Paris Shopping

Night View of Eiffel

Shopping at Eiffel

Paris Shopping Tips

1. Paris is expensive, but there are many bargains. Take your time browsing through the little boutiques and flea markets and you’ll be sure to find that perfect gift. Things like film and toiletries, including contact lens solution, are much more expensive in Paris than in the U.S. or the United Kingdom. Bring enough to get you through your trip.

2. You can secure a tax refund (detaxe), but only if you spend 186€ ($214) or more in one store. It’s a complicated process, but if you spend that much in one store, it’s worth applying for the refund, usually 13% to 20%, and usually credited to your charge card or sent to you a few months later. The major department stores have detaxe desks and will help you fill out the paperwork. At the airport, you present the paperwork to a French Customs officer who stamps the papers and returns them to you. You then mail the papers from the airport and look for the refund, in euros,in about 3 months.

3. If jewelry is a pet purchase, explore the boutiques on the rue Tiquetonne and in the Passage du Grand Cerf. Also visit Tati Or and, for costume jewelry that looks like the real thing, try Bijoux Burma.

4. Perfume made in France really is different from French perfume made elsewhere. In France, perfume is made with potato alcohol, which increases the scent and lengthens its endurance, making French-made perfume the best there is. Though the U.S. has tons of perfume discounters, they usually carry perfume made outside of France. Hotels, travel agents, and the welcome desks at department stores Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette offer 10%off coupons that you can use to buy perfume—if you buy more than 186€ ($214) worth, you’ll also qualify for the value-added tax (about 13%) refund. If you have time, visit Catherine, 7 rue de Castiglione, 1er, the favorite perfume discounter of Frommer’s Born to Shop guru Suzy Gershman. The store will give you a discount and you’ll get your value-added tax rebate at the time of purchase.

5. Look for stylish, inexpensive clothes at the stores best described as upscale versions of the U.S. chain Target: Monoprix and Prisunic. For discounts on fashion, try the rue St Placide.

6. For discounts on china and other table goods, check out the stores on the rue Paradis.

7. Soldes means “sales.” The French government allows merchants to put their wares on sale below cost twice a year, in January and July.

8. To sample the contemporary art scene, stroll through the 11e arrondissement around the Bastille or along rue Quincampoix near the Centre Pompidou.

9. Go to outdoor markets. Even if you don’t buy anything, the experience is fun. There are flea markets at Porte de Vanves, Porte de Montreuil, and Porte de Clignancourt, a flower market and a bird market on Ile de la Cite, a stamp market at Rond Point Clemenceau, and fresh produce markets everywhere.

10. For antiques browsing, go to one of the centers, like the Louvre des Antiquaires, 2 place du Palais Royal, 1st arrondissement; Village St Paul, between rue St Paul and rue Charlemagne, 4th arrondissement; or Le Village Suisse, avenue de la Motte Picquet, 15th arrondissement. Otherwise, explore the streets in the 6th arrondissement—especially rue Jacob, rue des St Peres, and the rues de Bac and Beaune, which contain beautiful stores and galleries. The second floor of the Bon Marche’s food store is also an air-conditioned antiques hall.

The Best Shopping in Paris from A to Z

Most of the shops and markets listed here offer good deals throughout the
year—especially in January and July.


Le Louvre des Antiquaires

As malls go, this one is rather subdued, despite the numerous shops, particularly jewelry stores. From Rolex watches to Jean Cocteau sketches to silver older than the United States, items are pricey at des
Antiquaires, but rumor has it that some good deals turn up. 2 pl. du Palais-Royal,1er.&01-42-97-27-00. Metro: Palais-Royal – Musee du Louvre.

Marche aux Puces de la Porte de St-Ouen

If you like flea markets, you’ll love this one: It has a lively, festive atmosphere and consists of more than 3,000 indoor-outdoor stalls carrying everything from vintage clothing to valuable art and antiques. Between Porte de St-Ouen and Porte de Clignancourt, 18e. No phone. Metro: Porte de Clignancourt.

Village St Paul

Located in a courtyard off the delightful rue  St Paul, this 17th-century village is filled with lovely small antiques stores and is a popular destination for Parisian couples on weekend afternoons. The stores are closed Tuesday and Wednesday. 23–27 rue  St Paul, 4e. No phone. Metro:  St Paul.


