Long known as the fashion capital of the world, Paris offers something for every shopper, regardless of your style, budget, and interests.  That's why so many millions of visitors come here each year to shop.

Beyond chic clothing boutiques, you'll find art galleries, home furnishing emporiums, books of all vintages, antiques, jewelry, and everything else you might desire. 

To be sure, you can easily spend your time and money at the most famous Paris shopping districts and emporiums:  the legendary department stores known as the grands magasins, the flagship showrooms along Avenue Montaigne and the "Golden Triangle" of luxury couture such as Hermès, Saint Laurent, and Louis Vuitton, the global brands up and down Champs-Élysées

You might easily spend a day or more in the immense glass-domed Galeries Lafayette department store browsing the Valentino, Chloé, Gucci, and countless designer boutiques, picking out the perfect Longchamp or Chanel bag, and choosing a captivating Guerlain or Dior fragrance even if you weren't planning to buy any - because who can resist the scent of French perfume? 

But beyond these iconic Paris clothing stores and boutiques, the city offers plenty more areas where you can indulge your passion for Parisian style while seeking out chic French labels such as Maje, Sandro, Louboutin, and Zadig & Voltaire, trendy but (for now) unknown indie designers, fun and affordable European brands such as Camaïeu and Zara, and even discount and cheap prices on coveted items.

So here's the problem: with so much choice, where do you start?  Especially if you're here for just a short visit, how do you make the best use of your time?

We've narrowed down the choices to 14 shopping areas across Paris to give you a head start on finding the best fit for your interests. They include the city's famous luxury districts, budget-friendly options you might not find on your own, areas where you're likely to spot emerging designers and trends, flea markets, and even a couple of fascinating historical areas for one-of-a-kind finds. 

By all means shop in the famous places - they've earned their fame.  But if you have time and enjoy the experience of discovery, also explore a lesser-known Paris boutique, unique specialty shop, or jewelry maker's atelier and their surrounding neighborhoods, especially if your idea of "travel" means veering off the usual tourist path. 

Article Contents:  Champs Elysees & Golden Triangle  -  Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Place Vendôme, Rue Saint-HonoréLa Vallée Village  -  Galeries Lafayette, Au Printemps, Rue de l'Opéra  -  Palais Royal Arcades  -  Covered Passages  -  Les Halles Kitchenware Stores  -  Marais  -  Saint-Martin  -  Les Puces Flea Market  -  Montmartre  -  Bastille  -  Village Saint-Paul  -  Saint-Germain des Pres

Top photo: Chanel showroom on Avenue Montaigne in Paris's Golden Triangle

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1. Champs Élysées & the Golden Triangle Shopping Tips

Shoppers strolling along Avenue des Champs Elysées' broad sidewalk lined by horse chestnut trees
Shoppers strolling along Avenue des Champs Élysées next to the horse chestnut trees

What you'll find:  Luxury designer boutiques and haute couture showrooms; on Champs-Élysées, also look for car showrooms and global chains.

Located between the Arc de Triomphe and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Metro Station, the commercial portion of Champs Élysées stretches for almost a mile through the swanky 8th arrondissement and is the most famous shopping avenue in Paris - a must-see destination for visitors from around the world.

With its broad sidewalks punctuated by outdoor cafes and rows of tall horse chestnut trees, Champs Elysees easily accommodates the masses of shoppers who flock here for the excellent selection of global brands:  Tiffany, Abercrombie & Fitch, the always-packed Disney Store, Cartier, Gap, Sephora, the Adidas Paris flagship store, French electronics store Fnac, Zara, Petit Bateau baby clothing boutique, and at the corner of Avenue George V, the spectacular Louis Vuitton flagship store where you can line up with other shoppers until it's your turn to be admitted.

If you're on the north side of the avenue, you can spot several entrances to surprisingly large hidden Paris shopping malls carved out of interior courtyards.

Les Arcades des Champs Elysees (at #78) is a particularly splendid historical covered passage with an Art Nouveau glass roof, lovely light fixtures and lanterns created by the famed jewelry designer and glass artist René Lalique, and 40 boutiques. 

Craving an American-style frappuccino?  Les Arcades is where you'll find Starbucks.

What to skip:  The Galeries Lafayette on Champs Elysees; instead, head to their far more magnificent flagship location (don't worry, we cover it further on in this article) on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement.

That's where you can see a spectacular stained glass dome, rooftop terrace with Eiffel Tower views, food hall, and almost every designer boutique you can imagine.

Find out more about shopping at Paris's other historical covered passages

For the crème de la crème of couture near Champs Elysees, turn onto Avenue Montaigne, part of the "Golden Triangle"  along with Avenue George V and Rue Francois 1er, and you'll suddenly be in more rarefied territory among the world's most famous fashion houses. 

