I have to be honest, these two arrondissements have become our favorite area to spend a few days in Paris. The area seems to be extremely safe, although we always feel safe in just about every area of the city. Over the years we have tried several different hotels from 3 Star to 5 Star. In almost every case, we really enjoyed our stays. As to where to dine, the list could be endless in this area, So I have listed a few of the places we experienced a nice time from $$ diners to $$$$ really nice dining experience. Now when it comes to places things to see in this area, again countless, and with the metro system, one can get to every other “important” place a tourist/visitor wants to see. So let’s begin
When we travel alone, we really have no limit as to what we wish to spend on a room, but when meeting others, prior to making the arrangements we always ask about their comfort level on spending. Again, we are in Paris, so we limit this to 3 star hotels on the lower end. This will mean approximately $180-200 Eu per night.
#1 3 Star Hotel Abbatial, 46 Blvd Saint Germain, This is located right on the border between the 6th and 5th. It has been remodeled in the past few years and we found it to be one of the cleanest hotels we ever experienced. The staff is fantastic, and many speak English. It does have the smallest elevator you will ever ride. We take a Jr Suite, but our friends who have used standard rooms feel they are very comfortable. NOT the typical very small room one can find in France. Several casual places to eat/ drink in the immediate area. It is a 6 minute walk UP hill to the Sorbonne area and the Pantheon. ( By the way, one of my distant uncles on Mom’s side is the artist Eduard Detaille) He has a very large military mural on the back wall. More about him later. So if you are wishing to save a few bucks, this a a good place.
#2 3 Star + Hotel Oratio, previously known as the Hotel Agora Saint Germain. The first time we stayed here, we took a standard room, under the previous ownership. Nice clean room, but a the bed was a bit short. I am 6’1″. Since then it has been upgraded and remodeled. The Jr. Suites are great. It is across the street from the Eglise Saint Nicolas du Charderent a nice little church. I forgot to book a room for early arrival from the states so we got there at 10 AM. No room was ready at the time, so they suggested a place very close for a bit of coffee. Within 30 minutes they called with a room. Very impressed. Plus at the rear so no street noise.
#3. 3 + Star Hotel Saint Beuve, Nice place with lots of potential. We were staying at the hotel to meet friends from CA. We happened to draw a room for 3 days that needed a bit of updating. Their room was great. Finally moved us for the last night to a nice room. It very well located to see a lot of places and again very close to the metro station. We all walked to the Montparnasse Tower from the hotel. By the way, not in the 6th, but worth the visit. Best views of the city, You see the Eiffel tower and Arc from the room top, very impressive.
4. 4 Star Hotel Odeon Saint Germain, 12 Rue Saint Sulpice. Really a well located hotel for the Luxembourg Gardeics, Notre Dame, etc. Walking is easy, plus metro is close. WE loved this place very well decorated and the staff was fantastic. The neighborhood is more residential than commercial although there are plenty of places to dine close buy and again Blvd. Saint Germain with all the shopping anyone could want is 10 minutes away.
This fall if the Virus lock down is over, and we can travel, we will be in Paris on our way to South Africa. On this trip, we will stay at the Relais Saint Germain, 4star, $$$, 9 carrefour de L’Odeon, .
TO DO and See
Jardin Luxebourg and the Luxembourg Palace are great places to visit, walk around enjoy some quiet in the center of this wonderful city. Watch Petange, tennis lesson, kids on ponies, kids sailing boats in the large water feature, or just sit on a bench and enjoy.
For Book Lovers, the Shakespeare and Co. Store is a must. It is not organized like a Barnes and Noble, but housed in a very old building Rather hap hazard in appearance. You may even find sleeping bags stashed among the books as they allow aspiring writers to sleep there free in exchange for a few hours work.
The Musee Cluny is a small museau dedicated to the Medieval time period. It is a wonderful place to explore this time in our history, marvel at the art, jewelry, armor, etc. Spend a few hours here to fully enjoy.
In the heart of the Latin Quarter is the Sorbonne, ( university) Many of the buildings are open to explore, and there are students everywhere. Next to this is the Pantheon. The Pantheon is the “temple of the French Nation”. Originally built under the direction of LouisXV, as a church in honor of St. Genevieve the patron saint of Paris, it has been used in various situations since then. Since the death of Victor Hugo, it has become the resting place of great writers, politicians, scientists. The vaults of Jigo, Voltaire, Dumas, Emile Zola, Pierre and Marie Curie to name a few. It is really and interesting building to visit, plus the views over Paris from the upper deck are spectacular.
Obviously the Musee d’Orsay is a major attraction. Housing one of the largest collection of impressionist art, but also many other wonderful displays, including the large mural painting from Emile Detaille, (sorry that was my grandfather) Edouard Detaille his cousin. The painting is titled “Le Reve”, the dreams. The Vers la Gloire is in the Pantheon.
There are countless Churches to visit, each one different in architecture, and decor to visit. Saint Sulpice, Chappelle de Notre Dame de las Medaille, on the Isle de Cite, Saint Chappelle. Hopefully we will be able to visit and see the Notre Dame de Paris in the near future.
Again, we look for all types of places, just off the Blvd Saint Germain, after coming into the 5th Arr. there is a small coffee shop frequented by the college students. I do not even believe it has a name, but look for these type of places for your morning coffee and croissant.
Located close to the Seine, and so cute it looks like a tourist trap is “Le Petit Chatelet” 39 Rue de la Butcheries. $$-$$$, really a wonderful meal and the atmosphere to go with the meal.
Le Procope est. 1686 ( $$$$) is a really great place in the 6th ARR. 13 rue de L’ancienne Comedy Phone 01 40 46, 79 00 Do not miss this place for classic elegant French dining.
La Capannina $$-$$$ in the 5th ARR just down the hill from the Pantheon is a great spot to people watch if you have a patio table. Food was really good. 64 rue de la Montagne
Leon du Buxelles $$-$$$, shell fish and some of the best mussels we have every tried. 131 Blvd. Saint Germain Phone 01 43 26 45 95. I would call for reservation in the eve, particularly if more than 2 people
Chez Gladines de Saint Germain $$-$$$, Basque food, the cassoulet was almost at good as the meal we had in Carcassonne ( they have been in business since the 1600’s in Carcassonne) So yes try this place. 44 Blvd Saint Germain.
In the mood for Italian, Marco Polo $$-$$$ Rue de conde is very good. Again reservations suggested for evening meals. 01 43 26 79 63
Villa Borghese would be the other choice for Italian. $$-$$$$ Yep, you can raise the price a bit if you want. 27 Rue Brea 01 43 26 10 22
Playing it safe, La Rotonde $$-$$$. This is a chain place in France. The good news, food is better than average, but offers meals that are not as challenging for the more timid diners. On the other hand, any meal that is French is really special. 105 Blvd. du Montparnasse. Right on the border of the 6th and the Montparnasse area. 14th ARR.