A Promenade « à la parisienne » in Saint-Germain-des-Près

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Reading time: 0 minPublished on 7 September 2023, updated on 24 April 2024

The cobblestoned street of Saint-Germain-des-Près is one of the most picturesque, famous, stylish, literary arrondissements of Paris, with high-end boutiques as well as historic cafés. You will find tourists wandering here at any time of the year soaking in the local vibe and feel of this most loved and famous of all Parisian districts. We bring you 7 things you should NOT miss when in Saint-Germain-des-Près.

THE CAFÉ SCENE

The fame of Saint-Germain partly comes from its cafés where intellectuals and artists gathered to debate or simply express their views. Café patrons included names like Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Brigitte Bardot, and Yves St Laurent.

More than a simple coffee shop, a legend of literature and arts in Saint-Germain-des-Près, Les Deux Magots is famous for their chocolat chaud a l’ancienne and you won’t find a better spot for people watching! You can stop here for petit dejeuner, a plat du jour for lunch or just a drink.

Like her famous neighbour, Les Deux Magots, Cafe de Flore first opened her doors in the late 19th century. You could start your day at Flore with a croissant au beurre, oeuf dur (hard boiled egg), jus d'orange, or chocolat special Flore.

ADMIRE THE SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRÈS CHURCH

This mythical historical neighbourhood is home to the oldest church in Paris, the medieval Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Près, dating back to the 6th century. Culture vultures can join guided tours scheduled every Tuesday and Thursday at 15:00, where you get to hear all about the fascinating history of this structure.

STROLL THROUGH THE REGAL LUXEMBOURG GARDENS

Built in the 17th century by Marie de Medicis, the Jardin du Luxembourg is a recreation of the Boboli Gardens in Florence. The majestic gardens are a rendezvous spot for Parisians and visitors alike.

Orchards, rose gardens, an apiary, the Medici fountain, a playground, tennis courts, puppet shows, pony rides, cafes, a museum, a pond — the Luxembourg gardens seem to have it all!

You may also consider visiting the Musée du Luxembourg, nestled in the vast gardens of the Jardin du Luxembourg, if you adore European art and would like to avoid the long lines at the Louvre.

A SHOPPERS' PARADISE

From fashion boutiques to beautiful home stores, you’ll be enthralled by the original designs and the fashion.

Step into one of the world’s first and famous department stores, Le Bon Marché. This grand magasin offers a variety of designer and luxury goods. Stop by in January during the annual sale for some steal deals.

Wander into the charming streets of Saint-Germain-des-Près and explore an eclectic array of antique shops and art galleries. chic interior design shops and boutiques by top name fashion designers such as Giorgio Armani, Christian Lacroix Yves Saint Laurent and Sonia Rykiel.

TASTE SAINT-GERMAIN’S DELICATE CHOCOLATE SWEETS

If you want to travel into the heavenly world of French chocolate, then Saint-Germain-des-Près should top your list of must-visit neighbourhoods in Paris.

Try the oldest chocolatier in Paris, Debauve & Gallais. Marie Antoinette adored their chocolates and today you can still order her favourite chocolate Pistoles de Marie-Antoinette!

There is also a plethora of chocolatiers shops on every street like Pierre Hermé, Ladurée and Patrick Roger. No wonder that one of the most popular activities to do here is the chocolate walking tour!

GREAT MUSEUMS AND HISTORICAL LOCATIONS

Saint-Germain-des-Près is home to Paris’ many great museums and historical locations.

Ecole des Beaux-Arts is the national school of architecture, painting and sculpture has taught who's-who of the French art world, including Renoir, Gustave Moreau, Valentino and more.

If you are more for small artist museums which dot the Parisian landscape then Musée Zadkine is the place to visit. Home studio of a Russian sculptor Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967), the now studio-museum offers a tour of his work, representative of the richness and the artistic evolution of the sculptor.

Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe is a Greek-inspired theatre which was inaugurated by Marie Antoinette in 1782. It housed the first continental performances of Shakespearean plays in 1827. Today the theatre performs plays from September to June.

NIGHTLIFE NEAR THE SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRÈS

No visit to Paris is complete without a night out in the town! And with many great options to choose from in Saint-Germain-des-Près you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re looking for an upbeat nightclub where you can let your hair down and dance the night away to some fun 70s music, or sip on some drinks, then at Le Rive Gauche is for you.

If you’re a fan of live Jazz music, great food and drinks then Chez Papa Jazz Club is an experience you cannot miss!

By Redazione France.fr

The magazine of the destination unravels an unexpected France that revisits tradition and cultivates creativity. A France far beyond what you can imagine…