Paris is known for being the capital of fashion and luxury, and for good reason: There are more places to shop in the French capital than there are days in the year. But if you know the right places to look, it’s easy to narrow the list to a collection of must-see stops any savvy shopper can conquer on a short visit. From the concept stores in Le Marais to the luxury boutiques and department stores of the Left Bank, here are some of the best places to shop in Paris’ most fashionable districts.
Today, the historic 3rd arrondissement, Le Marais, is one of the trendiest spots for restaurants, bars and shopping. Stretching from Saint Paul on the southern edge of the neighborhood up to République on the northern tip, the area is full of well-known Parisian labels such as Comptoir des Cotonniers, Maje and Sandro, but the further north you head, the more unique the shopping becomes.
Go past the Place des Vosges to get to FrenchTrotters, a Parisian favorite. This boutique has beautiful accessories, clothes, candles and books from its own line, in addition to local designers and a well-edited selection of international labels. It’s the perfect spot to get a little something for you or to pick up gifts for friends at home. They also have a location near the Canal Saint-Martin and on rue de Charonne, another trendy shopping area east of Bastille.
Le Marais is also known for concept stores like The Broken Arm. The Broken Arm is part café, part boutique, and simply the ideal place for a shopping pick-me-up overlooking the Square du Temple. Here, they stock limited-edition sneakers, beautiful jewelry by Parisian designer Aurélie Bidermann and others, plus books, music, magazines and high-end designer labels such as Carven. Not only is their merchandise beautiful, but the shop itself is so well-designed that you wish you could just move in.
Just to the east of The Broken Arm, you’ll find Merci, a concept store to end all concept stores. Laid out across three stories, this shop has everything from housewares (trendy electrical wire and kitchen gadgets) to furniture, men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, an Aesop corner for heavenly soaps and lotions, two restaurants and a used-book café. Merci is known for being a launchpad for young designers, and a portion of its proceeds fund an endowment that pays for educational projects and development in southwest Madagascar.
While you’re in the area, Boulevard Beaumarchais is also home to A.P.C.; the first AMI boutique by Alexandre Mattiussi; Bonpoint for beautiful kids clothes; the stylish Sandro and other shops. Le Marais is also the chosen spot for Europe’s second J. Crew store (the first is in London), which opened in early March on rue Malher.
Next, head across the Seine to the Left Bank neighborhood of Saint-Germain. Here, you’ll find boutiques and one of the most beautiful department stores in the world, Le Bon Marché. In its original location since 1838, this shopper’s paradise sells jewelry, designer clothes, accessories, beauty products, shoes and more. On top of that, the massive exchange also houses an impressive library and a separate food hall dedicated to all things gourmet. Recently renovated, La Grande Epicerie at Le Bon Marché is worth a lengthy visit. Start on the ground floor, where you’ll find specialty foods, fresh meat, cheeses and 30,000 other gourmet items. When you’re finished there, head downstairs to the nearly 6,000-square-foot wine and spirits cave. Upstairs you’ll find designer kitchenwares, furniture and home design elements.
In the area surrounding Le Bon Marché, stop over at The Conran Shop for some unique gifts and home goods, and then head over to rue de Grenelle where you’ll find shops upon shops from luxury designer brands (Christian Louboutin, Prada), lingerie makers (Carine Gilson) and high-end jewelers (Stone).
On the other side of Saint-Germain, don’t miss the shopping around the Place de Furstenberg. After getting a little snack at the adorable Maison du Chou, head to Arty Dandy for some eclectic clothing and accessory finds. Nearby, the Jérôme Dreyfuss boutique is a great spot to pick up an iconic Parisian handbag. Across the street, you’ll spot Isabel Marant, the queen of Parisian fashion. Down the street is Maison Michel, where fine hats are made. Follow your nose around the corner to Le Labo for some artisanal perfumes before finishing off your day of shopping at Astier de Villatte, a cute stop for handmade porcelain and candles.