Paris has long been a favourite shopping destination, with its wide boulevards lined with designer shops and its wonderful atmospheric markets. However it may be worth wandering off the beaten track to find some of the best shopping opportunities. Your journey from the Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris will be well spent keeping an eye out for the lesser-known places to shop in Paris.
When Paris was re-designed at the end of the 18th century, many hidden passages were built into the design. Some have disappeared in the years since, but some have evolved into wonderful shopping arcades. The typically Parisian designs of art nouveau and belle époque often provide the background to wonderful shopping. The Passage du Grand Cerf has been beautifully restored and contains some great shops, from contemporary jewellery designers to vintage eyewear in Pour Vox Beaux Yeux. There’s also a great wine bar to have a tipple in after your journey from Charles du Gaulle airport to Paris; the bar, whose name is Le Pas Sage (the naughty boy), makes a great place to stop and people watch.
For lovers of le chic, a visit to Galerie Vivienne should be on your itinerary. You will be surrounded by beautiful mosaics and impressive statues whilst you shop in high-end shops, which include Jean-Paul Gaultier and Didier Ludot. The Galerie also houses what is said to be the best wine shop in Paris, Les Caves Legrand, and a great place for afternoon tea – A Priori Thé.
The Passage Molière is named after the Théâtre Molière and contains a great shop for film buffs – the Librairie Scaramouche, which has a huge collection of rare cinematic posters. Shoe collectors will also have the chance to own a pair of uniquely beautiful shoes if they visit the shop of the Japanese shoemaker, Tamano Nagashima. He creates made-to-measure shoes in one-off designs for the princely sum of 250 Euros.
On your journey from Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris, you may spot this gem. Segas, in the Passage Jouffroy, will give you the chance to choose from a myriad of antique walking sticks. You will also find a wonderful old-fashioned toyshop, Pain D’epices, for a trip back to the innocence of the past.
For a shop that definitely can’t be found on most high streets you should visit Deyrolle, which has been providing stuffed animals to Parisians since 1831. Despite a fire in 2008, it is still producing them – from full-sized giraffes to tiny beetles. For fans of honey, a visit to the House of Honey should definitely be on the cards. Many varieties are available including lavender, eucalyptus and thyme from many regions of France. You can learn about the health benefits, but the taste alone makes this a great place to buy a souvenir.
French perfume is world renowned, and for a perfume matched perfectly to you a visit to Nose is to be recommended. You will be given an iPad and asked to fill in a questionnaire about your favourite smells and five scents will be recommended. You should end up with the perfect scent for you.