Broaden Horizons
Paris
Image of el award Travellers’ Choice given to the better attractions on Tripadvisor.
Broaden Horizons
Paris
Image of el award Travellers’ Choice given to the better attractions on Tripadvisor.
Broaden Horizons
Paris
Image of el award Travellers’ Choice given to the better attractions on Tripadvisor.

Private Saint-Germain-des-Prés Guided Tour

A Saint-Germain-des-Prés Guided Tour is a must when visiting Paris. This nowadays very chic and trendy Paris Rive Gauche district full of book shops, art galleries, and cafés is before all world-famous for its 20th century golden age. But St Germain is worth much more than that and you will discover in our tour that its exceptional contribution in arts, literature and more generally intellectual life is not limited to this period but last since the early middle ages. Don’t miss this Paris Tour of exceptional diversity with a fully accredited tourist guide.

Terrasse of the café Les Deux Magots to illustrate the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Guided Tour in Paris, France.

The famous Les Deux Magots café of Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Saint-Germain-des-Prés private tour Essentials  

  1. Guided tour in English
  2. From 90 € for 1 to 2 people, 115 € for 3 etc.
  3. Really private +/- 2-hour tour (your party only 6 people max.)
  4. +/- 2.5 km distance covered
  5. Flexible schedule
  6. Postgraduate (MPhil) certified French national guide

KNOW MORE / BOOK NOW

What’s in the tour?

Middle-Age

Sacred Architecture

Renaissance

Litterature & Ideas

French & Paris History

Saint-Germain Golden Age

17th Century

Fine Arts

18th Century

Civil Architecture

Hightlights

Paris Medieval City Wall Remains

Romanesc & Gothic St Germain Church

French Révolution & USA beginning Landmarks

Place de Furstenberg Square

Iconic St Germain Cafés

Why a Saint-Germain-des-Prés Guided Tour?

Because strolling around alone in Saint-Germain-des-Prés you may perhaps only see a strange old church bell tower standing alongside a wide 19th century hausmannian boulevard and will then miss the essential: the 1500 years of history of a monks ruled independent city which finally become the beating heart of Paris Rive Gauche.

Our fully licensed guide will make you discover the multiple aspects of the incredible diversity of this legendary district of Paris.

Our tour makes the most of the richness of the St. Germain district, so we deliver a lot of content. Definitively not a tour for those who want something superficial.   

Saint-Germain-des-prés Private Tour Organisation

The tour is mainly organized around 5 themes

  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church and ancient abbey
  • The French Renaissance & Wars of Religion
  • The French Revolution & the begining of the USA
  • The 19th-century painting
  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés Golden Age

Evolution of ideas, literature, urbanism, arts, and architecture from middle age to 20th century being a 6th cross-sectoral theme of the tour.

Your Private Guide in Paris

Certified French national guide
BA, Magna Cum Laude, Heritage Developpement & Preservation from Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers
Postgraduate from Paris Dauphine-PSL University

We believe that our Saint-Germain-des-Prés Private tour
Is the most efficient way to discover this mythic district of Paris!

Saint-Germain-des-Prés Tour Content

Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church and Ancien Abbey

The Saint-Germain church is one of the oldest, if not the oldest of Paris churches.

The church was part of an abbey founded in the mid 6th century, the present building was mainly built from the 10th to the 12th century. Even if it was heavily damaged during the French Revolution period and modified in the 17th and 19th centuries It remains an exceptional witness of the Romanesc and the Early Gothic architectures.

Our Saint-Germain-des-Prés guided tour includes external commentaries about the church and the ancient abbey.

Each time it is possible (if the church is open to the visit which is normally the case) the tour includes a short passage inside the church.

For those who are more specifically interested in sacred architecture and middle age, we are preparing a version of the tour which focuses on the church and the ancient abbey.

Choir of the Saint-Germain romanesque church to illustrate the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Guided Tour in Paris, France

Paris – Saint-Germain-des-Prés church with its newly renovated paintings (frescos), the small columns of the triphorium (closed galery of the choir) are from the first merovingian church (late antiquity).

The Renaissance and the Wars of Religion

Saint-Germain district also houses the most relevant bricks and stones Renaissance-style building in Paris: the palace of the abbots of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. During the Renaissance the district was a shelter for the French protestants (the Huguenots), one St Germain street was even called “little Genova” in reference to the city of French protestants leader Calvin.

The French Revolution

The Saint-Germain-des-Prés Guided Tour also includes an emblematic place of the French Revolution the “Cour du Commerce Saint-André”. In this narrow street, we will speak of major political figures of the period as Robespierre, Marat, Danton, Desmoulins; we will also speak of a more technical one: the doctor Guillotin inventor of the famous and terrible Guillotine!

Photo of Cour du Commerce Saint-André an iconic street of the French Revolution to illustrate the Saint-Germain-des-Prés guided tour in Paris, France.

