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Shopping in Paris

Paris has a great name for food, for fashion and for fine literature and if your aim is to find something chic and exquisite, you won’t be disappointed. It’s important to remember, though, that Paris is also a thriving cosmopolitan city that excels as much in international food, edgy fashion and modern art as it does in classic Chanel silhouettes. Don’t come expecting a bargain, though. Shopping in Paris is for the well-heeled rather than the bargain basement brigade.

Key areas

Those who enjoy intimate, friendly boutiques should head for the Marais 4th arrondissement, whereas Rue des Francs-Bourgeois sells designer kitsch. The exclusive designer shops are in the 8th arrondissement, enclosed in the golden triangle formed by avenue des Champs-Elysées, avenue Montaigne and rue François 1er. The rue du Faubourg St-Honoré also houses big-name designers like Hermes and Saint Laurent.

There are a growing number of concept shops which bring together fashion, art and music all under one roof, including Colette and the hip LE66 in the glamorous district of the Champs-Élysées.


Expensive antiques can be found at Le Louvre des Antiquaires, beside the Louvre Museum on place du Palais Royal. For bric-a-brac, there are the renowned weekend marchés aux puces (flea markets), including porte de Vanves and St Ouen/Porte de Clignancourt.

For flavours from north Africa, head to the fresh fruit and veg market the Marché Barbès in Boulevard de la Chapelle in the 18th. For the more traditional French flavours of cheese and foie gras, visit Marché Beauvau (also known as Aligre market) in the 12th or Place Maubert in the 5th.

Shopping centres

Paris has some legendary department stores. The oldest is Le Bon Marché on 24, rue de Sèvres, which opened in 1838 (Metro stop is Sevres - Babylone). Forum des Halles in the 1st arrondissement (Metro stop is Les Halles) is another major centre. Other department stores in Paris include Printemps and Galeries Lafayette which can be found throughout the city.

Opening hours

Most shops in Paris are open Monday to Saturday 0900/1000-1900/2000 and close between about 1200 and 1430 for lunch. Many shops close completely for the month of August so if there’s a place you’ve set your heart on, double check before you travel.


If gold and glittery miniature Eiffel Towers is what you've always wanted, you've come to the right place. Street stalls line the pavements en route to this icon, selling every possible reincarnation of the metallic tower you could dream of. Mona Lisa tea towels, jigsaws and T-shirts are also in plentiful supply. For more upmarket souvenirs, there's Chanel No 5 or a classic Chanel suit to pick up at the worldwide designer HQ.

Tax information

Sales tax ranges from 5-20%, varying widely between what are regarded as essential items and luxury goods. Non-EU visitors can obtain a tax deduction of 10% on purchases of over €425 in any one day, by obtaining a form at the relevant shop and presenting it to customs on departure. For more info and advice go to

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Featured Hotels


Hôtel Arvor Saint Georges

Owner Nadine Flammarion has taken a fresh and fun approach to interior design with bright white walls and splashes of colour bringing out the atmosphere at Hôtel Arvor Saint Georges. Novels, deckchairs and striking art prints contrast with the otherwise Spartan approach. Arvor has 24 rooms and six suites and the location makes it perfect for strolling through Montmartre and soaking up some creative inspiration.

Hôtel Darcet

Hotel Darcet offers 32 modern and comfortable rooms right in the heart of Paris. Perfect for travellers and business people alike, the prices are also very reasonable. The hotel is also conveniently located just a 10-minute walk to Saint-Lazare station.


Hôtel Banke

A new addition to the Derby Hotel chain, Hôtel Banke is a refurbished bank found in the desirable Opera district in Paris. The lobby’s grandiose circular interior, capped with a crystal-domed ceiling, gives way to thickly carpeted hallways and designer sofas. Both single and double rooms are modern and pleasingly functional. The trendiness factor borders on gauche, but with this location who cares.

Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg

The wonderful Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg is a renovated 18th century mansion that feels effortlessly like a Parisian town house. Styled by the illustrious Didier Gomez, the rooms in this 5-star hotel are tastefully finished with Louis XV armchairs, vintage mirrors and beds you can imagine libertine lovers losing whole weekends in. Lunch and cocktails in the hidden courtyard terrace are a must too.

Hôtel Des Academies Et Des Arts

Just around the corner from Montparnasse cemetery, this neat boutique hotel offers stunning rooms and a sumptuous breakfast without the wallet melting price tag. Best of all, it feels far more like neighbourhood Paris than similarly sized spots in touristy Montmartre. The lounge area, replete with library, is a great place to kick back before heading out to one of the array of nearby brasseries for dinner.

Le Bristol

There’s luxury accommodation and then there’s Hotel Le Bristol Paris. From marble-panelled powder rooms to its regal 1,210-sq-m (13,000-sq-ft) garden, Le Bristol has been Paris’s most prestigious hotel since its inception in 1925. All services are naturally state of the art and foodies will be happy to hear its three-Michelin starred restaurant continues to stockpile accolades under the guidance of chef Eric Frechon.