If you truly love fashion, a shopping-themed trip to Paris is a must. Yet, navigating the French capital’s shopping scene can be a little tricky, some insider tips are necessary! Read on for our best tips for planning your Paris shopping trip including where to stay in Paris, the best neighborhoods to shop in and a four day best Paris itinerary for shopping! If you’re planning a shorter shopping spree, have a look at our shopping guide for more practical information.
The fashion capital of the world has everything you need to score the perfect Paris shopping trip! From top designer labels including the epitome of French luxury Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès. To wonderful iconic departments stores, unique pop-up markets, vintage shops, specialty showrooms and of course lingerie shops. Paris is fashionista’s dream city, and you can count on us to open its doors for you!
How to plan for a Paris shopping trip
Prepare your itineraries per district
A little planning can go a long way in making sure your Parisian shopping trip is perfect. With so many amazing stores, you’ll need to be organized to make the most of your time in Paris. We prefer a methodical approach. Identify the shopping districts you want to hit based on your personal shopping preferences. Are you more vintage, designer labels or independent brands? Then, make a per neighborhood plan for the stores or streets you don’t want to miss. If this sounds a bit overwhelming or you’re not sure where to begin – no need to stress! Have a look at our Paris shopping guide for some additional help.
What you need to know for a Paris shopping trip
Some crucial knowledge when shopping in Paris is knowing typical store opening hours. Most large stores are open from 9AM to 7PM Monday through Saturday. Smaller stores typically open from 10AM to 6PM and sometimes close between 12PM and 2PM for lunch.
The weekend, however, can be problematic. A lot of stores are closed on Sunday, so make sure you take that into account when planning. Shops in central areas including Le Marais are more likely to be open on Sunday. The magnificent Galeries Lafayette is also open from 11AM to 8PM. For more information check out our guide to Sunday in Paris.
Tax Refund in Paris
One helpful tip for planning your budget for your Paris shopping trip is the tax refund service. When you purchase an item in France, a VAT tax of 20% (sales tax) is included in the price. Before leaving Paris at any local airport, you can collect your tax refund, called the “detaxe” in French which is about 12%. To be eligible for the service you must be from outside of the EU, be over 15 years old and have spent at least 175.01€ in the same store, on the same day.
The process is super easy always ask for your “detaxe” form at the store after purchase, have it stamped and signed. And before leaving France, at any international airport, submit your Detaxe form in a PABLO machines. You will need the Detaxe form, the receipt and your purchases. You will be refunded on your credit card within a few weeks.
When is it best to do a Paris shopping trip
Sales in Paris
Sales are a little different in France. The government regulates sales and the result is that there are two major sales times (“les soldes“) each year in Paris. Sales happen in January and July, specific dates change each year but each period lasts roughly six weeks. Discounts get progressively better as the sales go on but items also sell out fast! If you’re looking for a bargain shopping spree, plan on visiting during one of these sales windows. If you’re hesitating on the best time to visit Paris, have a look at our advice.
Best time to go shopping in Paris
As mentioned, though there are two major sales periods in Paris, in our opinion January is the best time of the year for shopping in the French capital. Collections are wider in the winter and the discounts are bigger. You’ll therefore save more money and have a better selection. Furthermore, it’s low season for tourists. Stores will be quieter, you won’t have to worry about lines for the fitting rooms. Additionally, hotels tend to be cheaper during January as well. Also, Paris is absolutely lovely in the winter, if you’re lucky you might get to see the streets covered in a delicate layer of snow!
Period to avoid for shopping in Paris
Though Paris is one of our absolute favorite cities to shop in, there are a few times of the year to avoid, if possible. The 10 days before Christmas and the end of year holidays is by far the busiest time of year in Parisian shops. Staff are understandably exhausted and overworked. Items are sometimes out of stock and the overall experience isn’t as relaxing as during other times of the year. Stores are busy as everyone is doing their holiday shopping. However, if you are only in Paris during this time the good news is that stores do tend to extend their hours slightly and exceptionally opened on Sundays to accommodate holiday shoppers.
