Paris’ reputation for being fashion capital of the world is no urban myth. Boasting a variety of quaint boutiques, expansive shopping malls and a plethora of markets, retail therapy is never far from reach. From designer emporiums on the exclusive Champs Elysées to the timeless trinkets of Les Bouquinistes, it’s no surprise that Paris still remains all things couture. Designer brands, incomparable customer service, and must-have merchandise make Parisian streets infamous stomping grounds for worldwide fashionistas.Eiffel tower to St Germain-des-Pres
The quintessential 6th arrondissement proudly homes the perfect blend of high-end fashion and ancient treasured antiques. 'Le Bon Marche' to the south, on Rue de Serves founded in 1852 remains one of the most exclusive and high quality department stores infamous for its Grande epicerie food hall. For something a little less pricy, head down Rue de Rennes where you'll find affordable high street fashion such as Zara, Mango and H&M. The charming streets of St Germain are lined with an exquisite array of antique shops, chic fashion boutiques, and high-end fashion brands including Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent. Head westward where you'll find the charming Les Bouquinistes, ramshackle rickety green booths bursting full of old second hand treasures that line the romantic banks of the Seine.
Although not famous for its high-end boutiques and designer fashion labels, the bohemian quarter certainly offers its own unique shopping experience. Being a heavily student populated area, the streets give way to inexpensive clothing brands (Try Boulevard St Michel), hardware stores, specialist bookshops and food markets. On Rue de la Bucherie you will find the must see Shakespeare and Company bookstore; one of the most eccentric bookstores, complete with its own beautiful story. An ideal spot to scout out your next read whilst watching the Notre Dame across the river. Don’t miss out on Marche Aux Fleurs, around the corner from Notre Dame, which holds host to a unique bird market on a Sunday.
The Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe
A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without an inspiring amble down the iconic Champs Elysées. Arguably one of the grandest boulevards in the world, home to a mixture of distinct designer emporiums including the flag ship Louis Vutton. Although Champs Elysées may leave you feeling a little overwhelmed and fatigued, leave plenty of time to explore and discover the magnificent shopping streets of Rue de Rivoli and Rue Saint-Honore. Packed full of Parisian paraphernalia, old-fashioned shopping arcades, expensive boutiques and spectacular window displays. Paris's most exclusive go to fashionista district.
Le Marais and Bastille
This enchanting neighborhood houses a handful of intriguing passages filled with trendy boutiques, art galleries, fashion show rooms and secretive antique shops. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois is a delight to wonder around, especially on a Sunday, as it largely ignores France’s strong tradition of strict Sunday closure. Boasting one of the best open market streets in the city, Rue Montorgueil showcases a delectable array of fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, meat and cheeses at reasonable prices. To the west lays the enormous controversial underground shopping centre Les Halles.
Montmartre is an ideal spot for browsing through a labyrinth of discount and vintage stores. Bargain for brick-a-brac, rummage through records and amble past arts and antiques. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to have a dig, you won’t be disappointed with the sheer array of knickknacks, paintings, books, stamps and second hand clothes on offer. Head to Espace Guerrisol or Rose bunker for second hand vintage clothes where you'll be sure to find a gem. Join the five million people and head north to visit the infamous Marche Aux Puce de St Owen for its world-renowned patchwork spread of timeless flea markets.
Paris shopping tips
The best sales in Paris are held in January and July. Keep your eyes peeled for clothes labeled ‘degriffe’ meaning they are designer labels, marked down frequently due to being last season’s collection. Stick to the general rule that the high end couture fashion and exclusive boutiques are concentrated on the right bank and the left bank is worth exploring for independent boutique and vintage stores. Keep in mind Sunday shopping is largely prohibited by law meaning many shops and supermarkets are closed all day Sunday.