Galerie Documents

If you’re interested in old posters, this is the place for you, unless you’re into movie posters—they don’t sell those. Still, you’ll find everything else, from sporting events to old ads for Pernod. 53 rue de Seine, 6e.&01-43-54-50-68. Metro: Odeon.

Librarie Elbe

One of the most memorable things you can buy in Paris is a poster, etching, or cartoon to frame when you get home. Some bouquinistes (booksellers) along the Seine sell good reproductions, but search for the best price before you buy. If you want something original, this shop sells late-19th- and early-20th-century advertising and railroad posters, as well as etchings and cartoons, at reasonable prices. Everything is filed by category; ask if you can browse before opening a portfolio. 213 bis bd. St-Germain, 7e.&01-45-48-77-97. Metro: Bac.


Books, especially in English, are expensive in Paris, though a law prohibiting discounting has been limited to French-language books. If you can’t go another day without reading in English, your best bet is one of these secondhand shops.


San Francisco Book Co.

Owners Phil Wood and Jim Carroll stock 20,000 affordable secondhand books in their small 7-year-old store. If you’re tired of lugging around a quality fiction or nonfiction title, Phil may even pay you cash for it. 17 rue Monsieur-le-Prince, 6e.&01-43-29-15-70. Metro: Odeon.

Shakespeare & Co.

English-speaking residents of Paris still gather in this cluttered Anglo-Parisian landmark named after Sylvia Beach’s legendary lair. On Sunday afternoons there are free literary tea salons that are often hosted by local celebrities for the bookish group, or those who just want to say they were there. 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 5e. No phone. Metro or RER: St Michel.

Tea and Tattered Pages

Most of the 15,000 books here are used and sell for around 6€ ($6.90), one of the best deals in town. Like her predecessor, new owner Hilda Cabanel-Evans sells brownies and other “American” goodies that you can munch on in her little tea salon while reading one of your favorites! 24 rue Mayet, 6e.&01-40-65-94-35. Metro: Falguiere or Duroc.



The incredible hues of lavender, honey-dew yellow, rich burgundy, deep ocean blue, and translucent ivory of Baccarat crystals is truly amazing, but then Baccarat has been producing its world-renowned crystal since the 18th century. This store is also a museum, so even if the prices make you faint, you can still enjoy browsing. 30 bis rue de Paradis, 10e. & 01-47-70-64-30 or 01-40-22-11-00. Metro: Chateau-d’Eau, Poissonniere, or Gare-de-l’Est. There is also a store at 11 place de la Madeleine, 8e.&01-42-65-36-26.

Cristal Vendome

You can shop duty-free for Lalique, Baccarat, and more atthis shop, and even ship purchases to the Unites States—plus, there’s a great pic of Hillary Clinton purchasing crystal here! In the Hotel Intercontinental, 1 rue de Castiglione, 1er.&01-49-27-09-60. Metro: Concorde.

La Maison Ivre

If you can afford to redecorate your kitchen in French country, this would be the first place to get dishware. Think mustard-colored pitchers with delicately painted violets or Provençal-inspired blue-and-white–ceramic plates that you’ll want to hang on your wall, not hide in your cupboard. Be sure to check out the other crafts stores nearby in the heart of this antiques and gallery district (on the Left Bank between St Germain des Pres and the Seine). 38 rue Jacob, 6e.&01-42-60-01-85. Metro: St Germain des Pres.

La Tisaniere Porcelaine

This store sells discontinued lines by prestigious china and glass makers. You can find some great bargains. 21 rue de Paradis,10e. &01-47-70-22-80. Metro: Chateau d’Eau.

Limoges Centre

If you love Limoges, this is the place. Its wares are discounted from 20% to 60%. Glassware and silverware are on sale, too. Usine Centre, Paris Nord.&01-48-63-20-75. Metro: Chateau d’Eau.

Paradis Porcelaine

This store, on a street filled with wholesale china and porcelain stores, stocks a great selection at fantastic prices. 56 rue de Paradis,10e. &01-48-24-50-90. Metro: Poissonniere.


