Shopping is one of the main attractions in Paris and with good reason. As the European capital for shopping, fashion, and design, Paris has approximately 17,000 shops — including 5,500 prêt-à-porter stores alone! With major department stores, historic iconic luxury brands and famous shopping districts, Paris is an amazing shopping destination for every style and taste.
Historically, Paris has been at the epicenter of fashion and luxury, and every brand is either made in France or has a flagship store here.
With so much choice where does one begin?
We’ve compiled the most stylish shopping options within Paris, guaranteed to appeal to your inner fashionista.
From insider tips to the best spots for iconic shopping destinations to a lowdown on esoteric local boutiques and then some hidden gems. Get set to be dazzled…
AN ICON REBORN – LA CANOPEE (Formerly, Forum des Halles)
The old covered food market of the 70’s; Forum des Halles (which was a shopping center of repute almost 40 years ago) has been rebuilt to unveil its swanking new avatar. Don’t miss a chance to visit La Canopée- As it dazzles visitors with its iconic roof resembling a gigantic, rippling leaf, covering the Forum with as much steel as it took to build the Eiffel Tower!
Spoil yourself with a superb range of mid-level shopping from brands like Lego, Nike, Sephora, Rituals, Superdry, Liu Jo, Moleskine, Herschel, New Balance, H&M Home and the concept store l’Exception.
In true Parisian style there are no food courts but swanky fine dine restaurants should you be in need of some sustenance – In prime position under La Canopée, two restaurants boasting views over Saint Eustache church and the big park (set to complete construction in 2018) are already making a name for themselves: Alain Ducasse’s Champeaux brasserie and the ZA cafe-restaurant designed by Philippe Starck.
For a Parisian shopping experience head to the Left Bank or rive gauche. The Saint Germain market stands between the eponymous boulevard and Saint Sulpice Church. Behind its elegant facade built from the same stone as the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles, some major international brands have now opened brand new outlets. Apple has elected to site its first ‘new generation’ Apple Store here, replete with its green wall and avenue of trees. Prestigious neighbors include Uniqlo’s fifth Paris boutique, Marks & Spencer, Nespresso and the restaurants of famed butcher Hugo Desnoyer and ‘bistronomy’ chef Yves Camdeborde.
MADE IN FRANCE – AVANT GARDE PARIS
Beyond these large-scale changes in 2016, an underlying trend has taken root in Paris for all things ‘Made in France’.
Several French brands that work with local designers – and local manufacturers have opened a number of stores.
Here’s a list of a few must visits:
1) Balibaris, a brand selling elegant, young and casual menswear, has inaugurated no less than six new Parisian boutiques in 2016, in very prestigious neighborhoods like Saint-Germain-des-Près, the Latin Quarter, the Golden Triangle and Haut Marais.
2) Majestic Filatures has been making luxury T-shirts in its Parisian workshops since 1989. For optimal comfort, they use a blend of cotton, silk, viscose, linen or cashmere, sourced exclusively in Europe. The brand already has eight sales outlets in Paris, including a new one in Rue Saint-Honoré, a stone’s throw from Colette.
3) The electric blue shop fronts of Parisian brand Kujten are increasingly visible in the city, where they retail cashmere sweaters and accessories from Mongolia.
4) Another up-and-coming French brand, Fine Paris, is jockeying for position in the luxury market with cashmere garments that combine Parisian elegance with the finest imported materials. Their first own-name boutique is smack in the middle of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
5) After eight years absence from the capital, legendary ready-to-wear Maison Cacharel from the South of France has opened a new store designed by Jean Nouvel in the same neighborhood.
6) Boulevard Beaumarchais is the chosen location for Agnès b.’s latest Paris shop, where the brand presents its womenswear, menswear and travel collections over two floors alongside a selection of movie posters, films, records, books, and photographs.
7) Menswear brand Olow was set up in the Paris region and opened its first shop on the other side of the Marais, closer to Les Halles. Olow is known for collaborating with artists and young designers with very varied, modern styles to create collections that are simultaneously poetic, urban and gritty.
8) Vintage is also making a major comeback at sports brands like Le Coq Sportif, whose new flagship is on Boulevard Saint-Germain.
