19 Things to Do in the 6th Arrondissement Paris

Want to explore a chic, yet quintessential Paris neighbourhood? The 6th arrondissement Paris, most famously known as the Saint Germain des Pres quarter, is a must!

Wondering the best things to do in the 6th arrondissement of Paris?
I share my favourite churches, streets, gardens and museums.

Wondering where to eat in Paris 6th arrondissement?
I share a few of my favourite cafes, bakeries and restaurants.

Wondering where to stay in the 6th arrondissement Paris?
I share where I’ve stayed, plus a list of Parisian apartments and hotels.

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6th Arrondissement Paris

paris street with tall buildings in 6eme arrondissement Paris
Paris 6e arrondissement

The 6th arrondissement (in French the 6ème arrondissement) is located in the heart of the Left Bank, or Rive Gauche. It lies between the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, and the 7th arrondissement, where you’ll find the Eiffel Tower.

This 6th district in Paris is famous for its historic cafe culture. The Saint Germain district is where many iconic writers and artists lived and worked during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And, that wonderful cafe culture still exists today.

The 6th arrondissement of Paris is my absolute favourite neighbourhood. It’s the one I’ve spent the most time in. I’ve visited the city on almost 10 trips. I’ve stayed in this arrondissement for a total of a month. It feels like home to me every time I return.

So, I’m very happy to share my favourites with you. Allons y… let’s go!

6eme Arrondissement Paris Landmarks

What is in the 6th arrondissement is less about famous landmarks and more about the atmosphere. But it doesn’t mean there are a few standout places worth visiting.

1. Saint Germain Des Pres Church

Just knowing that this is the oldest church in Paris makes Saint-Germain des Prés worth visiting. The church was founded as far back as 543 AD but rebuilt many times throughout the centuries.

Free to visit, take a peek inside at the restored abbey with its incredible domed ceiling of a deep blue dotted with tiny gold stars just like you would find at Sainte Chapelle Chapel.

  • 📍3 Pl. Saint-Germain des Prés
  • 🕙Monday to Saturday 8 am to 7:45 pm, Sunday 9 am to 8 pm
  • Insider’s Tip: visit in late November to early December where you’ll find the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris Christmas Market
  • Hidden gem alert: I found this pretty, tranquil hidden garden called Square Laurent Prache (located at 1 Place Juliette Gréco) tucked away from the busy Boulevard Saint Germain at the side of the church

2. Luxembourg Gardens

One of the most beautiful parks in Paris just so happens to be located in the Saint Germain des Pres neighbourhood. And, it just so happens to be one of my favourite things to do in the 6th arrondissement.

Jardin du Luxembourg is a 55-acre green space where Parisians come to sit, relax and stroll while admiring the pretty gardens and 106 statues dotted around the park.

The grand 17th-century Palais du Luxembourg, now the French Senate, is the park’s focal point. The beautiful Fountaine de Médicis, found along the side of the Luxembourg Palace is one of my favourite things about Luxembourg Gardens. 

Visiting information:

  • 📍Use any of these main entrances – Place Edmond Rostand, Place André Honnorat, Rue Guynemer, or Rue de Vaugirard
  • 🕙Open daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Insider’s Tip: there is only one area of the park where you can sit on the grass, but there are many metal green chairs scattered about
  • Hidden gem alert: seek out the Statue of Liberty in Luxembourg Gardens, it’s a miniature version of the one found in NYC
  • Nearby cafe: if you want to pick up a coffee and sweet treat to sit and enjoy in the park, head to Treize Bakery Paris (5 Rue de Médicis, 75006)

3. Saint Sulpice Church

fountain with trees and church with couple on bench in Paris 6th arrrondissement
6e arrondissement Paris

Sitting on a large square is a beautiful cascading fountain in the centre with the second largest church in Paris, Notre Dame being the first, on the perimeter.

The Da Vinci Code, both the book and the movie, made this 17th-century Sulpice church famous. The two large murals painted by Delacroix, its grand organ and the legends of hidden meanings in the architecture all form part of the intrigue to visit here. 

