Luxury holidays in Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Do you hear the people sing? Though you’d never guess by looking at its lovely, leafy streets, the Left Bank neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés was once a hotbed of revolutionary fervour and, later, the HQ for existentialism. Though the Jacobins have downed tools now and the ’hood is only really edgy in the sense that it’s on the banks of the Seine, we suppose you could get in the historic spirit by pondering the meaning of suffering while sipping café au lait at Les Deux Magots. But we say put down the Proust and trot the bourgeois boulevards in pursuit of contemporary art in the achingly hip galleries, designer treasures in the blingy boutiques and those adorably petite pastries from Pierre Hermé. Trop mignon, non?

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When to go

The city is beautiful any time of year, though in August it can resemble a ghost town as all the Parisians are en vacances.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Most international flights land at busy Charles de Gaulle airport; regional flights arrive into Paris Orly. Buses and trains run regularly from the airports to the city centre at a fraction of the cost of taxis.
  • Trains

    Forget planes altogether and arrive by glamorous Eurostar if you’re coming from London, Amsterdam or Brussels. Then, take the Metro to Saint-Germain-des-Prés station.
  • Automobiles

    Leave driving to the professionals here – far better to stroll along the Seine or explore the cobblestoned alleys on foot. If you do need horsepower, order an Uber (they’re especially handy if your French is not too bon).