The entertainment nexus of Montparnasse, with its evocative literary and artistic associations, divides the well-heeled opinion-formers and powerbrokers of St-Germain and the 7e from the relatively anonymous populations to the south. The three arrondissements to the south of Montparnasse have suffered from large-scale housing developments, most notably along the riverfronts to both east and west, but villagey areas such as rue du Commerce in the 15e, Pernety in the 14e and the Buttes-aux-Cailles in the 13e are worth a foray. On the fringes of the city proper, hard up against the périphérique ring road, are three fantastic parks: André Citroën, Georges-Brassens and Montsouris.Read More
Like other Left Bank quartiers, Montparnasse trades on its association with the wild characters of the interwar artistic and literary boom. Many were habitués of the cafés Select, Coupole, Dôme, Rotonde and Closerie des Lilas. The cafés are all still going strong on boulevard du Montparnasse, while the glitterati have mostly ended up in the nearby Montparnasse cemetery. The quarter’s artistic traditions are maintained in a couple of fascinating art museums, while elsewhere you can ascend the Tour Montparnasse, Paris’s first and ugliest skyscraper, and descend into the bone-lined catacombs.