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.

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