Famous for the Champs Elysées, the Galeries Lafayette and more, Paris is one of the best destinations for a shopping holiday in Europe. There’s something to find for everyone: from high-end boutiques to fantastic flea markets.
In this article we’ll introduce you to the world of shopping in Paris, and show you our top 5 shopping spots in the city. We categorized them so you can quickly find the type of shop you’re interested in. Enjoy some heavy window-shopping!
1. Paris’ Famous Shopping streets
- The Rue de Rivoli is one of these famous streets that seem to offer everything. The Rue de Rivoli starts at the Place de la Concorde and runs east towards the Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis Church. Between the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre, the Rue de Rivoli houses many tourist-friendly stores to purchase souvenirs. East from the Louvre, there are many national and international chain stores, such as Zara, H&M, Yves Rocher, Gap, Mango, the Body Shop and more.
- Champs Elysées is arguably the most famous shopping street in Paris, if not all of Europe. The Champs Elysées also starts at the Place de la Concorde and runs west towards the Arc de Triomphe. Along the Champs Elysées and neighboring Avenue Montaigne you’ll find upscale boutiques such as Cartier, Christian Dior, Gucci, Fendi, Hugo Boss, Valentino and more. Even if you’re not planning on buying anything, these stores are a delight to visit. To find out more about the Champs Elysées, see Visit the Champs Elysées and Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
- The Boulevard Haussmann is another one of the grand boulevards, and runs west to east through the 8th and 9th arrondissements of Paris. It is best known for housing the two famous department stores Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps, but it also offers a variety of other trendy French stores and boutiques.
- The Boulevard Montmartre is the easterly extension of Boulevard Haussmann, and the easternmost grand boulevard of Paris. The Musée Grévin and the Hard Rock Café Paris are located here, as are many other stores and cafes.
2. Department Stores of Paris
- The Galeries Lafayette is not to be missed on your trip to Paris. Even if you’re not interested in the great array of brand clothes, jewelry and cosmetics, the building itself will leave you breathless. The dome in the atrium is simply magnificent. Around the Christmas season the Galeries Lafayette has the most amazing window displays in the city!
- The nearby Printemps department store is usually a little less crowded than the Galeries Lafayette, and features the same high-end boutiques. From Giorgio Armani to Roberto Cavalli, Printemps has got you covered. There is another branch of Printemps called Citadium right across from the main building, and in this four-story building you’ll find a focus on young urban fashion. Printemps also has a rooftop terrace that’s free to visit, featuring an amazing panoramic view of Paris!
- One of the oldest departments stores in the world, you’ll find Le Bon Marché in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Le Bon Marché features many high-end boutiques, but the one thing you should definitely not miss is the food store. Located in a separate building called “La Grande Epicerie”, this enormous food store offers anything from delicacies to French cheeses. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the wine cellar!
- BHV, or Bazar de l’Hotel de Ville, is located right opposite City Hall on the Rue de Rivoli. Somewhat more economical than the previously mentioned stores, this department store offers anything from home goods to beauty products. Do note that because of its prime location and popularity among both Parisians and tourists, this store can get quite crowded!
3. Paris’ Shopping Malls
If you’re set on shopping in Paris on a rainy day, there are several shopping malls where you can easily spend an entire afternoon. Some of these are better known than others, but all offer a unique selection of shops.
- Forum des Halles in the 1st arrondissement was Paris’s main marketplace for centuries. More recently, it has been turned into a large underground mall not unlike a typical American mall. The rooftop of Les Halles is currently under construction, as a brand new translucent rooftop and a garden are set to be finished in 2016.
- Les 4 Temps is a huge shopping center located in the business district La Défense on the western outskirts of Paris. It is said Les 4 Temps is the largest shopping mall in Europe. Featuring shops such as Apple, American Apparel, H&M, Toys R’ Us and Michael Kors, Les 4 Temps has something for everybody.
