Things To Do In Paris – #1 Shopping

Things To Do In Paris – #1 Shopping

If you're wondering about things to do in Paris, the number one choice for many travelers is shopping.

Shop opening hours in Paris vary by store size and, to a lesser extent, the season. Many smaller shops close from noon to 2pm while many businesses close for much of August. Paris department stores are generally open from 9.30am until 7pm with late opening on Thursdays. Sunday shopping is limited, largely to tourist areas and to the flea markets.

Paris department stores

The city's two major department stores are both on boulevard Haussmann. Galeries Lafayette and Printemps have both been updated in recent years. Galeries Lafayette is an architectural gem in its own right with a magnificent glass dome. It has a fabulous range of clothes and a renowned shoe section. Printemps is said to have Europe's largest beauty department.

Across the river, Le Bon Marché is the Left Bank's department store with an excellent fashion floor. Back on the Right Bank is Le Bazar de l'Hotel-de-Ville.


Paris shopping centres

Here shopping centres offer a variety of things to do in Paris. The Carousel du Louvre has about 30 boutiques, some related to the museum.

At the Gare Montparnasse is the Centre commercial Maine-Montparnasse with many fashion boutiques plus a range of larger stores including a branch of Galeries Lafayette, Habitat and a C&A; store. In the boulevard de Madeleine is Les Trois Quartiers with a selection of luxury shops and boutiques.


Paris neighbourhood shopping

Each Paris neighbourhood has its own characterful shopping area. For example, rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the Marais is immensely popular with tourists and locals. A little to the north, the rue Vieille-du-Temple is something like the Soho of Paris with designer boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.

The so-called 'Golden Triangle' - avenue Montaigne, avenue George V and the Champs-Elysées - has a wide range of big name fashion shops and lots of young labels. It's an enthusiastic shoppers' paradise, although a deep pocket helps!

The rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore and rue Saint-Honoré is a superb shopping area with enough choice to satisfy any Paris shopping trip. Place de Madeleine offers gourmet displays at delicatessens Hédiard and Fauchon.

On the Left Bank, the boulevard St-Germain, rue de Rennes and rue des Saints-Pères, which includes the Bon Marché department store is another important centre. And for real character, head north to Montmartre.


Paris Markets

With approximately 65 open-air markets and 13 daily covered markets, you'll never run out of things to do in Paris.

For food lovers, a favourite is the Marche d'Aligre, an old-fashioned food hall and with more of interest in the surrounding streets.

There's also a selection of street markets across the city while the main flea market, or Marche aux Puces is at Porte de Clignacourt, with a huge selection of stalls.

The bouquanistes, the dark green boxes along both banks of the Seine, will attract many visitors, with books and prints and the occasional real bargain.