14th Arrondissement

Word of warning: the following arrondissement may induce heart palpitations. Well, unless you are a serial killer or work in the morgue (you don’t have to answer which one is it). Why? Nested in the 14th, you’ll find the Catacombs – an underground labyrinth filled from top to bottom and as far back as the eye can see with skulls and bones. And, on top of this, someone thought it would be fun to stack these human remains into pretty patterns, but hey, to each their own, right? In keeping with the macabre theme, head towards Montparnasse Cemetery, where you’ll be able to pay your respects to some of history’s greatest writers and philosophers. Think Edgar Quinet, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir. You don’t fancy dead people? Too bad. Apart from that, 14th is predominantly shopping streets and a large urban park that’s frequented by families and young Parisians looking to picnic, exercise, and hug trees (we wish we were kidding with this one). Yaaaawn

Montparnasse

This quar­ter, strad­dling the 6th and 15th arrondisse­ments, is a con­tin­u­a­tion of the com­mer­cial mix of shop­ping, movie the­aters, crêperies and bistros found by Tour Mont­par­nasse (check out the 15th arrondisse­ment for more details on this Parisian eye­sore). The ceme­tery is here, and per­haps you can try and absorb via osmo­sis the intel­lect of those, whose final rest­ing ground is the Mont­par­nasse Ceme­tery. Of course, the main attrac­tion of this quar­ter is the Cat­a­combs, where the remains of more than six mil­lion humans call this maze of for­mer stone quar­ries ‘home’. 

Alésia

Alésia is a res­i­den­tial area where you’ll come across fam­i­lies and the elder­ly. So, to cater to this cross-sec­tion of Parisian res­i­dents, there are the usu­al chain stores and super­mar­kets. If you head towards Rue Daguerre, how­ev­er, you’ll get a more dynam­ic vibe, as the street is flanked by butch­ers, green­gro­cers, fish­mon­gers, and oth­er mar­ket-type vendors. 

Parc Montsouris

If you’re around the area, come here for a bit of green­ery as Parc Montsouris is one of Paris’ green lungs. For the adven­tur­ous who’ve read the Da Vin­ci Code, pre­tend you’re being chased by some sort of reli­gious insti­tu­tion (of your choice) and see if you can spot the medal­lions that mark where the old lon­gi­tu­di­nal merid­i­an used to be (before, sad­ly, it was moved to Green­wich). You’ll find a fair bit of youth chill­ing around, as the park is close to a uni­ver­si­ty stu­dent accom­mo­da­tion. Oth­er than that, there’s noth­ing of note.