It’s no surprise, then, that the French capital has held onto its reign as the global center of all things style-related. After museums and monuments, shopping alone attracts millions of visitors every year. While the city is studded with fabulous boutiques and stores, these seven luxury shopping districts in Paris are gold mines for discount-hunters, designer divas, window shoppers, and fashion victims alike.
There’s room for all budgets, too- so looking snappy doesn’t have to rhyme with going broke. Make sure you take home a little “je ne sais quoi” by clicking through our picks for the top centers, or “meccas”, of style in the French capital.
Louvre and Tuileries District
Best for: Crème de la crème designer fashion, chic home furnishings, quality cosmetics
Main streets: Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Rue Saint-Honoré, Rue de la Paix, Place Vendome
The Faubourg Saint-Honoré district is the pulse of Paris design and fashion. Part of the Louvre-Tuileries neighborhood, the Saint-Honoré fashion district is studded with flagship shops from luxury clothing designers like Versace, Hermes, and Yves Saint Laurent.
Also make sure to check out the elegant boutiques lining the arcades of the Palais Royal: from luxury perfumer Serge Lutens to upscale vintage shops, jewelry, and art, shopping in the Palais Royal’s chic nooks is worlds away from the hustle-and-bustle of central Paris and offers a dose of real old-world chic.
Boulevard Haussmann and the Grands Boulevards
Best for: Belle-Epoque department stores (grands magasins)
Main streets: Boulevard Haussmann; Place de la Madeleine
The old Parisian department stores are famous for being worlds unto themselves. Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores dominate Boulevard Haussmann with real Belle Epoque grandeur, concentrating top designer collections for men and women, gourmet food shopping, home design, jewelry, and even hardware into a labyrinth of consumer delights. In the winter months, of course, these “Grands Magasins” are decked out with lights and elaborate decorations for the holiday season, so don’t miss checking them out then.
Best for: Eclectic and high-fashion, high-quality chains, vintage stores, artisan and handcrafted jewelry, antiques and fine art galleries, cosmetics, and perfumeries
Main streets: Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Place des Vosges, Rue de Turenne, Rue des Rosiers
The historic Marais quarter is prime stomping ground for shoppers with an eye for the unique and finely-crafted, not to mention antique and art lovers. Try antiques or fine-arts shopping on the Place des Vosges, jewelry, fragrance, and cosmetics shopping at boutiques like Satellite, Diptyque, and MAC on Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, or plunder fashionable chains such as COS on Rue des Rosiers.
If you’re a fan of excellent teas, chocolate, and other gourmet goods, the Marais is also an excellent area for foodie shopping. For high-quality French tea, head to Mariage Frères (and its adjoining tearoom) on Rue du Bourg-Tibourg, or Kusmi Tea on Rue des Rosiers. Meanwhile, Josephine Vannier (4 rue du Pas de la Mule) is listed in our guide to the best chocolate makers in Paris.
Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysées
Best for: Designer shopping, trendy chain stores, Sunday shopping
Avenue Montaigne and Avenue des Champs-Elysées form one of the city’s most coveted fashion junctures. Avenue Montaigne is fast outstripping Saint Honoré in the arena of chic-cachet, with legendary designers like Chanel and Dior lining the street with flagship boutiques. The Champs-Elysées, for its part, features luxury brands (Louis Vuitton) while also being a major spot for shopping in trendy global chains like Zara. Meanwhile, to keep the kids happy, the Disney Store dominates the “Champs” with fun window displays and enough toys to colonize the moon.
Best for: Chic classic design, books, and home furnishings
Main streets: Blvd. St.-Germain, Rue St. André-des-Arts, Rue de Sèvres
Once synonymous with the famous intellectuals who haunted local cafés, St.-Germain-des-Prés has acquired several shades of chic and is now a preferred spot of BCBG’s. Sonia Rykiel and Paco Rabanne have boutiques here: Rue Saint-Andre des Arts for rare books, unique regional gifts, and vintage threads. Meanwhile, for local department store shopping, the Bon Marché is the consummate left-bank address for classic chic. If you’re a foodie or are in search of gourmet goods to take home, make sure to have a whirl through the enormous food hall there, too.
Les Halles and Rue de Rivoli
Best for: Major chain shops and trendy boutiques
Main streets: Rue de Rivoli, Rue Pierre-Lescot, Rue Etienne Marcel, Rue de Turbigo
Once the locus of “the guts of Paris”- an enormous outdoor food market, the area around Châtelet-Les Halles was transformed into a major shopping area in the 20th century. At Metro, Les Halles is a monstrous underground mall, “Le Forum des Halles”, where global chain stores reign. Chains such as H&M and Zara dominate the area, but closer to the Louvre you’ll find lots of antique shops and art galleries, for those looking for special pieces to bring back home.
Maison et Objet
Maison et Objet is the major French trade fair for interior design and luxury furniture. Held bi-annually, it has been described as “among the 3 most important European events for interior design”, a huge collection of innovation and talent all in one place.