One of the most famous of the central districts, the 5e is called the Latin Quarter after the medium of instruction in the Sorbonne, which opened here in the 12th century. This district dominated by colleges, universities, and exclusive high schools is located on the Left Bank of the river Seine. Although 5e has a high residential appeal today (as it always has), housing here is no longer as affordable as it has been in the past.
It is a lively area with attractions catering mainly to students, such as CD shops, bookstores, inexpensive bars and eateries, and Internet cafés. It is known as the intellectual centre of Paris, where academics have held high-brow discussions over coffee in its many cafés. With the influx of foreign students, the area has also become the place for international dining. The rue Mouffetard is the street where most of the shops and eateries are. Open markets are found on this street as well, and at place Maubert.
A few Gallo-Roman and medieval buildings and ruins can still be found here. This area is also home to the Musée-National du Moyen-Age, which showcases artifacts from the Middle Ages, including the famed Lady and Unicorn tapestries. Also in 5e is the Panthéon honoring some of Paris’s great men, which was built by Louis XV.
Most 5th arrondissement apartments are refurbishments. They can be charming, and are much sought-after. The area is generally affordable.
In the quieter more residential areas, further south and towards the Jardin des Plantes, there are more recent developments.
Towards the river there are fabulous apartments in traditional buildings in narrow streets, but rents in such areas are very high.