When it comes to exploring the latest in international fashion, no other city comes to mind than Paris. Synonymous with style, the populace in Paris is abreast with the emerging and established global fashion trends, courtesy flagship haute couture houses and designer boutiques spread across the entire city. You can also find a number of art nouveau department stores, hip homewares and concept shops, along with a trove of flea markets, vintage shops, atmospheric bookshops and resplendent bouquiniste stalls. Whether it’s adorable children’s wear or vintage art and antiques, there are venerable establishments across Paris that sell everything you could possibly imagine. To help, here is our top pick of the most popular shopping spots in the city. Take a look.
Spread across an area of more than 600 sq meters and over four floors, Empreintes is one of the most prominent design emporiums in Paris. The establishment curates more than 1000 items for sale at any given point of time from over 6000 established and emerging French designers and artists. Furthermore, the place offers a distinctive collection of handcrafted jewelry, art, and fashion alongside striking homewares (cushions, ceramics, lighting, furniture, and more). You can even find a cafe and a reference library upstairs.
Grande-dame department store of Galeries Lafayette is sprawled across the main store (which features an impressive, century-old stained-glass dome). That said, the Lafayette offers an elaborate men’s store, a homewares store along with a gourmet emporium. You can catch up with depictions of modern art in the gallery on the first floor, enjoy a fashion show, take a break at one of the 24 cafes and restaurants present here, or even ascend to the windswept rooftop panorama – the choice is yours!
Le Bon Marché
Regarded as the first departmental store in Paris, Le Bon Marché is the epitome of style. Built in the year 1852 by Gustave Eiffel, the establishment features a superb curation of both male and female fashion, homewares, books, stationery, and toys. While you may not crave for a storybook exactly while on a trip to Paris, but you can always indulge in long talks over coffee, a light lunch or afternoon tea with cake at the iconic Rose Bakery tea room on the 2nd floor. The experience of exploring this store will bring you closer to the Parisian culture.
The entrance to this distinctive concept store is adorned by a Fiat Cinquecento. As unique as the store’s design is, you might be surprised to know that it donates its entire profit share to a children’s charity in Madagascar. Here, you can shop for accessories, fashion, linens, home designs and nifty lamps. That said, the experience of exploring this place is incomplete without having a coffee in the hybrid used-bookshop cafe, a lunch at the stylistic La Cantine de Merci or a juice at Cinéma Café.
Marche aux Puces de St-Ouen
Founded in 1870, this vast flea market spans across 9 hectares and is deservedly regarded as the largest in Europe. Here, you can explore more than 2000 stalls, which are grouped into 15 marchs (or markets). These markets curate everything – 17th-century furniture and artifacts to the 21st-century clothing.
(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)