If you are travelling via Paris and have the time, it is a shame not to spend a night in the French capital to enjoy its famously cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Arrival in Paris
When you alight from the Eurostar, you have three choices: to take the metro, catch a bus or journey on the RER suburban railway. We provide instructions for all three options but recommend the bus – the journey time may be twice as long (25 minutes) but you get to see Paris as you travel. If you prefer to take the train, the RER is better than the metro, as there are fewer steps involved. Whichever travel method you choose, you have a short walk from the bus stop or station to your hotel, for which we provide directions in your documentation.
Hotel Saint-Paul Rive Gauche
We have worked with the Hotel Saint-Paul Rive Gauche for many years. Not only is the location superb, on a narrow street where historic St Germain meets the Latin Quarter, less than a 15-minute walk from the Seine and the cathedral of Notre Dame, but it has been run by the same family for the last four generations and you will be greeted warmly by the knowledgeable and helpful staff.
Although the building dates from the 17th century – the breakfast buffet is served in the vaulted cellar – there is a lift, so you needn’t worry about lugging your suitcases up several flights of stairs. The cosy bedrooms are individually decorated, with dark wood furniture.
Next door to the hotel is the Polidor, a traditional bistro where you can turn up without a reservation. There are other good restaurants in neighbouring streets.
Two doors up the street is a small grocery shop which is perfect if you wish to buy ingredients for a picnic for your onward journey.
You can leave your suitcases at the hotel while you explore. Of course, the options are endless, though it is worth bearing in mind that your Eurostar ticket entitles you to a 50% discount at the Musée d’Orsay, the converted railway station which now houses an unrivalled collection of Impressionist works.
To gain a feel for the St Germain des Prés district, you can follow our self-guided walking tour which starts from the hotel and zigzags towards the Seine before returning to the hotel via a couple of churches and the leafy Jardin du Luxembourg. As well as guiding you through the streets, our walking notes include information about the many writers, artists and intellectuals who have frequented and lived in this fashionable district over the last few centuries.