Parisians dress a variety of styles, from chic and haute couture to bohemian and trendy, and there is an equal variety of places to go shopping depending on what you’re looking for. Here are the most sought-after shopping districts in Paris.
The Golden Triangle: a must-do
Located between Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Avenue Montaigne and Avenue George V, this is one of the most stylish districts in the capital. So it is no wonder that grand fashion houses such as Chloé, the hatmaker Laulhère, Dior, Christophle, Guerlain, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent are to be found here. The most prestigious names occupy prime territory in the heart of Paris’s Golden Triangle, not far from more affordable brands such as H&M, Sephora and Nike on the Champs Elysées. The area is a major draw for big spenders.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés / Sèvres Babylone / Rue de Rennes: the Left Bank lifestyle
Fashion and food go hand in hand in the area around Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in the 6th arrondissement. Around the church of the same name and all the way to Sèvres Babylone and Rue de Rennes, the streets are lined with shops to linger in. All shopping fans will find something that takes their fancy at the legendary department store Bon Marché, the fashion retailers on the avenues, or the couture, designer and perfume shops in the area. Food lovers will enjoy browsing in the Grande Épicerie or sampling gourmet delights at Meert, La Tarte Tropézienne or Pierre Marcolini.
Haussmann-Opéra- Saint-Lazare: the historic shopping district
The Haussmann-Opéra-Saint-Lazare quarter has always been the centre of Paris shopping. The opening of the Galeries Lafayette here in 1912 was the first step, followed by Printemps and later by an extensive and eclectic selection of shops, including unusual places like the Drouot auction house and the toy shop Village JouéClub. With everything from chain stores and trendy brands to food shops, the Citadium concept store and the jewellers on Place Vendôme, you are sure to find anything you are looking for.
Marais: trendy fashion brands
The historic Marais district (Rue des Archives, Place des Vosges, Rue des Rosiers, Rue des Francs-Bourgeois) is a creative hub and a showcase for trendy and bohemian lifestyle choices. The edgiest and most sought-after brands all have shops here. Discerning customers can browse fashion (Bensimon, Muji, Cos, Maje, Sandro etc.), perfume and skincare (Jo Malone, Guerlain etc.), art galleries, bakeries and upscale food shops (such as Pierre Hermé and Pâtisserie Michalak) and concept stores (Merci, Bonton).
Martyrs–Pigalle: the bourgeois bohemian haven
There is a unique atmosphere in the Martyrs district in Pigalle, at the foot of Montmartre Hill. Known as So-Pi (South Pigalle), the district is popular with tourists, who like the old-fashioned charm of its sloping streets, where one often encounters quirky residents. The shops reflect the area’s ethos, with little designer shops, vintage clothing shops like Zac & Sam, Chezelle and Chiffon & Basile, cafés, and fine food shops like Causses and RAP. There’s always something new and different to be found here.
Palais Royal: quality and elegance
Built by Richelieu, the Palais Royal has always been a place for people to meet and mingle, and the arcades surrounding it have always been home to artisans’ shops. Even today, the area around the garden, between the Louvre, the Opéra and Rue Saint-Honoré, is one of the best-known places for upscale shopping in Paris. A little black dress by Didieu Ludot, perfume from Annick Goutal or Frédéric Malle, a trendy Kitsuné sweatshirt, decorative items from Lalique and chocolate by Michel Cluizel can all be purchased in this shrine to artisanship and excellence.
Montmartre: edgy and offbeat
The Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur district has much to offer. Tourists flock here to see the Basilica and stroll around Place du Tertre and the area’s charming streets, while Parisians come to browse the edgy and offbeat shops – everything from fashion brands like Maje, Ba&sh and Karl Marc John to unusual jewellery from Emmanuelle Zysman. Unusual accessories can be found at Frou-Frou and the South American concept store Tienda Esquipulas, and you can stop off for a sweet treat at Maison Georges Larnicol. Montmartre is the place for shopping with a difference.
Rue de Passy: elegant fashions
The inhabitants of the 16th arrondissement are elegant dressers. The largest shopping street in the district, Rue de Passy, is lined with stores selling well cut and tailored clothes in fine fabrics. The focal point of the street is the Passy Plaza shopping centre, filled with shops to suit all tastes and budgets, from classic brands such as Gap and H&M to more offbeat labels like Ekyog. The designer Isabel Marant has opened a beautiful branch in a townhouse a short distance from here, on Avenue Victor Hugo. Her shop is a must-see. And Cyril Lignac’s patisserie on Rue de Chaillot is a good place to take a break and enjoy a sweet treat before you get back to your shopping.
The 17th arrondissement: Western Paris shopping
Extending between Porte Maillot and Parc Monceau, the 17th arrondissement is a pleasant district with plenty of good shops. Rue de Lévis, Batignolles and Rue de Courcelles are like mini-villages and have plenty of surprises in store for shopping fans. Besides some excellent clothing stores, a number of high-quality concept stores have opened in the area, such as Bastien de Almeuda, Bazaristan, Firmaman, French Touche and Désordre Urbain. The district is also reputed for its food markets and shops where you can purchase many tasty treats, such as Bonbon Royal and Scoop me a cookie.
Alternatively, you’ll find everything you’re looking for (and plenty more besides) at the Palais des Congrès shopping centre, where you can get all your shopping done in one go.