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Paris Shopping

Paris, like most European cities, is built around a river.  Ships and barges were the only game in town before rail, plane and car, after all.

In Paris, the Left Bank is the funky, perpetually gentrifying part of the city.   The Eiffel Tower is on the Left. The Right Bank is posh.  It's where the Louvre, the Presidential Palace and Champs Elysees is located.  The shopping in Paris reflects that.

A view through the window of a small toy shop in Paris, France

On the Right Bank you have the Triangle d'Or - the Golden Triangle - where the most famous brands have their flagship stores.   But there are the actual couture ateliers and those require appointments and private guides.  We book that.  Let us know. 

The exterior view of the Chanel headquarters from across the street in Paris, France.

Quite different is the shopping experience on rue Cler.  Restricted from cars and still featuring cobblestones, it's a walker's dream  The focus is on food, flowers and pastries.  But that is easy to find and, let's be frank, jammed with tourists.

Whenever we are in Paris we pick a shop or a bakery or a café we have heard about and try to find it, not by the most obvious means.  We walk, take the metro a stop or three early and definitely don't Uber or cab it.  You miss too much.  In fact, we might not ever get to the destination.   We were headed to a Champagne tasting, arrived too late, and stumbled upon a fantastic tapas place.

A cobblestone street near Sacre Coeur in Paris, France.

Thinking about finding that odd little trinket or small painting or print?  You will love St. Germain and the Marais for hole in-the-wall shops that have been there for decades.  

Other shopping ideas:

--right around the Louvre are marvelous, and expensive, antique and jewelry shops

--along the river, pop up book stalls are where you can find a novel to read while jet-lagged, or maybe a hard to find Anime collectible.  You never know.

--Galerie Lafayette and Bon Marche department stores, as grand as Bloomies in New York and with a bit more flair. The ceiling at Galeries Lafayette is stunning.

The giant Christmas tree inside the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris, France.

Oh and if you are major fashion maven, or a wannabe like Anne Hathaway in "Devil Wears Prada",  check out the official site for Paris Fashion Week.