What to book in advance for a Paris shopping trip
Galeries Lafayette Personal shopper & lounge
If you’re looking to transform your Paris shopping trip into a unique, VIP experience, book a Galeries Lafayette personal shopper (contact INSIDR through Chat or email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!). As mentioned in our Paris shopping guide, you’ll be guided by a dedicated French fashion expert which will help you navigate the massive department store with skip the line access to the busiest brands.
Why is it unique
This professional stylist will make sure to provide savvy advice on brands and on-going trends as well as help you find the perfect looks to fit your style. You’ll also gain access to a private lounge and fitting room for a special and tailor-made experience. Have a look at their website to see all available services and book your VIP experience with us by sending an email at email@example.com!
Credit: Open Tou
Where to stay on a Paris shopping trip
Choose a central district
A proper shopping spree can truly be exhausting. It involves tons of walking, standing and trying things on. Choose accommodation located in the center of Paris to make your trip more enjoyable. The city center of Paris is small and within walking distance to the main shopping areas which we allow you to save time, energy and money (more for shopping?!).
Our favourite district
One district which is extremely central and well distributed by public transportation is “Opera” which is the area surrounded the Paris Opera house. 4 metro lines, one fast suburban train line (RER) and over a dozen of buses distribute the area. There is even a direct airport bus which starts and ends at the bottom of the Opera house.
Hotels over apartments
We are fans of Airbnb and serviced apartments here at INSIDR. However, if you’re going to be in top form for your shopping spree, you’ll definitely want to stay in a hotel. Why, you ask? Plenty of reasons! First of all, you won’t have to wait around for the host to check in or stress about finding the apartment. You’ll also avoid having to lug all of your stuff with you on your last day. Finally, enjoy a delicious breakfast each morning to give you the energy you need to hit the stores of Paris.
INSIDR’s Favourite – Hotel Chavanel
Our favorite hotel for the ultimate Paris shopping trip is without a doubt Hotel Chavanel. The modern boutique hotel is ideally located in the 8th arrondissement, in the heart of the Madeleine neighborhood. The major shopping department stores, including the Galeries Lafayette, are within walking distance. Rue Saint Honoré, where you’ll find all things luxury, and Le Marais are also just a short walk away as well.
Created by fashion and design lover, Sophie Charlet, who has surrounded herself with the best architects and designers to create this design gem. Hotel Chavanel features impeccably decorated rooms. If you like fashion, you’ll love their interior design. A plethora of different materials and textures, from wool curtains to embroidered cushions and blond-oak coffee tables, are gracefully combined to create a stunning and unique look.
Despite its central location, the hotel is located on the peaceful rue Tronchet, a haven of quiet in the city center. The 27-room hotel has all the modern comforts you need including spacious bathrooms, mini-bar, free WiFi, an airport shuttle and 24-hour reception to ensure you have a relaxing place to spend the night after a full day of shopping. Start off your morning with their delicious organic breakfast in the cozy lounge.
How long is needed for a Paris shopping trip
Perfect length in Paris
The ideal length is at least four full shopping days. If you have a long flight to get into Paris, plan on staying at least five or six nights to give yourself enough time to recover from jetlag. If you only have three days in Paris, have a look at our dedicated itinerary to help you make the most of your whirlwind trip!
Best Paris itinerary for a Shopping Trip
Day 1 of Paris Shopping Trip
It’s day one, you’ve arrived in Paris and you’re ready to shop! First things first, as mentioned, head to our favorite Parisian hotel – Hotel Chavanel. Check in and have a look at your digs. We’re sure you’ll love the impeccable rooms, central location and lovely staff. Once you’re settled, take a relaxing stroll on rue Saint-Honoré where you will find flagship store of the biggest luxury brands as well as nice small boutiques. Then you should head to the Galeries Lafayette and get access to their luxurious private lounge for a well-deserved cosy break.
