Galland

Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs

  • 92 Rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris, France

Situated in an optimal location in the center of the 6th arrondissement, Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs, a sister property to Hôtel Dame des Arts, is a fashionable spot that opened at the end of 2023. It has a nostalgic, nautical-themed aesthetic, with thoughtful touches like Diptyque toiletries, Nespresso machines and plush bathrobes. The rooms and suites vary in size, but discerning travelers will opt for one of the junior suites, which have mini bars stocked with products from La Grande Épicerie. The breakfast buffet offers an ideal variety of options, while the lively restaurant and bar serve a menu of French and American classics with a contemporary edge. There is also a small gym and a sauna, which is set to open this summer. 

Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs. Kathryn Devine


  • 29 Rue de Buci, 75006 Paris, France

Villa-des-Prés embraces the eclectic, upscale spirit of Saint-Germain-des-Prés thanks to its central location and its art-filled interiors. Found on the iconic Rue de Buci, the intimate hotel boasts 34 well-designed rooms and suites, some of which have private balconies or terraces. The wellness area is a highlight, with a refined indoor swimming pool, treatment rooms and fitness space. There’s a comfortable bar with patio seating and a daily breakfast, and the hotel’s lack of a restaurant is made up for by the location, which offers numerous dining options. Opt for one of the suites, which have private seating areas and are sizable by Paris standards.

Villa-des-Prés. Gaëlle Le Boulicaut

Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain and Spa

  • 5 Rue du Pré aux Clercs, 75007 Paris, France

Good service and a chic Parisian vibe are at the heart of Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain, which opened in 2022. The comfortable rooms boast well-presented amenities, and the suites are particularly bright and welcoming; many have windows opening out onto Rue du Pré-aux-Clercs or Rue de l'Université. The restaurant, dubbed Les Parisiens, and the bar pay homage to James Joyce, who once lived in the building, as does the top suite. Downstairs, the Spa des Prés by Codage is an indulgent experience with a pool, fitness room, treatment spaces and a hammam. The hotel’s sister properties, Pavillon de la Reine and Pavillon des Lettres, are equally elegant. 

Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain & Spa. Jerome Galland

Where to Eat and Drink

Café des Ministères

  • 83 Rue de l'Université, 75007 Paris, France

Hailed as a favorite of Hélène Darroze, Café des Ministères is the hottest new address on the Left Bank. The casual, welcoming bistro, helmed by Jean and Roxane Sévègnes, serves a relatively small menu, but everything impresses, especially the vol au vent grande tradition. It goes heavy on the meat, but the dishes showcase traditional French recipes in a modern, exciting way. The desserts are a must, as is the thoughtful and well-presented wine list. Due to its popularity, it’s essential to book a table for lunch or dinner as soon as bookings open, 21 days in advance. 

Café des Ministères. Marielle Gaudry

Hando Parisian Handroll

  • 89 Rue de Sèvres, 75006 Paris, France

Across from La Grande Épicerie, in-the-know travelers will find Hando Parisian Handroll, which opened its doors in late 2022. The sleek eatery features a countertop and small dining room (only the dining room can be reserved in advance), and the small, discerning menu showcases top-rate handrolls and Japanese dishes. Everything is delicious, including the salads, and guests can partake in a handroll tasting menu to get the full scope of flavor. There is also a saki and tea menu, as well as a daily selection of specials that tend to be must-order options. 

Hando Parisian Handroll. Emily Zemler


  • 25, rue des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris, France

Oktobre opened last year in the former Kitchen Galerie Bis, with chef Martin Maumet back in the restaurant’s kitchen to create ambitious French dishes that often feel like a discovery. Lunch can be booked as a set menu, with the option for two or three courses, or a six-course degustation. Dinner is a more indulgent affair, with plates that highlight seasonal ingredients and French techniques. Reservations are usually available a few days ahead of time, but it’s a good idea to snag a table for dinner on the weekends in advance. 

Oktobre. Pierre Lucet Penato


  • 165 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, France

The original Cravan, named for Arthur Cravan, is located in the 16th arrondissement and has been a beloved coffee and cocktail spot since 1911. More recently, the bar opened a second, much larger location in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It spans four floors and features three distinct cocktail bars, all of which can be reserved in advance. The vibe is creative and sophisticated, and the cocktails are innovative, with unusual flavors and high-end ingredients. Small plates are also available, but it’s best to save your appetite for the nearby restaurants. 

Cravan. Vincent Leroux

The French Bastards

  • 60 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France

Paris is teeming with contemporary boulangeries and patisseries, but The French Bastards, who have several locations around town, are some of the best. Their outpost on Rue de Sèvres opened last year and serves a delectable array of pastries, baked goods and sandwiches, as well as coffee. The menu changes, although their baguette is always a good choice and if they have the chocolate cruffin, order it. 

What to Do

Musée d'Orsay

  • Esplanade Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, 75007 Paris, France

Located along the Seine, the acclaimed Musée d'Orsay is one of the best places in Paris to see art, particularly if you have an affinity for the Impressionists. It’s set in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts train station that retains its historic charm, and the permanent collection features artists like Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh. Its current special exhibition, “Paris 1874 Inventing Impressionism,” runs through July 14, while exhibitions on the works of Harriet Backer, Céline Laguarde and Gustave Caillebotte will open later in 2024. 

Musee d'Orsay. Diane Picchiottino/Unsplash

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

  • 24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France

The Left Bank is a shopping mecca, but nowhere more so than Le Bon Marché, a luxury department store with a storied history and stylish appeal. First opened in 1838 and now owned by LVMH, the store sells clothing, books and gifts, homewares and beauty products, all with a high-end flair. It also features cafes, salons and personal shopping, ensuring you can find everything you need. Next door, La Grande Épicerie de Paris is the fanciest grocery store you’ll ever see, and always worth a visit. 

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. Mary Quincy

Jardin du Luxembourg

  • 75006 Paris, France

The Luxembourg Gardens is one of the city’s favorite—and most beautiful—parks. It has an oasis-like feel, with ornately-designed corners and spaces that date back to 1612. The gardens, which border Luxembourg Palace, come alive during the summertime, when locals and visitors alike relax on benches or sail small boats in the fountains. It’s a nice spot for a picnic or a stroll, and plant-loving travelers can pair their visit with a trip to the nearby Jardin des Plantes, Paris’ picturesque botanical gardens. 

Jardin du Luxembourg. Mary Quincy


  • Pl. du Panthéon, 75005 Paris, France

The Paris Panthéon, which dates back to the 18th century, is a former church that has since become home to the remains of notable French citizens, including Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Marie Curie. It welcomes visitors to see the crypt, the famed Pendule de Foucault and historical exhibitions, but the primary highlight is the 360-degree panoramic view, located up 206 steps and available to visit from April through October. The Panthéon is open daily and tickets can be booked online in advance. Once there, go around the corner to Place de l'Estrapade, the scenic square where Emily in Paris is often filmed. 

Panthéon. Mary Quincy

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