Paris’ libraries are more than just vast and varied collections of books—they’re troves of history, expositions, and art. If you’re a student or a freelancer in Paris, libraries offer an ideal place to spend a productive afternoon away from the noisiness of cafés. Many older ones are closed to the public, many of these offer guided tours, which are almost always free.
Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève
The Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève is easily one of the most visually stunning buildings in Paris. The original abbey of St. Geneviève was founded in the 6th century. The iron building that stands today across from the Panthéon was built between 1838 and 1850 by Henri Labrouste, architect of the equally regal, if smaller, Bibliothèque Richelieu. The facade is engraved with the names of great minds who made contributions to the body of human knowledge, including Galileo, Copernicus, and Shakespeare. On a given weekday afternoon, you’ll likely find students and young professionals lining up down the street, beneath the names of 810 celebrated scholars engraved on the wall, waiting to get a seat in the immense reading room.
10 Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris, France, +33 01 44 41 97 97
The American Library in Paris
Located in the quiet 7th arrondissement, and with a view of the Eiffel Tower, the American Library Association founded the American Library in 1920, partially in order to house the many books that were donated oversees to American soldiers fighting in World War I. The association sought to bring the best of American literature and library science to France. The library lived through two wars and several different moves around the city. Gertrude Stein was a library subscriber in her day. Ernest Hemingway was a contributer to the library’s literary journal, Ex Libris. Today, the library draws expats and international students alike with its readings by prominent authors and poets, children’s programs, classes, and community events.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.