Nestled in the heart of Paris’ Latin Quarter, steps from the hustle and bustle of boulevard Saint Michel, rue Mouffetard is one of the oldest and liveliest streets of the city. A veritable plethora of tiny shops and cafés, quirky restaurants, theatres and cinemas, it is also Hemingway’s former Parisian residence. Affectionately termed “La Mouffe” by proud Parisians, it is an emblematic area of the Rive Gauche (Southern Bank) that epitomises the unique essence of the fifth arrondissement.
Start exploring this quaint place by heading to the markets of Place Monge and rue Mouffetard. You’ll find fresh fruit and vegetables and traditional butchers and bakeries – not to mention a quintessential French cheese shop or two. In winter, indulge yourself with a mouthwatering Savoyard fondue and glass of vin rouge at L’Assiette aux Fromages. In warmer months, refresh yourself at Gelati d’Alberto, where exquisite homemade Italian flower-shaped ice-creams come in delicious flavours such as rose, green tea, kiwi and lemon pie.
From May onwards, the association La Décontraction à la française takes the charming Place de la Contrescarpe by storm. To the delight and surprise of many a weary passerby, they offer free massages. Let yourself be bewitched by the whisper of the fountain whilst you are pampered – then end the afternoon on an exotic note, sipping a mint tea at the Grande Mosquée of Paris.
Finally, for those who are not yet tired, the area is full of charming bars. Le Vieux Chêne is the ideal spot to enjoy a few drinks, before moving on to the famous Saint-Germain des Prés to finish your night.