Look at most Parisians and you’ll see what it is that makes Paris one of the most fashionable shopping meccas the world has to offer. Parisians seem to ooze style and sophistication, and with Paris’s multitude of beautiful shops and boutiques, it’s possible to steal the style secrets of the French and achieve your own “je ne sais quoi” quality! Paris is not the cheapest place to shop, but if luxury is what you are looking for, book a lowcost airline and save your money for a shopping spree in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements, with some offering more in the way of designer shopping than others. For a list of particular shops, the Guardian newspaper came up with its 10 Best Shops in Paris, which is definitely worth a read. There are some great finds in here:
And for an interactive guide of what each arrondissement has to offer in terms of shops, both high and low end, check out this very helpful website:
Below are some of the most elegant and well-known shopping districts in Paris. These are just some suggestions to start you off on your designer shopping spree, but don’t be afraid to explore Paris’s many side streets and vintage markets… who knows what treasures you may find?
AVENUE DE CHAMPS ELYSEES
Avenue de Champs Elysees is perhaps Paris’s most famous shopping destination. Its famous wide, tree-lined avenue houses many top restaurants, budget chains (such as GAP and Banana Republic) and cinemas. It is also home to many well-known names in designer fashion, such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Christian Dior and Valentino. The Avenue de Champs Elysees is a definite must on any shopping expedition.
RUE DU FAUBOURG SAINT-HONORE
Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore is thought to be one of the most fashionable streets in the world, thanks to its abundance of top designer shops. Though small in size and rather non-descript in nature, the street is home to nearly every global fashion house. The Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore screams luxury; here you can find the flagship stores of both the famous and high-class Hermes and elegant and sophisticated Lanvin, as well as Cartier, Gucci, Dolce&Gabbana, and many more designer shops. Also to be found here is the trendy and modern concept shop, Collette, popular with hip young Parisians.
Boulevard Haussmann is home to some of the world’s most elegant and imposing department stores, known as grands magasins. Two of the largest and most elaborate of these grands magasins are Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, with their dizzying array of designer clothing, jewellery, home design and gourmet food. Definitely a treat for anyone looking for a little luxury in their life!
Avenue Montaigne is another centre of couture, boasting names such as Dior, Chanel, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and more. Avenue Montaigne is also home to many top jewellers such as Harry Winston and Bulgari.
Saint-Germain-des-Pres, housed on Paris’s trendy Left Bank, is a famous shopping district as well as being a literature lover’s dream, with its small bookshops nestled amongst its many shops and restaurants. Nowadays its more yuppie than preppie, but still it is a beautiful place to visit and shop. There are several shops and small boutiques to explore, including Hermes, Sonia Rykiel, Yves Saint Laurent, La Maison Ivre and Bonpoint.
If you fancy mixing a little culture in with your shopping (and why not? You are in the culture centre of Europe, after all!), there is a walking tour that explores the history of shopping in Paris. More details here:
Armed with this information, you should be able to take advantage of the best shopping Paris has to offer! Bonne chance!