9) You can buy classic tennis shoes from Spring Court at its new shop on Rue des Cannettes, also on the Left Bank.
10) And 1950s skiwear brand Fusalp, which already has a store in the Marais, has now planted its ski poles in the shopping district of Passy.
HOT SPOTS: DISTRICTS THAT DAZZLE
Boutiques in the Golden Triangle: The most instagrammed two-kilometer long avenue in the world is also a mecca for luxurious shopping. For some years now, the Champs-Elysées, bordered by the Rue François 1er, the Montaigne and Georges V Avenues, hosts Paris’s Golden Triangle of Shopping. Paris offers the best in haute couture and ready-to-wear luxury fashion. This is the place for prestigious labels: Louis Vuitton, Dior, Hugo Boss,
Chanel, Kenzo, Ralph Lauren and many more. For many city-dwellers and foreign tourists alike, the Golden Triangle is Paris incarnate.
Saint-Germain des Prés, Sèvres-Babylone, and Rue de Rennes: For a shopping spree in the heart of Paris, not-to-be-missed districts are Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Sèvres-Babylone and rue de Rennes. On rue de Rennes, there is a line-up of major brands including Etam, H&M, and Kookaï. On boulevard Saint-Germain and in neighboring streets, the window displays of grand couturiers vie with one another.
Haussmann-Opéra: Galeries Lafayette showcases the latest fashion trends on its three floors, from big luxury brands to menswear and even children’s fashion. The architecture of the building is so widely acclaimed that it has now become a must visit spot for one visiting Paris. The streets surrounding the church—with its stately neoclassical temple design—are lined with trees and elegant shops, cafés and gourmet food shops such as Fauchon. The Printemps department store also puts the focus on luxury, stocking upscale accessory and fashion brands like Alexander McQueen, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Red Valentino.
The Marais: The trendy design and fashion-designer boutiques in the district have given the Marais its avant-garde reputation. It is a pleasant place to stroll around. Several main streets such as the rue des Rosiers are pedestrianized whereas the rue des Francs-Bourgeois and rue du Temple are closed to motorized traffic on Sunday. More than a mere district, Marais has become an arty crossroads. A concentration of freshness, avant-garde and good taste that is the very lifeline of real Paris-Fashion.
Martyrs/Pigalle: With its village atmosphere, boho vibe and vintage boutiques, So-Pi is the latest trendsetting district in Paris. The Martyrs/Pigalle district also has many prominent local food shops. For more than ten years, Arnaud Delmontel has been an essential figure in the trendy Rue des Martyrs. Creator of the famous ‘Renaissance’ baguette, he was, in 2007, appointed Baker to the Elysée Palace. A mix of tradition and modernity, and a must-see gourmet stopover. Close by on Rue des Martyrs, the pastry chef Sébastien Gaudard gives an enchanting twist to classic French desserts like the Paris-Brest and the Saint-Honoré.
Montmartre: Montmartre is talked about by Parisians the way New Yorkers talk about the Village. Around Montmartre and Sacré-Coeur, there are lots of opportunities to take a break from shopping. Montmartre also has arts and craft venues like the concept store Spree, which mixes clothes, design furniture, and an art gallery, in rue La Vieuville. With its vintage boutiques, cafes and delightful delicatessen shops, this main shopping street are a must visit.
DUTY-FREE DELECTABLES: The best thing to shop for at the airport is foodstuff. Instead of lugging your macaroons and pâté from the city center all the iconic food brands like Laduree and Fauchon have stores at the airport so remember to save
a few minutes to walk through their elegant displays and delectable wares before you say bon voyage!
BEHIND THE BARGAIN – HOT TIPS FOR PENNY PINCHERS
No more Euros left? Fret not as we have some stylish options for those on a budget.
Stock clearance and brand outlets: To snap up top brands at low prices, go to stock clearance shops, which offer surplus and unsold goods at affordable prices. Many brands such as Bonpoint, Chloé, and Zadig & Voltaire have opened end-of-series shops. There are also multi-brand boutiques like L’Habilleur.
