Shopping in Paris can be a lot of fun. If you’re a shopaholic (like me) exploring the streets of Paris can be one of the most exciting things to do! This below is only a snapshot.
To start there is the famed Champs Elysées (length of 1.9km) which is from the Place de la Concorde to the Place Charles de Gaulle (location of the Arc De Triomphe) that creates a beautiful setting and an opportunity to explore some of the many shops that line this long street. You will however require quite a bit of time to cover ground. Not only is there a large array of shops, but with Paris receiving over 15 million tourists a year quite a few other people too!
Along the Champs Elysées you will find many international brands, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Zara, Levi’s, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton to name only a few; many of which also have their Flagship stores in Paris. With a quick turn down Avenue Montaigne you will find many of the legendary fashion design houses such as Chanel & Dior. Even if the wallet does not stretch it is certainly is some of the best window shopping around.
A shopping spot not to miss is the famed Galeries Lafayette Haussmann – located at 40 Boulevard Haussman. Not only famous for its incredible selection of departments but also admired for its incredible dome which is now over 100 years old. If you still wish to shop in Galleries Lafayette but want to avoid the crowds you could head to the smaller and quieter version in Montparnasse.
Just walking around will create a buzz for the taste buds
Another gorgeous department store to explore, even just for it’s beauty, is the Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche which originally opened in 1852, which is famous for being the first department store in the world. Inside you will find a large range of high end goods to purchase, although my favourite part of this department store is their adjacent building located at 38, rue de Sèvres. Here you will find La Grande Épicerie de Paris, the equisite food hall. Just walking around will create a buzz for the taste buds.
The Epicerie is devided into several speciality departments. These being; Sweet goods (likes of chocolates, jams, macaroons & more) Savoury Delights (vinegars, oils, pates, chutneys..) Tea & Coffee Department (every kind possible), Wine Merchant, Charcuterie (All the best quality cuts of meat), Fromagerie, (Cheeses), Bakery & Patisserie, & of course fresh produce… All mouth watering good! Everything is beautifully presented. Fruit & vegetables may be more than the markets but you can pick up many items originating from around the world for a fantastic picnic or to create some great gift packs.
Shopping in the local markets in Paris is something you will definitely get to enjoy and no matter which neighbourhood you are located in you will easily find fresh produce close to your front door of your apartment. One of my favourite markets was the Marché Bastille which is one of the largest in Paris. Located close to the wonderful region of Le Marais you can visit this market twice weekly (Thursday’s & Sunday’s)
We arrived early on the Sunday morning to be tempted by a fantastic range of fresh produce; free range chicken, seafood, local cheeses, meats, salad’s, herbs, bread, vegetables, fruit and of course a large selection of stalls offering local goods to purchase such as jewellery & bags. At the most popular vendors you can expect to haggle with the locals for a place at the front of the queue…..but it will be worth the wait! Such a fantastic place to shop for your local food goods and what you don’t eat on the spot (like the tempting made to order crepe’s) take it with you to create a picnic lunch and sit with the locals in the Place des Vosges square.
After lunch you can walk through the Le Marais area, which is a fantastic region to shop where you will find anything from thrift shops to small designer boutiques. On a Sunday many streets are closed off to traffic and are instead full of local Parisian’s exploring the boutiques and enjoying the many cafes & bars.
This area is also known as the old Jewish quarter and you will reach the Jewish district at the Rue Des Rosiers. It is here you will also locate the famed restaurant called “L’As du Fallafel”. You won’t miss it as you will note a continuous long line of people waiting for what is believed to be the best fallafels in Paris!
Once you have shopped the narrow cobbled stones streets of Le Marais you will also come across the department store ‘Le BHV Marais’. If you are here in the summer months head to the rooftop for a well deserved drink where can relax tired feet while enjoying a view of the city.
Channel Your Inner Parisian but don’t forget these 3 Tips:
- Make sure you obtain your Tourist discount card (savings of 10%) off all goods in the major shopping departments
- Look to obtain a Tax Refund of 12% off purchases – (Minimum value of €175.01 in a single day and in the same store). Keep this in mind if you do spend more than this and make sure you ask for a tax refund slip at time of purchase.
- Enjoy!! and remember you can always purchase another suitcase to bring home