Hermès, Saint Laurent, Ferragamo, Courrèges, Givenchy, Kenyo, Balmain, Prada, Gucci, Bulgari, Dior, Chanel, Valentine, and many, many more Grands Couturiers have created their flagship stores, haute couture showrooms, and by-invitation-only salons along this lovely enclave of shaded streets and pale marble mansions.

As you may guess from the unsmiling guards at most of the doors, you must have an appointment to enter many of these shrines to high fashion.  And even if you have one, there's no guarantee you'll go home with a Birkin bag or other coveted treasures.  Fortunately, window shopping is free, and quite superb in this neighborhood.

Bargain hunter's tip:  Return for the famous winter and summer sales when even the Golden Triangle boutiques mark down luxury goods as much as 70% off to make room for the new season.

How to Tour Champs-Elysees

City Highlights Bike Tour - Explore famous Paris streets and attractions, including Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, the Seine River, and the Eiffel Tower, and learn about the highlights of the city's history including the Second World War and French Revolution on this fascinating guided bike ride around the city.  Find out more

Vintage Citroën 2CV Tour for Two - Cruise down Champ Elysees in a cool classic Deux Chaveaux (Citroën 2CV) with a private driver at the wheel. With a private driver/guide at the wheel, you'll see all the most famous sights of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.  Find out more

More to See & Do on Champs-Elysees

The renowned Lido de Paris cabaret offers dinner, Champagne, and burlesque every evening.  Find out more about Lido de Paris shows and make your reservations

Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Toyota, and Peugeot have fantastic showrooms where you can drool over fashions in car design; BMW is on a nearby side street. 

Near the Arc, Publicis Drugstore's dazzling glass building contains an array of dining, entertainment, and shopping venues plus a cinema, quirky pop-up boutiques, and a riff on an American-style pharmacy/concept store where you can stock up on perfumes, French cosmetics, books, and other eclectic items.

Best time to stroll down Champs-Elysees:  Car-Free Day on the first Sunday of each month, when cars are banned from the streets of central Paris.  More info

Where to Eat on Champs-Elysees & in the Golden Triangle

Head to Le Fouquet or the brasseries in Le Drugstore for an upscale meal, Paul for a café crème and croissant, any of the sidewalk cafes for ice cream or a drink, Ladurée for a specialty macaroon. 

In the Golden Triangle:  Join the line outside Le Relais de l'Entrecôte (15 Rue Marbeuf) for steak-frites and a glass (or two) of their organic French wine.

Closest metro stations:  Georges V, Alma-Marceau, Franklin D Roosevelt, Charles de Gaulle/Étoile

2.  Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Rue Saint-Honoré, & Place Vendôme - Where to Shop for French Luxury Design

Lanvin and La Perla boutiques on Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris's 8th arrondissement
Lanvin and La Perla boutiques on Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris's 8th arrondissement

What you'll find:  Prestigious luxury designers, fabulous and fabulously expensive jewelry, specialty boutiques devoted fine leather gloves, designer bags, lust-worthy shoes - plus some of the best gourmet food shops in Paris as well as renowned 5-star hotels

Long considered the epicenter of French luxury design on the Right Bank, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré boasts over 40 designer boutiques and showrooms.  (In case you're wondering, "faubourg" designates areas once outside the city before Paris annexed them in 1701.)

Although you'll see some overlap between Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré (or FSH, as many Parisians call it) and the Golden Triangle - for example, Hermès and Chanel have boutiques in both places - others such as Sonia Rykiel, Lanvin, Louboutin, and Jun Ashida can be found only in FSH. 

Walk up Rue Royale past even more boutiques including another Chanel, Massimo Dutti, Ralph Lauren to Place de la Madeleine, dominated by the majestic Madeleine Church and its elaborate Corinthian Greek columns, originally a temple built by Napoleon to celebrate his army (and himself).  Filled with magnificent art, the church hosts popular classical music concerts several times a week. 

Walk around the square to sample its gourmet shops including Maille for fancy mustards, Mariage Frères for specialty teas, Fauchon for fois gras and caviar, and Patrick Roger for specialty chocolates, and then head back to FSH.

Once you cross Rue Royale, you're just one block away from the 1st arrondissement, the historic center of Paris, where the street name changes to Rue Saint Honoré.  Look for jewelry stores, upper-drawer home decor displays, and gourmet chocolates mixed in with enough designer showrooms to make fashionistas swoon. 

