Shopping

Shopping in Paris

There is nothing like shopping in Paris. Get a taste for the Parisian lifestyle and discover unique pieces in the home of haute couture.

Known for being both the shopping and fashion capital of the world, shopping sprees and Paris go hand in hand. With its high fashion, street chic, fine foods, and exquisite art and antiques, visitors to the city are advised to bring a spare suitcase. After a few hours of wandering through the breath-taking streets, there’s no way you’re leaving empty handed.

For the perfect gift, luxury item, or total wardrobe refresh, Paris is always the solution. But when it comes to the question of ‘where to go’, let Eurotunnel Le Shuttle help you find the shopping district which suits you best.

What is famous in Paris to buy?

While France is known for having wonderful shopping,  there are several items that any visitor to Paris should pick up. These include:

  • Antique books. These can be bought from the Bouquins (booksellers) who set up stalls along the Seine.
  • Homemade perfume. Paris is filled with perfume studios that allow you to sample different scents created by local vendors. Finding one to take home is also the perfect way to remember your trip.
  • Tea. Strange but true, Parisian tea is unlike any other in the world. The company Comptoirs Richard produces boxes decorated with famous landmarks so you can take a little taste of the city home with you.
  • Buly Soap. Created by Jean-Vincent Bully in 1803, and still sold in the original shop which is definitely worth visiting.
  • Rive Droite Tote Bags. Handmade exclusively in Paris, these bags are closer to a work of art than a place to store your belongings. As there are generally only between 15 and 20 items per collection, getting your hands on one of these bags is a great way to ensure you have a unique souvenir from your trip.

A stall selling art prints and postcards on a city embankment

Is it cheaper to buy luxury items in Paris?

Paris is the world centre when it comes to producing and displaying luxury items, and many European brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton are generally cheaper in Paris.

Aside from manufacturing costs, there is a law in France that states that brands must have a sale at least twice a year. If you covet a particular luxury brand, it could be worth planning a trip to Paris that coincides with their annual sale.

UK residents are also eligible to shop tax-free in the European Union, which means you’ll be able to save money on VAT when purchasing any luxury items.

Tax-free shopping doesn’t just apply to luxury goods either. If you fancy picking up some famous French delicacies, including wine, meat, and cheese from stores like Carrefour Cité Europe, you’ll also be able to shop tax-free on these goods as well.

Tax Free Shopping

Discover the best shopping areas of Paris

Shopping in Paris is not something to be taken lightly! To maximise your time, and more importantly, help you uncover those hidden gems, we’ve broken down the best shopping areas in Paris below.

Avenue Montaigne and Champs-Élysées

For many, shopping in Paris will be the trip of a lifetime, and the Champs-Élysées is the perfect first stop.

Running in one long glorious sweep from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, the avenue is known in France as 'La plus belle avenue du monde' – 'the most beautiful avenue in the world'.

Encompassing almost a mile across the 8th Arrondissement, the Champs-Élysées offers a mixture of big brands and high quality. A special committee, formed 150 years ago, oversees the avenue and lobbies to ensure that all the retailers work hard to maintain the highest standards and give you the best possible shopping experience.

If you do make a few choice purchases, the Champs-Élysées is easily accessible from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Metro station, so you won’t have to struggle with your bags for long.

At the east end of the Champs-Élysées turn off onto Avenue Montaigne for an even more exclusive shopping experience. Filled with many of the big fashion labels, this is the perfect spot for picking up any exclusive clothing or jewellery. It’s worth visiting during the legendary summer or winter sales, where even brands like Gucci offer big reductions.

BEST FOR: Big name shops – Banana Republic, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Bulgari, Celine, Gucci, and more.

Young couple doing shopping in Paris on Avenue des Champs Elysée’s.

Boulevard Haussmann

This tree-lined avenue running from the 8th to the 9th Arrondissement is dominated by two of Paris's largest and oldest department stores: Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps.

Galeries Lafayette began as a haberdashers in 1893 and today occupies three buildings on Boulevard Haussmann. The main building, Lafayette Coupole, is 10 storeys tall and famous for its Art Nouveau architecture and magnificent glass dome.

Once you've finished marvelling at your surrounding you can find anything from fashion, cosmetics and, jewellery to books, music, and electronics. The store also has regular pop-up shops, so even frequent visitors are surprised by the different brands on offer.

Just down the street Au Printemps offers similar architectural wonders, with a stunning stained glass cupola sheltering diners in the store's restaurant. Again, the shopping is spread across three buildings, with a variety of big-name fashion brands, from Chanel to Calvin Klein, and home furnishings.

BEST FOR: Having everything you need in one place, clothes, gourmet food, and home furnishing.

Galeries Lafayette Dome with shops beneath it

Le Marais

The hip heart of Paris lies in Le Marais, a district spread across the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, populated with fashion boutiques, antique shops, and cafes scattered amongst historic buildings and sights.

The Rue des Francs-Bourgeois is one of the few places in Paris to ignore France's strict Sunday closing law, so is a perfect destination for a weekend visitor. The long road has numerous fashion boutiques crammed between magnificent traditional hotels. Even better, if you need a break from shopping, the Paris History Museum is just around the corner.

More top fashion shops can be found on the Rue des Rosiers, in the heart of the city's Jewish quarter. Here you will find a mixture of kosher boulangeries, charcuteries, and restaurants mixed in with independent fashion boutiques.

BEST FOR: Finding small boutiques, and antique shops, and enjoying a thriving gallery and café culture.