Viaduc des Arts

When the elevated railroad cutting across the 12e was transformed into the Promenade Plantee, the space beneath was redesigned to accommodate a stretch of artisan shops, galleries, and boutiques. A quick walk from the Bastille, it’s worth an hour or two to visit these artists-in-residence, who often work before your eyes. 9–147 av. Daumensil, 12e. & 01-43-40-80-80. Metro: Bastille, Ledru-Rollin, Reuilly-Diderot, or Gare-de-Lyon.


Two major department stores—Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette—offer tourists a 10% discount coupon, good in most departments. If your hotel or travel agent didn’t give you a coupon, you can ask for it at the stores’ welcome desks—the clerks speak English.

Au Bon Marche

The oldest department store in Paris is my favorite with its magnificent open, circular layout and attention to detail in its displays—not to mention the fabulous clothes it sells! Prices are high, but during the sales, you can find tons of deals. Visit the huge basement supermarket, with its many reasonably priced items; it’s the city’s largest epicerie, and you can find nearly any kind of food. 24 rue de Sevres, 7e.&01-44-39-80-00. Metro: Sevres-Babylone.

Au Printemps

With its first two floors recently redone, Au Printemps is beginning to shed its “not as nice as Au Bon Marche” image and has donned a new, sleeker look. Plus, its Maison Store is great if you’re into home decorating, and for the clothes connoisseur there’s a fashion show under the 1920s glass dome at 10:15am on Tuesday year-round and Friday from March through October. 64 bd. Haussmann, 9e.&01-42-82-50-00. Metro: Havre-Caumartin.

BHV (Bazar de l’Hotel de Ville)

Near the Marais, BHV is a popular department store among Parisians because of its reasonable prices on everything from clothing to luggage. 52–64 rue de Rivoli, 4e.&01-42-74-90-00. Metro: Hotel de Ville.

Galeries Lafayette

Almost always crowded, the colossal Galeries Lafayette is still worth checking out with its selection of hip new clothes, which are very often at affordable prices. If you’re shopping with les enfants, you might want to visit the kiddie entertainment center. Also, the sixth-floor self-service cafeteria, Lafayette Cafe, has good views of the Opera and the rooftops of Paris. 40 bd. Haussmann, 9e.&01-42-82-34-56. Metro: Opera or Chaussee-d’Antin.

La Samaritaine

You may very well find the perfect French bed set here. Located between the Louvre and the Pont Neuf, Samaritaine, which is made up of four buildings, feels and looks more quintessentially French than the other department stores. It also has the best view: Look for signs to the panorama, a free observation point, to see Paris from up high. The fifth floor of store no. 2 has a fine, inexpensive restaurant. 67 rue de Rivoli, 1er.&01-40-41-20-20. Metro: Pont Neuf or Chatelet Les Halles.

Marks & Spencer

These are outposts of the British stores, known for good values. In addition to clothes and household items, they have supermarkets with attractive prices—great for picnic items or evening snacks. 35 bd. Haussmann, 9e. &01-47-42-42-91. Metro: Havre-Caumartin.


This chain store is the lifeline of many a Parisian and will become the budget-conscious traveler’s best friend. It sells everything from cheese in its grocery section to stylish clothes, including some great finds on lingerie, to Bourjois makeup and even housewares in its attached compact mini–department store. Various locations.&01-55-20-70-00.


This store is a lifesaver when you’re broke and need staples like cotton underthings to ward off the Paris dampness—all for about 5.25€ ($6) each. Occasionally you can even find some cool outerwear, and when people ask where you bought that “funky skirt,” you answer, “Samaritaine, but of course.” There are branch stores at 172 rue du Temple, 4e (& 01-42-76-04-93 or 01-48-04-56-49); 13 place de la Republique, 3e (& 01-48-87-72-81); and 11 bis rue Scribe, 9e (01-47-42-20-28). Another branch, Tati Or, specializes in gold (see “Jewelry,” later in this chapter). 4 bd. Rochechouart, 18e.&01-55-29-50-00. Metro: Barbes-Rochechouart.


