The 11 Best Shopping Experiences in Paris
Parisian shops with that je ne sais quoi.
Parisian style is less about brand names and more about timeless quality. This trend-averse fashion sense makes Paris the perfect city to venture outside of your usual shopping haunts. So, don that seriously uncomfortable, but unbelievably flattering pair of jeans at the back of your wardrobe, spend two hours achieving the perfect level of effortless bed-hair and enjoy some inspiration for your next Paris shopping trip.
Le Bon Marché
Le Bon Marché has withstood the test of time. As the oldest department store in Paris, around since the 1850s, it’s no surprise it’s the first on our list. If you’re looking for high-end fashion, you can’t do much better than this place. You'll find La Grande Épicerie, the stores own luxury food emporium, in the adjoining building – post-shopping snack break anyone?
24 Rue de Sèvres
We’re not sure where to start with Merci. This Independent boutique in the Marais has three floors worth of eclectic offerings. You might go in for a quick peruse, only to emerge an hour later with a stack of speciality paper and a hand-painted dinner plate. You've been warned.
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais
Can you even call yourself a Louis Vuitton fan until you've set foot in the largest Louis Vuitton shop in the world? Set across five floors, this flagship store in Maison Champs-Elysées sits in a listed Art Deco Building – not a bad place to spend an hour (or three).
101 Av. des Champs-Élysées
Why is an umbrella shop on this list, you might be asking? We’ll tell you why. This is no mere umbrella shop. Alexandra Sojfer specialises in handmade and wonderfully frivolous high-end umbrellas and parasols (as well as walking sticks). And if you don’t find an umbrella that calls your name, just have one custom made darling.
218 Boulevard Saint-Germain
We’re talking about the Hermès store on the Triangle d’Or, and it sure is a beauty. With original wooden façade and restored gilded lettering, you can’t miss it.
42 Avenue George V
As the design connoisseurs that we are, nothing gets us hotter under the collar than design bookshops – Artazart more than most. You’ll find books in several languages, including English, as well as an entire section dedicated to Parisian design.
83 Quai de Valmy
This little gem sits in the North Marais neighbourhood. Located in a workshop that dates back to the 1930s, Empreintes is a goldmine of French craftsmanship. Mostly filled with locals, you’ll find fine art and craft objects made by French artisans. If you can tear yourself away from the hand-embroidered cushions, head to the top-floor bookshop with views across the city's rooftops.
5 Rue de Picardie
For all you conscious shoppers out there, Centre Commercial offers sustainable French-made fashion and homeware. This is fashion with a difference, bringing concerns of social commitment, art and the environment into the conversation.
2 Rue de Marseille
You didn’t think we’d forgotten about the pastries, did you? It is Paris we’re talking about after all. Pierre Hermé is the city’s leading pastry chef, and also happens to be the name of his patisserie shop – not exactly a modest choice, but you can let it slide once you’ve tasted one of his petits fours.
72 Rue Bonaparte
Didier Ludot might be the city’s most iconic vintage clothing store. Located in the covered arcades that line the Palais Royal Gardens, you won’t find more museum-quality vintage haute couture anywhere else in Paris.
24 Galerie de Montpensier
Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen
We thought we’d finish with the Saint-Ouen flea market. Okay, so it doesn’t exactly offer a luxury shopping experience, but it is Paris’s largest flea market. It can be pretty overwhelming, with around 1,700 vendors and 14 separate areas. It’s best to get there early, with a double espresso and a strong dose of determination.
142 Rue des Rosiers
Cover image source: Jorge Láscar from Melbourne, Australia [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]