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

Private Saint-Germain-des-Prés Walking Tour

A Saint-Germain-des-Prés Guided Tour is a must when visiting Paris. This nowadays very chic and trandy 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 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 limitated to this period but last since the early middle age. Don’t miss this Paris Tour of an exceptionnal 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.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés: the famous Les Deux Magots café.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés private tour Essentials  

  1. Guided tour in English
  2. Really private +/- 2-hour tour
  3. A group of maximum 6 people exclusively yours (your party only)
  4. Flexible schedule
  5. Postgraduate  (MPhil) Certified French national guide

What’s in the tour?

Art Litterature & Ideas

Church & Ancient Abbey

Saint-Germain Golden Age

French Revolution

Tradition of Independance

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

Because strolling around alone in Saint-Germain-des-Près you may perhaps only see a strange old church bell tower standing alongside a wide 19th century hausmanien boulevard and will then miss the essential: the 1500 years of history of a monks ruled independente 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.

Saint-Germain-des-prés Private Tour Organisation

The tour is mainly organized around 5 themes

  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church and ancient abbey
  • Litterature and evolution of ideas from middle age to 20th century
  • The French Revolution
  • The 19th-century painting
  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés Golden Age

Urbanism and architecture being a 6th transvers theme of the tour.

We Definitely 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 abbaye founded in the mid 6th century, the present building was mainly built from 10th to 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 include external commentaries about the church and the ancient abbaye.

Each time it is possible (if church is open to the visit which is normaly the case) the tour include 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 focus 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 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 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 alonside the Saint-Germain church.

For those who want to go more indeep in this field, one of our Saint-Germain-des-Près tour 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 Furtenberg square: Here where standing the abbaye stables and later on the workshops of Delacroix and Monet who painted there one of his most famous work: 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 French Revolution.

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

18th century enlightment with Voltaire, the Encyclopédistes: Diderot and D’Alembert, or even Benjamin Franklin who is said to have written the project of aliance 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 Saint-Germain-des-Prés Golden Age, a period of considerable contribution of the district to literature.

For those you are more interested by 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 to big to be displayed here (see dedicated literature tour). Nevertheless to the question who were the most iconics customers of the Deux Magots, answer is obvius: Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir and their existentialism. The square in from of the café bear there 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 hurbanism of the zone along centuries. Main milestones beeing: middle age, 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 urbanisation 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

Things to know before Booking

Your Private Licensed Guide in Paris

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

Saint-Germain-des-Prés Private Tour Highlights

  • Really private 2-hour tour for you and your party only.
  • Extensive approach of the different aspect of the district: history, urbanism, architecture, literature, music, painting etc.
  • The opportunity to ask your dedicated guide any related questions.

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 in monuments except in Saint-Germain Church.
  • Church entrance No warranty of entry (unplanned closing to visit may occur)
  • Some monument can be presented from far: example Arc de Triomphe.
  • Tour duration & content 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.

Choose below your tour

You will then be  asked : 

  • choose number of people, date & hour 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 build around year 1000, the sculpture in the foreground is from Picasso