Panorama of the 6th Arrondissement in Paris

View of the 6th Arrondissement in Paris

Most visitors in Paris want to experience a bit of everything while staying in the City of Lights: a taste of the bohemian lifestyle, the best Parisian cafes, art galleries, museums, parks and more. Lucky for them, it just so happens that the 6th Arrondissement in Paris offers all of these things! It’s the epitome of life in Paris: home to famous cafes such as the Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, the 6th Arrondissement comprises part of the bustling Latin Quarter. It’s also the intellectual center of the city, with its world famous universities and seat of the Senate in the beautiful Luxembourg Palace, right next to the public park Jardin du Luxembourg. The 6th Arrondissement is one of the most sought after residential neighborhoods in Paris. In this article we’ll show you what living in the 6th Arrondissement looks like!

Welcome to the 6th Arrondissement of Paris

The 6th Arrondissement of Paris includes some of the most famous areas in the city: The Latin Quarter in the northeastern part of the arrondissement, the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood in the area around the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Odéon area around the Odéon Theatre, the Notre-Dame-des-Champs area around the metro station of the same name, and the Luxembourg area around the Jardin du Luxembourg. Discover what it’s like to walk the streets of the 6th Arrondissement in our Latin Quarter video tour. The 6th Arrondissement is roughly bordered by the River Seine in the north, the Boulevard Saint-Michel in the east, the Boulevard du Montparnasse in the south, and the Rue de Sèvres and Rue des Saint Pères in the west. The neighborhood is easily accessible with the metro, as the 4, 10, 12 and RER B lines run right through it.

This arrondissement has a very rich history. It contains the oldest remaining church in Paris, and the neighborhood became a center for artists and writers in the 20th Century. The famous cafes of the area had as their regular patrons writers such as Jean Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway and Simone de Beauvoir. With institutions such as the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Française, it’s not difficult to see why the 6th Arrondissement is still considered the center intelligentsia. The area has much to offer when it comes to art and culture, but don’t forget to also enjoy the incredible vibrant vibe of this bustling neighborhood in Paris!

Shopping in the 6th Arrondissement of Paris 

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Picture of the Place Saint-Michel in the 6th Arrondissement, Paris

Place Saint-Michel in the 6th Arrondissement in Paris

The 6th Arrondissement might be famous for its cafes, but when it comes to shopping this area will surprise you! There are many great shopping streets in the neighborhood, offering everything from big department stores to small boutiques. Some of the main shopping streets include Boulevard Saint Germain, Rue de Rennes, Boulevard du Montparnasse, Boulevard Saint Germain, Rue de Buci, Place Saint Michel and Cour du Commerce Saint André. However, it is the bookstores and small specialty shops that make the 6th truly one of a kind.

  • On the bustling Place Saint-Michel you’ll find a wonderful bookstore called Gilbert Jeune. This store not only offers a great selection of books and office supplies, but also has amazing inexpensive maps of Paris! Don’t forget to have a look at the Fontaine Saint-Michel on the square: a beautiful big fountain featuring statues created by nine different sculptors. The Place Saint-Michel is a great place to start your Paris adventure.
Image of the English-language bookstore Shakespeare & Co. in Paris

The famous bookstore Shakespeare & Co. in Paris
  • There’s a world-famous bookstore just two blocks east from here that’s technically not a part of the 6th Arrondissement, but it’s so great we felt we just had to include it: Shakespeare and Co. on the Rue de la Bucherie. This amazing bookstore carries English-language books only, and even allows young writers to stay above the shop. Peruse the floor to ceiling bookshelves for a one of a kind souvenir, as the staff stamps any book you buy so you’ll never forget where it came from.
  • Chocolate lovers should definitely head over to Patrick Roger on the Boulevard Saint Germain. In this shop chocolate is treated like art. The chocolates and truffles are exquisite, and also make a wonderful gift.
  • City-Pharma on Rue du Four is the place to go for skincare and beauty products. This amazing pharmacy has great deals, but is not the best kept secret in Paris, so be sure to visit early in the day to avoid the lines!

Lastly, a neighborhood isn’t truly Parisian without fresh food markets. The 6th Arrondissement boasts two great markets: the small covered market Marché Couvert Saint Germain and the amazing organic outdoor market Marché Raspail.

6th Arrondissement Cafés, Restaurants and Bars

As we’ve mentioned before, the 6th Arrondissement is all about cafes, bars and restaurants. The following are just a small selection of the many great places this area of Paris has to offer.

