Practical Life in Paris

Shopping in Paris

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Stylish Paris draws shoppers as well as culture hunters. There are world famous shopping districts, touristy trinkets, and bargain vintage.

Prices for goods are displayed including sales tax ("la TVA" - value added tax). The price you see on the label is the price you will be charged.

The classic French shopping week is Monday to Saturday, with shops generally open from 9:00 to Midday, and open again between 14:00 til 19:00. Shops in Paris and other large cities generally remain open during lunch (la journée continue), but most small towns still have the rule that shops close midday. In 2009, parliament passed a new law allowing shops to open for trading on Sundays in the main shopping areas of Paris, Lille and Marseille, and in tourist areas throughout France

Shopping Areas

  • Louvre-Tuileries and Faubourg Saint-Honoré - Masters of style with expansive bank accounts come here to shop. Designer fashion, chic home furnishings, and quality cosmetics dot the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Rue Saint-Honoré, Rue de la Paix, Place Vendome.
  • The Champs Elysées - Large international chains have flagship stores on this iconic boulevard. Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Sephora, Cartier and Louis Vuitton all feature astronomical prices. Sadly, many French shops have been pushed out and major French fashion stores can be found nearby on the Avenue Montaigne.
  • Rue de Rivoli - Located from Place de la Concorde, past the Louvre, to central Paris, this central district offers many chic shops.
  • Left Bank of the Seine - Along Boulevard St. Michel, there are many book stores, including the biggest in Paris - Gilbert.
  • Les Halles / le Marais -Fashionable French and international chainstores align these streets. Here you can find the Forum des Halles, a large urban shopping mall.

Notable Shops

  • Galeries Lafayette - (40 boulevard Haussmann, 9th; Métro: Chaussée d'Antin La Fayette) One of the world's largest department stores.
  • Merci - (111 boulevard Beaumarchais, 3rd; Métro: Saint-Sébastien-Froissart) Concept design store with fashion and home accessories. Includes dining and a theatre.
  • Marché St-Pierre - (2 rue Charles Nodier; Métro: Anvers) A 60+ year old institution, this is where the chic French fashionistas can find silks, wools, cottons and chiffons to make their fabulous creations.


There are dozens of markets within the city and many Parisians choose to buy their goods here. Food markets are most common and generally have excellent products. Most markets are open in the mornings and usually run from 7:00 until about 13:30. Remember to be polite, greet shop-owners, and enjoy the colorful scene.

Le Marché D'Aligre
Address: Place et rue d'Aligre 75012 Paris (Métro Ledru-Rollin)
Open: Everyday except Monday
Located in the 12th arrondissement, this is a trendy market of fresh goods. It is best on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.

Rue Cler
Métro: Ecole Militaire
A few blocks from the Eiffel Tower in the 7th district, this picturesque pedestrian street is lined with food shops and an outdoor market takes place mornings and afternoon. Publicized by popular American tour guide, Rick Steves, the are is heavily touristed and some people call it rue Rick Steves.

Richard Lenoir
Métro: Bastille or Bréguet Sabin
Open: Thursday and Sunday, approximately 9:00 to 13:00
Beginning at the Place de la Bastille, this is the biggest outdoor market in Paris. There is a huge array of items here from classic French cheese to Middle Eastern textiles. Be sure to stop by Jackie Lorenzo, one of the best fishmongers in Paris. There are also performers, singers, and excellent people watching.

Marché de Montreuil
Address: Avenue de la Porte de Montreuil, 75012
Open: Saturday, Sunday and Monday
A bargain-hunter's paradise awaits at this market. Huge piles of second-hand clothes are for sale starting from as little as 50 cents a piece.

Marché Saint-Quentin
Metro: Gare de L'Est
Address: Blvd. Magenta & Rue de Chabrol Paris 75010
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 8:30-1:00 & 4:00-7:00; Sunday 8:30-1:00
This large covered market in the 10th arrondissement is the largest in Paris. A hub of international food sellers, with items from Africa, Italy, and further a field.

Marché Rétro d'Oberkampf
Address: Aimloft 2 Cité Griset, 11th; +33 6 1793 0364; Métro: Ménilmontant, rue Saint-Maur
This monthly market is the scene for Parisian hipsters and vintage enthusiasts.

Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux
Address: Place Louis-Lepine, 75004
Open: Flowers - All day, every day; Birds - Sundays
This is one of the last of the Parisian markets dedicated to flowers and birds. It has been in operation for over two centuries.

For listing of markets by arrondissement (district): Parisian Markets


Supermarket are easy to find with the main national chains of Carrefour, Auchan, E.Leclerc, Géant Casinoinclude in every city. Discounters like Leader Price, Ed, Aldi, and Lidl are also plentiful. Hours are generally 8:00 until 20:00.

Update 13/02/2013


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 Christine Young


Paris is the most heavenly romantic city in the world
My husband and I had never been to Paris before and thought we would have difficulty finding our way around and as we only had three nights we thought we wouldn't see very much.
We saw hundreds and hundreds of fabulous things, places, shops, restaurants, wine bars and more wine bats, romantic French restaurants, quaint bistros, Chinese to die for on Rue la Boutie If we had three months there, we would still not have seen everything - can't wait to go again.

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