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Published by Oat Sitalasai — 5 years ago

Another post and another fun adventure to share with you guys here in the capital of France. I have had much luck recently and managed to profit from my usually long weekend by taking the metro and getting on in a never-explored before destination. This time, I chose somewhat a safe option, sticking to my usual line 10 towards Gare D’Austerlitz. The stop I had chosen to jump out from was Mabillon

Half of the people reading this have question marks about the stop station Mabillon. How about Saint-Germain-des-Prés? Now that should be better. So for this edition, I will mainly be sharing with you about all the amazing things to do, see, eat, and shop right here in this area. But before I begin, I must say that if you’re visiting Paris and have that one free day after already visiting the usuals like the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe and various other museums and attractions, I would highly recommend that you head over to Saint-Germain-des-Prés. I personally find that this area is a good summary of what Paris has to offer. 

To start off with, there are plenty of restaurants and eateries in this area. By plenty, I refer to restaurant of all types, from bars/pubs, cafes, diners, bistros, and even more fine-dining approach spots. The price range for places around here are super wide, so it’s guaranteed to suite everyone’s budget. And as for cuisine, you can find a bit of everything here too. I would say, that within a 5-10 minute walking radius of these two metro stops, you could find plenty of places to eat, whether you’re up for a traditional French, a Crêperie, an Italian cheese-meat-wine place, a trattoria, a Thai, a Japanese, an Indian, a kebab joint, McDonald’s, tapas, I could literally go on for next three lines. This is why I had mentioned that this area is a good summary of Paris in a nutshell, with all the cuisines together side by side catering for locals and tourists alike. If you haven’t had anything to eat prior to this trip, coming here for just the food wouldn’t be a bad idea. 


For your shopping pleasures, there is an array of shops and stores, offering all sorts of items. For a more upper-tier shops, you will find Prada, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo, Tod’s, Longchamp, Sandro, and Swarovski. For shoppings that you could afford to do more often, head over to check out the world-famous GAP stores which are everywhere, Aigle, American Apparel, The North Face, Zara and plenty more. In addition to these big brand stores, you can also walk through the small streets and walk ways and find individually owned boutiques and other neat stores. Oh, and all these shops are again within a 10 minute walking distance from the stations, so you won’t have to walk to far in what are now, very cold days in Paris. 


One more thing that I should add now that we’re on the topic of shopping, book lovers will also throughly this area. There are so many book stores in the area and I clearly see this as a paradise for book lovers. Closer to Odéon metro station, also on line 10 yellow, you will also find a very interesting book store. Just minutes from the station sits a book store simply called Librairie Polonaise, or the Polish Bookstore. I didn’t walk inside but I could imagine that they have some awesome reads and interesting books in there. But other than this one, you will easily find plenty more around La Faculté de Médecine Paris Descartes (just opposite Starbucks at the station). Keep walking along this street, rue de l’École de Médicine, and make a right turn into a small, rock-paved alley with a set of stairs at the end and a statue in the middle, rue Antoine Dubois. I am unsure as to whether these book stores have many English literature, but I could recommend one that’s been passed on to me by another friend, called Gibert Jeune. At this place, you can find all sorts of cool stuff from books to even really neat games, decorations, even stationaries! The shops are separated into a few different buildings, in which scattered throughout the area. They are a massive book store with a immense selection of books and resources, with a good range in English as well. Apart from their dominance in books, the store is located just minutes away from the river with the best view of the bridge and the French gothic greatness in Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris


Now that we even speak of the walk to Notre Dame, I must also mention another famous, must-go spot that’s just 15 minutes from our starting point! If you did keep up with me until the small road that leads to the book shops, you will end up at a little ‘square’ whereby you can catch a glimpse of Odéon Théâtre de l’Europe. You will once again get a good photo opportunity here at this spot, but this highly depends on whether there are a lot of cars parked on the road side. In my case, they were everywhere and pretty much limited my view of the beautiful theatre. Well anyhow, you go along the building and get out through its back side, and you will see Le Jardin du Luxembourg



Once you cross rue de Vaugirard, you will be set nicely for the entrance to another beautiful attraction. Take a walk around the gardens and appreciate its space, architecture, nature and the dynamics of people taking pictures, kissing, sitting on the benches, and of course, doing hardcore exercises on the stairs. This all may sound too good to be true, but these were all the actions I saw within 30 minutes of being in the garden. If you look carefully - and if the sky permits - you will also be able to see Tour Montparnasse towards the left side of the gardens. The gardens actually has multiple points of attraction within its fences, namely its museum and the famous Le Triomphe de Silène by Parisiam sculptor, Jules Dalou.

By the time you come out of the gardens, you will be greeted with RER station Luxembourg in which should take your tired legs from this journey home nicely. There are also plenty of cafes as well as souvenir shops in the area if you want to unwind and relax. I must say one thing though, in regards to the weather. I know that it’s common sense to not go to the gardens or a place like Palace of Versailles on a rainy day, but even if the rain had stopped, the grounds in the Garden of Luxembourg will really mess up your shoes. So if you were to soldier your way through, I would recommend wearing a pair of shoes that you love enough to rock, but not enough to clean!

I hope that you managed to stay focus with my somewhat side-tracked post of what to do around metro stops Mabillon and Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It is definitely worth a visit even if you’re living here because chances are you’ll always discover something new! For more precise information on the main spots of attractions discussed in this blog, please refer to the list below of their names, along with their official websites for your curious and adventurous minds!

Librairie Polonaise

Gibert Jeune

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

Odéon Théâtre de l’Europe

Le Jardin du Luxembourg

If you like the content of this post, or just want to check out some pictures that I take on my adventure, feel free to like and/or follow me on instagram at oat93, cheers!

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