Fashion is an art in Paris. The Parisian woman does not leave her house without looking completely put together. This doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll be wearing Overrated the cutting edge in fashion. But with her coiffed hair, smart-looking, quality shoes, form-fitting pants or a-cut-above-the-knee-length skirt, and understated, chic top, she looks fabulous—whether she’s 18, 28, or 70 years old. Her beauty isn’t surface, either; she loves her undies and teddies, and has no trouble finding either because there’s a lingerie store on about every corner in Paris. Simply put, French women take pride in their appearance, and expect it of others; so don’t get caught running to Monoprix in your sweats—unacceptable! But don’t worry, you don’t have to spend a fortune to dress like a Parisian— just ask one! La femme Parisienne is savvy; she knows with smart shopping she can afford to look like a million dollars without spending it. Her secret? Soldes (sales), degriffes (labels cut out), stock (overstock), and depot-vente (resale). Some of the best fashion deals are in resale shops that deal directly with showrooms and the industry. Designer clothing that has been worn on a runway or for a fashion shoot is on sale for half price, along with other gently used clothes and accessories. Most depots-vente are in the stylish 8e, 16e, and 17e arrondissements. A few favorites are listed below.
For overstock, end-of-series, and degriffe clothes, bargain hunters head to the south of Paris. Rue St-Placide (Metro: Sevres-Babylone) is a street for pennywise shoppers looking for affordable sportswear and men’s fashions. For very off-the-wall end-of-series pieces, visit the L’Espace Createurs on the first level of the Forum des Halles where over 50 young designers (mostly European) sell their (ever so slightly) passe creations at heavy discounts. Shops on rue d’Alesia in the 14e (Metro: Alesia) offer last season’s Cacharel, Chantal Thomass, Diapositive, Regina Rubens, and Sonia Rykiel, among other midprice lines. Many stores are closed Monday or Monday morning.


Anna Lowe

Next to the ritzy Hotel Bristol, this shop is a find for those who want the best designers—Yves Saint-Laurent, Chanel, Giorgio Armani—at a discount. Shopping is genteel and substantially less uptight than at the same designers’ retail shops. Remember, however, that a steeply discounted couture price can still mean an expensive item. 104 rue du Faubourg St-Honore, 8e.&01-42-66- 11-32 or 01-40-06-02-42. Metro: Miromesnil or St-Phillippe-de-Roule.

La Clef des Marques

This place gives one-stop shopping a new meaning— it’s highly recommend for mommies who want to buy everything from chic lingerie to adorable degriffe baby’s clothes without having to deal with the
immensity of a mall—or the high prices. Don’t forget to check out the shoes— there’s a fabulous, funky offbeat selection. There are branches at 86 rue Faubourg St-Antoine, 12e (& 01-40-01-95-15), and 20 place Marche St- Honore, 1er (& 01-47-03-90-40). 124 bd. Raspail, 6e. & 01-45-49-31-00. Metro: Notre Dame des Champs.

Le Mouton à Cinq Pattes

A must for bargain hunters in search of that perfect Stella McCartney dress at a decent—if not awesome—price. There is something for everyone in the family, from men’s designer clothes to children’s shoes to accessories to express the id in you. If you find something you love, buy it immediately because it may not be there tomorrow. There are four branches, located at: 19 rue Gregoire-de-Tours, 6e (&01-43-29-73-56), 15 rue Vieille du Temple, 4e (& 01-42-71-86-30), 138 bd. St-Germain des Pres, 6e. 4e (& 01- 43-26-49-25) and at numbers 8, 10, and 48 rue St-Placide, 6e. & 01-45-48-86-26 for all stores. Metro: Sevres-Babylone.


This place is a gem if you’re looking for the absolutely latest in glamour-wear; it offers up to a 70% discount off the very latest designs by Helmut Lang, Dries van Noten, and Martine Sitbon. 44 rue de Poitou, 3e. & 01-48- 87-77-12. Metro: Filles du Calvaire.

Nip Shop

In the same neighborhood as Reciproque (see below) but much smaller, this depot-vente has good connections with Yves Saint-Laurent, Sonia Rykiel, and Guy Laroche, as well as lesser-known designers. It has recently begun to carry jewelry and handbags made by these same well-known designers. 6 rue Edmond-About, 16e.&01-45-04-66-19. Metro: Rue de la Pompe.


