Parisian Living

How to Spend Sunday in Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés

by Erin Dahl
Left: Saint-Germain-des-Prés church with a small square with greenery and park benches in front of it. Right: The Musée Delacroix courtyard outside the museum. There is a lot of greenery and trees with people sitting on benches.
Top: Le Café de Flore – lecafedeflore / Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés – cora.dv / Above: Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés – Elwin Van Eede / Musée National Eugène Delacroix – museedelacroix

*Please note: Due to evolving Covid-19 measures, we cannot ensure the information above will be accurate at the time of your visit. We recommend checking opening hours and offerings on the locations’ websites directly before visiting.

From 17th-century intellectuals to post-World War II Existentialists to New-Wave filmmakers and musicians, Saint-Germain-des-Prés has long drawn those who push the envelope. The Left Bank epicenter of artistic life is decidedly more bourgeois than bohemian today. Still, it’s tough to beat its quintessential cobblestoned streets, hidden corners, and see-and-be-seen cafés.

Left: a table with a tea kettle sitting on a cutting board, a cup with tea in it, a large loaf of bread with a knife next to it, a small plate with a slice of bread on it, and an apple tart. Right: A display with several cinnamon buns with a small piece of tape with "cinnamon buns 6€" written on it.
Circus Bakery – le_polyedre / supkroll

While you could spend an entire day just weaving its narrow streets, here are some of the addresses we recommend checking out on a Sunday in Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Where to Eat

Left: exterior of Freddy's restaurant with a large sign that says "Freddy's" in red. There are several people sitting at the bar and the restaurant is lit up. Right: Two hands holding a braided pastry.
Freddy’s – rvcra / Circus Bakery – 2foodersinparis

Freddy’s: The fourth St-Germain restaurant by Drew Harré and Juan Sanchez (Semilla, Fish, Cosi), Freddy’s is the perfect stop-off when you want an elevated meal without the fuss. The wine bar serves creative small plates from its open kitchen, with a focus on all things grilled. 

Left: a blue and white bowl filled with ramen soup with two eggs, meat, greens, and spices. Right: Interior of a ramen restaurant. There are several boxes filled with food products and a flag with Japanese lettering on it. There are people seated in the background
Kodawari Ramen – alice.gr.92 / gavingalvez

Kodawari Ramen: Rue Mazarine gets the Tokyo touch at this bustling ramen joint. And it’s not just the menu that feels straight out of Shibuya; the décor and sound treatments are all-in, too. A tip for the black sesame lovers out there: Try the Kurogoma Ninniku ramen.

To-go bonus: If you’re on Instagram you’ve undoubtedly seen stylized photos of Circus Bakery’s Swedish cinnamon buns floating around. The buns themselves seem to be getting smaller as their queue and prices grow. Still, they remain a worthy on-the-go indulgence for now.

Left: A plate with a piece of bread with strawberries and cream on top. There is a glass bottle filled with water and two glasses, and another plate of food in front of a person in the background. Right: A white cup of coffee with "Coutume" written on it on white saucer.
Coutume – coutumecafe

Where to go for Tea or Coffee

If you want to follow in the footsteps of Picasso or Sartre, you’ll have to stop at one of Saint-Germain’s historic cafés, like Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots. Are they entirely overpriced? Yes. Is it worth it once in a while? Of course. 

Left: two Japanese mochi desserts on a wooden tray. Right: a cup filled with green matcha tea on the right and a wooden matcha stirring tool on the left.
Lupicia – lamaisondumochi / curious.i.tea

For a higher-quality cup sans the boulevard-side people-watching, wander down towards Odéon towards Coutume. And if tea’s more your thing, pop by Lupicia for an afternoon pot and pastry. 

Where to View Art

Left: a sky blue door on an old Parisain building. There are sculptural details above and surrounding the door. There is a blue street sign to the left and a blue number 1 to the right. Right: A table that has the words "Café de Flore" on it with a cup of hot chocolate and a larger carafe of hot chocolate. There is also a glass bottle of water with a glass and another glass of orange juice and a croissant.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés / Le Café de Flore – emilytaubert

Monnaie de Paris: Cruising down the Left Bank of the Seine, you’d almost miss the Monnaie de Paris if you didn’t know it was there. Like many buildings in Paris, the most interesting parts sit behind the façade. The former mint was known for showing unexpected contemporary work (Maurizio Cattelan, Kiki Smith). Now it has decided to shift strategy and will host a wider range of exhibitions. Currently on view: “Akan, the values of trade.”

Musée National Eugène Delacroix: Tucked away off one of Paris’s most charming places on rue de Furstemberg, this museum is entirely dedicated to the 18th-century painter. The space, Delacroix’s former apartment and atelier, is small enough to be approachable yet large enough to remain interesting. 

Left: eight Converse sneakers stacked on top of one another. The Converse All Star logo is visible. Right: Interior of Kilo Shop with a collage of several photos, several hats and scarves to the right, a red Coca Cola fridge, and several handbags to the left.
Kilo Shop – kiloshopfrance

Where to go Shopping

Kilo Shop: Any vintage lover in Paris should know Kilo Shop. Generally boasting a solid selection of wares, the friperie chain has several locations around Paris, including one on Boulevard Saint-Germain.

Left: a hand holding a small, clear bottle of perfume with a gold top. Right: interior of a perfume shop. The walls are black and the display cases have gold details. There is a glass case with green, white, and purple flowers.
L’Artisan Parfumeur – po_pocket / bepoles

L’Artisan Parfumeur: This chic mini boutique on the boulevard traffics in intoxicating scents for the body and home. Oddly enough, the brand is the result of a dare: creator Jean Laporte was challenged to bring his chemistry skills into the limelight and create a banana scent for a dancer at the Folies Bergères who was to wear a costume bearing the same fruit. The scent was a success and Laporte was inspired to explore further. Lucky us!

How to Get There

The Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood is, not surprisingly, centered around the eponymous line 4 metro station. But you can also take the 10 to Mabillon or the 12 to rue du Bac. 

Left: a church steeple with sun shining on it at dusk. There are trees visible near the base of the steeple. Right: Exterior of a Parisian cafe. The words "Le Bonaparte" are lit up in red lights and the awning is white with blue and red stripes. There are several people sitting at tables in front of the cafe.
Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés – photoby_vicsrp / Le Bonaparte Café – graykells

Addresses (and opening hours) for a Perfect Sunday in Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Left: A white table with two black plates with green matcha cakes on them. There is a black tea kettle and a white tea cup and saucer on the table. Right: An old Parisian building that is the exterior of Les Deux Magots café. There is a green and white awning with the name of the café in gold and there are several tables and chairs with people sitting at them.
Lupicia – vivonsfood / Les Deux Magots – babsy974

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Written by Erin Dahl for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates. 

A bike in front of several framed photographs in front of a park with trees. The trees on the left have yellow leaves
Saint-Germain-des-Prés – Alice Mindru
Written By

Erin Dahl

Erin's had a whimsical affair with Paris since her first trip as a wide-eyed teenager. She is Editor for the HiP Paris Blog as well as Co-founder of Content Coopérative, Paris's first English-native content agency. View Erin Dahl's Website

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