The historic city of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in the Yvelines département is famous for its royal castle and for being the birthplace of Louis XIV, the Sun King. The terrace of Le Nôtre, the castle’s gardens, the winding streets of the old town, the elegant tree-lined streets of the exclusive residential neighbourhoods make Saint-Germain-en-Laye a great destination to discover just 20 kms West of Paris.

About Saint-Germain-en-Laye

The city of Saint-Germain-en-Laye has a population of approximately 40,000 (called Saint-Germanois and Saint-Germanoises) including 5,000 foreign residents. The commune is the largest of the Yvelines département and covers an area of 48 km2 (19 sq mi). The territory of the commune includes the National Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (35 km2).

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is one of the Sous-Préfectures of the Yvelines département alongside Rambouillet and Mantes-la-Jolie. Its post code is 78100.

The old town occupies a plateau overlooking the River Seine and the Western suburbs of Paris (Le Vésinet, Chatou, Nanterre, La Défense, Mont-Valérien).

Today the city-centre of Saint-Germain totalises more than 800 shops, making it the largest open-air shopping district of the Western suburbs of Paris.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye gave its name to the famous Paris-Saint-Germain football team who was based at Le Camp des Loges from 1904 to 1974.

What to see in Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Sightseeing in Saint-Germain-en-Laye includes the castle (Château-Vieux), the park of the castle with the Le Nôtre panoramic terrace, the National Forest of Saint-Germain and the Old Town centre.

  • Our pages on SAINT-GERMAIN-en-Laye

  • Coat of arms

    The coat of arms of Saint-Germain-en-Laye represents a cot with a date (5th of September 1638) on a blue background which refer to the birth of Louis XIV. The yellow cot is adorned with fleur-de-lis, the symbol of the French royal family.

    The coat of arms can be seen on the northern façade of the Henri IV Pavilion, the exact site of Louis XIV’s birth.

    Twinned Cities

    Saint-Germain-en-Laye is twinned with the following cities:

    – Aschaffenburg (Germany, since 1975),

    – Temara (Morocco, since 1982)

    – Ayr (Scotland, since 1984),

    – Winchester (USA, since 1990),

    – Konstancin (Poland, since 1992)

    How to get to Saint-Germain-en-Laye

    Saint-Germain is served by two lines: RER A and Transilien Line L. Both reaches Paris within 30 to 45 minutes.

    To visit the historic part of town, take the RER A.

    The RER A runs from Boissy-Saint-Léger in the eastern suburbs of Paris to Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Branches A2 and A1). In Paris it calls at Nation, Gare de Lyon, Châtelet-Les Halles, Auber, Charles de Gaulle – Étoile and La Défense. From the Arc de Triomphe (Charles de Gaulle – Étoile), it takes 22 minutes to reach the RER station situated at the foot of the castle.

    More information on train timetables.

    Useful Links about Saint-Germain-en-Laye

    Saint-Germain-en-Laye Tourist Office

    Municipality of Saint-Germain-en-Laye

    National Museum of Archeology

    Tourisme en Yvelines

    French Moments’ Photo Collection on Flickr

    Discover the département of Yvelines (Versailles, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Rambouillet…): Tourisme en Yvelines.


    About Author

    Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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