Guide to the 6th arrondissement: Classic Paris

The sixth arrondissement is a classic, it’s what you dream about whenever you hear the word “Paris”. There’s a huge collection of iconic cafes and restaurants, and during our day in the district we managed to dine in loads of them. Below are our tips for how to visit the sixth arrondissement of Paris.

The interactive map

First, here’s an interactive map of everything we are about to recommend, to help you find it all easily.

Trip map created using Wanderlog, a road trip planner app on iOS and Android

The Earful Tower podcast episode

This podcast episode on the 6th district of Paris includes an interview with prolific author and local resident John Baxter, and our final ranking on the district out of 100. 

Video guide to the 6th arrondissement

Here’s our visit, in video format, via our YouTube channel. We’ll be making one of these travel vlogs every week, so be sure to subscribe (you can do it in one click via this link). 

The Earful Tower’s guide to the 6th arrondissement

Tops things to find in the 6th arrondissement

Luxembourg Gardens: It doesn’t get much better than this. The Luxembourg Gardens are a Paris highlight, and it’s a safe bet that many visitors don’t realize just how huge it is. Save a few hours for this place, watch the chess players on the west side (or dare to play!), sail a boat in the pond, find the beehives, the statue of liberty replica, the pétanque fields, the tennis courts… This place goes on and on and all of it is lovely.

Ladurée: The ideal place to get picnic snacks or a present for your friends and family back home… that is, if you can resist the temptation to eat the macarons on the flight! As we explained on the podcast, the charming safari room out the back is long gone, but you can still dine upstairs, though it’s not nearly as wonderful as it once was. @maisonladuree Address: 21 Rue Bonaparte, 75006

The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore: Looking for a book in English? Right by the Luxembourg Gardens is the Red Wheelbarrow, and just two doors down they’re opened a new store The Red Balloon which is just for children’s books. Be sure to say hello to the owner, Penelope, who is pictured below and is a friend of the show. Our own children’s books might just be in the window still 🙂 @theredwheelbarrowbookstore Address: 11 Rue de Médicis No. 9, 75006

Officine Universelle Buly 1803: This perfumerie has only been here a handful of years, but the brand dates back centuries. The interior is nothing short of magical, a perfect cabinet of curiosities. Don’t forget to look up at that amazing ceiling. @officine_universelle_buly Address: 6 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 

Musée Eugène Delacroix: Delacroix is something of a hero of the 6th. This museum is in his old home, complete with workshop and garden out the back. You can also find some of the artist’s masterpieces in the nearby Saint Sulpice church, and a fountain in his honour in the Luxembourg Gardens. @museedelacroix Address: 6 Rue de Furstemberg, 75006

Square Furstemburg: Simply a stunning square, ready for you to find.

Two brilliant churches

Église de Saint Germain des Prés: This beautiful church has an incredible and intricate painted interior, adding a very modern touch to what’s actually the oldest church in Paris. Address: 3 Pl. Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006

Saint-Sulpice Church: This beauty, which dates back to 1646, is the biggest church in Paris that’s open to visitors (the Notre Dame is still closed for repairs). Saint Sulpice features magnificent Delacroix paintings on the interior walls, and if the interior looks familiar, it featured in the Da Vinci Code. Address:  2 Rue Palatine, 75006

Les Bouquinistes: The bookshops along the Seine are particularly prevalent in the sixth arrondissement. It’s here that I bought a bunch of antique Paris postcards for the top-tier Patreon members. Want to know more about the bouquiniste booksellers? I interviewed one of them in 2019, more info here.

Excellent restaurants in the 6th arrondissement

Cafe de Flore: Let’s face it: If you want to visit the most Parisian of all Parisian cafes, you’ll have to choose between Cafe de Flore or Les Deux Magots next door. For this episode, we chose Cafe de Flore and it didn’t disappoint. Since it opened in 1887, pretty much every famous person who has been in Paris has visited. Their website looks like it was written by Google Translate, but you can get a good idea of the history on the link above. Go for the terrace, and watch Parisians at play. @lecafedeflore Address: 172 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006 

Treize Bakery Paris A bustling hive of activity with friendly staff and great food, right by the park. The owners, a Swede and an American, were on the podcast in 2020 telling their story. @treize_au_jardin Address: 5 Rue de Médicis, 75006

Brasserie Lipp: Another classic spot, across the road from Cafe de Flore. There’s no messing about in this beautiful restaurant. Waiters zip around with classic French dishes for their customers, putting on a show that’s perhaps more impressive than the meal itself. @lippbrasserie Address: 151 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006 

Lapérouse: Iconic to say the least. This restaurant describes itself as if it was a high class brothel, with its website calling it a “discrete house of pleasures”. Over the centuries, diners have included everyone from Proust and Victor Hugo to Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway.

In fact this very week on social media they were boasting of a recent visit from Justin Timberlake. It is a fun place, you can hire private salons for 50 euros per person and the waiters don’t come in unless you let them. This time we went for just two desserts and an espresso, which cost over €50 (!). But if you can afford it, you should do it! @laperouse_paris Address: 51 Quai des Grands Augustins, 75006 

La Palette Cafe: Yet another classic, this is where I met John Baxter for this week’s podcast episode. Exceptional interior, if only these walls could talk. Address: 43 Rue de Seine, 75006

Great spots for a drink in the 6th arrondissement

Prescription Cocktail Club: A cool and newly renovated cocktail bar that makes for a welcome contrast to all the classic Parisian bistros and bars. There’s an unusual cosmic/1930s/theatrical vibe, but it works, and the bar describes its cocktail menu as “an invitation to a maiden voyage of creations inspired by the spirit of the otherworldly”. @prescriptioncocktailclubparis Address: 23 Rue Mazarine, 75006

Le Select: And suddenly we’re back in Montparnasse, which we properly visited as part of our guide to the 14th arrondissement. Le Select is another old American bar, right on the border of Montparnasse, a famed haunt of the ghosts of yesteryear. It still makes for a wonderful spot for a terrace cocktail, but the drinks are overpriced – you’ve been warned. @selectmontparnasse Address: 99 Bd du Montparnasse, 75006

That will do for now! Next week we’ll be taking you to the 5th arrondissement as part of this Paris Countdown series, where we’re spending a day in each Paris district. A big thanks to Augusta Sagnelli for the photos and Charlotte Pleasants for the additional reporting.

Here’s the podcast episode again in case you missed it, new episodes every Monday.

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4 thoughts on “Guide to the 6th arrondissement: Classic Paris

  1. Have been staying in the 6th for over 40 years; over 20 on Rue Madame, Hotel Perreyve at number 65, wouldn’t stay anywhere else and first stop is always The Luxembourg. Don’t miss the orchard at the far end where paper bags are put around the fruit while they ripen and gardeners are always willing to show you around. Had dinner at Brasserie Lipp two weeks ago. They have the best “Isle flottant” in Paris. Now at my small farmhouse near Ccgnac fora few weeks before going back for a couple of days in the 6th and dinner at L’epi du pin then back to Canada. Just finished “Paris on Air” and loved it. Will give it to my daughter to read when she arrives next week. She spent a summer when 17 and 2 years after finishing university working Paris. Lived first in the 7th and later the first. So many great memories!Thank you for the walk down memory lane!

  2. The 6th is definitely my favorite. On our last trip (when we met you and Charlotte!) we had lunch at Cafe Flore just because Ina Garten talks about it as a cafe she goes to first thing every time she visits Paris. We had perfect people-watching seats and in many ways it was good theater! Not our favorite cafe . . . but very glad we went there!

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