So you’ve arrived at the French capital with an empty suitcase and a dream, praying that the shopping in Paris is like what you’ve see in the movies. My friends, I hope you brought all your credit cards because it’s even better.
Now I’m not advocating for the irresponsible use of college funds, savings accounts or retirement portfolios but if you love shopping, Paris will be paradise for you. From the luxury designers you’ve seen plastered across magazines to the chic vintage shops frequented by trendy locals, Paris is a dream.
But what do you do when you’re only in Paris for a few days and don’t know where to find the best shopping neighborhoods? For starters, you extend your trip, but if that’s not realistic just keep reading this post.
I’m going to give you the blueprint to shopping in Paris, based off my first hand experience. Some might call my relentless need to shop reckless – I like to see it as research.
Thanks to six month-long stays in the French capital under my belt (which I bought in Paris) I could take you through the best shopping districts in Paris blindfolded.
But hey, we’re losing daylight. Are you ready to dive right in? Because I am!
Visiting Paris? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in Paris (The best neighborhoods for first timers + two to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s my favorite hotel in Paris, hands down.
The sales tax for shopping in Paris
I can’t be the only who’s been told to shop for luxury brands in Paris because “you don’t have to pay tax.” However the water is a little muddy on the subject and it’s not as simple as just pushing a button.
For starters – you don’t just get to buy items “tax free,” rather the tax is reimbursed when you leave the country. You should also know that not everything you buy will qualify for reimbursement.
The VAT, or Value Added Tax is applied to purchases made within the European Union (which includes France) of more than €100, spent at the same store within three days. The percentage varies, but generally it’s a 20% tax of which you can expect to receive 12% back.
It’s important to know that the government doesn’t issue your reimbursement, it’s the retailer so you have to tell the store at the time of purchase you’d like the VAT reimbursement forms (called the détaxe forms in French). Bring your passport so the store can issue you the form, which you’ll later need at the airport.
Most department and luxury stores in Paris have made it a painless process. Since the store is who will issue the reimbursement they’re responsible for explaining how to get your money back.
I’ll also give a (quick) explanation here. When it’s time to leave and you’re at the airport find the Détaxe Office. Depending on the airport, you might be able to use a self-service kiosk. Just scan the barcode at the top of your form. Since your information (including your credit card) was recorded at the store it’ll already be attached to the form and you can expect a refund within 90 days.
Shopping in Paris
Best Shopping in Paris, Neighborhoods
Technically the Champs-Elysees is a street (even more technically, an avenue) but its fame as a shopping district attracts brands from all over the world. The avenue begins at the Place de la Concorde and runs about a mile and a half west, . You’ll find the bulk of the stores in the last half mile before the Arc de Triomphe.
The stores on the Champs-Elysees are the kind rich socialites shop at in the movies (you know, where the chauffeur carries a load of designer bags to the back of a black SUV). I only say that half jokingly; in reality shopping in Paris is a lot less intimidating than it sounds (even for those of us with modest bank accounts).
But the street’s opulence is undeniable. Forbes ranked the Champs-Elysee the fifth most-expensive shopping street in the world! It’s important to come in with a plan of what you want to keep retiring on time a possibility.
Not only is the Champs-Elysees home to some of the best shopping in Paris, it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions. Odds are during your visit to the French Capital you’ll be in the area so why not stop for some of the best shopping in Paris?
Depending on the flexibility of your visit I’d recommend making a pit-stop on the first Sunday of the month to enjoy the Champs-Elysee completely car free. The city of Paris does this to reduce pollution but it also helps you pin-ball freely from store to store while shopping.
For the most part, stores on the Champs-Elysees are huge companies. You won’t find boutiques or handmade goods from mom & pop because the real-estate is simply too expensive. With that said I’ll still list a few of the global brands you’ll find at the Champs-Elysee.
Notable Stores on the Champs-Elysee
When folks think of shopping in Paris they often think of designer brands, and few loom as large as Louis Vuitton. Founded in 1854 in Paris, the company is the most valuable luxury brand in the world.
And lucky for you the Champs-Elysee is home to the largest Louis Vuitton store in the world, encompassing five floors full of the luxury brand’s most coveted items. Unless you make an appointment online (which are near-impossible to get) you’ll likely have to wait in a hefty line so grab a coffee and head to store early.
Address: 101 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris
While Louis Vuitton is likely the most popular luxury store in Paris I’ve always (personally) found Dior to feel a little more classy. There’s something about the sleek, clean white tones that almost feels angelic. The store sells clothing and accessories, (including jewelry) for all members of the family.