Shops on the corner of the Le Marais district

Les Halles and Rue de Rivoli

Perfect for visitors who are tight on time, one of the benefits of Rue de Rivoli is that the options are vast, but the shopping is condensed thanks to the nearby underground shopping mall.

Combining large chains with independent designer boutiques, Rue de Rivoli is another great place to find a special piece to remember your time in Paris. The easiest way to travel is to take the metro to Chatelet-Les Halles and start shopping from there.

BEST FOR: Speed shoppers who are tight on time.

Louvre-Tuileries and Faubourg Saint-Honoré

Faubourg Saint-Honoré has been dubbed 'the most fashionable street in Europe' thanks to the presence of nearly every one of Europe’s major fashion houses. Home to couture fashion, and brands like Gucci, Hermes, and Roger Viver, Faubourg Saint-Honoré is undeniably fabulous. Cross the rue Royale and discover boutiques like Colette, a popular spot for some of Paris’ most fashion-forward to catch up.

The surrounding area hosts the world-famous Louvre Museum and Tuileries gardens, plus numerous cafes where you can give your feet a break, show off your purchases and enjoy the scenery.

BEST FOR: Exclusive fashion – Lanvin, Hermès, Lancôme, Dalloyau, Dior, Roger Vivier, Vogue, Givenchy, Salvatore Ferragamo and more.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Boulevard Saint Germain in Saint-Germain-des-Prés is popular with locals and visitors alike. Starting on the Seine River in the 7th arrondissement, the streets are lined with bookshops, art galleries, and independent restaurants and cafes. Any fans of literature should walk down Boulevard Saint Germain into the 6th arrondissement, where the famous cafes Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore, and Brasserie Lipp are open.

As well as being another popular spot for boutiques, Saint-Germain-des-Prés is also a great place to visit if you want to explore some of Paris’ gourmet food shops. Head towards Le Grande Épicerie in Bon Marché for a selection of ingredients and souvenirs that will leave your mouth watering.  If you want to give your interiors a Parisian flare, visit some of the home décor shops along the Boulevard Raspail.

BEST FOR: Mixing high-end shopping experiences with literary connections and beautiful scenery.

People standing admiring the at in Montmatre

Montmatre

Based in the 18th arrondissement, Montmatre offers a taste of the Paris of the past. With the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica standing at the top of Montmartre hill, Montmartre is perfect for anyone who loves to shop in vintage stores.  The cobbled streets are lined with different clothing shops and boutiques all offering opportunities for you to expand your wardrobe. If you’re there on a Sunday, you should also visit the Brocant des Abbesses, a second-hand market that blends the beauty of the area with the different trinkets on offer.

The Brocant des Abbesses is also a great place to meet one of Montmartre’s famous portrait artists. Having been home to artists across the world since the 19th century, having your portrait taken by one of the 300 licenced painters in Montmartre is a wonderful way to capture a moment of your time in Paris.

BEST FOR: Vintage and second-hand shopping experiences.

Canal Saint-Martin

One of the lesser-known neighbourhoods in Paris, Canal Saint-Martin is tucked away between the Gare du Nord and Rebublique. Formerly an industrial area, today, the streets around Canal Saint-Martin are lined with incredible street art. One highlight in the area is the murals at 11 Rue Jean Poulmarch, which are well worth stopping for.

The shopping opportunities are just as good as the street art. Standout spots include Antoine et Lili, a series of colourful boutiques filled with clothes and home décor created in Paris but inspired by counties across the world. To find, or create something truly unique, head to Make My Lemonade, another clothing shop that also sells patterns and fabrics for you to use in your designs. Book lovers should also head to Philippe le Libraire, which offers a selection of reading material you can enjoy while sitting on the banks of the canal.

BEST FOR: Combining shopping and exploring.

Shops lining Canal Saint Martin

Saint-Ouen

Any fans of ‘Midnight in Paris’ must visit Saint-Ouen. Located on the northern edge of Paris, Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is one of the largest second hand and antique markets in the world. Formed of warehouses, stalls, and alleyways filled with different items, Saint-Ouen is divided into 14 distinct areas stocked by over 1,000 different merchants.

While properly exploring would require several days, there are a few standout areas you should visit, including Marché Vernaison. As one of the nearest markets to the Metro station, this is a good place to start your shopping, particularly if you’re interested in glassware or toys.

Next up is Marché Dauphine, home to Booksellers’ Square, as well as stands filled with vintage clothing and records. The central square also contains a giant spaceship, plus a delicious restaurant Les Gastropodes that offers incredible panna cotta.

For art and antique dealers, head across the road to Marché Biron which specialises in Asian art and furniture from the 18th-20th century. All the dealers in this market are keen to talk and share their expertise, so come armed with questions!

BEST FOR: Losing yourself in beautiful antiques.

Top tips for shopping in Paris

  • Shop like a local and look out for when the famous sales are taking place at your favourite brands. More importantly, don’t forget about tax-free shopping!
  • Don’t be afraid to shop second hand or look in vintage stores- Paris is a real treasure trove for rare pieces that will make you smile.
  • Fuel yourself – shopping is hard work, so make sure you take full advantage of the delicious boulangeries and cafes that line the streets.
  • Plan your route to ensure you take in as many shops and as many of the different areas as possible.

It’s not just Paris that offers a wealth of shopping opportunities. If you’ve caught the European shopping bug, make sure you check out our guide to shopping in Amsterdam for further inspiration.

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With everything from luxury department stores to tempting boutiques and bookshops, shopping in Paris is a special experience and should not be missed. Book now and shop till you drop with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.

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