Palais Royal Garden

Flowers, Fountains, & Shopping Arcades

Palais Royal: Discover a Secret Garden & Shopping Arcades near the Louvre

Don't Miss the Gorgeous Flowers, Exquisite Boutiques, Terrace Dining . . . Hidden from View, Unless You Know Where to Find the Entrances
Covered shopping arcade at Palais Royal - to the left is a sculpture-filled inner courtyard and spectacular garden, and on the right, hidden from view in this photo, are small specialty boutiques
Covered shopping arcade at Palais Royal - to the left is a sculpture-filled inner courtyard and spectacular garden, and on the right, hidden from view in this photo, are small specialty boutiques

Across Rue de Rivoli from the Louvre but hidden from sight behind a 17th century palace, now office space for the Ministry of Culture, is an almost secret oasis missed by most Paris visitors:  the Palais Royal Garden (Jardin Palais Royal), surrounded by covered arcades used by stylish Parisians for shopping, dining, entertainment, and socializing since the early 18th century.

 

Our guide to 20 top Paris shopping districts includes the city's best known retail areas as well as some almost-hidden locations you might not find on your own.

To be sure, you can easily fill your shopping time with the most famous Paris fashion emporiums:  the legendary department stores known as the grands magasins, the designer showrooms along Avenue Montaigne in the "Golden Triangle" of luxury couture, the global brands up and down Champs-Élysées

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You might easily spend a day in the immense glass-domed Galeries Lafayette department store browsing the countless designer boutiques, sampling gourmet treats in its specialty restaurants, and choosing the perfect Guerlain, Chanel, or Dior fragrance even if you weren't planning to buy any, because who can resist French perfume? 

But beyond these admittedly wonderful choices lies a wide and diverse range of other places to shop - everything from a former wine warehouse to indie designers in newly-trendy neighborhoods to big shopping malls.

There's a discount designer "village," a historic enclave of artisans and antique dealers, almost-hidden covered shopping arcades and 19th century glass-roofed galeries still thriving today, street markets, and flea markets - plus a lot more.

By all means shop in the famous places - they've earned their fame - but explore some of the others as well, especially if your idea of "travel" means veering off the usual tourist path. 

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Quiet street in the Latin Quarter in Paris

To experience an older Paris, spend some time discovering the charms of the Latin Quarter.

First settled by Romans in the 1st century, and then the heart of the city during medieval times, this famous Left Bank neighborhood has long attracted bohemians, scholars, and political protest.

Find out more

The Golden Triangle:  Avenue Montaigne, Avenue Georges V, Rue François 1er

Madonna and child statue in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Built during the Middle Ages at the historic heart of Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral embodies the splendors of Gothic architecture.

From the outside, you can admire the high towers, flying buttresses, and ornate carvings and numerous statues of saints and martyrs along the sides.

Inside, light streams in through spectacular stained glass windows.  You can wander around and admire the hundreds of statues, sculptures, and paintings.

 

Find out more

Galeries Lafayette, Au Printemps, Boulevard Haussmann, Rue de l'Opéra 

Eiffel Tower in Paris

For reference:

 

12 Top Areas for Shopping in Paris

  • Golden Triangle - Hermès, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Armani, and Valentino - these are just a few of the luxury designers with showrooms in this famed enclave along Avenue Georges V, Rue Francois 1er, and Avenue Montaigne in the 8th arr; closest metros: Georges V, Alma-Marceau, Franklin D Roosevelt
  • Champs-Élysées - Between Place de la Concorde and Arc de Triomphe - An almost endless number of high-end global brands and smaller stores; explore the arcades along the way to find even more choices, or detour to the Golden Triangle for super-luxury
  • Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré / Rue Saint-Honoré / Place Vendôme - A tantalizing mix of luxury and haute couture boutiques; expect to see lots of drool-worthy fine leather gloves, designer bags, jewelry
  • Rue Saint-Dominique, between Avenue Bosquet and Blvd de la Tour-Maubourg, 7th arr, metro: La Tour-Maubourg - Nice selection of boutiques featuring mostly French designer labels, ranging from affordable to very expensive
  • Marais, starting along Rue des Francs Bourgeois - Filled with trendy boutiques; many younger French designers
  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, 6th arr - Wonderful mix of well-known and emerging luxury labels and smaller boutiques
  • Rue des Abbesses, 18th arr - Small boutiques, lesser-known but trendy designers
  • Place des Victoires, between 1st and 2nd arr - Elegant luxury and high-end designer boutiques
  • Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood in the 10th arr, metro: République - Hip clothing and concept boutiques, lots of rising young French designers, plus usually a few interesting pop-ups
  • Grand Magasins, Madeleine, Blvd des Capucines, Blvd Haussmann, Avenue de l'Opéra - This large swath of high-end shopping includes parts of the 1st, 8th, and 9th arrondissements, and includes the large department stores, Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, plus hundreds of stores and boutiques featuring French and international brands
  • Rue de Rivoli, between the Place de la Concorde and Louvre-Rivoli metro stations - Everything for souvenirs to global chains to high-end fashion and art
  • Bercy Village - Former wine market, with 42 storehouses repurposed as boutiques, restaurants, and cinemas.  Next to the Seine River in the 12th arr, nearest metros: Cour Saint Émilion, Bercy