You're also in Coco Chanel's storied neighborhood.  Detour at Rue Cambon to see her original boutique and couture salon (#31) and her apartment above (although she spent her nights in her private suite at the Ritz Hotel in nearby Place Vendôme).  While you're there, check out Zadig & Voltaire's new flagship store, part fashion and part art, at 2 Rue Cambon.

Place Vendôme, easily spotted by the soaring obelisk erected by Napoleon to celebrate his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz, is a large open square surrounded by stately 18th century arcaded mansions with showrooms for many of the world's most famous jewelers on their ground floors and coveted apartments on upper levels. 

Amid all the splendor of Place Vendôme, the dazzling 5-star palace hotel Ritz Paris offers 21st century luxury.  Follow Coco Chanel's example and pamper yourself with a stay, or savor a drink at the hotel's famous Bar Hemingway.

Chauffeured limos angling for curbside parking as other traffic speeds by distracts from Place Vendôme's beauty during the day but come evening, it is easily one of the loveliest squares in Paris, especially from mid-November through early January when dozens of dazzling lighted Christmas trees transform it into a sparkling jewel.

Will you discover an exciting new Paris boutique showcasing emerging (and affordable) designers in this neighborhood?  No, that's unlikely - high rents mean only well-established luxury brands can afford to be here.  But even if the price tags are beyond your budget, window shopping is superb - and free.

Rue Saint Honoré continues east with more designer boutiques including Max Mara, Michael Kors, Longchamp, Fendi, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, and Theory until finally ending at Avenue de l'Opéra with a flourish of touristy ice cream shops and a Starbucks - which is actually perfect, because after all that shopping, you will welcome a sugar and caffeine energy boost.

How to Experience Paris Fashion & Gourmet Treats on the Right Bank: Tours for Fashion, Shopping, Food, & Wine

  • French Fashion History Walking Tour - As you stroll the streets of the Rue Saint-Honoré luxury fashion district, your guide will entertain you with famous stories about Paris fashion history including Coco Chanel, Hermès, Dior, and Louis Vuitton
  • Small Group After-Hours Visit to the Yves Saint Laurent Museum - This VIP after-hours tour lets you explore the historical fashion house and studio of France's great couturier, Yves Saint Laurent, as well as learn about the process of creating an haute couture collection and see displays of his work from the museum's trove of 5,000 of his creations
  • Chocolate Walking Tour - The glamorous fashion district around Madeleine Church and Rue Saint Honoré boasts numerous gourmet chocolatiers - and you'll visit 5 of them on this popular tour and sample their mouth-watering creations while you learn about French chocolates

3.  La Vallée Village - Where to Find Designer Fashion Discount Outlets

Shoppers and designer boutiques in Paris discount mall La Vallée Village
Shoppers and designer boutiques in Paris discount mall La Vallée Village

Where do Paris fashionistas shop for their Karl Lagerfeld little black dresses, their Gucci loafers, and their Zadig & Voltaire biker jackets? 

Not always in the expensive retail enclaves you might imagine. 

Instead, they bypass the pricey designer boutiques along Rue Saint Honoré or in the Golden Triangle and head straight to La Vallée Village, a sprawling discount designer fashion outlet mall just beyond the city outskirts - and you can too.

You won't find the most exclusive brands such as Hèrmes or Chanel here, but with 110+ shops filled with other sought-after French, European, and American designers - Givenchy, Isabel Marant, Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, The Kooples, Burberry, Valentine, Ferragamo, Armani - you will find plenty to love. 

How much can you save?  It varies, and some items may only be available in a few sizes - but savings typically range from 20-30% up to well over 50% (we've spotted 70% reductions on a few items). You can usually find a few items with discounts on top of the regular marked down prices.  And don't forget about the annual summer and winter sales, when almost every boutique offers additional discounts for the sweetest deals of all.

La Vallée Village shops are open 7 days/week from 10am to 7pm (8pm in summer), and you can get there easily from Paris. 

How to Get to La Vallée Village by Train

Hop on the RER A train in Paris heading toward Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy-Parcs-Disney, and get off at the Val d'Europe station.  When you walk out of the station, turn right and walk through the large Val d'Europe shopping (you'll see a large map in case you're in doubt).  Walk all the way through it to reach the Vallée Village discount area. 

La Vallée Village Trips from Paris

4.  Galeries Lafayette, Au Printemps, & Shopping along Rue de l'Opéra 

Designer boutique in Printemps Haussmann
Designer boutique in Printemps Haussmann

Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps Haussmann, two legendary 19th century Belle Epoch Paris department stores or grands magasins, sit next to each other on Boulevard Haussmann and cover several city blocks just north of the Paris Opera House, Palais Garnier.

