Where to Shop With Locals in Paris Featured

For a first timer, or even a seasoned regular, trying to work out where to go shopping in Paris can be a bit of a headache. Allow our insider knowledge to make sure you're equipped with the right resources to successfully spend your hard earned money.

by Lavinia Pisani

Village de Bercy

Tucked away south of the Gare de Lyon in the 12th arrondissement, Bercy Village is an area that has developed around pretty stone warehouses that once stored wine, and are now home to boutiques and restaurants. It tends to be a lively area and has an authentic feel: you can still see the old train tracks used to transport the wine barrels in from the provinces.

Le Marais

This beautiful, historically Jewish part of Paris is hugely attractive. Not only is it home to some of the city’s best museums, bars, restaurants, and quaint cobblestoned streets that take you back in time – it boasts great shopping too. You could wander for hours between the neighborhood’s jewelers and local craft and design stores. The main attraction is the second hand shops overflowing with vintage treasures. You might have to do a little hunting through the racks, but even a little effort is bound to bear its fruits.

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Avenue des Champs Élysées

Marcel Proust lovingly described the genteel elegance of the Champs-Élysées during belle époque heyday, when its cobblestones resounded with the clatter of horses and carriages. Today, despite unrelenting traffic and the intrusion of chain stores, the avenue still sparkles with brilliant shopping opportunities. Along the 2km (1¼ mile) stretch, you can find marquee names in French luxury: Cartier, Guerlain, and Louis Vuitton. Car manufacturers too lure in visitors with space-age showrooms.

Rue de Rivoli

The stretched-out Rue de Rivoli has plenty of variety to keep shoppers happy – from the pretty arcaded section with many chic boutiques by the Jardin des Tuilieries to the more hectic section full of high street classics down near Châtelet – and all of the souvenir shops in between.

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Saint-Germain-des-Près

A haven for ready-to-wear and designer boutiques, Saint-Germain des Près is a gorgeous and affluent neighborhood just south of the Seine in the center of Paris. Grand couturiers’ window displays fight for attention on the Boulevard Saint-Germain and neighboring streets: from Sonia Rykiel and Ralph Lauren to Giorgio Armani and Christian Dior.

Montmartre

One of Paris’ most beloved and picturesque neighborhoods, Montmartre retains much of its historical charm today. It is one of the best places in the city to come and pick up souvenirs, artwork and local crafts from quaint little boutiques. The Place des Tertres is the place to go to buy a painting or portrait straight from a local artist, while the Place des Abbesses (typical of the countrified style that has made Montmartre famous), is surrounded by boutiques selling crafts.

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Place Vendôme

Versailles architect Jules-Hardouin Mansart designed this perfectly proportioned octagonal plaza near the Tuileries in 1702, in honor of Louis XIV’s military conquests. He gave the hôtels particuliers around the square identical façades to maintain a uniform appearance - and the effect is impressive. Today the square is home to the crème de la crème of chic Parisian jewelry boutiques and high fashion labels: look forward to browsing the shelves and racks at Cartier, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Valentino.

Place des Vosges

Paris’s oldest and perhaps most beautiful square, the Place des Vosges, represents an early stab at urban planning. Today, the arcaded walkway beneath them is lined with art galleries, shops and cafés.There’s an excellent selection of art galleries and boutiques that are well worth a look. Prices are steep but who knows, you just might find yourself going home with a souvenir that puts all other Paris memorabilia to shame.

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For more on where to shop in Paris, visit our Destinations page

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