If you like shopping Paris France is the capital of the world. The variety and style of the stores makes a Paris shopping trip a must for any fashion-conscious traveler.
In Paris shopping is an art. Parisians take fashion very seriously, so shopping in Paris can be savored and enjoyed as much as a meal in one of the city’s many excellent restaurants or a visit to one of its world-class museums.
Shopping in Paris can be done on any budget. All the best designers have boutiques in Paris, and many are worth a visit just to breathe in the elegance or to get an idea of the latest styles before heading to a more affordable department store or flea market. Shopping in Paris is a serious affair, though. Don’t expect a friendly welcome if you are wearing shorts, sneakers, or a printed t-shirt, don’t touch displays, and be sure to ask for assistance with a polite “s’il vous plait.”
Avenue Montaigne in the 8ème arrondissement exemplifies chic Paris shopping. Here you can find the best shopping in Paris, with stores from the top names in international fashion, including Céline, Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, and Valentino. On nearby Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré boutiques by Chloé, Christian Lacroix, Gucci, and Hermès alternate with some of the city’s best art galleries and antiquaries.
Champs-Élysées, once the epitome of chic Paris shopping, has gone down-market somewhat in recent years with the introduction of glitzy, Las Vegas–style outlets by Disney, Coca Cola, and others, but the famous boulevard remains a retail center. Four large arcade malls—Le Claridge, Élysées 26, Galerie du Lido, and Le Rond-Point—are ideal for browsing and have something for every kind of shopper. A newly renovated superstore by Louis Vuitton provides an up-market lift to the boulevard and is well worth a visit.
Until recently, the best shopping in Paris was clustered on these venerable shopping avenues on the city’s right bank, but more and more high-fashion houses have moved to the more hip left bank. Trendsetter Yves St. Laurent has been followed on the Rive Gauche by Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, and Louis Vuitton and streets like Rue des St-Pères and Rue du Bac are lined with designer names. The left bank’s 6ème arrondissement has stores to cater to a more youthful, low-budget, but still stylish clientele. Check out the Rue St-Placide for the best young designers and for discount stores selling last year’s stock by the high-fashion houses.
A Paris shopping trip is incomplete without a visit to one of les grands magasins, Paris’ huge department stores. To many, these capture the best shopping in Paris. Clustered along the Boulevard Haussmann in the 9ème arrondissement, enormous stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps have everything you could ever dream of, including clothes by scores of big name designers.
A Paris shopping trip should also include a visit to one of the elegant galleries or passages. These 19th-century glass-roofed shopping arcades are perfect for a rainy day. The Passage du Grand-Cerf near the Bourse metro stop is a great example of one of these historic galleries.
Most stores in Paris are closed on a Sunday, so you may want to take that day to explore one of the city’s flea markets. These offer the best shopping in Paris for those on a shoestring budget. The best are probably the Porte de Montreuil in the 20 ème arrondissement and the Porte de Clignancourt in the 18ème.
With stores and markets ranging from the most luxurious to the best for bargain hunting, for shopping Paris France remains unrivaled.
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