Both stores are packed with in-store boutiques featuring most of the same luxury designers you'll see in the Golden Triangle and along FSH/Rue Saint-Honoré, plus more affordable mid-range designers.  You'll also find many more affordable mid-range designers.  

But beyond shopping, there's much to admire in the ornate architecture and design of these shrines to retail:  their colored glass domes, grand staircases, and artistic details.  Galeries Lafayette sports a huge central atrium and renowned Art Nouveau staircase.  For an unforgettable experience plus fantastic panoramic views, take the elevator up to the 3rd floor and stroll across the glass walk spanning the atrium.

If you're in Paris in November, December, or early January, join the crowds admiring the elaborate holiday displays and animations in the stores' huge display windows and the huge Christmas tree suspended from the top of Galeries Lafayette's glass-dome.

More stores and boutiques line the broad avenues and smaller streets surrounding the department stores.  Avenue de l'Opéra offers an especially rich selection of shoes, bags, books, clothing, fashion accessories, chocolates, tea, bakeries, and gourmet foods on offer.  Although price ranges vary, many of the stores are surprisingly affordable.  

Camaïeu, for example, offers cute and trendy nicely-made clothing at relatively cheap prices - most of the separates cost less than 30 Euros.  If you're a fan of super-comfy Mephisto shoes, look for their shop at #12, on the corner of Rue Saint Anne, where you can sometimes happen upon a sale.  Shop in the large Monoprix (roughly similar to Target in the U.S.) near the end of the street for shampoo, small household items, and snacks - you'll find an excellent selection of French yogurts, chocolate bars, and fruit juices.

As a bonus, most stores in this area are open for shopping on Sundays.

Find the best places to stay in this lively shopping area

Where to Eat:  Galeries Lafayette and Printemps

  • Galeries Lafayette - In the summer, the rooftop terrace can't be beat for its views across Paris - have drinks, or a light meal.  During other months, follow the crowds into Lafayette Maison and Gourmet across the street from the main store, and indulge in the take-away or eat-in specialties from around the world.
  • Printemps - You'll find wonderful choices of food halls, gourmet items, and dining areas on the 7th and 8th floors of the Men's Store.  In the summer, dine on the Men's Store's 9th floor rooftop terrace and enjoy the sweeping views.  Or admire the incredible glass dome over Brasserie Printemps on the 6th floor of the Women's Store.
  • Le Royal Opéra (#19 Avenue de l'Opéra) - A typical casual brasserie - good food for modest prices.  Go for a burger and fries or steak-frites with a glass of red wine.
  • Paul (#25 Avenue de l'Opéra) - Buy a croissant and coffee to go in the front, or walk past the tantalizing display of confections to the small seating area in the back, or go upstairs.  Order a salad, sandwich, or quiche, a glass of wine, and a small fruit tart with espresso.

More Paris Shopping

Galeries Lafayette and Printemps Flagship Locations

  • Galeries Lafayette - 40 Blvd Haussmann; Metro: Chaussée d'Antin La Fayette
  • Au Printemps - 64 Blvd Haussmann; Havre-Caumartin

More to know:  Galeries Lafayette will usually give non-EU residents a 10% discount, provided you have your passport with you, and they will also process a VAT refund if you meet the 175.01€ minimum purchase in a single store in a single day requirement - easy to do if you're buying luxury items.  But be aware:  the refund is not available on some designer brands such as Tiffany.

5.  Palais Royal Arcades:  Discover the Specialty Boutiques & Galleries

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:  an inner courtyard filled with a whimsical sculpture display by Daniel Buren, a central passage with a large fountain filled with huge shiny chrome balls, rows of carefully shaped trees, and the serenely elegant Palais Royal Garden (Jardin Palais Royal) surrounded by covered arcades.  

Tucked away behind the arcades are boutiques, restaurants (including 2-Michelin star Le Grand Véfour), and theaters frequented by stylish Parisians since the early 18th century.

Aside from a couple of designers such as Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs, most of the 40 or so boutiques focus on specialty items: antique silk kimonos, vintage Chanel and other clothing at Didier Ludot, antique coins and medals, perfume, hand-carved canes, exquisite jewelry, beautifully crafted handmade leather bags.  This is where you'll find some of the most exclusive shops in Paris for one-of-a-kind treasures.

Needless to say, prices reflect the quality and rarity of most items on display here, but if the cost doesn't make you flinch, this is a wonderful place to buy unique and precious gifts for others or for yourself.  Otherwise, enjoy window shopping and perhaps a meal in one of more casual restaurants, or just claim a spot on a bench and relax in the sun.

