Only a short stopover in Paris? Here are some hidden spots - told by a local
Who knows a city better than a local or someone who has lived there for many years? Professional MBA Marketing & Sales alumna (class 2014) Nadya Mamet shares her favorite bars, places and hidden spots in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (west of Paris) which give it such a special flair. Discover the city from a very personal and, most probably, very different perspective.
What is your favorite restaurant/bar/café in Saint-Germain-en-Laye and why? What do I definitely need to try (food, drinks, meet people, etc.)?
There are a lot of great restaurants in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. This is truly international city because a lot of expatriates those work in Paris live here. This means all types of cuisine is available here. There are different kinds of restaurants. I personally like “Pavillon Henry IV” because of atmosphere and wonderful view, “Le 10” for great seafood… But our favorite place is “La Piazza”. Great choice of Italian dishes (my champion is ravioli a la truffle) and sunny terraсe where I still date with my own husband when he comes back after business trip.
One place I should mention separately. Our city is a “hometown” of a famous football team – “Paris Saint-Germain”, they get trained here. These football players have a bar where they come most often and get together after trainings – “Le Réveil Matin”. This is very popular place located in the very center of Saint-Germain-en-Laye close to the central market.
As a Saint-Germain-en-Laye insider, what places do you recommend visiting which can’t be found in a tourist guide? Please share your hidden spots.
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is actually a small city but a very known one for every French person. It was founded in 1020 (so next year it will celebrate its the 1000th anniversary) and for a long time it was a city where children of French kings were born and educated.
I think that this place itself is a masterpiece. Many buildings in the central streets exists since 400-600 years. Come here, feel the atmosphere, visit central market (Tuesday, Friday, Sunday till 13.00), go for a walk in the park with vast view to Paris and meet great people.
This city was a hometown for many famous French people. Louis XIV, the Sun King, was born here. This was also a home of a known French “impressionist” composer – Claude Debussy. His home is situated in the heart of the city and this is a museum. Local “conservatoire” is named after himself and is also worth to see: there is a beautiful garden inside.
Local people believe that there is a labyrinth located underground in the center of the city. Royal children needed some “emergency exit” from the castle in case of any danger. I don’t know for sure. But logically thinking it might be true. All museums are free on the first Sunday of the month.
Why is Saint-Germain-en-Laye one of the coolest places in the world? What makes it special?
I think that all people those travel to France have Paris in mind first of all. I understand them. Paris is probably the most beautiful and interesting capital in the whole World. However, France itself is unique country where all the regions make me “infected” with their local culture, language, architecture, food and nature. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is not an exception. This is truly unique spot on the map and one of the coolest Paris’ suburbs. There are a lot of things those I like here. But most of all the fact that the best schools in France are located here! My daughter is 5 years old and attends public “ecole maternelle”. We love our school, teachers and friends. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a great and peaceful place located only 30 minutes by train from the center of Paris city.
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