- Bercy Village in the 12th arrondissement of Paris is perhaps the most beautiful of the shopping malls on this list. Bercy Village consists of old wine warehouses that have been converted to shops, restaurants and cafes. You’ll find all sorts of lovely little French boutiques here, selling items for the home and also beauty products. There’s also a cinema multiplex.
- The Carrousel du Louvre is an underground shopping mall located next to the Louvre museum. The mall contains the first Apple store that came to France, as well as Sephora, Swarovski and many more stores. You’ll also encounter the famous inverted pyramid skylight down here, which played a big part in The Da Vinci Code.
Lastly, La Vallée Village and the Quai des Marques are two great outlet shopping malls in the suburbs of Paris.
4. Famous Markets in Paris
This list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t talk about the famous outdoor markets of Paris. We’ll cover some of our favorite food markets, as well as two famous flea markets and two flower markets.
- The Food Markets of Paris
Le Marché des Enfants Rouges in the 3rd arrondissement is supposedly the oldest covered food market in Paris. The entrance on the Rue de Bretagne is easy to miss, but you certainly won’t regret a visit. Stock up on baguettes, cheeses and wines and enjoy the Parisian life.
Rue Daguerre in the 14th arrondissement near the Montparnasse cemetery is a pedestrian street and permanent market. You can find some fantastic cheese shops here, and it’s also the street where the famous bakery Au Moulin de la Vierge is located.
The Marché Bastille is an amazing farmers market at the Canal St. Martin near Place des Vosges. Offering lots of fresh produce and hot food, this is also a great place to pick up a delectable French crepe.
The Marché Place d’Aligre in the 12th arrondissement is another famous Parisian food market. The outdoor market offers an array of fresh produce for a decent price. Do note that the market is only open in the morning and closes at 12 pm!
Almost every neighborhood in Paris features its own local food market, but the following stand out as the most exceptional in the city: Marché Moufettard, Marché de la Rue Montorgueil, Marché biologique Raspail, Marché de la Rue Cler, and the Marché couvert Saint Quentin on Boulevard Magenta.
If you want to fully enjoy the food bought at a Parisian food market, consider staying in a vacation rental apartment in Paris! By staying in an apartment you’ll have access to your own fully equipped kitchen, so you can prepare the food you just bought for a home-cooked French lunch or dinner. By doing this you’ll also save money on going out to dinner, and you’ll have more cash left to do some serious shopping!
- Flea Markets and Flower Markets in Paris
The huge St-Ouen Flea Market is located close to Montmartre in the north of Paris. It is the largest flea market in the world, and features many stalls selling antiques, clothes and art.
The Montreuil Flea Market is a great antiques market where you can still find a bargain. People expect you to haggle over the price; so don’t buy an item before you’ve tried to get it for a discounted price!
You’ll find one of Paris’ more famous flower markets on the Ile-de-la-Cité. Because of its greatly desired central location, the prices here can be higher than in the less central parts of Paris.
At the Quai de la Megisserie next to the Seine River in the 1st arrondissement of Paris you’ll find another popular flower market, as well as several pet stores.
5. The Famous “Passages” of Paris
- The Passage Jouffroy runs between the Boulevard Montmartre and Rue de la Grange-Bateliere. It was the first passage to be built of only metal and glass, and besides several shops it also contains the exit of the Musée Grevin.
- The Galerie Vivienne is a historical passage in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. The beautiful passage includes several fashion and home furnishings shops.
- The Passage du Grand Cerf in the 2nd arrondissement has a beautiful glass ceiling and marble floor. This narrow arcade offers many small shops offering antiques, jewelry, handmade products and more.
Other beloved passages in Paris include the Galerie Vero-Dodat, Passage du Havre and Passage Choiseul.
That brings us to the end of our list of the top 5 shopping spots in Paris. We hope you’ve enjoyed it! What’s your favorite shopping spot in Paris?