How to Visit Palais Royal Garden & Boutiques: Hours & Location

Palais Royal Garden opens at 7am from April 1 through September 30, and 7:30 from October 1 through March 31.  Closing time ranges from 8:30pm in the winter to as late as 11pm during the summer. 

Entrance is free. 

Look for almost-hidden entrances to the garden along Rue de Montpensier, Rue de Valois, and Rue de Beaujolais.  There is also one on Place Colette near Le Nemours cafe on Rue Saint Honoré.

Find more places to shop & things to do & see in the 1st srrondissement near the Louvre

6.  Historical Covered Passages

Galerie Vero Dodat near the Louvre Museum
Galerie Vero Dodat near the Louvre Museum

To experience some of the most charming remnants of the 19th century as well as one of the best but lesser-known shopping locations for unique gifts and artisan creations, spend an hour or even a day exploring Paris's covered passages.

Originally built to give shoppers a dry, safe, well-lighted place to walk, the passages are basically private lanes built between exisiting buildings and usually passing a cut-through between two major streets.  They feature soaring glass roof, shops, bistros, and sometimes theaters along both sides, and in the most luxurious examples, sumptuous decor. 

Of the 21 or so covered passages still remaining, a few have closed but most continue to thrive. 

Galerie Vero Dodat, Galerie VIvienne, Passage du Choiseul, Galerie de La Madeleine, Cour de Commerce Saint-André (which actually has medieval roots), Passage des Panoramas, Passage du Grand Cerf, and Passage Jouffroy stand out for their light-filled ambiance, lavish decorations and embellishments, appealing cafes, and unique boutiques spanning the spectrum from affordable to the high end of luxury.

You'll find most of the best covered passages in the city's 1st, 2nd and 9th arrondissements, with a couple more in the 6th and 8th.

Find out more about where to find covered passages in Paris, and the best ways to visit

6.  Shopping for French Kitchenware around Les Halles

Copper cookware at Dehillerin in Paris's Les Halles neighborhood
Copper cookware at Dehillerin in Paris's Les Halles neighborhood

Although the large centuries-old wholesale food market at Les Halles in the eastern end of the 1st arrondissement was demolished in 1971 to make way for an underground shopping mall, remnants of the area's food culture remain. 

If you love kitchenware in its many forms - copper pots, fancy cake baking tins, wooden spoons, Opinel knives, French wine openers, authentic macaroon baking pans, Le Creuset and Staub enameled cookware - head straight to Dehillerin (18 Rue Coquillière, 1st).  Be prepared for 2-3 hours to pass in a heartbeat as you explore all the narrow aisles in the store's two packed floors. 

You'll also find wonderful places to eat along Rue Coquillière plus more shops selling tableware items.  Other major food streets in the area include Rue Montmartre (1st) and market street Rue Montorgueil (1st).

More Food & Wine Experiences near Les Halles

Paris Wine & Cheese Lunch - Whether you're new to French wine or a connoisseur, you'll learn something new at this lunch with wine, cheese, and charcuterie (smoked ham and sausages).  You'll taste wines from 5 different regions of France, learn how to read a French wine label, and how to pair wine with food from a sommelier at a popular wine bar near Les Halles and the Louvre.  Find out more

French Wine Experience & Tasting - Taste 3 different wines, tour the wine cellars of former French kings next to the Louvre, and learn about French grapes and wine regions from a sommelier.  Find out more

More French Food Tasting Adventures

7.  Shopping in the Marais - Fashion, Food, Design

French designer Zadig & Voltaire boutique on Rue Pavée in the Marais
French designer Zadig & Voltaire boutique on Rue Pavée in the Marais

The Marais neighborhood's small cobbled streets and lanes attract fashionistas, home decor connoisseurs, and gourmands from around the world. 

Stroll along the narrow streets, and you'll find the boutiques of famous French and other European trend-setters such as Isabel Marant, Maje, Sandro, Zadig & Voltaire, Antoine & Lili, Claudie Pierlot, Lemaire, the small shops of up-and-coming designers, master chocolatiers and gourmet food purveyors, concept stores, and "stock" (discount) outlets,

Shopping in the Marais on a Sunday afternoon
Shopping in the Marais on a Sunday afternoon

The Marais covers parts of two arrondissements (districts):  the 3rd, known as the Upper Marais, and the 4th, the Lower Marais.  

As a generalization, better known brands and fashion houses cluster in the 4th, while younger French designers, smaller design studios and art galleries dot the 3rd, although you'll find plenty of exceptions such as Jean-Paul Gaultier's fashion atelier (325 Rue Saint-Martin) near the top of the Upper Marais.