Plus it’s neighbors with Louis Vuitton so you can kill two birds with one stone while on your Paris shopping spree.
Address: 127 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris
Let’s be real, how could I not include Nike? The brand is synonymous with sneakers and whether they’re for a kid or adult the excitement remains all the same. Although it’s an American brand I still suggest visiting in case there’s a unique design not available in the states.
The stop is well worth it when shopping in Paris, even if it’s just to check the sales rack. The top floor of theis location also offers Nike by You customization so you can be in full control over the design of your kicks.
Address: 529 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Maybe it’s just me – but I love visiting Apple stores in every new city I visit and their location on the Champs-Elysee is one of my favorites. It looks like a museum where the technology is the art but instead you get to touch it and feel it! Not to mention if your phone charger breaks it’s not just a beautiful stop but a necessary one.
Address: 114 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris
Okay so you’re done at the Champs-Elysee or decided to skip it all together because the only thing you could afford was a croissant. What now? The next-best neighborhood for shopping in Paris is Le Marais, conveniently located in the 4th arrondissement.
In Le Marais you won’t find one main street you’ll that has all the best stores, rather this entire neighborhood is chic and trendy. Among the stores are small boutiques and vintage shops so the chances of finding something unique is practically a guarantee.
This is one of the best shopping neighborhoods in Paris if you’re exploring with a variety of people who all have different budgets. You don’t have to break the bank in Le Marais, but if you want to there are premium shops are more than happy to oblige.
And there’s a bountiful selection of tourist-attractions in Le Marais to help keep any non-shoppers you’re with entertained (or to catch a breather between stores). Whether it’s the Picasso Museum, Centre Pompidou or Place des Vosges there’s plenty of spots to rest your feet while enjoying some of the best shopping in Paris.
Notable Stores in Le Marais
Free p Star
Free P Star is a vintage store you’ll likely see more than once while shopping in Paris (there’s three locations in Le Marais alone). Although I wouldn’t say Free P Star is the best vintage store in Paris, its availability and selection is too good to ignore.
I’d equate it to a Buffalo Gap in the United States, where you can stumble across diamonds in the rough but some visits are just duds. Regardless, sifting through the mountains of gold equates to the thrill of gambling where the only thing you lose is time.
Address: 61 Rue de la Verrerie, 20 Rue de Rivoli & 93 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris
When Americans think of department stores we think of JC Penny’s and Kohls, but in Paris department stores are much more like malls. BHV Le Marais is right across the street from City Hall and is one of the best all around places to go shopping in Paris.
They sell everything from makeup to clothing to housewares across multiple floors and have a public bathroom (hallelujah!). During the summer one of the most romantic things to do in Paris is to make a pit-stop at their rooftop bar after an enthuastic day of shopping.
Address: 52 Rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris
Uniqlo hails from Japan and is the 4th largest retailer in the world. They’re one of the best stores for basics and the quality is a step above the fast-fashion retailers in the U.S. If you’re shopping in Paris because you forgot to pack socks you won’t find a better store than Uniqlo, but that’s not all they’re good for.
The brand makes trendy clothing at a reasonable price point (half my husband’s closet is from there). Whether you need shorts when it’s hot or a jacket when it’s cold you won’t have to settle for a less desirable looks here.
Address: 39 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75004 Paris
Just outside the borders of Le Marais is a pop-up market that’s home to some of the best shopping in Paris. It’s called the Marche Bastille and it takes place on Thursdays and Sundays, opening as early as 7AM. Just like any farmers market in the U.S. you’ll come across fresh produce and ingredients, but there are plenty of clothing items, accessories and knick-knacks for sale too. Plus you can bargain, so who knows you might walk away with a deal.
Address: 2018 Bd Richard-Lenoir, 75011 Paris, France
Shopping in Paris doesn’t have to revolve around clothing, sometimes fashion comes in the form of home-decor. In that arena, Fleux has some of the best shopping in Paris. The store has everything you need to outfit a home in today’s trendiest styles.
I’m a huge fan because although the home-decor sticks with the times, it isn’t too gimmicky like a college freshman’s dorm room. It’s also a good place to pickup simple souvenirs that aren’t too cliché.
Address: 39 bis Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris, France
Saint-Germain des Pres
If neighborhoods in Paris were people, Saint-Germain des Pres (often shortened to St. Germain) is who I would want to marry. It has a little bit of everything you’d want in a neighborhood, it’s cute, dreamy, full of history and entertaining.