You don’t come here for the dreary atmosphere, you come for the bargains! The largest depot-vente in Paris fills its small stores along rue de la Pompe with racks of lightly used clothing for men, women, and children, as well as jewelry, furs, belts, and purses. If you’ve always dreamed of owning a designer outfit—the sheer number of gently worn Chanel suits is astonishing—you might find one that fits your budget. Still, prices over $1,000 are, sadly, all too common. Midrange labels are also well represented. 89–123 rue de la Pompe, 16e. &01-47-04-30-28. Metro: Rue de la Pompe.



The clothes are exquisite, but tend to be something that little Madeleine or Billy might wear for their Sunday best, rather than for play. Also, this kinder beauty doesn’t come cheap—except for this Left Bank location, where you may find the same merchandise at reduced prices, especially after the yearly sales. 82 rue de Grenelle, 7e.&01-42-84-12-39. Metro: Rue-du-Bac.

Du Pareil

Au Même This great store is in a lively residential neighborhood where few tourists tread. The clothes are not only adorable but practical, too— overalls, shirts, and jackets your children will live in, and all for an incredibly low price. 59 rue du Commerce, 15e.&01-48-28-86-76. Metro: Commerce.


Part of a French chain with more than a dozen stores in Paris, Natalys sells children’s wear, maternity wear, and related products. The clothes have a lot of panache for the price. Branches include 74 rue de Seine, 6e (& 01-46-33-46-48), and 47 rue du Sevres, 6e (& 01-45-48-77-12). 92 av. des Champs Elysees, 8e.&01-43-59-17-65. Metro: George V.


Parisian men always look sharp, well groomed, and well dressed. The highest end stores for men are located on avenue Montaigne (worth a window-shopping spree) where the lovely tree-lined street is lined with the fanciest fashion houses from Dolce & Gabbana to Calvin Klein and Valentino. Men looking for a bargain head to the rue du Cherche-Midi in the 6e (Metro: Mabillon) where many shops sell designer wear at significant discounts. For the latest fashions without the high prices, many Parisian men shop at Zara.

Blanc Bleu

This quintessential Parisian shop offers bargains on casual wear favored by French men: everything from Lacoste-looking shirts to relaxed but elegant slacks and white sneakers. 5 bd. Malesherbes, 8e.&01-47-42-02-18.


This is an excellent men’s designer clothing store offering steep discounts from such labels as Karl Lagerfeld, Alaïa, Missoni, and Gianfranco Ferre. There are clothes here for women, too. 27 bd. Victor, 15e.& 01-48-28-42-48. Metro: Balard or Porte de Versailles



It seems on every corner there is an Etam, which is a good thing because its clothes are colorful and hip. But one caveat: Most merchandise is in synthetics or synthetic blends. The lingerie store, 47 rue de Sevres, 6e (&01-45-48-21-33), has some pretty, affordable nightclothes and undergarments. 9 bd. St Michel, 5e.&01-43-54-79-20. Metro: St Michel.


Even when we don’t plan on buying anything, we still love strolling through this Swedish chain listening to the groovy tunes the invisible DJ plays and eyeing the latest in totally cool, affordable clothing. 118 rue de Rivoli, 1er. &01-55-34-96-86. Metro: Hotel de Ville.


This bright mish-mash of club clothes and vintage in a slightly psychedelic setting offers some surprisingly good prices. It stocks everything from wigs to coats, plus a few new designers. A must for club kids. 64 rue Tiquetonne, 2e.&01-42-21-17-37. Metro: Etienne-Marcel.


Kookaï is always slightly ahead of the trend in fashionable women’s clothing. Fortunately, there are many other branches all over the city. 35 bd. St- Michel, 5e.&01-46-34-75-02. RER: Luxembourg.

La City

The look here is young and modern. The selection is limited and everything is synthetic, but the prices are as reasonable as you can get in Paris. 37 rue Chaussee d’Antin, 9e.& 01-48-74-41-00. Metro: Chaussee d’Antin. Branches at 18 rue St-Antoine, 4e (&01-42-78-95-55), and 42 rue Passy, 16e (&01-42-88-66-21).


With locations throughout the city, this store is popular with young Parisian women for its inexpensive, fashion-conscious clothes, and offers better variety than Etam and La City. 3 pl. 18 Juin 1940, 6e.&01-45-48-04-96.