  • Cafes

Picture of the famous café Les Deux Magots in Paris

Literary hotspot the café Les Deux Magots in the 6th Arrondissement of Paris

Les Deux Magots on the Boulevard Saint-Germain is a cafe which was often frequented by the Parisian literary elite of the 20th Century, such as Sartre and Hemingway. Nowadays, you can enjoy a delicious hot chocolate out on the terrace. The prices may be a little higher than average, but the history of this café makes it worth it!

Next-door neighbor Café de Flore also saw many literary greats walk through its door. As its name suggests, the café is beautifully decorated with plants and flowers, so try to get a seat on the terrace to soak it all in! To see what the café looks like for yourself, watch our Video Tour of Saint-Germain-des-Prés!

Le Procope on Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie is said to be the oldest café in Paris. As such, it has been visited by the likes of Rousseau, Voltaire, Robespierre and Benjamin Franklin. Come for the history and stay for the food!

  • Restaurants

Le Timbre on Rue Sainte Beuve is an amazing quaint French restaurant with a great ambience. Be sure to make reservations as the place fills up quickly!

When you’re looking for a truly romantic restaurant in Paris, you can’t go wrong with Relais Louis XIII on Rue Grands Augustins. The cozy interior and excellent French food will make for a night to remember!

For somewhat more affordable, but still very delicious fare, head to Brasserie Lipp on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Enjoy the hearty and delicious food, and if you’re seated at the window have fun with some people watching!

Little Breizh on Grégoire de Tours might just be one of the best creperies in the whole of Paris. The savory crepes are amazing and great for lunch, but do show up early, as there can be quite a line.

Other amazing restaurants in the area include La Cigale Recamier, Les Bouquinistes, Santa Lucia, Le Café des Arts and La Palette.

  • Bars

Chez Georges is one of the many amazing bars you’ll find along the Rue des Canettes. This cave-like wine bar features popular DJs but can get quite crowded late at night.

The Moose on Rue des Quatre Vents is a great sports bar with an international crowd. Try one of their delicious cocktails or a Canadian beer.

L’Avant Comptoir on Carrefour de l’Odeon is a tapas style French bar that pairs great wines with solid food. The bar is quite small, and be warned that it’s standing room only.

Stay in a 6th Arrondissement Apartment

Convinced this is one of the best neighborhoods in Paris? Consider staying in a vacation apartment in the Saint-Germain area during your visit to the city! You’ll be close to many of Paris’ landmarks, and you can be sure there’s always something to see or do in the area.

When you’re coming to Paris for a longer period, consider staying in a furnished apartment in the Saint-Germain area. You can truly feel at home in the neighborhood, and will have ample time to explore the cafes in the area at your own leisure. If you prefer to stay in for a night, simply stock up on fresh ingredients at the local market and cook your own dinner in the fully equipped kitchen of your apartment.

What to See & Do in the 6th Arrondissement

Image of the Palais du Luxembourg in the 6th Arrondissement of Paris

The Palais du Luxembourg in Paris is the seat of the French Senate

The 6th Arrondissement isn’t short on landmarks: there are beautiful buildings and historic churches all around. The pride of the neighborhood is of course the Palais du Luxembourg, where the French Senate is seated.

Picture of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris

The Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is the oldest church in Paris

The Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is the oldest church in Paris, and has some beautiful frescos. The Church of Saint-Sulpice is the second biggest in the city after the Notre Dame, and was featured in The Da Vinci Code. Other landmarks in the area include the Institut de France, Hôtel des Monnaies, Saint Michel Fountain, and Couvent des Cordeliers.

The Jardin du Luxembourg is the most famous park in the neighborhood, and the second largest public park in the city. The park features a beautiful pond where children can float sailboats, and plenty of chairs where adults can relax and soak up some sun. The Square du Vert Galant and Promenade de l’Allée du Séminaire are two other nice parks in the Arrondissement. There’s also a promenade that runs along the Seine River, and from which you have a great view of the Ile de la Cité. Don’t forget to visit the two famous bridges Pont des Arts and Pont Neuf as well. At the Pont des Arts you’ll find the famous love locks. Have a look at Discover the Seine River for more information about the bridges.

When it comes to culture, the 6th Arrondissement is especially well known for its theatres. The National Theater Théatre de l’Odeon is the most famous of the neighborhood, but the Théatre du Vieux Colombier and Théatre du Lucernaire are also great. UGC Odeon and MK2 Odeon are two well-known movie theaters in the area. Lastly, the Musée du Luxembourg is a lovely museum showcasing different exhibitions, and the Musée Delacroix contains an extensive collection of Delacroix’s paintings.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to the 6th Arrondissement of Paris! What’s your favorite café in Paris?