Despite the invasion of big name stores such as Gap, Zara, and H&M, the flagship branch of Galeries Lafayette, along with nearby Printemps, has remained one of the last bastions of Parisian chic. Built in 1894, this shoppers' paradise has continually reinvented itself and kept customers coming back. The resplendent main hall has an impressive array of perfumes, accessories and other products. The department store stocks all the best designer labels and also has its own deluxe grocery counter, restaurants, a travel agency, fashion shows, Internet access and more. Its incredible Christmas window displays are a Parisian institution.
Many remarkable art galleries and boutiques are found on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré, an avenue of upscale commerce in Paris. For art enthusiasts, a walk down this avenue becomes a truly memorable experience. The galleries, which are mostly concentrated between Place St-Phillipe-du-Roule and Avenue de Marigny, offer some of the most exceptional work by contemporary artists and beautiful French furniture. This avenue also supports Paris' reputation as a world center for fashion as many famous designers such as Givenchy and Chanel maintain boutiques here. A walk along the avenue of Faubourg Saint-Honoré, filled with impressionist art and pulsating fashion, is guaranteed to leave an impression.
Starting from the intersection at Sant-Augustin metro and running all the way to rue Drouot, Boulevard Haussmann, opened in 1864 to help ease Paris' transition from a medieval city to a modern capitol. Planned by Georges Haussman as part of an extravagant series of reforms, this boulevard is famous for infusing the then cluttered city-scape of Paris with refinement. Here you will find the immaculate Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, two must-see shopping hot spots for quality Parisian couture, home accessories and more.
Located in the Disney Village in Marne-la-Vallee, the Disney Store is one of the biggest stores in France. The range of toys is spellbinding, with adorably decorated interiors. The collection consists of finely manufactured toys that appeal to both adults and kids, although the price range may be considered a tad steep by some. The staff is extremely helpful and will help you look for your favorite toy in the sprawling store. Pick your favorite Mickey, or build your own saber. Even if you do not purchase anything, a visit to the store will certainly put a spring in your step.
Le 29 is a bookshop specialized in photography, in which you will find 3500 references (monographs, essays, emerging artists’ folios). In this bookshop, you are free to visit the photography exhibition and buy some prints if you wish. There is a good selection of numbered (limited edition) and signed prints by various artists. Le 29 has a very well assorted department dedicated to children and teenagers, and it organizes workshops for children every Saturday. On the second floor, a photo lab is at your disposal for retouches and printing. Le 29 has very good quality printing and framing.
Le Bonbon au Palais was launched in 2009, replete with an air of nostalgia. Candy connoisseur and curator of fine confections, Georges Marquès, owns this venture that aims to reinvent the sweets industry. Numerous apothecary jars of old-fashioned sweet treats are laid out in an ambiance that is reminiscent of a 1950s classroom. Some of the best artisans and confectioners from across France are represented in the array of candies, chocolates, fruit jellies, calissons and bonbons showcased. Marvel at the vibrant and wonderful display and sample a varied range of flavors and textures that come with a history lesson from Georges.
Flanked by iconic French landmarks like the majestic Notre Dame and the Conciergerie, Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux has been in operation since 1808, making it the oldest and lone surviving floral market in Paris. Located in the heart of Ile de la Cité, the avenue sees an array of shops featuring exotic flowers, plants and shrubs. From primroses and orchids to violets and myrtles, the seasonal blooms paint a beautiful and tranquil picture in the tourist-dominated area. Open throughout the week, Sundays see bird traders set up shop with rare species of parrots, macaws, doves and budgies, as well as cages, seeds and accessories.
Fleux' is the venture of Gaétan Aucher and Luc Moulin. It is an eclectic store for interior designers, shoppers and home decorators. You will find decorative elements and designer pieces that are fancy, unusual and creative that are suitable for every budget. Its easier to feel that you are in a treasure trove of beautiful things which includes everything from tableware, objects, wall deco, gadgets, wallpaper to furniture and lighting.
Petit Pan is the place to go when you want your baby to look as unique as you. Here, you can peruse a variety of clothes and accessories for babies and infants. All of these products are made from Petit Pan's selection of bright, colorful fabrics, which come styled with a variety of patterns.
Located on Place Saint-Michel, Gilbert Jeune is a popular bookstore known for its prolific itinerary. You'll find not only scores of great books and magazines here but also stationery and office supplies such as paper, pen, notebooks and much more. The family-run bookstore also stocks used books and vintage collectibles. If you're looking for some hard-to-find book, out of manufacturing, this is probably where you will find it.
Pâtisserie Viennoise is a hidden gem and is known for its unsweetened hot chocolate, a crowd favorite. A popular hang-out for nearby students, this timeless pastry shop offers a range of Viennese pastries and a small selection of salads, quiches and pastas as mains. So if in the neighborhood, don't forget to try this tiny confectionery.