Welcome to Saint-Germain-des-Prés:
Named after the 6th Century Church located in the heart of its precinct, it doesn't come much more stereotypically Parisian than the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. Originally owned by the Benedictine monks, nowadays the area located in Paris' 6th arrondissement is packed with ritzy art galleries, high quality designer boutique stores, award-winning restaurants and colourful cafes. Honestly, it doesn't come much more authentically French than that!
Your tour of the area started at the eponymous Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and you were stunned by its magnificence – the last example of Romanesque architecture in Paris. Your appreciation of the architecture had you in a cultured mood – how Parisian of you! So you decided to check out the Musée d'Orsay's world-renowned dedication to Impressionism. As you waited in the queue – apart from thinking, 'would this line ever end' and, 'I really should have planned your visit more carefully' – you wondered to yourself how much more French could this small Parisian neighborhood be!
Parisians love the art of the flâneur – maybe that's because it's free!
Flâneur literally means stroller, but for Parisians the term includes all the connotations associated with a slow walk including relaxing, exploring and generally enjoying life. And there's no better place to learn the art of flâneur than the iconic Jardin du Luxembourg!
25 hectares of land await you to wander through the French and English-inspired gardens along with an orchard, apiary and an exquisite collection of orchids and roses. Don't forget to check out one or two or ten of the gardens 106 statues. Free photography exhibitions and concerts are held in the park regularly but, even on the days without a special event, you can always have a game of chess or tennis. Pro tip – dress to impress! Paris's most fashionable locals are often on display in this garden, dressed to the nines, so when in Rome (or in this case Paris!).
You want to indulge in this new found passion for the art of flâneur
But you're dying for a decent cup of coffee. You can get both if you stroll over to the historic Cour du Commerce St-André which is a quaint-cobblestone alleyway that defines the area. Indeed, it's along alleyways like this that the cliché of latte-sipping intellectuals was born.
Stop by one of the many cafes along this street for a quality cup of coffee and pretend to be one of the great philosophical minds of all humanity like Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir who used to occupy the region. A favourite of the locals is Le Procope – and why wouldn't it be, it's Paris's oldest café. To be in business for that many years (since 1686), they must be doing something right!
It's time to go back to school
So continue your saunter through the passageways and alleys until you come across Ecole des Beaux Arts. Literally translated, it means the School of Fine Arts and is one of the most prestigious art academy's across the globe. Come see some of the best up and coming artists as well as walk in the footsteps of some of the greatest artists of all time along these hallowed corridors. Monet, Renoir, Moreau and Delacroix all graduated from the school – although they spent much of their career breaking the rules of the rigorous techniques they learnt at the school!
It's been a long day and all you want to do is crash in your hotel that you saved so much on
But you muster up the energy to go out for a night on the town. And Saint-Germain-des-Prés certainly has plenty of good watering holes for you to spend your accommodation savings on. Some of our personal favourites include Caveau de la Huchette, a medieval cellar that features an assortment of music including Jazz, Swing, Rock, Soul and Disco, and Chez Georges, one of the best bars in Paris with unique, wine cellar-inspired décor.
Spend Less, Do More
Your Cheaperthanhotels Team
36 Rue Bonaparte
Rue Saint Benoit
7-11 Rue Saint Benoit
24 Rue Saint Benoit
28 rue Saint-Benoit
29 Rue Jacob
25 Rue Jacob
153 Boulevard Saint Germain
174 Boulevard Saint Germain
21 Rue Jacob
143 Boulevard Saint-Germain
48 Rue Jacob
44 Rue Jacob
33 Rue Jacob
15 Rue Jacob