Famous Paris Department Stores

  • Galeries Lafayette, 40 Blvd Haussmann, 9th arrondissement; also in Montparnasse Tower, 22 rue de Départ, 15th arr
  • Au Printemps (64 Blvd Haussmann, 9th arr; also in Carrousel du Louvre, 99 Rue de Rivoli, 1st arr; Place de la Nation, 21 Cours de Vincennes, metro: Place de la Nation, 20th arr)
  • BHV (52 rue de Rivoli, 4th arr; BHV Men's Store, 36 rue de la Verrerie, 4th arr; metro for both stores: Hôtel de Ville)
  • Bon Marché, 24 rue de Sèvres, 7th arr, metro: Sèvres

4.  Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Place Vendôme

Glass pyramid at the Louvre at night

The enormous Louvre Museum receives over 10 million visitors a year, making it the world's most visited museum and a top Paris attraction.

More to Enjoy:  At basement level, you can view excavations of the original 12th century fortress that occupied this location.

Paris Discovery Tip:  Due to massive crowds of visitors, you'll need a strategy to get the most out of your visit to this museum, but don't worry - there are several excellent options.

Find out more

5.  Palais Royal, Place des Victoires, Rue de Rivoli Arcades

Covered shopping arcade at Palais Royal - to the left is a sculpture-filled inner courtyard and spectacular garden, and on the right, hidden from view in this photo, are small specialty boutiques
Covered shopping arcade at Palais Royal - to the left is a sculpture-filled inner courtyard and spectacular garden, and on the right, hidden from view in this photo, are small specialty boutiques

Cruise up and down the river on a tour boat to see Paris's most beautiful historic buildings and bridges from a unique perspective.  Dine and dance on a river-side barge.  Cool off in a floating swimming pool.

Popular Seine River Cruises

6.  Les Halles, Châtelet, Rue de Rivoli

Sacre Coeur in Montmartre in Paris

Once a separate village, Montmartre has been part of Paris since 1860 but its winding lanes, many trees, and picturesque hillsides still make it seem like a place apart.

You can stroll past the neighborhood's many cafes and cabarets, and imagine the artists, musicians, and writers who made it their home 100+ years ago when rents were cheap.

The most famous sight is the gleaming white Basilica of the Sacré Coeur, built in Italian Byzantine style and visible from most points in Paris.

Find out more

7.  Grands Boulevards & Covered Passages

Ornate clock in Musee d'Orsay in Paris

Occupying a former train station, Musée d'Orsay contains a magnificent collection of world-famous impressionist and post-impressionist art.  

Crowds pack the galleries holding the best-known masterpieces, especially those by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, whose Starry Night painting attracts the largest crowds of all.

More to Enjoy:  Sweeping views of Paris from the rooftop terrace.

Paris Discovery Tip:  Unless you are visiting during the slow months of the winter, come with a tour group if you want to get a look at the most famous paintings unobstructed by massive crowds.

Find out more

8.  Marché Saint-Pierre & Other Fashion and Home Decor Fabric Emporiums

Arc de Triomphe, Paris

The massive Arc de Triomphe is one of the most recognizable Paris attractions, commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to honor his army's victories across Europe, although he was exiled and dead by the time of its completion 30 years later.

The Arc de Triomphe is surrounded by a busy traffic rotary where 12 grand avenues, including the western end of Champs Élysées, converge.   From a distance, the circling traffic somewhat diminishes its grandeur, but it is worth a close-up look.

More to Enjoy: Climb the stairs to the observation deck at the top for 360 degree views of Paris.  At the base of the monument, visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and eternal flame to honor the unidentified French soldiers killed in World Wars I and II.  You can see its daily re-lighting every evening at 6:30pm.  Elaborate statues and bas relief carvings depicting Napoleon's battles cover large portions of the monument.

Paris Discovery Tip:  If you are in Paris on Armistice Day (November 11), Bastille Day (July 14), or New Year's Eve (December 31), don't miss the parades and celebrations on Champs Élysées.  The Arc is also near the starting point for the Paris Marathon in April, and the finish of the Tour de France in July.

Find out more

9.  Rue des Abbesses

Exhibit in Pompidou Center, Paris

In a city filled with traditional architecture, Pompidou Center's edgy design featuring exterior walls of brightly colored tubes and exposed mechanical systems brought howls of derision when it first opened.  It still stands out in the cityscape.

But inside, revolving exhibitions of top-notch contemporary paintings, sculptures, and video and sound installations account for the museum's immense popularity.

Find out more

10.  République, Canal Saint-Martin

Statue and spring flowers in Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Towering chestnut trees, an expansive pool where children (and teens and adults) float toy sailboats, and many benches for sitting among lush flowers and beautiful statues make Luxembourg Garden the city's most popular park. 

11.  Lower & Upper Marais 

After you've seen the most famous Paris attractions, what's left?

