Paris is one of the finest cities in the world for shopping. If you’re looking for one-stop shopping spot, or a Parisian shopping extravaganza, head to one of Paris’ famous department stores.
Value added tax
As is the custom throughout Europe, prices displayed in shops in France always include sales tax (“la TVA” – value added tax). The price you see on the label is the price you will be charged – which can be a pleasant surprise for American or Canadian visitors.
The classic French shopping week comprises six days, Monday to Saturday, with shops generally open from 9 a.m. to Midday, and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. In towns and villages, it is still the rule that shops close at lunchtime. However, in urban shopping areas, most large shops such as department stores now do not close at lunch time.
Traditionally shops do not open in France on Sundays. However, there can be opened stores on Sundays, usually in the afternoon, in the Christmas shopping weekends, and shops in tourist areas. Some supermarkets also open on Sunday morning, for food. In 2009, parliament passed a new law allowing shops to open for trading on Sundays in the main shopping areas of Paris, Lille and Marseille, and in tourist areas throughout France.
Don’t expect to find a 24-hour open store in France. The idea runs contrary to the French tradition.
Here are the top Paris department stores you won’t want to miss during your stay in Paris.
- Galeries Lafayette. For general shopping, this is the place to start in Paris. One of Paris’ most beautiful department stores, head to the center of the store for a stunning view of the glass dome and beautiful Art Nouveau design from 1912.
- Printemps. Located next to Galeries Lafayette. Plenty of stores to keep you shopping for a long time.
- Le Bon Marché. Located on the Left Bank, Le Bon Marché was the first department store in the world. This upscale department store is located in the 7th arrondissement just a 20 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower.
- BHV. This massive department store is located near the Seine River.
If you are looking for the latest in Paris high fashion, great sales or the most unique Parisian shopping experience, then you definitely should visit Boulevard Saint Germain Bon Marché & Rue du Bac Street. Starting at the Seine River in the 7th, this pretty street is lined with trees and beautiful Parisian buildings. It’s a great spot for home décor shops, fashion boutiques and gourmet food shops.
If you’re looking for Paris styles at a discount, you’ll want to plan to visit the best outlet malls outside of the city. Such as La Vallée Village, Marques Avenue: L’Ile Saint Denis, McArthur-Glen Troyes, Marques Avenue: Troyes.
If you love different antique things, then you should definitely visit the famous flea market in Paris. It is situated at Porte de Clignancourt, officially called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, but known to everyone as Les Puces (The Fleas). It covers seven hectares and is the largest antique market in the world, receiving between 120,000 to 180,000 visitors each weekend.