The experience of wandering Saint Sulpice at dawn embodies some of what we love most about this history-clad city. The more baroque yin to the 6th arrondissement’s Saint Germain yang, this wedge of Paris is home to the Saint Sulpice church—pushed into contemporary culture via the Da Vinci Code—and the four-star Le Relais hotel.
Time your stroll down the Rue Saint Sulpice for 6 a.m., when the streets are colored with that ineffable Parisian light but the shops aren’t yet open. Stroll past pharmacies and milliners toward the Saint Sulpice looming in the distance, then wander its sweeping, stone-lined plaza until the church opens at 8 a.m. Tour the church’s elaborate murals and enormous standing organ (on Sunday, you might catch a performance), then clear away any church-induced gloom with petit dejeuner at the nearby Café de la Marie.
Photo by Cezary Piwowarski