After Galeries Lafayette, we recommend to walk in direction of Palais Royal garden where there are several small designer’s brands, including the trendy Maison Kitsuné and all around the garden arcades where there are a lot of great boutiques. That should be enough for a first day! While in the area we recommend to plan to have dinner in the stunning Daroco – which is a fabulous Italian restaurant serving delicious pizzas and hosting a great hidden cocktail bar. Hotel Chavanel is at walking distance from Palais Royal area if you are feeling tired you can easily catch a bus.
Day 2 of Paris Shopping Trip
Waking up in on the cosy bed in Hotel Chavanel and it’s time to get some organic breakfast in the lounge and get ready for the second day! For your second shopping day, make your way to Le Marais. Le Marais is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Paris. The area is popular with up-and-coming brands, independent creators and global names. You can start at Merci, Paris’ top concept store. You’ll find an amazing variety of one-of-a-kind goods from interior design to fashion.
Surrounding Merci, on Boulevard Beaumarchais, you will find plenty of cool shops such as Ami by French designer Alexandre Mattiussi, A.P.C. and even Swedish trendiest brand Acne Studios – brand new store.
Continue on Rue de Saintonge toward rue Vieille du Temple. The entire street is packed with fantastic shops, you can easily spend hours there. You should not miss Le Mont Saint Michel and Maison Labiche. Pass by Rue Debelleyme, have a lunch break at the delicious Big Love Caffé.
Finally, end the day at the massive BHV department store. The six-story building has everything from hardware to high-fashion. Make sure to stop at BHV’ rooftop bar Le Perchoir Marais which has the most stunning view over the city.
Day 3 of Paris Shopping Trip
It’s day three. By now you’ve had the chance to experience and understand Parisian shopping. Today, however, you’ll be going vintage, outlet and shoes.
Vintage shopping in Paris
Paris is not just home to designer brands, the city also has a thriving vintage shopping scene. For serious vintage shopping, head to Rue de la Verrerie and explore the surroundings of Forum des Halles, the biggest shopping mall in central Paris. Check out our vintage shopping guide for detailed recommendations. You should also consider going to Paris flea market of you happen to be here over a weekend.
Outlet shopping in Paris
Just outside the city is La Vallée Village. It’s home to hundreds of factory outlet stores. It is very easy to reach by suburban fast train from Opera district.
Within Paris, there are a several outlet shops that are really worth going to. On Rue du Jour near Palais Royal garden, you will find a lot of trendy French brands outlet stores and on Rue de Marseille near Republique square. Another cool outlet store chain store to check out is La Piscine, which is only selling past collection of high to mid-range fashion brands.
Shoes shopping in Paris
To find the perfect shoes to go with your new outfits, our top pick is once again the Galeries Lafayette. The amazing department store has options from hundreds of brands. Choose from sneakers, boots, high heels and more. Crossing the river to Saint Germain des Près area to wander around Rue du Four, Rue de Sèvres is another expert’s choice when shopping for shoes in Paris. For a cosy break on the left bank, we highly recommend the brand new food heaven named Beaupassage.
Day 4 of Paris Shopping Trip
Day four, the final stretch! You’ve been able to experience some of the city’s best shopping. It’s time to think details – accessories, gifts and cosmetics!
Accessories and jewelry shopping
The subtly chic French are experts at accessorising. Check out our list of our favorite jewelry and accessories shops in Paris which are for the most part located in Le Marais area. The INSIDR’ team favourite includes Medecine Douce, Daphné Dasque and Delphine Pariente.
Cosmetic and beauty shopping
Original gifts and souvenir shopping
Finding cool souvenirs to bring back home if an easy task when shopping in Paris. We always recommend to shop in local supermarket for foodie souvenirs. Galeries Lafayette Gourmet store is another great place to find the best French delicacies such as fine Sea Salt “Fleur de Sel” and truffle based products.
Finally, if you are in a bit of a rush, you can always stop by the Hotel Chavanel’s shop before checking out!