Guide to Shopping in Paris

Paris Department Store Paris offers top shopping, whether you’re looking for the latest fashions or vintage styles, or French beauty products that you can’t find at home. Even if you’re not a big shopper, the shops in Paris are worth visiting for their sheer grandeur and impeccable presentation of merchandise. As with everything there, shopping in Paris an art form. Here’s a guide to the best shopping in Paris.

Before you hit the stores, plan ahead to get the sales tax refund you’re entitled to. Non-EU residents get a tax (VAT) refund if you spend over 175 euros in one place in one day. The sales tax is 19.6%, so be sure not to leave money behind if you plan to do major shopping in Paris.

Paris Department Stores

The grand magasins (department stores) Printemps, are eye candy for their chic luxury fashions, their eye-popping displays, and their awe-inspiring architecture. These department stores are staffed with welcome desks and translators, and they offer store guides in multiple languages to greet international shoppers. Galeries Lafayette, and Le Bon Marché have high-end and mid-range collections within their stores. The BHV department store carries more low-end lines at bargain prices. (Think JC Penney vs. Macy’s.) Printemps and Galeries Lafayatte are literally next door to each other on Blvd. Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement.

When you shop at the department stores, bring your passport with you and stop by the Detaxe office (or equivalent) after making your purchases to obtain and have them fill out your tax refund form. At boutiques and small shops, just ask the cashier for a VAT form.

Galeries Lafayette
40 Blvd. Haussmann, 9th arr.
Metro: Chaussée d’Antin – La Fayette, Lines 7 & 9

Printemps
64 Boulevard Haussmann, 9th arr.
Metro: Chaussée d’Antin – La Fayette, Lines 7 & 9

Le Bon Marché
24 Rue de Sèvres, (7th arr., on the border of the 6th arr.)
Metro: Sevres-Babylone, line 12

BHV (Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville)
52 Rue de Rivoli, 4th arr.
Metro: Hôtel de Ville, line 4

Paris Shopping Districts

For luxury shopping, there are concentrations of high-end stores in various areas of Paris:

Avenue Montaigne / Avenue des Champs – Élysées / Golden Triangle
For luxury shopping, the streets of Avenue Montaigne, George V and the Avenue des Champs-Elysees mark what’s known as the Golden Triangle (or Triangle d’Or). Reminiscent of Rodeo Drive, here you’ll find the flagship stores of world renowned fashion houses like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Cartier and, plus Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Prada, Gucci, Bulgari, Balmain and many, many more haute couture designers.

Avenue des Champs – Élysées has a bit of touristy reputation because it’s become overrun with discounters and many of the same chains you can shop at home (GAP, etc.)

Rue du Faubourg – Saint-Honoré
The grand promenade of high fashion offers well-heeled shoppers even more blocks of exclusive designer shopping. Head to the ritzy enclave for the Hermes flagship store, the flagship Givenchy store, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), Christian Louboutin, Lanvin, Valentino and more. This is also where you’ll find the hip boutique Colette.

Check out the flagship Hermes store:

Saint-Germain-des-Prés
A Boutique shopper’s paradise in the 6th arrondisement. After you visit Le Bon Marche (Sèvres-Babylone Metro stop), exlpore Rue de Sèvres, Rue du Cherche Midi, Rue du Four, Rue de Bac, Rue de Grenelle, Rue de Rennes, Rue du Dragon, Rue du Vieux Colombier, Rue du Cherche-Midi, and Rue Bonaparte

Marais
Rue Charlot, Rue de Poitou, Rue Vieille du Temple, Rue de Turenne, and Rue des Francs-Bourgeois are chock full of chic boutiques. Plus, check out the unique Village Saint-Paul, where eclectic shops sell French antiques and one-of-a-kind finds in a maze of interconnected courtyards. (Rue St. Paul, Marais)

More Shopping Districts
Canal St. Martin – Boho boutiques are scattered along the quai, including the famed Antoine et Lili.

Montmartre – Rue Yvonne le Tac, Rue des Martyrs, and Rue Durantin are dotted with hip boutiques.

Rue Etienne-Marcel and Place des Victoires – Explore the boutique shops.

Galerie de Montpensier and Galerie de Valois – The upscale arcades surrounding the Palais Royale gardens.

Rue de Rivoli – Be prepared for crowded sidewalks, but it has lots of chain stores and the BHV department store

Rue Tronchet – The street begins directly behind the Madeleine Church. Follow it until it ends at Boulevard Haussmann, the home of Printemps and Galeries Lafayette department stores.

