Wandering the streets of Paris and popping in with a “Bonjour” to all the neighborhood shops is a true delight. You just never know what you will find! I will caution you that if you find a treasure, buy it. On my trips, there will be times I see something and pause to consider before making a spendy purchase. I’m still regretting not picking up a vintage Louis Vuitton bag I saw in a little store in the Marais. From grand department stores to quaint little shops to flea markets, enjoy the journey!
WHERE TO SHOP:
SHOPPING – COVERED PASSAGES FILLED WITH INTERESTING SHOPS
- Passage des Panoramas at 11 boulevard Montmartre
- Galerie Vivienne The gallery – The Vivienne gallery (galerie-vivienne.com)
- Passage du Grand Cerf at 145 rue Saint-Denis
- Passage Verdeau at 6 rue de la Grange-Batelière
SHOPPING – DEPARTMENT STORES
- Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, your fashion department store in Paris (pictured above-check out the view from the rooftop terrace and eat in the café)
- Samaritaine | Parisian Department Store | DFS Paris (recently renovated and reopened)
- Le Bon Marche https://www.lvmh.com/houses/selective-retailing/le-bon-marche/
- The Puces de Paris Saint-Ouen – Streets and Markets (pucesdeparissaintouen.com) is the largest antique market in the world. It comprises some 2,500 stores, spread across 15 markets. Located north of the city center at Rue des Rionals) Saturday and Sunday: 10 am-6pm Monday: 11 am-5pm (reduced activity: many shops are closed).
- Vanves flea market https://en.parisinfo.com/shopping-paris/73777/paris-puces-de-vanves
VINYL (My husband’s addiction-we buy vinyl wherever we go from Amsterdam to Moscow)
- CROCODISC – Specialist in the purchase and sale of new and used records Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm. Closed on public holidays as well as in summer, the last week of July and the first two weeks of August. How to get there: Metro: (L.10) Maubert-Mutualité or Cluny-Sorbonne, (L.4 & RER B or C) St-Michel; Bus: (L.63, 86, 87) College of France
- Paul Art & Design https://en.paulartetdesign.com/ a little shop at the bottom of the steps to Sacre Coeur filled with fun art design items that you will want to buy. Visit with the shop bulldog terrier (shown above) who inspires many of the designs.
- Sobral at 76 Temple. Sobral jewelry creations are made of resin, by hand, in our eco-ethical workshops-laboratories where reuse and recycling are paramount. Each piece is unique and colorful. I like these pieces because they are unusual, not heavy and reasonably priced. Wished I had bought more when I was there.
- Discounted last year fashion at:
- APC Outlet at 20 Rue Andre del Sarte A.P.C Outlet Stores: Surplus Store List (apc.fr)
- Maje Outlet at 92 Rue des Martyrs
THE bookstore in Paris to go to is Shakespeare and Company https://www.shakespeareandcompany.com/ which is an English-language bookstore opened in 1951 and located on Paris’s Left Bank. Check on their website for special events such as author book readings. Buy a book and, when you purchase, ask them to stamp their “Shakespeare & Co.” logo in it. Great souvenir or gift for book lovers! The book pictured above was purchased for our granddaughter and will be cherished forever.
Value Added Tax (VAT) Refund
If you plan on shopping in France, you need to know about the Value Added Tax (VAT) so you can get some money back when you leave! It’s not that complicated so here are the guidelines:
- Must be 16 years old and not a citizen of European Union.
- Must have your actual passport with you to get the paperwork from the shop when you purchase over $100 euros of merchandise.
- Tell shop owner you want a “VAT Tax Refund Document”. The big luxury stores will definitely provide and fill it all out for you. Some smaller shop owners may not do it but instead sometimes they offer a discount on your purchase. Ask for it!
- Submit your VAT refund paperwork at the airport or rail station-go to the website of wherever you are leaving from to find out where the VAT refund office is located.
- You may have to drop the paperwork in a box and it will be processed within 90 days OR there may be a staff person there to scan it and process it immediately. Depends on the place. Credit goes back on credit card you purchased it on.