1. Top Paris Shopping Areas
Like any city, you’ll find top shopping in various central areas. What is known as the ‘Golden Triange’ takes in the district between the avenue of the Champs-Elysees, the avenue Montaigne and the avenue George-V (8th arrondissement). Also the avenue Montaigne (8th arrondissement), the Faubourg Saint-Honore (8th), Saint-Germain-des-Pres (6th), and the arcaded Palais-Royal (1st). But while these house the big names, the more cutting-edge shops and chic boutiques have spread out into the Left Bank, Sevres Babylone, and the Marais.
More about the top Paris shopping districts.
2. Top Department Stores
Franck et Fils is not as well known as Galerie Lafayette, but it's one of my favorites, outside the center in the 16th arrondissement. On rue de Passy, and now owned by Le Bon Marche, this venerable shop is very chic indeed with a slightly younger customer base. It has a good café, and a Studio Harcourt instant photo booth that people flock to for very good passport sized photos with the famous Harcourt style.
Franck et Fils
Address: 80, rue de Passy, 16th
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 44 14 38 00 (Switchboard); 00 33 (0)1 44 14 38 74 (Customer Services)
Metro: La Muette, Victor Hugo
RER: RER C, Boullainvilliers stop
Monday to Friday: 10am to 7pm
Saturday 10am to 8pm
Other Top Department Stores
3. Top One-Stop Fashion Shopping
Montaigne Market on avenue Montaigne houses top designers, both international names and more niche labels and a great range of accessories. Victoria Beckham and Alexander Wang bags; Jimmy Choo and Lanvin shoes; JBrand skinny jeans and a leather jacket from Snow from St Barth. Go on, you know you need them.
Address 57 ave Montaigne, 8th
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 42 56 58 58
Metro George-V, Alma-Marceau
Monday to Saturday 10am-7pm
Other One-Stop Fashion ShopsColette on rue Staint-Honore in the 1st arrondissement is where the fashionistas gather not just for the latest avant-garde fashion, but also for those must-have gadgets that look so chic in Paris apartments. Plenty for kids too.
4. Top beauty and well-being salons
For a Thai spa experience, spend time at Harnn & Thann Located in a pretty courtyard on rue Moliere, the spa offers Thai massages amongst other treatments. It also has a tempting boutique selling own name oils, soaps and creams.
Harnn & Thann
Address 11 rue Moliere, 1st
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 40 15 02 20
Monday to Saturday 11am to 8pm
Thursday to 10pm
Other Top Spas and Salons
5. Best Foot Forward
You find both the top names like Christian Louboutin and artisan shoemakers in Paris. For a wide selection go to Espace chaussures des Galeries Lafayette in their luxury shopping area where you'll find all the names like Jimmy Choo, Prada, Gucci, Dior and more.
Address 40 bvd Haussmann, 9th
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 42 82 30 25
Monday-Saturday 09.30 am to 07.30 pm Thursdays: Open until 9 pm
Other Top Shoe Shops
Address 14, rue Roi de Sicile, 4th
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 42 78 84 04
Open Tuesday to Saturday 2 to 7pm.
6. The Very Best China and Glass
To transform your apartment or house with Paris style, Bernardaud is a top brand in tableware and table decoration, though less well known than names like Christofle internationally. Each year the company creates a new porcelain dinner service. If you are in Limoges, you can see how the porcelain is made on a guided tour of the factory.
Address 11 rue Royale, 8th
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 47 42 82 66
Monday-Saturday 10am to 7pm
Other Top ShopsLalique is a major name in glass and its glorious, gleaming store on rue Royale stocks all the latest designs as well as some antique glass objects. If you're in Alsace, visit the Rene Lalique Museum.
7. Scents to Seduce
France and perfume are inextricably linked through the town of Grasse in the south of France where the major perfume houses create their new scents. Modern perfume was created in France in 1889 when Aime Guerlain produced Jicky. It was followed by Chanel No 5 in 1921, Arpege by Lanvin in 1927 and Patou’s Joy in 1930. Other great names have been reincarnated like Francois Coty, who lived at the Chateau d’Artigny in the Loire Valley.
For bespoke scents, try the following.
8. Personal Shopping Service
Get the most out of your Paris shopping by having a personal program created by an English-speaking guide. Two companies that provide the service are Ultimate Paris and Paris for a Day. A personal guide will meet you to discover what exactly you want to see and where you want to shop and tailor-make an itinerary for you. She will then accompany you, with a car, on the tour. To get the most out of this, contact the company beforehand for the first stage, so when you arrive in Paris you can hit the ground running.