Paris – Saint-Germain-des-Prés: cour du Commerce Saint-André an iconic place of the French Revolution.

The 19th Century Painting

You will also see in the tour that some famous 19th-century Painters as Ingres, Delacroix, Gros, Monet, Bazille, etc. were having strong links with the Saint-Germain-des-Près district. A 20th-century one also had some: Picasso who painted noting less than Guernica there and let a sculpture of his mistress Dora Maar in a square alongside the Saint-Germain church.

For those who want to go more in deep in this field, one of our Saint-Germain-des-Prés tours including Saint-Sulpice Church and finishing in the Luxembourg Garden is more painting oriented (tour in preparation).

Photo of rue de Furstenberg to illustrate the Saint-Germain-des-Prés guided tour in Paris, France

Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés Guided Tour, the Furstenberg square: Here were standing the abbey stables and later on the workshops of Delacroix and Monet who painted there one of his most famous works: The Luncheon on the Grass.

Litterature and Evolution of Ideas from Middle Age to 20th Century

The importance of text studies for Benedictines and Congregation of St. Maur monks from early middle age to the end of the abbey during the French Revolution.

The establishment of French classical literature and theater in the 17th century with Boisleau, Molière, Racine, etc.

18th-century enlightenment with Voltaire, the Encyclopédistes: Diderot and D’Alembert, or even Benjamin Franklin who is said to have written the project of the alliance of his new republic with Louis the XVI kingdom or some elements of the USA constitution in the famous Café Procope.

19th century French novelists and poets: Balzac, Musset, George Sand, Théophile Gautier, Mérimée, Verlaine, Rimbau, Mallarmé etc.

The two first thirds of the 20th century which correspond to the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Golden Age, a period of considerable contribution of the district to literature.

For those who are more interested in these subjects, we are preparing a Saint-Germain-des-Prés Litterature tour.

Golden Age

The legendary Saint-Germain clearly started at the end of the years 1880 with the creation of three now world-famous cafés: Les Deux Magots, Le Flore, and Brasserie Lipp which will become in the next century the meeting places of intellectuals, writers, artists, and influent people. The list of all the famous people related is too big to be displayed here (see dedicated literature tour). Nevertheless to the question of who were the most iconic customers of the Deux Magots, the answer is obvious: Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir and their existentialism. The square in from of the café bears their names.

The post-WWWII Saint-Germain music and nightlife with its cabaret, jazz, and Zazou places will also be widely evoked with places as Hotel de la Louisiane, Le Tabou, Le Club Saint Germain, L’échelle de Jacob, le Bar Vert which are associated with an incredible number of French or International famous People including numerous American jazzmen as Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, etc.

Photo of jazzmen to illustrate the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Guided Tour, in Paris, France.

Jazz an important component of Saint-Germain-des-Prés Golden Age

Architecture and Urbanism a Transerversal Aspect of the Tour

The history of this central district of Paris being very ancient, we will discover and understand the evolution of the urbanism of the zone over centuries. The main milestones are middle Ages, Renaissance, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

We will for sure consequently discover corresponding architectural styles of these periods: Roman, Early Gothic, Renaissance, Classical, Neoclassical, 18th Neoclassical, Hausmanian, Neo-Roman, Art-deco, etc.

Photo of the rue de l'Abbaye which cut in two the former main territory of Saint-Germain-des Près Abbey to illustrate the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Guided Tour, in Paris, France.

Through the centuries the urbanization strongly changed the zone: Open in 1802 at the end of the French Revolution the rue de l’Abbé cut in two the former territory of the abbey.

Other Saint-Germain-des-Prés Tours

Saint-Germain guided tour reviews

Informative Tour!

We rented an apartment in St. Germain and we took this tour on our first day. It was a wonderful history of the area and even though we had been in St. Germain many times, we learned so many new facts, details and architectural nuances of the area. Yves was extremely well prepared and generous with his time and knowledge.

JS

USA - October 2021 -Tripadvisor

Things to know before Booking

Meeting Point

In front of the entry of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church  

Access: Metro Line 4 Saint-Germain-des-Prés

 

Saint-Germain-des-Prés Private Tour Attention Points

  • Tour is on foot.
  • Prices do not include transportation, food, drinks, or any other extra services.
  • Neighborhood tours: we don’t enter monuments except in Saint-Germain Church.
  • Church entrance: no warranty of entry (unplanned closing to visit may occur)
  • Tour content, duration & distance covered are purely indicative, they may vary due to contingencies.

Book your Saint-Germain-des-Prés Private Tour

Choose below your tour: You will then be  asked : -> choose the number of people, date & hours of visit -> after our validation-> pay on line.

Photo of the Romanesque bell tower of Saint-Germain-des Près Church to illustrate the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Guided Tour, in Paris, France.

The bell tower of Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church which was built around the year 1000, the sculpture in the foreground is from Picasso