In the early 19th century it was a hotbed for famous writers and artists (like Picasso, Hemingway and Delacroix) who helped grow the neighborhood’s fame. Safe to say it didn’t take long for it to become “the place to be.”
The neighborhood’s been attracting folks since, eager to be at the center of the star-studded action. To this day celebrities are known to frequent the neighborhood, either enjoying the cafes or some of the best shopping in Paris.
With the “it” factor in full swing, Saint Germain has created an environment ripe for some of the best shopping in Paris. The main street, the Boulevard Saint-Germain, is lined with luxury designers and its web of side streets and alleys are chock full of dazzling boutiques.
Notable shopping in Saint-Germain des Pres, Paris
Rue de Rennes
The Rue de Rennes is a quintessential Paris shopping street. It’s lined on both sides by an abundance of clothing stores eager to get you in a new outfit, from head to toe. The street runs less than a mile, but you can easily spend a few hours pin-balling between stores that catch your eyes.
It’s a popular place to go shopping in Paris regardless of budget, too. To illustrate there is a J.M. Weston (€500 shoes) a stone’s throw away from a Vans (€50 shoes), you have the best of both worlds. Other popular stores include a Zara, Brandy Melville and a Uniqlo.
Address: Rue de Rennes, 75006 Paris, France
Le Bon Marche
Treat yourself to an authentic Paris shopping experience by letting yourself wander the different nooks and crannies of the oldest department store in the world, founded in 1838.
Le Bon Marche has multiple floors selling everything from clothes to furniture. You can spend hours perusing the shelves and booths, and luckily it’s all indoors and air-conditioned, giving you reprieve from the weather. As an added bonus: they have a public bathroom. Hallelujah!
Address: 24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France
On top of having French-fashion heavyweights Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, Saint Germain is also home to some Italian designers. Gucci is an international favorite and they’re conveniently located on the Boulevard Saint Germain for any of your high-end needs. From high-heels to handbags the store is ready to provide you with a flashy souvenir to remind you of shopping in Paris.
Address: 161 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, France
Citypharma is the most popular pharmacy in Paris, selling a wide array of discounted skincare, hair care and wellness products. For a lot of folks (myself included) visiting Citypharma is the highlight of shopping in Paris. You can find popular brands being sold at less than half the cost of what they would in the U.S.
My only piece of advise is doing some research prior to visiting since the wide selection can be overwhelming. Not to mention all the labels are in French! Come in with a scavenger list of what you want and weave through the non-stop crowds filling up your basket with goodies across all three floors.
Address: 26 Rue du Four, 75006 Paris, France
The opulent Opera District is home to some of the best luxury shopping in Paris. I’ll be honest and say I’ve been relegated to window-shopping through this Paris neighborhood, but even that is blissful.
It’s hard not to be taken-aback by the intricate architecture and detailed accents on the buildings. The Palais Garnier opera, from which the neighborhood gets its name, is strikingly elegant and sets the standard for the rest of the neighborhood.
There’s also an impressive amount of hotels in the neighborhood, and if you’re lucky enough to stay in one of them you’ll have the best shopping in Paris right outside your door. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes, because once you get started you’re not going to want to come home until the stores close.
Best Shopping in Opera District, Paris
Galeries Lafayette Hausmann
A luxury department store catered to those with no self-control of their spending (aka, me) Galeries Lafayette is where my brain goes when I think of shopping in Paris.
Every major designer you can think of can be found under the one, majestic roof. Seriously, the store looks like an eight-story palace that’s worth visiting, even if you don’t plan on doing any retail-therapy. The store also has a free, rooftop terrace offering one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower.
Galeries Lafayette has more than one location. When you’re looking for the best shopping in Paris and want to head to their best branch be sure to GPS Galeries Lafayette Haussmann
Address: 40 Bd Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
Sweden comes to France in the form of Ikea, the home-decor store that’s been made famous by low prices and frustrating-to-assemble furniture. With Paris being one of the most expensive cities in the world though shopping for your furniture here might be a necessity. Regardless, perusing the store is a fun and it has a food court!
Address: 23 Bd de la Madeleine, 75001 Paris, France
Paris has a slew of covered passageways, which are like an early version malls, that were popularized in the 1800’s. You walk through a covered, hall-like passage which has skylights filtering in natural light and is lined by stores, cafes and boutiques.
Arguably the most famous of these passageways is Galeries Vivienne. Celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, it provides one of the most unique shopping experiences in Paris. For a full list of stores visit the official website.
Address: 4 Rue des Petits Champs, 75002 Paris, France
When I’m in a new city and realized I forgot something back home, H&M is old reliable for inexpensive basics. Their location in the Opera District is right across from Galeries Lafayette and covers five floors.
