Paris Neighborhood Guide: Saint Germain des Pres

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Situated on the Northern end of the 6 arrondissement of the left bank of the Seinne River is the bustling Saint Germain neighborhood- hands-down a favorite area of Paris.  Here are a few things that shouldn't be missed... 


See the Sights


Named after the Abbey of Saint Germain, you can't miss the center of the neighborhood’s Saint Germain des Pres Church that still remains today.  This is the oldest church in Paris and its a must-see....  We also recommend just wandering around without a plan - looking at all of the buildings and scenery in this neighborhood could keep you very happily entertained.

Eat 

Right across the street from the church is the world famous Café Les Deux Magots (in English: 2 maggots ;-))). You won’t find Ernest Hemmingway, who used to be a regular here back in his day, but it is still an admirable place to relax with a glass of wine or cup of coffee. If it’s a nice day out, definitely recommend sitting outside. Not only do you have a great view of the church, but it is pretty entertaining spot to people watch.  
Café de Flore is also a great spot for a drink and a snack, but don’t waste your time on having a meal- the food is not quite worth its hefty price. If you’re okay with splurging go around he corner to Brasserie Lipp. It is a traditional, French restaurant with amazing service and ambiance. 
Of course, there are plenty of other nice restaurants and bars to get a glass of wine and cheese at.  Just walk down Boulevard Saint Germain and you’ll have more options than you could ever need.
 

Drink

If you’re looking for a Parisian cocktail spot - Prescription Cocktail Club is one of Saint Germain’s most unique, hidden gems- literally. From the outside, there is no sign welcoming you to the club, rather 2 men in suits guarding the door. Stepping through the door however, is a completely different scene. It has a warm and eclectic speakeasy atmosphere, and the cocktails are pretty amazing (which I suppose makes it a good thing the drinks are on the pricier side!) Another good place to grab a drink is Le Zero de Conduite, which attracts most guests for its trivia night. This is not for everyone though- your French speaking skills as well as your pop culture knowledge must be up to par.
 

Shop

The area is also clustered with unique boutiques and high-end stores you’ve heard of – Louis Vuitton, etc. We really enjoyed visiting the perfumeries around the area. They range from Yves Saint Laurent to perfumes only sold in France, to custom-made perfumes. When I was there, I discovered Nicolai, which can only be purchased in France. Every time I wear it I am reminded of the amazing experience I had in Paris. And once I run out, I have an impeccable excuse to book another flight across the pond!
 
If you stroll further down Saint Germain, you’ll eventually run into the gargoyles, which guard Notre Dame. Tucked in a little closer to the center of Saint Germain is the Musseo D’Orssay, a converted railway station, which now houses many French artists’ pieces and is worth seeing. 
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