Without exaggeration the 15th arrondissement is a no man’s land. Situated on the Rive Gauche between the Gare Montparnasse and the Seine to the west, the 15th does not boast historical monuments or sprawling parks. Some call the 15th meditative. Some call it…dull. Yet many supplicants kowtow to the 15th as a gastronomic Babylon.
That’s right. In spite of its sedentary reputation, the oversized black sheep of the arrondissements is the cradle of some of the best dining in Paris. No joke. First things first. Begin from the metro station Montparnasse-Bienvenüe. Follow the Rue du Départ or the Rue de l’Arrivée behind the complex towards the Tour Montparnasse. You can’t miss it. The Tour Montparnasse is the tallest building in Paris. Take the elevator up to the roof and bask in a marvellous panoramic 360° view of Paris. The entrance fee of 13.50 euro is a steal compared to the head spinning crowds by the Eiffel Tower.
Ramble towards the Seine and walk up the Quai du Grenelle until the Boulevard de Grenelle intersects with the Quai. Bending towards the right is the Place Kyoto and the diamant. Maison de la culture du Japon. The Japanese cultural center of Paris holds arts exhibits, screens films, and also has an authentic rooftop tea pavilion with regular tea ceremonies.
Feeling peckish after a culturally saturated morning? The oyster restaurant La Cabane à Huitres is a little hole in the wall on Rue Antoine Bourdelle. Cosily under the radar, the bistro is a family style and family-owned huiterie with all the comforts of home (if you were raised on an oyster farm).
Pick up sweet treats to go at the home of croissant-eur extraordinaire Pierre Hermé (on the Rue de Vaugirard next to metro Pasteur).
Trek out to La Cave de l’Os à Moélle for something very special. A ready-made picnic basket, complete with terrines, crudités, dessert and even wine from the cave. Cost is around 22 euro per person, plus a deposit on the basket. Pick up a picnic to take to the nearby Parc George Brassens or Champs de Mars!
On a drab gray Parisian afternoon look no further for lunch than Le Café du Commerce. A vast, bustling traditional brasserie, Le Café. du Commerce is among the most beautiful Parisian canteens. Three stories tall, brimming with greenery and ferns, the Commerce is an experience in itself (51 Rue du Commerce, metro Commerce).
Close to the Tour Montparnasse are three excellent cultural centers. The Musée Jean Moulin is dedicated to the Liberation of Paris in World War II. The museum is comprehensive and well loved by Parisians, many of whom can still recall the Occupation. The Musée Jean Moulin is located underneath the Gare Montparnasse.
The 15th has many poignant reminders of the French struggle during WWII. The large square in front of the Gare Montparnasse is named Place 18 Juin 1940 in commemoration of General de Gaulle’s call to the French to resist the German occupation. The General’s speech was the beginning of the French Resistance. The contemporary art gallery Galerie Esther Woerdehoff on Rue Falguière housed the underground printer of the French Resistance during WWII. It is located in the same historical atelier as Camille Claudel and Brancusi. To find the gallery, follow the Boulevard de Vaugirard south until the Boulevard Pasteur and turn right. Turn right again on the Rue Falguière. Galerie Esther Woerdehoff is on the right, next to the Centre Commercial Vaugirard.
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Featured Property – Eiffel Tower Penthouse
3 Bedroom Apartment
Area: 15th Arrondissement
€ 1,875,000 Agency Fee Included
On the last floor of a modern building this penthouse apartment with a beautiful roof top garden overlooking the Seine is a haven in Paris. The main property is a well distributed family home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The property was renovated and decorated to an international standard and with great taste. The garden was designed by a prominent Parisian Paysagiste and has different zones to enjoy: relaxing, reading, dining and a secret office with a window on the Seine river.
More information here.