Also worth noting, the retailer recently opened their first H&M Home store also in the Opera District. The collection takes up two floors and is full of modern, chic dishware, decor and furniture. H&M provides some of the most up-to-date fashion and makes shopping in Paris a breeze.
Address: 1-3 Rue La Fayette, 75009 Paris, France & 14 Bd des Capucines, 75009 Paris, France for H&M Home
In a city full of trendy and modern fashion, Montmartre remains true to its artistic roots. To me, Montmartre is more vibrant and eclectic than any other Paris neighborhood, so shopping here will provide plenty of unique finds.
The old-world charm is palpable as you peruse the neighborhood, all under the watchful gaze of the Basilica du Sacre Couer. Montmartre feels timeless, full of dressed up older-folks yet retaining a youthful exuberance.
Full of cafes, artistic hangouts and history there are so many fun things to do in Montmartre. The major caveat is that the neighborhood isn’t known for having an abundance of major retailers. Most of what you’ll find are vintage shops and art stores.
That doesn’t mean shopping in Paris stops at Montmartre though. You just have to set reasonable expectations and come for the experience, not necessarily the products.
Best stores in Montmartre | Shopping in Paris
Place du tertre
In the very heart of Montmartre is an artist hot pocket you cannot afford to miss. The Place du Tertre (a public square), there is a congregation of talented artists selling original artwork al fresco. Sure this isn’t where you go shopping in Paris for designer, but if you want one of a kind art pieces you won’t find a better place.
You can sit down in a painters chair and have your portrait done or peruse the different stalls. There are paintings of landscapes and people but there’s no other muse is more prevalent than Paris itself. The square is one of the best places to pickup a souvenir, especially if you want something unique.
Address: Pl. du Tertre, 75018 Paris, France
Vintage Market on the Boulevard de clichy
On my most recent trip to Paris I came across a vintage market that was loaded with goodies. Used clothing made by designer brands could be had for pennies on the dollar and there so many vintage knick-knacks.
But I’ve come across an issue – I can’t find a name for it anywhere. I haven’t been able to research when they open, how often they set up shop or who the vendors are. All I know is that they set up shop along the Boulevard de Clichy and it’s a goldmine. If you have any more information (I’m begging!) you leave it in the comments.
Souvenir shops are a dime a dozen in Paris, but in Montmartre they seem like they’re everywhere. And not only is there one on every corner, streets have them back to back to back.
Sure, most souvenir stores will have very (if not the same) items but every once in a while you’ll come across a gem. If you’re shopping in Paris for souvenirs, make a bee-line to Montmartre.
Best Shopping Streets in Paris
I already hit on some of the biggest shopping streets in Paris by bringing up the Champs-Elysees and Rue de Rennes, but there’s plenty more where that came from.
Rue de Passy
The 16th arrondissement is one that is home to countless embassies and a hot-spot for Paris wealthiest residents. In fact America’s first diplomat, Benjamin Franklin, called the neighborhood home during the American Revolution.
Benjamin Franklin’s mission while in Passy was to maintain the support of the French during the Revolution, your mission is to enjoy the best shopping in Paris.
The Rue de Passy, the neighborhood’s lifeblood, is a half-mile strip where you can enjoy some of the best shopping in Paris. Jewelry, clothing, desserts and shoes are all sold along the avenue.
Popular stores include Uniqlo, Calzedonia, Zara Home, COS, Lindt Chocolate. If you take the side-streets into the neighborhood you’ll find even more sought-after destinations, just don’t stray too far from Rue de Passy – it’s one of the best shopping streets in Paris.
A popular tributary to the Champs-Elysees, Avenue Montaigne begins at the Franklin D. Roosevelt subway station and runs less than half a mile towards the Seine River. Along the avenue you’ll come across some of the best luxury shopping in Paris.
Prada, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Chanel all call the Avenue Montaigne home. There’s even a Dior children’s store, serving as a reminder that there are kids out there dressed way better than me.
Shopping in Paris is also fun thanks to unique history. Take the Harry Winston jewelry store on Avenue Montaigne for example. It’s been robbed twice, first in 2007 for €36 million worth of jewels, and in 2008 for €80 million. The latter is one of the biggest jewel-heists in history!
A street that has existed since the Middle Ages, Rue Saint-Honoré is also one of the best shopping streets in Paris. It runs for a little over a mile along the Seine River in the First Arrondissement.