Place Vendome – Paris’ fine jewelry haven. Home of the original Cartier store since 1899

Rue Meslay – A shoe shopping haven

Viaduc des Arts – Buy eclectic, one-of-a-kind pieces from artisans at their specialty stores

Rue de Commerce – A convenient street full of boutiques in the 15th arrondissement.

Bercy Village

Paris Boutiques

These are a few of my personal favorite boutiques, some popular ones, plus a few that people would be interested in. They span a wide range of budgets. Some of these lines are also carried in the Paris department stores.

Colette – 213 Rue Saint-Honoré, 1st arrondissement. A Hipster haven featuring young labels, limited editions, artsy fashion and accessories, obscure magazines, and the chic Water Bar on the lower level.

Merci – Boho-chic fashion and home accessories concept store with a café/used bookshop 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 3rd arrondissement

Cote a Cote – 15 Blvd. St Michel, 5th arr.

Comptoir des Cotonniers – Multiple locations

Kookaï – Multiple locations

Kookaï Stock – 82 rue Réaumur, 2nd arr. Score discounts on pieces from previous seasons

Kenzo – Multiple locations

Zadig & Voltaire – Multiple locations

Moloko – Multiple locations

Carroll – Cute, conservative fashion (think Ann Taylor Loft)

Caroll Stock (outlet) – 30 and 51 rue St-Placide, 6th arrondisement

SR store (Sonya Rykiel outlet) – 64 rue de Alésia

Un Jour Ailleurs – Multiple locations

Agnes b. – 6 Rue du Jour, 1st arr.

Paris Shoe Stores

André – Multiple locations

Bata – Multiple locations

San Marina – Multiple locations

Rue Meslay – A street full of shoe shops, 3rd arrondissement, near Republique

Second Hand & Vintage Shopping in Paris

Whether you collect vintage couture or you get high off the thrill of thrifting (secondhand in Paris is called frip), the city has plenty to offer.

Didier Ludot – Vintage Haute Couture shop frequented by celebrities. Galerie de Montpensier (the arcade surrounding the Palais Royale gardens)

Come On Eileen – Designer vintage with a massive selection , 16 Rue des Taillandiers, 11th arrondissement

Reciproque – Luxury consignment shop, 95 Rue de la Pompe, 16th arrondissement

Défilé des Marques – Discount vintage couture shop, highly recommended by Frommer’s, 171 rue de Grenelles

Guerrisol – A chain of thrift stores, multiple locations

The King of Frip – Second hand shop in the Marais, 33 rue du roi de Sicile, 4th arrondissement

Vintage and secondhand shopping are not really my thing, so I’ll link to a couple folks much more knowledgeable about than I am: The Vintedge and Vintage shops in Paris.

Affordable Chic Clothes Shops in Paris

Budget shopping is abundant in Paris, despite the city’s reputation for couture and luxury. My theory is that French women are master high/low shoppers, meaning they splurge on the pieces that matter and skimp on the rest, and then put it all together stylishly. Along with familiar discount brands like Zara, H&M, and Mango that we have in the states, look for an abundance of Forever 21/Wet Seal equivalents for stylish pieces that won’t break the bank, and that you don’t have to worry about everyone else wearing back home. All of these stores have locations all over Paris:

Naf Naf
Morgan de Toi
Pimkie
Promod (technically it’s Italian, but they’re all over in France)
Etam
Tati
Camaieu

Paris Shopping Malls and Shopping Centers

The French don’t do their shopping in enclosed mega-malls like in the U.S., and the top shops tend to be stand-alone stores. Still, if you want to enjoy shopping at multiple stores under one roof, there are a few places to do that in Paris.

Quatre Temps Mall – (at La Defense)

Forum Les Halles

Montparnasse Tower

Italie 2 – (at Place d’Italie)

Carrousel du Louvre – A handful of shops under the pyramid skylight of the Louvre. Highlights include an Apple store, Pylones, Fragonard, Mariage Freres, and La Maison du Chocolat

Cosmetics and French Beauty Products

Nocibé – Multiple locations

Marionnaud – Multiple locations

Paris Pharmacies (I like Parashop, personally.) The prices on products vary between pharmacies.

For those ladies out there who want to buy the best fashion Paris has to offer, pick up a couple of Paris shopping guides before you go so you know what pieces and trends to look for:

Paris Street Style: A Guide to Effortless Chic
Parisian Chic: A Style Guide

 

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