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-Ger” a great destination to discover just 20 km West of Paris.
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-L. 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-L. gave its name to the famous Paris-Saint-Germain football team who was based at Le Camp des Loges from 1904 to 1974.
Where to stay in Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Use this map below to locate places where you can stay in town:
What to see in Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Sightseeing in Saint-Germain-en-L. 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.
About the town’s 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 that 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.
Saint-Germain-en-L. 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
- National Museum of Archeology
- Tourisme en Yvelines
- Where to stay in Saint-Germain-en-L.