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Paris for Shopoholics


Where to Stay: Central Paris - In the heart of the Paris shopping district. In the 1st next to Rue St. Honoré (high-end shopping mecca) or the 8th next to the famous Parisian department stores, Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. View our hotel recommendations.

Must Pack: Easy on and off clothing. You'll need to try before you buy.

Sanity Saver: All Parisian stores are closed on Sunday, except shops in the Marais. Department stores are open late on Thursday evenings.

Recommended Reading: Suzy Gershman's Born to Shop Paris (Born To Shop) by Suzy Gershman

Top Experiences for Shoppers

1. High-End Window Shopping - Some people enjoy the hunt involved in a good sale too much to spend full price for anything (Vive les Soldes!). But then again, High End window shopping is kind of like a photo safari for shoppers who enjoy the thrill of the hunt. These three streets are your best bets for “if you have to ask how much, you can’t afford it” window shopping. 

For jewelry, head to the Place Vendôme. One of the only streets in the world where by law only jewelers can opérate shops. Read more about High-End Window Shopping.

2. Department Stores - The Grand Magasins - Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. Over 40 floors of shopping in 5 different buildings.  If this gives you a little tingle, then read our tips and tricks for navigating Printemps and Galleries Lafayette.

3. St. Germain des Prés - Metro: St. Germain

The ultimate neighborhood to "shop and walk" in Paris. From high-end designers, such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, to small boutiques specializing in everything from shoes to candles, the streets that spoke off of Boulevard St. Germain in the 6th and 7th arrondissements, are a feast for the eyes. If you're a shoe lover, Rue Grenelle is heaven on earth. To rest your tired feet, have a drink at one the two most famous cafés in Paris, Café de Floré or Aux Deux Magots. .

To get you started on a quick tour, browse our St. Germain Shop Walk.

4. Île St. Louis - Metro: Pont Marie (cross Seine over the Pont Marie bridge) or Cité (walk past the Notre Dame across island Île de la Cité and cross the Seine at Pont St. Louis).

The charming Rue St. Louis en l'Isle is the major thoroughfare on the small Seine island, Île St. Louis. This street hosts dozens of small shops and boutiques that capture the essence of old Paris, and has something for everyone - gourmet delis and stores devoted to fois gras for "foodies", clothes, handbags and shoe stores for "fashionistas", art galleries for art lovers, and even toy stores and Berthillon ice cream for children.

Learn more by viewing our Shop Walk for Rue St. Louis en l'Isle.

5. Le Marais - Metro: St. Paul

Home of French aristocrats before the revolution, the Marais is now home to artists, designers and trendy shops. It is also the only area in Paris where the stores are open on Sunday.

Walk from St. Paul métro, up Rue de Sévigne, then turn right and follow Rue de Francs Bourgeiois to the Place des Vosges, one of the oldest and most beautiful squares in Paris, for a sampling of the shopping available in the Marais. Then, explore the area more fully by walking on the Rue des Rosiers and Rue Vielle du Temple.

6. Marche aux Puces de St-Ouen - Metro:Take the Metro to Porte-de-Clignancourt, and follow the crowds

"The Worlds Largest Flea Market." Open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

7. Museums for French Style - Curious about how the rich and famous in Paris lived? Explore these three museums for peeks into the luxurious furnishings, art and high-style of past Parisians.

Musée Jacquemart-Andre - After walking around the high-end shopping district, tour the lavish home of a wealthy, art-loving 19th century Parisian couple - including famous works by Rembrandt and Botticello. The clincher here is the setting. The rooms are as impressive as the collection and the restaurant (which you can access separate from the museum) is a great place for lunch or a break. Open daily: 10:00am- 6:00pm. 8.5 euros for entry. 158 blvd Haussmann, 8e.

Musée Carnavalet - A Marais mansion that chronicles the history of France - highlighting the period of the French revolution. Visit the opulent rooms on the first floor that showcase how the French royalty and aristocracy lived before the revolution. Many of the rooms were moved "as is" from the Place de Vosges (a few blocks from the museum). Closed on Mondays: 10:00am - 6:00pm. Free.

Louvre Museum - Mention the Louvre, and most people think of an overwhelming collection of art that they "must visit" when in Paris. Many tourists come away with a "been there-done that" attitude without truly enjoying the treasures that the Louvre has to offer. We've found the Louvre is so huge that centering a visit around personal interests is the way to explore this museum. Read our Louvre Tour for Shopoholics.

10. Free Fashion Shows -The Galleries Lafayette and Printemps both offer free fashion shows during the week

Galeries Lafayette Fashion Show - Free, private fashion shows showcasing the latest Parisian trends every Friday at 3 pm. The show lasts 30 minutes and includes English commentary. Reservations required by phone at Location: "Salon Opera" - 7th floor (take the escalator Mogador, main building).

Author: Cheryl Montgomery

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