Paris Shopping Guide
With its world-renowned couture houses, haute fashion districts, sprawling flea markets, and mile-long shopping streets, Paris has a well-earned reputation as a global shopping and fashion capital. Whether you're looking for the newest names in French design or a funky second-hand find, you're sure to find what you need in one of the city's many arrondissements, or neighborhoods.
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The Triangle d'Or, or Golden Triangle, is the reason Paris leads the pack for high-fashion shopping. The Avenue Montaigne, Avenue George V, and Rue Francois 1er form a triangle around famous fashion houses like Dior and Chanel. Think of the Triangle d'Or as the Parisian version of New York City's Fifth Avenue. Even if you're not in the market for designer wear, it's worth strolling through the neighborhood just to window shop (or lecher les vitrines, as they say in French). For more affordable upscale shopping, make your way out to the Champs-Elysees, where you'll find brands like Louis Vuitton sitting alongside household names like Sephora.
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Rue de Rivoli, Palais-Royal & Place des Victoires
When it comes to fashionable streets, the upscale rue Saint-Honore is perhaps Paris' most famous, lined with designer flagships. After admiring the stunning window displays at shops, one can pop into Paris' first outdoor specialty café, Honor. Just off the rue Saint-Honore lies the Place Vendome, an impressive square lined by some of the top names in the jewelry world (think Cartier). Here in the first arrondissement, you'll also find gorgeous shops nestled under the arcaded Rue de Rivoli, which skirts the Jardin des Tuileries and is home to major department stores like Le BHV Marais. Around the Jardin du Palais-Royal, arcades are lined with high-end shops. This Instagram-worthy spot spills out onto a terrace overlooking the gardens.
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One of the trendiest shopping spots in Paris, Le Marais is known for its more avant-garde esprit, or spirit. The neighborhood tends to be on the busier side—especially around the famous falafel stands and restaurants—but it's worth strolling through the mazelike streets where you'll come across small vintage shops, as well as stylish mid-range labels. Before you leave Haut Marais, take a seat at the used-book café, home to more than 10,000 books.
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At the end of the beautiful, tree-lined Boulevard Haussmann are two famous department stores: Printemps and the Galeries Lafayette flagship, which features more than 3,500 brands. Across the street you'll find Galeries Lafayette's home décor store, Lafayette Maison, a shop devoted to more classic furniture and tableware. If you're looking for younger (and slightly more affordable) shops, don't miss nearby shopping street Rue Scribe.
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Pastries and Sweets
While Paris is a well-known shopping haven for fashion-seekers, the city's signature pastries and sweets are worth exploring, too. Fauchon, Ladurée and La Maison du Chocolat are some of the standout pastry and chocolate shops where you can find jewel-colored macarons and haute couture-inspired chocolate confections. For gourmet teas, jams, and easy-to-pack gifts, don't miss the expansive La Grande Epicerie de Paris, across from Le Bon Marché; or Lafayette Gourmet, Galeries Lafayette's version of a gourmet grocery store, stocked with more than 20,000 hand-selected products.
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Another quintessential Parisian souvenir is perfume, and there's no lack of luxurious boutiques where you can discover your new scent. Top picks include historic perfumer like Fragonard.
Top picks include perfume house Diptyque, concept shop Jovoy Parfums Rares near the Louvre, and historic perfumers like Guerlain and Lancôme.
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Just outside of Paris, bargain shoppers will love exploring the deals at outlet malls like La Vallée Village and One Nation Paris, home to Marni, Michael Kors, and Kenzo. Some of the major French brands like A.P.C. and Sonia Rykiel also have clearance stores right in the center of the city, with past collections discounted up to 70 percent off.
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Embrace classic Paris by strolling along the Seine and admiring the 900 bouquinistes, or riverside booksellers, lining both banks of the river. For the full flea market experience, head to the Porte de Clignancourt for the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen (open Saturday through Monday). More than 1,700 vendors gather at 14 markets selling records, antique furniture, and vintage fashion from the likes of Dior and Chanel. In the Marais, meanwhile, vintage fans can peruse the racks at some of Paris' best second-hand shops.
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Paris Shopping Tips
Keep these Paris shopping tips in mind before your visit:
- Many shops in Paris and at the airport offer tax-free shopping if you spend more than 175 euros at the same shop in the same day. Some department stores, such as Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, even have tax-refund counters. Bring your passport to receive the duty-free slip required for customs.
- Many shops traditionally close on Sundays, but larger department stores and shops in major tourist areas (such as the Champs-Elysees) may keep their doors open all weekend long.
- Paris museums house some of the finest shops in the city. They're a good place to purchase unique souvenirs inspired by the museums' masterpieces.
- Hundreds of souvenir shops are clustered around major tourist sites like the Eiffel Tower and Sacre-Coeur, all selling the same miniature metal Eiffel Towers and snow globes. If you want higher-quality trinkets, head to Galeries Lafayette's sixth floor, which is a more upscale version of a traditional Paris souvenir shop.
- Sale season takes place twice a year in Paris (in January and June), with six weeks of discounts of up to 70 percent off retail prices.