Your Guide to Shopping in Paris

March 6, 2019

Whenever I think about shopping in Paris, my mind automatically cuts to the Gossip Girl scene of Blair taking the right bank, and Serena becoming a “muse to us all” on the left. While Gossip Girl may be fiction, there’s some amount of truth to the glamour of shopping in Paris made evident in the show by Blair’s copious amounts on shopping bags. From the Champs-Élysées to the Rue Saint-Honoré to Montmartre and more, here’s your guide to Paris’ best shopping districts.

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CHAMPS-ÉLYSÉES

LOCATION: 8e arrondissement
BEST FOR: first time tourists, the luxury lover, groups of friends, and families

Arguably one of the most famous areas to shop in Paris, the Champs-Élysées boasts everything from big name designers to Parisian high street favorites. The Champs-Élysées is a great place for families and groups of friends to shop thanks to the diverse assortment of shops, and for that matter, price points. On the Champs-Élysées, you can find the famous Louis Vuitton flagship, boasting four floors of the luxury designer’s label, as well as a small bookstore. If you’re looking to shop at this Louis Vuitton location, I highly recommend arriving early. Even before the store opened, there was a line about 20-30 people deep waiting to get into the store. Additionally, the Longchamp and Ladurée flagships are located on the Champs-Élysees as well. Surprisingly, Abercrombie also has its Parisian flagship here, complete with a gated walkway to the store and several floors of clothing. If you’re looking for high street clothing, one of my personal favorite French brands, Undiz has a large flagship store here.

If you’ve got limited time in Paris, the Champs-Élysées is definitely where I would recommend shopping as it allows you to do a lot in a limited amount of time. The avenue leads to the iconic Arc de Triomphe, and is across the street from the Champs-Élysées gardens. This is also an ideal location to stay in thanks to its proximity to the Louvre and Eiffel Tower for first-time tourists. Be sure to take the short walk to the Seine if you’re on the Champs-Élysées at night to see the Eiffel Tower lit up!

RUE SAINT-HONORÉ

LOCATION: 1e arrondissement
BEST FOR: the luxury lover, the fashionista

The Rue Saint-Honoré is the epitome of shopping in Paris. It’s the definition of truly opulent luxury, boasting beautiful flagship stores from some of the world’s top designers. One of the best parts of the Rue Saint-Honoré is that many of the smaller cross streets are home to more iconic stores. Among just a few of the many highlights, multi-level Alexander McQueen and Chloé stores, and the flagship Chantal Thomass boutique. just steps away from the Rue Saint-Honoré lies the flagship Chanel boutique on the Rue Cambon, and the first Christian Louboutin store on the Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau. If you’re heading to Louboutin, be sure to arrive early as there is typically a line outside of the store, with wait times past one hour. The Rue Saint-Honoré is perfect if you’re a fashion nerd like I am and obsess over things like seams and hem finishes and beading as you can get up close and personal with pieces you’d see on the runway! Even if you’re not necessarily prepared to spend money on luxury goods, the Rue Saint-Honoré is still a must-go for the window shopping alone.

If you’re on the Rue Saint-Honoré and in need of a shopping break, famous Parisian Tea Room is just a skip away on the Rue de Rivoli. As mentioned on my last trip to Paris here, Angelina’s hot chocolate is unrivaled. Even if it’s an 80 degree day, sitting down or grabbing a cup to go is a must.

GALERIES LAFAYETTE + PRINTEMPS

LOCATED: 9e arrondissement, boulevard Haussmann
BEST FOR: The one stop shopper

I still remember the first time I ever saw Paris for the first time. I had a horrible flight, and a stressful, frustrating time trying to figure out the train to my AirBnB due to construction at one of the stations. After doing what must have been five laps and going up and down the levels of the Haussmann station, I finally gave up and left the train station to try figuring out where I was supposed to be. On the verge of an emotional breakdown, I looked up to see Galeries Lafayette on my left and Printemps on my right. Needless to say, I was so overcome with emotion at that point that I almost started tearing up {again}. Obviously I had to go in, so within an hour of arriving in Paris I was shopping with my luggage in tow. Galeries Lafayette and Printemps are not only two of the most famous department stores in Paris, but in the world. Both stores are absolutely beautiful and boast high end labels such as ba&sh and maje, as well as luxury houses such as Chanel and Gucci. Although both stores have gorgeous architecture {Galeries Lafayette has a stunning stained glass ceiling, and Printemps has a secret bridge with a fantastic view of the city}, I would personally prioritize the Rue Saint-Honoré over these department stores if you are looking to shop for brands of this caliber. The Rue Saint Honoré offers a more unique and personalized shopping experience thanks to the amazing sales associates, whereas you may find that Printemps and Galeries Lafayette in essence are similar to really any other major luxury department store such as Harrod’s, Neiman Marcus, or Saks. I do, however, still recommend stopping by for the beautiful architecture. If you’re a one stop type of shopper or short on time, either store is perfect for you as they have departments for everything and restaurants within the store!

MONTMARTRE

LOCATION: 18e arrodissement
BEST FOR: the small business supporter, the boutique lover

I don’t think Montmartre would necessarily be the first place you’d think of for fabulous French shopping. To be honest, until I started spending more time in the neighborhood, I wouldn’t have either. What Montmartre is absolutely amazing for is brands unique to Paris, or founded in France. Stop into the award winning tiny lingerie boutique Les Rituelles, or one of the many odds and ends stores to pick up truly unique pieces. After shopping, grab lunch or dinner at adorable Italian restaurant, Pink Mamma, or head to breathtaking church, Sacré-Cœur.

SOUVENIRS

If you’re on the hunt for some of the classic Parisian souvenirs such as an Eiffel Tower keychain or beret, you’re in luck. Souvenir shops are clustered around the main landmarks in France such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Louvre, and Sacré-Cœur. If you can’t seem to find one, chances are that someone pedaling these goods on the sidewalk will find you first. That being said, while the souvenirs themselves remain basically the same across all these stores, the prices do not. Do yourself a favor and avoid all souvenir stores located on the Champs-Élysées or near the Arc de Triomphe as their prices are highly inflated. Instead, take a short walk towards the Louvre where souvenir stores sell the same goods at just a fraction of the price. Avoid sidewalk sellers, as they can double as pickpockets.

Of all the cities in the world I’ve traveled to, Paris truly has some of the best shopping. Stay tuned for my post on how to make the most of your money while shopping there! Everything worn in this post is linked below.

xx,
E

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