Pick almost any spot in this picturesque neighborhood to begin your shopping excursion, and you really can't go wrong. 

But here are a few suggestions about where to start: Rue des Francs Bourgeois, Rue du Temple, Rue Ferdinand Duval, Rue des Rosiers, Rue du Parc Royal and Rue Elzevir near the Picasso Museum, Rue Vieille du Temple. 

Don't miss the antique, design, and luxury fashion shops under the arcades surrounding Place des Vosges, or the highly esteemed concept store Merci (111 Boulevard Beaumarchais) where you'll find a beautifully curated selection from home goods to fashion to books displayed on multiple floors.

Recommended Marais Shopping & Food Tours

8.  Canal Saint-Martin:  Trendy Boutiques, Concept Stores, & Pop-Ups

Artazart "concept" bookstore where art and design books, an eclectic assortment of other items, and exhibitions and events share space in an eye-catching storefront overlooking Canal Saint Martin
Artazart "concept" bookstore where art and design books, an eclectic assortment of other items, and exhibitions and events share space in an eye-catching storefront overlooking Canal Saint Martin

One of the best places right now in Paris to shop for emerging trends and new designers is along Canal Saint Martin in a swath between Place de la République and Gare de l'Ést and bordered by Boulevard de Magenta.  

This rapidly gentrifying, rapidly changing area in the 11th arrondissement offers relatively cheap rents (which doesn't mean they're actually cheap, just more affordable than the 1st, 8th, or even the 18th), lots of youthful energy, and a creative spirit you'll see reflected in the street art, small cafes and bars, and tiny boutiques, galleries, pop-ups, and concept stores showcasing emerging designers and artists. 

Good streets to explore include Rue des Vinaigriers, Rue de Lancy, Rue Beaurepaire - although with The Kooples, Maje, agnès b., Les Petites boutiques popping up along Rue de Marseille, the neighborhood is no longer off the radar of established designers.

9.  Les Puces - The Biggest Flea Market Village in the World

Treasures at Les Puces, the huge Paris flea market at Saint-Ouen
Treasures at Les Puces, the huge Paris flea market at Saint-Ouen

Don't think of the famous Les Puces Paris Flea Market at Saint-Ouen/Clignancourt as just one market - it's more like a large sprawling village where over 3,000 boutiques, shops, and stalls offer literally everything you can imagine plus a lot more.  It's the biggest flea market in the world.  Spend an entire day or even a weekend there, and you'll still barely scratch the surface of what's on offer. 

So what will you find?  An immense selection of mostly French and European furniture from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, 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 including brass and porcelain faucets, paintings and posters, knives, frames, silver and kitchenware, books, musical instruments, prints, maps, Asian art objects, porcelain, antique and vintage toys, antique linens and rugs - plus a lot more.

What's good to know:  From a practical perspective, of course any purchases you might make should ideally fit into your suitcase for the trip home.  But if you somehow fall in love with something huge - let's say an oversized 18th century gold-framed mirror, or perhaps a 12 foot tall marble giraffe statue - the flea market's onsite shipping services will crate it up and ship it home to you. 

Les Puces is on the Paris outskirts, easy to reach by metro - but there's also a cool onsite hotel.

Find out more about shopping at the Paris Flea Market, plus where to stay nearby

Where to find smaller flea markets Paris

10.  Montmartre Shopping Destinations:  Rue des Abbesses & Marché Saint-Pierre District

Antique and vintage shop on Rue des Abbesses in Montmartre, Paris
Antique and vintage shop on Rue des Abbesses in Montmartre, Paris

What you'll find:  West of Sacre Coeur: merging designers, small boutiques with featuring mostly French clothing and accessories, antique shops, art galleries, vintage stores.  East of Sacre Coeur: Marché Saint-Pierre District for dozens of shops offering discount fabrics, linens, boots, clothing

Walk the length of Rue des Abbesses, starting near Cimetière des Montmartre, and you'll pass any number of interesting small shops selling everything from clothing to jewelry to leather, along with probably an even larger number of small cafes, bistros, and food markets.  Along with established Paris designers such as Sandro and Claudie Pierlot, you'll see even more names you don't recognize.

That's because this is the area to explore if you're interested in trendy fashion by new designers.  To find the latest newcomers to the Paris fashion scene, continue down Rue des Abbesses (which turns into Rue d'Orsel) and be sure to detour along the way - Rue Houdon, Rue des Trois Frères, Rue des Martyrs (which extends all the way down to the SoPi, or South of Pigalle, neighborhood in the 9th and is one of the most popular market streets in this part of Paris). 