SENTIMENTAL SOUVENIR SHOPPING
Can’t bear to leave Paris without a trademark souvenir for family and friends? Heres where to head…Souvenir shops, kiosks or themed shops are often located close to the city’s major cultural sites. All these places stock a variety of objects illustrating Paris, its monuments, and historic places. At the Carrousel du Louvre, a Maxim’s Paris boutique sells boxes of chocolates and cakes recalling this illustrious belle époque restaurant.
TRES CHIC – FABULOUS FRAGRANCES & MORE: Parisian elegance has always gone hand in hand with the most exquisite perfume. With black perfume bottles and enchanting essential oils, Kilian Hennessy has mesmerized the world with his brand, By Kilian. All the historic perfumers have a boutique in the Marais: Guerlain, Serge Lutens, and Annick Goutal. Other fragrant treasure troves include L’Artisan Parfumeur, Nicolaï, les Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and Diptyque.
OF BAUBLES AND BEAUTY
Rue de la Paix and Place Vendôme are home to high-end jewelers whose magnificent boutiques are veritable jewel cases for their creations. Chanel has opened its high-end jewelry workshop above its boutique. Every year, the brand presents two collections to coincide with the haute couture calendar, with exclusive precious stones and unique pieces of jewelry. Paris is also a paradise for fine leather goods. From the wardrobe trunk to the diplomatic suitcase and the highly practical cabin trunk, boutiques offer everything from the serene and stylish travel. For collectors and fans of exceptional timepieces, Paris has numerous prestigious addresses. Top watch-making brands like Cartier, Piaget, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Chopard, Longines, and Rolex have addresses in Rue de la Paix, Rue Royale and Place Vendôme. High-street brands like Swatch and Louis Pion also have shops throughout Paris.
GOURMETS AND GOURMANDS UNITE
Fine delis and upscale food shops: In Paris, gastronomy is always under the spotlight thanks to artisans, chefs, and renowned food producers. International cake and pastry specialists include Pierre Hermé, Ladurée, and Philippe Conticini. The food halls of major department stores, like the Grande Épicerie du Bon Marché and Lafayette Gourmet, offer a wide and international choice, with the accent on quality. It’s possible to shop at a market throughout the day and in almost any area of Paris without losing your beauty sleep! Some markets are open in the afternoon, even all day. Markets like the ones on Boulevard Raspail and in Batignolles offer a
wide choice of fresh and organic produce. Fruit, vegetables, meat, bread and even flowers: you’ll find plenty to fill your shopping basket at Paris markets.
SHOPPING ON SUNDAYS
Although Sunday closing is the norm, a dozen tourist areas are an exception to this rule: the Champs Elysées, Beaugrenelle, Bercy Village, La Défense, Italie 2 and the Marais, Haussmann, Saint-Germain/Rue de Rennes, Les Halles, Ternes and Montmartre districts are all open on Sunday. From Saturday to Monday, the flea markets at the gateways of Paris are a hive of activity. Both popular and very specialized, the flea markets are veritable treasure troves for fans of designer furniture, antiques and curios of all kinds. Museum shops are full of artistic, contemporary and classic objects and combine shopping with culture.
FLEA MARKETS AND SECOND-HAND SHOPS – VINTAGE PARIS
From Saturday to Monday, the flea markets at the gateways of Paris are a hive of activity. Both popular and very specialized, the flea markets are veritable treasure troves for fans of designer furniture, antiques, and curios of all kinds. You can go bargain hunting for anything in Paris! Strolling along the banks of the Seine, you’ll see the famous bouquinistes who offer numerous old and second-hand books, as well as engravings, postcards, and other collector’s items. Bargain hunting in Paris also involves combing the many second-hand sales that take place during the year. Good bargains can also be found in dépôts-ventes (consignment shops) and second-hand clothes concessions in major department stores.
PERSONALISED PLEASURES – If you get a tad overwhelmed with all the choices, as we all know how intimidating shopping in Paris could get – it’s time to seek some good advice from a specialist. Paris also offers some of the best personal shoppers and coaches to help you find the ideal look in the finest boutiques. And if you’re pressed for time, some personal shoppers will even do your shopping for you. All you have to do is give them an indication of your budget and they will find everything you need. Now you can look the part of a Parisian – Très chic, n’est-ce pas?