  • 📍2 Rue Palatine
  • 🕙Open daily from 8 am to 8 pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Hidden gem alert: some nearby streets are that are ever so charming to go for a stroll are Rue du Canivet, Rue Ferou, and Rue Servadoni
  • Fun Thing to Do: join a 3-hour chocolate walking tour where you can nibble on some sweet decadent chocolates from the nearby shops while the guide tells you stories of the Sulpice church and fountain, book your dates here

4. Fountaine Saint Michel

large fountain with pink marble pillers in 6th arrondissement Paris
St Germain 6th arrondissement

It’s hard to miss this large Saint-Michel fountain at the busy intersection of Boulevard Saint-Michel and Place Saint-Michel.

As part of the Haussmann rebuilding during the 19th century, the fountain was intended to hide the end wall of a building. Combine seeing this with a walk to Pont Saint-Michel on the Seine. 

  • 📍Bd Saint-Germain & Bd Saint-Michel
  • 🕙Open daily, 24 hours
  • Cost: Free
  • Fun Fact: Netflix fans of Emily in Paris might remember the first time Mindy was busking in front of this ornate Parisian fountain

19 Things to Do in the 6th Arrondissement of Paris

These 19 things to do in St Germain are not in any particular order of what to see first. But if you were to look at a map of the 6th arrondissement you’ll notice I have grouped them (somewhat) by their location and proximity to each other.

Think of this as a kickstart to shape your Saint Germain itinerary planning!

1. Breakfast at Les Deux Magots

croissant, coffee at bistro table

Les Deux Magots café was first established in 1812 at Rue de Buci and later moved in 1873 to its present location.

The café is well known for its famous past patrons from the arts, literature and intellectuals. People like the young Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Pablo Picasso and Julia Child.

Wondering what to do in the 6th arrondissement, it’s simply this – taking part in the cafe culture that makes this city so endearing.  

📍 6 Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés

2. Discover Place de Furstemberg

square with large trees and buildings in 6th district paris

This tiny area in the heart of the Saint Germain neighbourhood is a gem!

A tiny square with 2 towering trees sitting in the middle of a quiet street is one of the most romantic areas in Paris. The architecture is stunning, the elegant Parisian-style lamp post is lovely, and the shops are super chic.

📍 Rue de Furstemberg

3. Visit Musée National Eugène Delacroix

Visit one of Paris’ smallest museums – Musee National Eugene-Delacroix. You can visit the home, private garden and studio of the famous French artist, Eugène Delacroix to see his work. Paintings, drawings and even personal letters are on display.

  • 📍 6 Rue de Furstemberg
  • 🕙 Wednesday to Monday 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, Closed Tuesdays
  • Cost: Full price: €7
  • Insider’s tip: this museum is free on the first Sunday of the month

4. Admire the Beaux-Arts de Paris

You’ll easily notice some impressive buildings located along rue Bonaparte to Quai Malaquais and these belong to the historic Beaux-Arts de Paris – a French school dedicated to fine arts. The oldest buildings date back to 1648 and house the largest public art collections in France.

Visiting information:

  • 📍14 Rue Bonaparte
  • 🕙Open to the public during Journées du Patrimoine (September), Journées d’information (early February) or Ateliers Ouverts (last weekend in June)
  • Cost: Free

5. Seek solitude at Square Gabriel Pierne

tree with bronze statue of girl with pink blossoms in saint germain de pres paris
Paris 6th district

This pretty little hidden garden is a delight! Come spring this square turns pink with its cherry blossom trees.

But, really any time of year this is a lovely place to come, sit and admire. What makes this worth seeking out is its interesting features. Stone benches shaped like open books, a pretty water fountain that’s listed as a historical monument, and a bronze statue named ‘Caroline’.

📍 5 Rue de Seine

6. Visit Institut de France

bridge, river with trees and building with dome in the 6th district paris

One of the most attractive buildings along the Seine is this one – the Institut de France! A former school built between 1662 and 1688 it housed multiple academies that support the arts, literature and science.

It’s also home to the Bibliothèque Mazarine, the oldest public library in France.

Most travellers will want to admire (and photograph) this beautiful building from the Pont des Arts bridge.