Once you reach Rue Briquet and Rue Seveste, you're in the Saint-Pierre Market district and will begin to see fabric stores.  To reach the biggest and what many feel is the best of the individual stores, turn left at Rue Seveste, then right at Place Saint-Pierre.  In one short block, you will see Dreyfus - Marché Saint-Pierre, a huge 5-floor fabric emporium with prices ranging from discounted to affordable to cheap. 

Fabric store on Rue Livingstone in Montmartre specializing in fabrics for marriage and other ceremonies
Fabric store on Rue Livingstone in Montmartre specializing in fabrics for marriage and other ceremonies

Dreyfus is where professional stylists and designers shop.  Look for Hawaiian fabrics and specialty velvets on the ground floor, linen towels, table runners, and napkins on the 1st floor, delicate laces and drapery fabrics on the 2nd, Jouy toiles on the 3rd, and designer fabrics by Pierre Frey, Lacrois, Canovas, and more on the 4th.

Several other stores rival Dreyfus in scale and may offer even lower prices, but none quite match its quality and scope.  Dozens of smaller shops offer more fabrics, trim, drapery and other hardware, clothing, boots, and bags.

11.  Bastille:  Shopping in the Passages & Inner Courtyards

Furniture/design/gallery concept store on Rue de Faubourg Saint-Antoine
Furniture/design/gallery concept store on Rue de Faubourg Saint-Antoine

Behind Place de la Bastille in the 11th arrondissement lies a section of Paris favored by furniture makers and woodworkers since the 12th century.  Relatively cheap rents (for Paris) have continued to make this area attractive to artisans and craftspeople, independent fashion designers and quirky shops, although rising rents are changing the retail mix.

Rue de Faubourg Saint-Antoine provides the main access to this increasingly trendy area from Place de la Bastille.  In recent years, French and even global chain brands have popped along the first several blocks of this traditionally working class street.  Why, you may wonder, would anyone who doesn't live in the neighborhood come all the way out to East Paris just to visit another Sephora or Undiz lingerie store?

What makes this area interesting, especially if you're the type of shopper who enjoys surprise discoveries, is the maze of ancient passages, back alleys, and interior courtyards.  They may no longer house as many traditional workshops and ateliers - you're now more likely to find digital design studios - but they maintain their status as centers of creativity and commerce.   If you thrive on discovering new and emerging fashion trends, designers, and concepts, and perhaps even seeing artisans at work, these are the places you'll want to explore.

Start by walking east on Rue de Faubourg Saint-Antoine.  In between all the jeans stores, you may spot a few interesting places, including furniture stores and design studios.  At Rue de Charonne, turn right if you want. 

Look for unexpected gateways and small signs for places starting with "Passage" and "Cour" - for example, Cour Saint-Joseph off of Rue de Charonne, Passage du Cheval Blanc, Passage Jossett, Passage Saint-Antoine, Passage de la Main d'Or - and when you see them, explore.  Wander down side streets such as Rue de Charonne, Rue de Montreuil, Rue Saint-Bernard, Rue de Dahomey. 

This part of Paris is evolving all the time so it's hard to predict what you'll find.  Enjoy the adventure!

More Interesting Places to Shop in East Paris

  • Rue d'Aligre Flea Market - One of the best smaller Paris flea markets, and only one block from Rue de Faubourg Saint-Antoine.  Walk down Rue de Cotte to Place d'Aligre, and you'll see it.
  • Viaduct des Arts - Created from a decommissioned railway viaduct, with 62 beautifully arched spaces containing the workshops, showrooms, galleries, and boutiques of 40+ arts and crafts experts. You'll find fashion, design, decor, jewelry, and art.  More info: Viaduc des Arts website

12.  Village Saint-Paul

Shops featuring rugs and 19th and 20th century antiques in Village Saint-Paul in Paris
Shops featuring rugs and 19th and 20th century antiques in Village Saint-Paul in Paris

Artisans, galleries, boutiques, antique shops, and bistros make Village Saint-Paul one of the most charming places to shop for specialty items in Paris - but it's almost one of the hardest to find. 

This thriving enclave of independent artisans and boutique owners (no global brands or chain stores allow) is tucked away in a quiet corner of the 4th arrondissement's Saint Paul Quartier, originally the site of a women's monastery founded in 630.  

Like the rest of the Marais, the Village has protected heritage status which helps preserve its medieval atmosphere

Surrounded entirely by street-facing buildings, Village Saint Paul is accessed through narrow passages that you might easily miss.  However, once you enter the "village," you'll find a maze of interconnected courtyards and passages so tranquil that you may forget you're in Paris. 

Each boutique, workshop, and gallery offers unique items, and while prices for the most precious objects and art reflect the high quality, others are surprisingly affordable. 

