Emily’s Top International Shopping Destinations - Paris, France

03/22/2017 01:07 pm ET
<strong><em>A View of Galeries Lafayette, One of the Most Famous Shopping Malls in Paris</em></strong>
Million Mile Secrets
A View of Galeries Lafayette, One of the Most Famous Shopping Malls in Paris

Achieve Shopping Nirvana in Paris, France

France is one of my favorite destinations for history, culture, and shopping! Paris is a global trend-setter in fashion, but you don’t need to spend a lot to bring the Parisian lifestyle home with you.

Galeries Lafayette has a large selection of clothing, shoes, and accessories from mid-priced to really high-end. Plus, the gorgeous architecture makes it feel like you’re in a French museum! It’s one of my can’t-miss hot spots when I visit Paris.

For high-quality artsy souvenirs, books, and paper products, visit Brentano’s Librairie Americaine on 37 Avenue de l’Opéra. This is on my must-visit list every time I visit Paris. The first time, I think I spent two hours admiring all their creative stationery, stickers, and other handmade crafts.

Rue de Rivoli is lined with brand-name shops. Some of my favorites include Bershka, Zara, and Kiko Cosmetics. And you can find sale racks in nearly every store!

I LOVE escaping the crowds of tourists by shopping at Montmartre. Here you’ll find inexpensive vintage clothes, thrift shops, one-of-a kind jewelry, cute leather purses, and unique sweaters.

Get off on the Abbesses metro stop and spend half a day exploring the many streets lined with shops. Many stores are closed on Sunday, so remember that when planning your shopping spree.

Explore the City’s History and Culture

If you’re not into shopping, there is so much to see and do in Paris. The city has enough museums to keep you busy for weeks! Do your research ahead of time to determine which ones you want to visit.

My friends and I had a great time at the Musée d’Orsay. I also really liked the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. It’s currently closed for renovations, but should reopen in the fall of 2017.

<strong><em>The Musée d’Orsay Used to be a Train Station, and Even Maintains Its Original Clock</em></strong>
Million Mile Secrets
The Musée d’Orsay Used to be a Train Station, and Even Maintains Its Original Clock

Here’s a link to a post on the best small museums in Paris to give you an idea of what’s out there!

There are so many must-see attractions in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Or if you’re obsessed with architecture like me, you need to visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame!

Immerse Yourself in History by Visiting a Chateau

The French were known for opulence, and the chateaus tell a story of lavish bygone times. Although Versailles is the most famous, you should check out other less touristy palaces. The Château of Vincennes is a 14th century castle just a 25-minute metro ride from the Paris city center!

The Palace of Fontainebleau has extravagant interiors with detailed woodwork, expressive paintings, and other art from the best French and Italian artists from the period. Here’s a link to 11 Must-See Chateaux Outside Paris.

Eat All the French Food You Can Handle

I LOVE French food. I love the coffee, the desserts, and everything in between. Try different bakeries and enjoy unique creations (bakeries are also a low-pressure way to practice your French).

If you’re shopping near Galeries Lafayette or Rue de Rivoli, don’t miss trying the food at the Laurent Dheilly Artisan Boulanger. I had the best pistachio macaroon sandwich with raspberry filling and fresh raspberries on top. Divine!

Every day when I was in Paris, I would pop into a patisserie (bakery) to see the morning’s masterpieces. Parisians bring their love of art to their desserts. Not only do they look nice, but they’re full of flavor, and melt in your mouth!

<strong><em>Patisserie Pastries and Desserts</em></strong>
Million Mile Secrets
Patisserie Pastries and Desserts

Also, don’t expect your American coffee with free refills. I’ve never seen a restaurant or café offer free refills. Part of traveling is experiencing life – and coffee – how the locals experience it!

You Can Do It, Too!

Sometimes you can find a fare sale for cheap tickets into Europe. If you can’t find cheap tickets though, consider using airline miles earned from credit cards to help get you there. Don’t forget to check partner airlines and if there are specific travel dates where fares are cheaper!

While my main focus when traveling is seeing the sights and getting to know the locals, it’s definitely nice to pamper yourself, too. So consider using hotel points for an award stay. Both the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome and the Hotel du Louvre make very good award stays.

My friends and I stayed in a Charming Flat in the Bastille neighborhood in Paris. The location was convenient, and it had a modern feel. Airbnbs give me lots of decorating ideas for my own home!

The cost was $149 per night, split between me and my 3 accompanying friends. So we only paid $37 per night!

Bottom Line

Shopping in international cities is so fun, because you can find unique items at good prices. I also love exploring and appreciating the food, architecture, and people. You can’t miss Galeries Lafayette if you plan a trip to Paris. It’s my top shopping recommendation!

Because collecting frequent flyer miles from credit card sign-up bonuses is so easy, there’s no excuse not to fit in a shopping trip to the city of your dreams!

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