Visiting information:

  • 📍 23 Quai de Conti
  • 🕙Saturday 10 am to 6 pm La Coupole only
  • Cost: Free
  • Insider’s tip: the Mazarine Library is open to readers and visitors Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm

7. Visit the Original Love Lock Bridge – Pont Des Arts Bridge

bridge in paris with boat
Paris Arrondissement 6

In 1804, Pont des Arts became the first metal bridge in Paris.

The nine-arch bridge spanning over the Seine has been referred to as the Love Lock Bridge. Although no longer allowed, it is a lively bridge full of artists, musicians and people admiring one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower. 

If visiting Paris on a weekend getaway, make sure you spend one of your nights watching the sunset from this bridge.

8. Peruse les Bouquinistes de la Seine

You can’t help but notice the little green bouquinistes or booksellers along both sides of the Seine River. These open-air bookshops are just one of the reasons why I love Paris! There’s nothing better than taking a stroll along the Seine to see if something catches your eye from rare books to artwork to vintage posters.

Bouquinistes are open daily from morning to dusk, and each one (or a block) has specific days that they open. The ones in the 6th arr can be found from bridges Pont des Arts to Pont Neuf to Pont Saint Michel.

9. Admire the views from Pont Neuf bridge

bridge on river with 'N" inscribed in 6th district in Paris
Arrondissement 6 Paris

Pont Neuf is the oldest standing bridge in Paris built in the 16th and 17th centuries.

It’s also known as the third longest with a span of 5 arches from the left bank to the end of Ile de la Cité and another span of 7 arches joins the island to the right bank. 

10. Walk along the Pont Saint-Michel bridge

bridge with seine

Pont Saint-Michel is a stone bridge, first constructed in 1378, and rebuilt several times, most recently in 1857.

The Saint Michel bridge links the Palais de Justice on the Ile de la Cité to the Place Saint-Michel and its fountain. Look out for the interesting detail of the capital letter N, the imperial insignia of Napoleon III.

11. Stroll the Rue De Buci

bike street restaurants in 6th arrondissement in Paris
6th arr Paris

This little Paris street is bustling day and night with people shopping, drinking and dining. Starting at the crossroads of rue de l’Ancienne-Comédie, rue Dauphine and rue Mazarine, rue de Buci winds its way to Boulevard Saint-Germain.

It passes by rue Grégoire-de-Tours, another street worth exploring. Rue de Buci offers endless options for restaurants and cafes, a recommended one is Café de Buci, with its signature red awnings.

12. Seek out the Passageway Cour Du Commerce St Andre

This Paris street is a cobbled laneway that feels like you’ve stepped back in time to 1734. An almost hidden passageway, Cour du Commerce St André runs between rue Saint-André des Arts and Boulevard Saint Germain.

Stroll through this historic part of Paris. Looking for places to sit and stay awhile – try Le Procope, Le Relais Odeon or La Jacobine. Specialty shops to look for are Maison Brémond 1830 and Epicerie Fine and Grim’Art.

13. Dine at the Oldest Cafe

Opening its doors in 1686, Café Procope is the oldest restaurant in Paris. Throughout the centuries it was known as the meeting place for intellectuals and prominent politicians.

It’s also known as the place from which French coffee culture began. Years before, coffee was only ever sold on the street until Café Procope became the first coffee house.

Today, it retains its former glory and original charm as you feast on classic French dishes. 

📍13 Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie

14. Catch a Show at Odéon – Théâtre de l’Europe

Visit the impressive Place de l’Odéon Square and visit the oldest theatre still in operation. This elegant theatre from the exterior with its stone columns to the lush red and gold details of the interior is stunning!

Visiting information:

  • 📍 Place de l’Odéon
  • 🕙 Performances Tuesday to Sundays
  • Cost: Visit the website for times, shows, and booking

15. Check out the Exhibits at Musee du Luxembourg

The Musée du Luxembourg, located in Luxembourg Gardens, was the first French museum opened to the public in 1750.

This museum specializes in rotating exhibits focused on the Renaissance in Europe. Its spaces have been completely redesigned by architect Shigeru Ban to accommodate the Angelina restaurant/tea room and educational workshops of the Museum.

