We Love Montparnasse in Paris


Traveling on a budget is not difficult in Paris, especially if you are looking for an Airbnb. Paris is much cheaper than many major international cities. One of our favorite places to stay and visit Paris is the 14th Arrondissement.

Our interests in Paris focus on food, markets, hiking, discovering and viewing art. These days we are staying in the 14th Arrondissement, located on the left bank, not far from the Luxembourg Gardens, Montparnasse.


Montparnasse is not the most expensive district of the city, nor the least. It seems more convenient for singles or young or older couples; families with young children are not as present here.

The Parisian district is best known for its art history. You can often look up to the studios of historical and current artists with huge windows and skylights.

Two of the most famous academies were the Grande Chaumiere Academy, founded in 1906, and the Colarossi, founded in 1910, both located on Rue de la Grande Chaumiere. (These are actually on the 6th, but not far from the 14th.)

Although the Colarossi no longer exists, you can still take classes or workshops at the Grand Chaumiere.

The painters and photographers who have worked in this area are Berenice Abbott, Man Ray, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Paul Gauguin, etc.

A small museum, The Zadkine Museum, is worth a visit for its impressive art and exquisite antique decor.

The museum, in fact a recently renovated Workshop, is dedicated to the work of the sculptor Ossip Zadkine. In the L00 bis, Rue D’Assas, it is open every day without entrance fees.

A big spectacular place is the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, at 261 Boulevard Raspail.

It is accessible by the Raspail or Denfert-Rochereau subways. The large glass and steel structure has existed in Paris since 1994.

This spring’s special exhibition is called “Autophoto”: 400 works by 80 historical and contemporary international artists, including Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Lee Friedlander, Rosângela Renno and Yasuhiro Ishimoto.

Although most of the major museums – Louvre, Gare d’Orsay, Pompidou Center, Picasso or Rodin – are not in our neighborhood, you are less than 10 or 15 minutes by metro from Denfert Rochereau, Gaite or Vavin.

The subways are generally clean, comfortable, frequent and safe.


Although we stayed in several streets, in two-star hotels and in small apartments, the neighborhood to which we attached ourselves the most is Rue Daguerre, a real neighborhood, one of the most central streets of the fourteenth century.

We prefer to rent an apartment for our two-week stays. These are often cheaper than hotels and offer the possibility of eating and doing laundry.

Of course, you will not receive breakfast delivered to your door, new towels every day or, in some older hotels, a Bidet.

Look online under “Paris Apartments” for options ranging from cheap to luxurious: I often use parisattitude.com

Daguerre Street is named after Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre, inventor of the daguerreotype (a type of photography) in 1839.

The neighborhood is lively, but not noisy with people of all ages on the streets, in shops and bistros. A long block of Daguerre is reserved for pedestrians.

In this charming and friendly street, you will find everything a traveler needs: two or three grocery stores (wine, yoghurts and chocolate are excellent purchases); an internet cafe; medical offices; a hardware store; many Restaurants, Bars and bakeries.

There are also women’s clothing stores, one of which offers knitting yarn. a children’s book and toy store; a used bookstore filled to the ceiling (which has a few books in English) two minutes away; at least one pharmacy

Even take-away food stalls with seafood, pancakes, baked chicken and Mediterranean dishes; at least one thrift store; a shop with small souvenir gifts, including jewelry; a delicatessen; a cheese shop or two; an antique shop, etc. Last April, elderly women were selling packages of lilacs on the street on weekends.


A small food market, Marche Mouton-Duvernet, located on Place Jacques Demy, is open every Tuesday and Friday. Of course, there are markets all over Paris; it’s a great place to buy dinners and practice your French skills.

Here: fishmongers offer twelve different types of oysters, scallops in shell, nine other types of crustaceans and exotic fish of all sizes; farmers offer fruits, asparagus, artichokes the size of dessert plates.

A wide selection of yogurts and cheeses awaits your discovery. We became addicted to thin and hot flatbreads made by an adorable Lebanese gentleman. Our favorite is thyme and sesame.

Of course, you don’t visit Paris to go shopping in department stores. However, when there is a need – such as a lack of clothes or too few socks – a store is one of my favorites. C &A consists of several floors of fascinating French products.

For my interests, there are beautiful newspapers, pens and notebooks, as well as women’s clothing. I relied on them for scarves, underwear and socks that were much more affordable than in the United States.

Scarves, socks and leather goods are also often available at outdoor markets (including the above) at sometimes lower prices.

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