The suits, blouses, and sweaters at this chain are handsome, if conservative, at moderate prices. If you’re looking for that indispensable black cocktail dress, you’ll find a few versions of it at one of their chains around the winter holidays. The 1-2-3 lingerie stores located throughout Paris are decidedly more daring. There is one at 85 rue du Commerce (& 01-56-23-16-84). 42 rue Chaussee d’Antin, 9e.&01-40-16-80-06. Metro: Chaussee d’Antin.


Stylish knitwear stars at this upscale chain. Prices are high for readyto- wear, but it’s good quality and you can find bargains during sales. 72 av. Ternes, 17e.&01-45-74-17-17. Metro: Ternes. Also 47 rue de Rennes, 6e (&01-45-44-30-27).


Zara originated in Spain over a decade ago and offers fantastic bargains for both men and women. Everywhere you look, you’ll find exciting colors with designs that somehow combine sexy, classic, and cutting edge and make the mix work! Zara not only has lots of flair but also has even managed to keep prices affordable for the budget-minded. You’ll find locations all over the place, including 2 rue Halevy, 9e, near the Opera (& 01-44-71-90-90 and 01-44-71-90-93), and 38–40 av. des Champs Elysees (& 01-56-59-97-10). 45 rue de Rennes, 6e.&01-44-39-03-50. Metro: St Germain des Pres.


Before you load your suitcase, remember that U.S. Customs regulations prohibit importation of cheese that isn’t “cured”—which means you may have a problem with anything other than wrapped supermarket cheese. Regulations also bar most meat products, except canned meat that is shelf-stable without refrigeration.


Opened in 1888, Fauchon sells all things gourmet from exotic spices to the rarest of cheeses to canned foie gras. The number of visitors who flock here is staggering and the staff isn’t able to help everybody—but this is a good place to ogle the beautifully packaged foods and not to buy, as prices are quite inflated. Place de la Madeleine, 8e.&01-47-42-60-11.


Finkelsztajn In the center of the Jewish Marais, Florence Finkelsztajn specializes in products from central Europe. The store carries everything from Sacher tortes to eggplant caviar, and its friendly staff informed us they now cater private parties. 24 rue des Ecouffes, 4e.&01-48-87-92-85. Metro:  St Paul.

Foie Gras Import

On the northern edge of Les Halles, this boutique sells all kinds of canned foie gras (duck or goose liver) at reasonable prices. It also carries pate, canned snails, dried wild mushrooms, and truffles. These gourmet treats are much cheaper in France than they are in North America and are easy to pack. 34 rue Montmartre, 1er.&01-42-33-31-32. Metro: Etienne Marcel.


If it’s unusual, it’s probably here: canned food, dried meats, and all kinds of spices, herbs, and grains. If you like buying cool, off-beat culinary gifts, this is the place to go! 30 rue François Miron, 4e.&01-42-72-66-23. Metro:  St Paul.

Jacques Papin

In the heart of the Buci market, this butcher shop has some of the most ravishingly displayed foodstuffs you’ll ever see, including trout in aspic, exquisite pates and salads, lobsters, and smoked salmon. Prestige et Tradition, 8 rue de Buci, 6e.&01-43-26-86-09. Metro: Odeon.

Lafayette Gourmet

In one of the buildings of Galeries Lafayette, the department store, this wonderful supermarket is a great place to have a quick snack at one of its eat-on-the-premises areas or to buy a yummy premade picnic- to-go. Note that the house-brand merchandise, often cheaper than other labels, is of very good quality. 48 bd. Haussmann, 9e.&01-48-74-46-06. Metro: Chaussee d’Antin.

La Grande Epiceriet

Bright-red tomatoes available in the middle of winter, canned pumpkin soup that tastes as fabulous as the beautiful bottle it’s encased in, gorgeous squash—a food museum, that’s what this is, but better than the Louvre because you can actually buy something! And while a bit of a splurge, there are plenty of things that you can afford, including great gift ideas like the adorable box of Maxim’s De Paris Biscuits—only 7€ ($8.05). Au Bon Marche, 38 rue de Sevres, 7e.&01-44-39-81-00. Metro: Sevres-Babylone.

La Maison du Chocolat

La Maison du Chocolat is the best place in Paris to buy chocolate. It contains racks and racks of the stuff, priced individually or by the kilo. Each is made from a blend of up to six kinds of chocolate, flavored with just about everything imaginable. All the merchandise, including the chocolate pastries, is made in the store’s supermodern cellar facilities. 225 rue du Faubourg St Honore, 8e.&01-42-27-39-44. Metro: Ternes.