Plenty - it's time to explore lesser known market streets, indie designer boutiques, cool bistros and brasseries.  Take a ride up Canal Saint-Martin, visit excellent (and uncrowded!) smaller museums, find the parks where Parisians hang out.   Find out more

 

12.  Place de la Bastille, Rue de Faubourg Saint-Antoine

Madonna and child statue in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Built during the Middle Ages at the historic heart of Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral embodies the splendors of Gothic architecture.

From the outside, you can admire the high towers, flying buttresses, and ornate carvings and numerous statues of saints and martyrs along the sides.

Inside, light streams in through spectacular stained glass windows.  You can wander around and admire the hundreds of statues, sculptures, and paintings.

 

13.  Saint-Germain

Glass pyramid at the Louvre at night

The enormous Louvre Museum receives over 10 million visitors a year, making it the world's most visited museum and a top Paris attraction.

This is partly due to the Louvre's two uber-famous masterworks, di Vinci's Mona Lisa and the ancient Greek statue, Venus de Milo.

14.  Rue Saint-Dominique

Quiet street in the Latin Quarter in Paris

To experience an older Paris, spend some time discovering the charms of the Latin Quarter.

First settled by Romans in the 1st century, and then the heart of the city during medieval times, this famous Left Bank neighborhood has long attracted bohemians, scholars, and political protest.

Find out more

15.  Passy

Seine River and part of the Louvre, Paris

Cruise up and down the river on a tour boat to see Paris's most beautiful historic buildings and bridges from a unique perspective.  Dine and dance on a river-side barge.  Cool off in a floating swimming pool.

Popular Seine River Cruises

16.  Île Saint-Louis

Sacre Coeur in Montmartre in Paris

Once a separate village, Montmartre has been part of Paris since 1860 but its winding lanes, many trees, and picturesque hillsides still make it seem like a place apart.

You can stroll past the neighborhood's many cafes and cabarets, and imagine the artists, musicians, and writers who made it their home 100+ years ago when rents were cheap.

The most famous sight is the gleaming white Basilica of the Sacré Coeur, built in Italian Byzantine style and visible from most points in Paris.

Find out more

17.  Latin Quarter Bookstores

Ornate clock in Musee d'Orsay in Paris

Occupying a former train station, Musée d'Orsay contains a magnificent collection of world-famous impressionist and post-impressionist art.  

Crowds pack the galleries holding the best-known masterpieces, especially those by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, whose Starry Night painting attracts the largest crowds of all.

More to Enjoy:  Sweeping views of Paris from the rooftop terrace.

Paris Discovery Tip:  Unless you are visiting during the slow months of the winter, come with a tour group if you want to get a look at the most famous paintings unobstructed by massive crowds.

Find out more

18.  Les Bouquinistes

Arc de Triomphe, Paris

The massive Arc de Triomphe is one of the most recognizable Paris attractions, commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to honor his army's victories across Europe, although he was exiled and dead by the time of its completion 30 years later.

The Arc de Triomphe is surrounded by a busy traffic rotary where 12 grand avenues, including the western end of Champs Élysées, converge.   From a distance, the circling traffic somewhat diminishes its grandeur, but it is worth a close-up look.

More to Enjoy: Climb the stairs to the observation deck at the top for 360 degree views of Paris.  At the base of the monument, visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and eternal flame to honor the unidentified French soldiers killed in World Wars I and II.  You can see its daily re-lighting every evening at 6:30pm.  Elaborate statues and bas relief carvings depicting Napoleon's battles cover large portions of the monument.

Paris Discovery Tip:  If you are in Paris on Armistice Day (November 11), Bastille Day (July 14), or New Year's Eve (December 31), don't miss the parades and celebrations on Champs Élysées.  The Arc is also near the starting point for the Paris Marathon in April, and the finish of the Tour de France in July.

Find out more

19.  La Defense

Exhibit in Pompidou Center, Paris

In a city filled with traditional architecture, Pompidou Center's edgy design featuring exterior walls of brightly colored tubes and exposed mechanical systems brought howls of derision when it first opened.  It still stands out in the cityscape.

But inside, revolving exhibitions of top-notch contemporary paintings, sculptures, and video and sound installations account for the museum's immense popularity.

Find out more

20.  Les Puces - Saint-Ouen Flea Market at Clignancourt

Relaxing in the heart of Paris - Tuileries Garden near the Louvre
Relaxing in the heart of Paris - Tuileries Garden near the Louvre

What you'll find at Les Puces:  An immense selection of mostly French and European furniture from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries representing every style you can imagine, antique crystal chandeliers and brass candelabras, vintage clothing and jewelry, sculpture and architectural pieces such as fireplace mantles and entire staircases, larger-than-life-size statuary, vintage plumbing fixtures such as brass and porcelein faucets, paintings, kitchen knives, frames, kitchenware, books, musical instruments, prints, maps, silver, Asian art objects, porcelain, antique and vintage toys, antique linens and rugs - really, everything you can imagine.

Fine out more about shopping at the Paris Flea Market

Where to find smaller Paris flea markets


More Fun Things to Do & See in Paris


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