Because of its central location countless retailers have opened up shop on the street, eager to funnel some of the millions of tourists that visit Paris into their stores.
Like the Avenue Montaigne, this is a paradise for lovers of luxury. Nearly every designer you could want has a location on Rue Saint-Honoré. To name a few, you’ll come across Fendi, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Cartier, Jimmy Choo, David Yurman, Burberry and more.
I enjoy window-shopping on Rue Saint-Honore because it’s one of the most opulent streets in Paris. It’s a mile long so perusing it from beginning to end can be done is a little as an hour.
Canal Saint Martin
The Canal Saint Martin is a popular hangout for locals eager to find reprieve from the hustle & bustle of city life. The canal is lined on both sides by stores, but it’s a different experience from the other shopping streets in Paris.
It’s a place you can shop in Paris and feel like a local, too. It has a farmers market vibe where you don’t know what the next bend will bring. I wouldn’t recommend shopping along the Canal Saint Martin with a list, rather let the stores tell you what you need.
There’s the occasional pop-up market along the canal, but mostly I love it for the unique boutiques peppered along the way. Vintage shopping and finding one of a kind knick-knacks is a great pastime.
Weather permitting, you can take breaks along the canal, dangling your feet over the water. I love shopping in Paris and stopping for cups of coffee or croissants, refueling before continuing on my stroll. Luckily along the Canal Saint-Martin cafes are plentiful.
Best Outlet Shopping in Paris
I love a good deal as much as the next guy, so if you’re shopping in Paris and looking for outlets and markets here are a few.
On the outskirts of Paris there is a bargain hunter’s Garden of Eden, providing the best shopping you could ever dream of. The Vallée Village is a collection of designer outlets where fashionistas can save a pretty penny.
It feels elegant from the moment of arrival, gated and perfectly manicured. I can’t help but feel like a Kardashian as I migrate between different designer boutiques, enjoying the best shopping in Paris at a fraction of the price.
For a full list of the available boutiques visit Vallée Village’s website, they include some of the world’s most famous brands. Items by Fendi, Louboutin, and Bottega Veneta (among others) can be had for as much as half-off!
And incredibly the Vallée Village is only a 40 minute drive from central Paris. If you’re like me and don’t have a car though Vallée Village offers a paid shuttle service or you can get there by metro.
Address: 3 Cr de la Garonne, 77700 Serris, France
Paris Saint-Ouen Flea Market
France’s markets are known across the world so it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’re home to some of the best shopping in Paris. Specifically, the Paris Flea Market (Les Puces de Saint-Ouen) is one the biggest flea markets in the world and a destination you’re not going to want to miss.
There are stalls and shops filled with intricate trinkets, great art, leather goods, clothing and dishes. This could also be a great time to pick up souvenirs, so be sure to bring small bills if you’re gutsy enough to haggle.
If I’m being honest, some of the prices can be a bit of shock (it’s a popular tourist destination). However, simply put, if you’re looking for the best outlet shopping in Paris the Saint-Ouen Flea Market is a non-negotiable, especially if you’re into antiques and one of a kind finds.
Address: 99 All. des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine
One Nation Paris
Similar to a traditional American mall, One Nation Paris provides some of the best shopping in Paris. Made up of dozens of boutiques you’ll find major brands from all over the world sold at discounted prices.
The mall feels modern and bright, making it easy to spend a half-day jumping between stores. If all the shopping works up an appetite you’ll also be able to grab a bite between shopping bag curls.
The beauty of One Nation Paris is that it doesn’t offer only one type of shopping experience. Sure, there are luxury brands but you’ll also find middle of the road, good quality but non-designer brands like Columbia, Converse, Levis and Jordan.
A drive there will take roughly an hour from central Paris and slightly longer if you take public transportation, which includes trains and busses depending on where you are in the city.
Address: 1 Av. du Président John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 78340 Les Clayes-sous-Bois, France
Shopping in Paris (Post Summary)
Here’s a quick roundup of the best shopping in Paris:
- Le Marais
- Saint-Germain des Pres
- Opera District
- Rue de Passy
- Avenue Montaigne
- Rue Saint-Honoré
- Canal Saint Martin
- Vallée Village
- Paris Saint-Ouen Flea Market
- One Nation Paris
BEST SHOPPING NYC, SHOPPING IN MANHATTAN, BEST STORES MANHATTAN, SHOPPING IN NEW YORK CITY
Map of the best areas for shopping in Paris
And there you have it, my friends. A shopping in Paris guide that has all my favorite stores, streets and neighborhoods. I hope you found the article useful in spending all your money! Until next time.