La Maison du Miel

The French are connoisseurs of honey, and this shop offers varieties identified according to the flower to which the bees were exposed. Lemon flower and pine tree have distinct tastes and make fine gifts. 24 rue Vignon, 9e.&01-47-42-26-70. Metro: Madeleine or Havre-Caumartin.

Le Fleuriste du Chocolat

How many people can say they’ve eaten a chocolate floral bouquet while gazing out the store window at the Eiffel Tower? Even if you’re one of those rare people who hates chocolate, you gotta go! 49 av. de la Bourdonnais, 7e.&01-45-56-13-04. Metro: Ecole Militaire.


La Chaise Longue

This boutique is a favorite among Parisians with its wonderful array of gift items that will beautify any home at a reasonable price. So if you’re still searching for that impossible-to-find wedding gift, look no further! 8 rue Princesse, 6e.&01-43-29-62-39. Metro: Mabillon.

La Maison du Square

Located on the lovely rue du Commerce in the 15e, La Maison is a gem where the Parisians in this warm, middle-class neighborhood flock to buy gifts for all occasions. You can purchase everything from exquisite water-filled vase candleholders to small, delicate silver teaspoons—perfect for a housewarming. The prices are fabulous and in true Parisian fashion, the shopkeepers do a lovely job of wrapping each gift. 83 rue du Commerce, 6e. & 01-55- 76-92-00. Metro: Commerce.



This stop is an absolute must for any cook who takes pride in the quality of his or her cookware, glasses, gadgets, utensils, ramekins, and kitchen appliances. Prices are discounted. 18–20 rue Coquilliere, 1er.&01-42-36-53-13. Metro: Les Halles.

Verrerie des Halles

With its endless rows of shelves filled with cooking accouterments usually reserved for professionals, this is a cook’s dream store. Prices are discounted. 15 rue du Louvre, 1er.&01-42-36-80-60. Metro: Louvre-Rivoli.


Bijoux Burma

The secret weapon of many a Parisian woman, you can find some of the best costume jewelry here. At its François 1er location, you’ll find “classic” Jackie O.–style jewelry, and in its rue Castiglione store, the look is more bold and colorful, a bit more “fantasy,” as the saleswoman described it. There’s another branch at 14 rue Castiglione, 1er (& 01-42-60-69-56). 50 rue François 8e. &01-47-23-70-93. Metro: Franklin-D-Roosevelt.


The owner of this boutique, Stephanie Lagier, handcrafts the beautiful and affordable jewelry on display. She uses a lot of cornflower blue, soft pink, and other dreamy colors in her earring, bracelet, and necklace designs that makes browsing, not to mention buying, a joy. There is always one shelf of jewelry on sale year-round. 23 rue du Bouloi, 1er.&01-40-41-12-70. Metro: Les Halles.


While the display windows break an unspoken French rule and are unkempt, you’ll find a wide range of affordable costume jewelry and designer creations at a discount here. Located in the heart of the Marais, you’ll want to visit all the other wonderful, colorful, fun stores on this block. Monic is open daily, including Sunday afternoons. 5 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 4e.&01-42-72-39-15. Metro:  St Paul.

Tati Or

Here you’ll find 18-carat gold jewelry for up to 40% less than traditional jewelers. It stocks more than 3,000 bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings,and pins, with about 500 items selling for less than 60€ ($69). 19 rue de la Paix,2e.&01-40-07-06-76. Metro: Opera.


Forum des Halles

The famous wholesale fruit-and-vegetable market located in the heart of the city since 1181 was moved to the suburbs in 1969. In its stead, a monstrous underground mall and subway hub were created, complete with endless crowds and too many shops. Thankfully, the above-ground green iron pavilions where you can stroll are not so hard on the eye. But beware: Pickpockets abound and it’s probably best to avoid coming here at night when the neighborhood can get a little rough. 1–7 rue Pierre-Lescot, 1er. Metro: Etienne Marcel.