Visiting information:

  • 📍 Place de l’Odéon
  • 🕙 Performances Tuesday to Sundays
  • Cost: Varies on the exhibit, but generally tickets will be close to €12
  • Insider’s tip: the museum offers 75-minute guided tours for €18 (entrance included)

16. Afternoon Tea at Cafe Angelina

One of the prettiest, and most popular, cafes in Paris are Cafe Angelina. Famous for its beautiful interiors, scrumptious patisseries, and very rich and decadent hot chocolate.

The primary location can be found on rue de Rivoli, but equally pretty is the location in the Saint Germain neighbourhood.

Visiting information:

  • 📍 19 rue de Vaugirard
  • 🕙 Open daily from 11 am to 7 pm
  • Insider’s tip: make a reservation or you’re bound to wait in line

17. Shop at the Oldest Department Store

escalator in paris mall
6 arrondissement Paris

The oldest of four department stores in Paris France is Le Bon Marché. All except this one can be found on the Right Bank or rive droite.

Step inside this Grands Magasins of Paris and you will immediately recognize the famous escalators. Founded in 1838, it was expanded to its current size in 1852. The modern design was the influence of Gustave Eiffel, creator of the Eiffel Tower. 

Visiting information:

  • 📍 24 Rue de Sèvres
  • 🕙 Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 7:45 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 7:45 pm
  • Insider’s tip: one of my favourite things to do in the 6th arrondissement is also to visit the next door, La Grande Epicerie, Paris’ most famous food store to the delight of all foodies

18. Linger over a Drink at Cafe de Flore

Café de Flore, 1887, is the meeting place for centuries to enjoy great conversation and linger over a drink- whether that is a coffee or wine.

Like Les Deux Magots, it was popular with the same type of crowd of artists, writers and intellects. The tradition continues as Café de Flore is the best place to sit and linger over a drink any time of day. 

📍 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain

19. Take a Saint Germain des Près Guided Walking Tour

Join a 90-minute historic walking tour with a local guide and hear the stories about the Saint Germain des Pres neighbourhood that shaped Paris’ reputation as a sophisticated city of intellectualism, art, literature, and philosophy.

Book your dates for this Saint Germain district walking tour

Best Restaurants in Paris 6th arrondissement

cafe with red awning
Paris 6 arrondissement

Some of the best restaurants in Paris can be found in the 6th arrondissement. Beyond the historic ones I recommended above in the ‘Top Things to Do in 6th Arrondissement’ – you may wish to try these, they are among my favourites: 

If you want to be spontaneous and pick a restaurant while exploring the 6th arrondissement make your way to rue de Buci near the covered passage called Cour du Commerce Saint Andre. There is a great selection of restaurants that line this lively street.

Best Hotels in 6th Arrondissement Paris

On every return trip to Paris, I stay in a different arrondissement to experience and get to know each district.

On my two solo trips to Paris, I stayed in this charming Pied-à-Terre that was on the cusp of the 6th and 7th arrondissement Paris.

If you too are looking at staying in 6th Arrondissement, let me share two curated lists of the best boutique hotels or if you prefer to stay in a holiday rental as I do.

FAQ about 6th District Paris

What is the 6th arrondissement known for?

The 6th arrondissement is known for its cafe culture, boutique shops and stellar restaurants. The chic Saint Germain neighbourhood is home to the oldest church in Paris – Saint Germain des Pres.

What arrondissement is St Germain?

Saint-Germain is primarily located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.

Is the 6th arrondissement a good place to stay?

Yes, the 6th arrondissement is a good place to stay if you like a quiet, chic area of Paris that is central to other top attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River.

How do I get from 6th arrondissement to Eiffel Tower?

To get from the 6th arrondissement to the Eiffel Tower, you can take a leisurely walk along the Seine River, enjoying iconic landmarks. Alternatively, you could walk along Rue de l’Université or Rue Grenelle.

As a Holidaymaker

Exploring the chic neighbourhood of Saint Germain in the 6th arrondissement of Paris is a must. Take a stroll through Luxembourg Garden, sit and dine at a historic café, and get lost in some of its pretty streets. Those are just some of my favourite things to do in 6th Arrondissement Paris.

To help with the planning of your trip to Paris France, head to my France page where you’ll find all my articles plus more travel planning resources.

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