While the city is studded with great places to shop, these top Paris shopping districts are guaranteed to satiate discount-hunters, designer divas, window shoppers, and fashion victims alike. Go ahead and make sure you take home a little "je ne sais quoi"...
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Best for: Crème de la crème designer fashion, chic home furnishings, and quality cosmetics
Getting there: Metro Concorde, Tuileries (Line 1), Pyramides (Line 7, 14)
Main streets: Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Rue Saint-Honoré, Rue de la Paix, Place Vendome.
The Faubourg Saint-Honoré district is the pulse of Paris design and fashion. Part of the Louvre-Tuileries neighborhood and just a few blocks from the Opera Garnier and the Paris department stores block on Boulevard Haussmann, the Saint-Honoré fashion district is occupied by classic designers like Versace, Hermes, and Yves Saint Laurent, but also houses resolutely trendy concept shops such as Colette.
- For after-shopping unwinding: Hotel Costes Bar and Lounge
Best for: Getting lost in Paris' prestigious-- and dizzying-- department stores (grands magasins)
Getting there: Metro Havre-Caumartin (Line 3 or 9), Opera (Lines 3, 7, 8), RER Auber(Line A)
Main streets: Boulevard Haussmann
Paris department stores are famous for being worlds unto themselves. Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores dominate Boulevard Haussmann with real Belle Epoque grandeur, concentrating top designer collections for men and women, gourmet food shopping, home design, jewelry, and even hardware into a labyrinth of consumer delights.
3. The Marais
Best for: Eclectic fashion, unique jewelry, antiques and fine art.
Getting there: Metro Saint-Paul (Line 1) or Hotel de Ville (Line 1, 11)
Main streets: Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Place des Vosges, Rue de Turenne, Rue des Rosiers
The historic Marais quarter is prime stomping ground for shoppers with an eye for the unique and finely-crafted, not to mention antique and art lovers. Try antiques or fine-arts shopping on the Place des Vosges, jewelry shopping at boutiques like Satellite on Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, or explore boutiques featuring up-and-coming designers on Rue des Rosiers.
More on Marais shopping
Best for: Designer shopping, trendy chain stores, Sunday shopping
Getting there: Metro Alma Marceau (Line 9), Franklin D. Roosevelt (Lines 1 and 9), George V (Line 1), RER A (Charles de Gaulle-Etoile)
Avenue Montaigne and Avenue des Champs-Elysées form one of the city's hottest fashion junctures. Ave. Montaigne is fast outstripping Saint Honoré in notoriety, with legendary designers like Chanel and Dior lining the street. The Champs-Elysées features luxury names (Louis Vuitton) while also being a major spot for shopping in trendy global chains like Zara.
Read more about the Champs-Elysées neighborhood here.
Getting there: Metro Porte de Clingancourt (Line 4) or Garibaldi (Line 13)
The Saint-Ouen flea market (or "puces"-- literally, "fleas") is the city's largest, and dates to the 19th century. Located at the very northern tip of Paris, les puces are an essential shopping stop. Come here for a few hours to browse the antique furniture, odd objects, or vintage clothes. You may not come away with a masterpiece painting (as once was the case), but a find you are likely to make. Weekdays are preferable to avoid the inevitable crowds, though. There are also several other flea markets around Paris worth browsing.
Related: Discount Shopping in Paris
Getting there: Metro Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Line 4), Sèvres-Babylone (Line 10)
Main streets: Blvd. St.-Germain, Rue St. André-des-Arts, Rue de Sèvres
Once synonymous with the famous intellectuals who haunted local cafés, St.-Germain-des-Prés has acquired several shades of chic and is now a preferred spot of BCBG's (yuppies). Sonia Rykiel and Paco Rabanne have boutiques here, and the famous department store Le Bon Marché includes a gourmet market that all foodies should pay a visit to.
Try Rue Saint-Andre des Arts for rare books, gifts, and vintage threads.
Getting there: Metro Chatelet-Les Halles (Line 4, RER A,B)
Main streets: Rue de Rivoli, Rue Pierre-Lescot, Rue Etienne Marcel, Rue de Turbigo
Once the locus of "the guts of Paris"-- an enormous outdoor food market, the area around Châtelet-les Halles was transformed into a major shopping area in the 20th century. At metro Les Halles is a monstrous underground mall, "Le Forum des Halles", where global chain stores reign. Rue de Rivoli is much the same. In the Rue Montorgueil area, quirky contemporary boutiques abound, including Barbara Bui and young cutting-edge designers.