Selections change frequently, so you never know what you will find - but if you're in this part of the Marais, don't miss the chance to explore.

How to Find Village Saint-Paul

Village Saint-Paul occupies the inner courtyards of a block surrounded by Rue Saint-Paul, Rue Charlemagne, Rue des Jardins Saint-Paul, and Rue de l'Ave Maria.  Entrances on Rue Saint-Paul and Rue Charlemagne are the easiest to spot - look for small signs saying "Passage Village Saint-Paul."

More to See near Village Saint-Paul

  • King Philippe-August's wall and rampart - Built between 1180 and 1210 by King Philippe-August to protect the French capital when he left the country to fight in the Third Crusade, little remains of the wall today - but you can see the longest portion still standing, including part of a tower along Rue Des Jardins Saint Paul at the back of a ball field
  • Eglise Saint-Paul Saint-Louis, a 17th century church with a magnificent interior that's well worth visiting, backs onto Rue Charlemagne.  Although you can reach by cutting though a couple of narrow passages, the sanest approach to walk up to Rue de Rivoli and go in through the main entrance.  It's also a spectacular setting for occasional classical concerts - check our concert schedule to find dates.
  • A chunk of the old Bastille Prison - If you're a historian or even have just a casual interest in the history of the French Revolution, you may have heard that the 14th century fortress that housed the infamous Bastille prison was totally destroyed in the aftermath.  That's not 100% accurate.  Construction workers discovered part of the base of one of its eight towers while excavating for the Paris Metro's Line 1.  They moved it to Square Henri Galli, a tiny green space overlooking the Seine about a block from Village Saint Paul.  If you're walking in that direction, stop by to see it.

What Else to Do in Village Saint-Paul

Visit the Museum of Magic (Musée de la Magie, 1 Rue Saint-Paul), located in what the arched cellars of a 16th century inn (according to rumors, a former residence of the Marquis de Sade). 

You'll find it filled with the props of magic and illusionist shows including posters, costumes, automations such as a coin-operated fortune teller, distorting mirrors, crystal balls, skeletons, and even an Egyptian-style sarcophagus.  Guided tours end with a magic show.

The museum is a big favorite of Parisian children, but it's also interesting for all ages.

Location:  11 Rue Saint Paul, 4th
Open: Usually Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday from 2pm-7pm, plus a few additional days and hours - so check the Museum of Magic's website before you go

13.  Saint-Germain Galleries, Boutiques, & Antiques

Art gallery on Rue des Grands Augustins in Saint-Germain
Art gallery on Rue des Grands Augustins in Saint-Germain

Almost the entire Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood in Paris's 6th arrondissement presents tantalizing shopping opportunities, especially if you buy at the high end of the price spectrum. 

You can easily spend a day or more visiting all the chic fashion boutiques around Saint-Sulpice Church, along Rue Bonaparte/Rue des Rennes, and Rue de Saint-Père where Vanessa Bruno, Barbara Bui, Saint Laurent, and numerous gourmet chocolate boutiques compete for shoppers' attention.

But if you want to zero in on something unique and special to this neighborhood, head to the area hugging the Seine River between École des Beaux Arts (School of Fine Arts) and Rue des Grands Augustins where dozens, possibly hundreds of antique stores, art galleries, rare book dealers, and design studios cluster along narrow streets lined with 16th and 17th century buildings. 

Prices in most places range from high to astronomical, but if your budget can accommodate the splurge, this is where to find something rare and wonderful.

Frugal Shopper's Tip:  If you'd like to bring home a piece of art from Paris but can't afford an original Chagall sketch or signed Picasso lithograph, look through the bins of unframed prints by unknown artists in Saint Germain art galleries, particularly those near Beaux Arts and along the quai next to the Seine.  You may find something you love for less than you'd expect.

14.  Bonus Areas for Shopping in Paris

  • 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
  • Place des Victoires, between 1st and 2nd arr - Elegant luxury and high-end designer boutiques, with interesting small shops on the side streets, especially those north of the square
  • Île Saint Louis -  Interesting and eclectic mix of art galleries, gift shops, chocolate and gourmet food shops, clothing boutiques, and antique dealers along this tiny island's main street, Rue Saint-Louis en Île
  • Rue de Rivoli, between the Place de la Concorde and Louvre-Rivoli metro stations - Everything from souvenirs to global chains to high-end fashion and art
  • Bercy Village - Former wine market, with 42 storehouses re-purposed as boutiques, restaurants, and cinemas.  Next to the Seine River in the 12th arr, nearest metros: Cour Saint Émilion, Bercy

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