A Slice of Postcard Paris:
Main Streets around Saint Michel: Boulevard St. Michel, Rue St. Jacques, Boulevard St. Germain
Getting to Saint-Michel:
- To land directly at Place St. Michel: Get off at Metro St. Michel (line 4). You can also take the RER-C to St-Michel-Notre-Dame and walk south into the neighborhood.
- For the Sorbonne, Luxembourg and the Pantheon: Take the RER B to Luxembourg, or Cluny-la-Sorbonne (Line 10).
Saint-Michel Neighborhood History:
- The term “Latin Quarter” stems from the many clergymen and university students who lived in this neighborhood during medieval times and spoke mainly Latin.
- The Chapelle Ste-Ursule, which is one of the most architecturally impressive aspects of the Sorbonne university, was built in the 1640’s in the Roman Counter-Reformation style. It was largely responsible for the now-famous tradition of domes, which can be observed in buildings across Paris.
- Protesters first gathered at the Place St. Michel during the May ’68 demonstrations, the violent general strike that rocked France and halted its economy for weeks.
Places of Interest Near Saint-Michel:
- Sorbonne: Founded in the 13th century as a religious school, The Sorbonne is one of Europe's oldest universities. The inner sanctum is off-limits to visitors, so you'll have to admire from outside.
- Pantheon: Originally dedicated to the patron saint of France, St. Genevieve, this church now serves as a burial place for some of the country's most esteemed characters.
- Hotel de Cluny: This medieval residence now houses the National Medieval Museum. The famous tapestry, "The Lady and the Unicorn", is displayed there. The site is built on the foundations of roman thermal baths, part of which remain visible.
Out and About in Saint-Michel:
Shakespeare & Co.
37 rue de la Bûcherie
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 25 40 93
If you've run out of English novels during your trip, head over to one of the most charming English-language bookstores in Paris. Lining the Seine, this quaint shop has everything from guidebooks to Kafka to the latest bestsellers. Come on a Friday night and you might catch a reading by a poet or novelist on the sidewalk out front.
Eating and Drinking
159 rue St. Jacques
You might walk right past this inconspicuous bakery if you're not careful - but don't. What Pâtisserie Bon lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. Intricately iced chocolate cakes, rainbow-colored macaroons, and tarts with berries piled high are some of the specialties.
3 place de la Sorbonne
Tel: +33 (0)9 51 89 66 10
Nestled among lime trees and bubbling fountains, this typical French brasserie is a popular spot for Sorbonne students looking for a break from their studies. An older crowd moves in for the dinner rush.
9 Rue Cujas
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 29 20 20
If you're searching for an alternative to classic French cuisine, try this inviting restaurant that specializes in Corsican dishes. Notable dishes include the swordfish carpaccio, gnocchi in a chestnut and mushroom cream sauce, or the steamed rabbit wrapped in banana tree leaves.
4 rue des Fossés-St-Jacques/206 rue St. Jacques
These two Tibetan restaurants offer much the same menu and are right around the corner from each other. Try the steamed dumplings (momos), brothy noodle dishes or coconut rice dessert. Kokonor also offers Mongolian delights, like the delicious meat fondue.
Arthouse Cinemas-- La Filmothèque/Le Reflet Medicis/Le Champo
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 26 84 65 / +33 (0)1 43 54 42 34 / +33 (0)8 92 68 69 21
Tucked away off of Boulevard St. Michel is Rue Champollion, which houses three renowned arthouse cinemas offering independent or classic films. Le Champo has regular film festivals featuring a certain genre or decade, plus all-nighter screenings where you can watch three movies back-to-back and get breakfast in the morning for 15 euros.
6, rue Champollion
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 29 97 27
After your film, stop over at this arthouse café for a drink. With black-painted walls covered with film star photographs and guitar riffs playing overhead, you'll feel like you never left the cinema.