When you arrive in Saint-Germain, there is a sense of enlightenment and sophistication in the air, the area feels historic but also vibrating with contemporary life, like much of Paris. Is it because it was the home of literary and artistic celebrities of the 19th and 20th Centuries? Shopping high-end fashion is a cultural pastime in Paris, and St-Germain arrondissement is one of the city's best.
With everything at your doorstep, from shops to cafés and restaurants, to brasseries and bars, it all seems more eloquent, dapper and distinguished than anywhere else you go to around the world.
Visiting Saint-Germain-des-Prés isn't about finding the secret spots that no one knows, but more, seeing the established locations that have been there for so long that they have become iconic destinations themselves.
WHAT MY DAY WOULD LOOK LIKE
Shopping is on the menu (of course) with a visit to the newly refurbished Bon Marché (also the world's oldest department store), home of all the trendy labels that you can imagine (and well-dressed customers). If you are looking to want to know more about the opening of this first department store, I highly recommend the, Au bonheur des Dames ("The Ladies Paradise", in English) from Emile Zola, which is a telling romanced version of the story.
For my high-end street shopping fix, I head to Rue Bonaparte, otherwise known as 'European label heaven'. This is where I will find my favourite French brands, home décor pieces and even my favourite tea house.
Lunch has to be in one of the chicest and most historic cafes, Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore, which became a famous hangout for intellectuals such as Hemingway, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre in the 50s.
A little detour via Pierre Hermé to taste the latest macarons on their menu (delish!), before heading to the Museum Eugene Delacroix which is hosted in the artist's former home, a charming house with a garden in the middle of Saint Germain! Perfection!
To finish off a day of galivanting, shopping and eating way too many macarons, I will pull up a chair inside the beautiful brasserie Lipp and soak in its flamboyant art deco style whilst devouring in the famous Choucroute!