High fashion, book shops, open air markets and bespoke boutiques: In Paris, shopping is more than a passion; it’s a way of life. Get the best Paris shopping tips in our guide below.
In vogue since the 18th century, when gentlemen courted ladies with fine perfumes and jewellery, shopping in Paris is only surpassed by the city’s passion for romance. Today, options range from grand magasins (department stores), to vintage shops and knick-knack flea markets – a chic treasure trove of goodies to satisfy your every want and whim.
The Grandest Magasins
Thanks to its reputation for haute couture, the Paris shopping experience is widely known for the ritzy fashion streets and avenues. The iconic Champs Elysées leads the pack with parallel rows of shops, eateries and showrooms. Nearby, Avenue Montaigne is the glitziest glamour gal of them all, home to the flagship designer stores of Chanel, Valentino and Dior.
When Galeries Lafayette first opened its doors in the early 1900s, it was an instant smash with style-savvy citizens for its ornate multi-tiered décor and convenient one-stop shopping. Les Halles, the city’s urban mega mall, makes up for its lack of Parisian elegance with a wide selection of wallet-saving options.
Shopping in Paris for the kids
Even the most modest Parisian fashions are well-crafted and stylish, and there’s no exception for kids. Top children’s brands include Petit Bateau, Tartine et Chocolat and Jacadi as well as limited high-end collections from the likes of Dior and Burberry. Specialty toy shops have an equally artisan feel; some of the best include Au Nain Bleu, the oldest, selling everything from retro cars to boats and teddy bears. The magical Pain d’Epices; and arguably the most beautiful, the neo-classical Si Tu Veux, with a wide assortment of toys on offer.
Boutiques and specialty stores
While the Champs Elysées and large shopping centres like Les Halles offer a generous mix of shops and eateries, stylish boutiques cater to those seeking one-of-a-kind finds, often off the beaten path. The chic 11th arrondissement brims with stylish specialty clothing shops in all price points. A few to look out for include: So We Are, Sessun and Les Fleurs.
In the fashion-forward Marais district, quirky shops like Merci Concept Store, The Broken Arm and Zou Boutique are all the rage. Near the Canal St Martin, restored old buildings have become homes to the trendiest shops, including French Trotters, Atelier Green Factory and Nordkraft.
Paris shopping outdoors
Some of the best shopping in Paris can found in the stalls of open-air markets peppered around town. Foodies will appreciate the Marche d’Aligre, an atmospheric neighbourhood Parisian farmer’s market featuring produce, meat, cheese, fish and chocolate. For the bio-conscious, the Raspail Organic Market boasts the city’s best selection of eco products.
Bargain hunters should flock to the Marche Aux Puces de St Ouen, the city’s largest outdoor market with over 3,000 stalls of bric-a-brac, artwork, antiques and furniture. You’ll find rare books, magazines and vintage postcards in the Seine’s Bouquinistes stands. Even chic department stores like Galeries Lafayette have got into the act with storefront stalls selling everything from silk scarves, to watches and jewellery.
Ready for retail therapy à la mode? Start planning your Paris shopping adventure.