Galerie Vivienne

This is probably the prettiest shopping passageway in Paris. You can buy shoes, sweaters, and rare books, or have afternoon tea at A Priori The; see “Tea Salons (Salons de The)” in chapter 5. 6 rue Vivienne or 4 rue des Petits-Champs, 2e. No phone. Metro: Bourse.

Marche St-Germain

You thought you’d escape the Gap! But international chain stores have taken up residence in this modern mall that’s out of place in a neighborhood known for bookstores and publishing houses. Visit if you need air-conditioning—otherwise, don’t waste your time. 14 rue Lobineau, 6e. Metro: Mabillon.


For a real shopping adventure, visit the Marche aux Puces de la Porte de St-Ouen, 18e (Metro: Porte-de-Clignancourt). The Clignancourt flea market features thousands of stalls, carts, shops, and vendors selling everything from vintage clothing to antique paintings and furniture. The best times for bargains are at opening and just before closing. Avoid the stalls selling junk on the periphery, and watch out for pickpockets. Open Saturday through Monday 9am to 8pm. The market at Porte de Vanves, 14e (Metro: Porte de Vanves), is a bit more upscale, but so are its prices. Open Saturday and Sunday 8:30am to 1pm. More comprehensible, and certainly prettier, is the Marche aux Fleurs (Metro: Cite), the flower market on place Louis-Lepine on the Ile de la Cite. Come Monday through Saturday to enjoy the flowers, even if you don’t buy anything. On Sunday it becomes the Marche aux Oiseaux, an equally colorful bird market. And don’t miss the food markets, including the ones on rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter, rue de Buci in St-Germain, and rue Montorgueil, near the Bourse. All sell the freshest fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. Most open-air food markets operate Tuesday through Sunday 9am to 1pm.



This leading home-entertainment chain sells videos, music, electronics, and books, and has a photo-developing service. Prices are 5% lower than manufacturers’ suggested retail. (Note: This is still more expensive than music prices in the U.S.) 4 place Bastille, 12e.&01-43-42-04-04. Metro: Bastille.

Virgin Megastore

This blockbuster store (part of the British chain) overflows with CDs, videos, books, and stereos. Prices are high, but you can spend hours here listening to CDs for free. There is a branch at 99 rue de Rivoli, 1er. 52 av. des Champs Elysees.&01-49-53-50-00. Metro: Franklin-D-Roosevelt.


Cambray Fràgres

Here you’ll receive discounts on perfumes and cosmetics, and on articles like luggage, watches, and pens. Right next door is the other Cambray Fràgres, where you’ll find many young Parisian couples registering their nicely priced wedding china. 9 rue Pasquier, 8e. & 01-44-51-56-15. Metro:Madeleine.


This store will give you a 20% to 25% discount, plus a 14% valueadded tax rebate at the time of purchase if you spend at least 185€ ($213). 7 rue de Castiglione, 1er.&01-42-61-02-89. Metro: Tuileries or Concorde. Freddy Parfums Near American Express and the Opera, Freddy has some good discounts: up to 40% on perfumes, handbags, cosmetics, silk scarves, and neckties. 3 rue Scribe, 9e.&01-47-42-63-41. Metro: Auber or Opera.

Michel Swiss

In a chic location not far from place Vendome, Michel Swiss offers famous French perfume brands at excellent prices and immediately discounts the VAT for non-European residents. It also sells watches, neckties, leather goods, silk scarves, pens, and fashion accessories from top designers. 16 rue de la Paix, 2e.&01-42-61-61-11. Metro: Opera.



Opened after World War I (young for Paris!), this classic Parisian stationery shop custom-makes leather desk sets to fit your individual needs, engraves handsome business cards, and much more—a perfect place to buy Dad a great gift! 422 rue St-Honore, 8e.&01-42-60-20-08. Metro: Concorde.


Au Nain Bleu

Guaranteed to make you nostalgic for your childhood, this beautiful 150-year-old toy store filled with exquisitely crafted toy soldiers, stuffed animals, games, model airplanes, model cars, and puppets is a joy to visit. 406 rue St-Honore, 8e.&01-42-60-39-01. Metro: Concorde. Jeux Descartes Can toys be approached scientifically? Some of the salespeople think so! 52 rue des Ecoles, 5e.&01-43-26-79-83. Metro: Cluny-Sorbonne. (Text Source: ‘Frommers‘)

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