Paris Department Stores Offer More Than Just Shopping

by on March 7th, 2015
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Paris department stores are some of the most unique–and exciting–in the world. Not only are they filled with stylish clothing, housewares, food stuff and perfume, but many of the buildings themselves are architectural marvels, examples of French Art Deco and Art Nouveau design. If you’re heading to the “City of Lights” this year, be sure to include at least one of these shopping emporiums in your schedule.

Au Printemps – Located near the Palais Opera (Garnier), this huge store is noted for its household goods as well as its fashion. The store also offers many services for overseas visitors, including shipping, translation, and a personal shopping service. Au Printemps, whose name means springtime, hosts several free fashion shows each week. The store’s beauty department has one of the world’s largest perfume selections. The current building dates from 1920 and is crowned by a stained glass cupola, which adorns one of the store’s seven restaurants.

Au Printemps; 64 Blvd. Haussmann; Paris, France 75009 ; Tel: 011 33 01 42 82 50 00

Les Galeries Lafayette – The Grande Dame of Paris department stores, Les Galeries Lafayette (pictured at right) was built in 1906. This belle époque, 10-story shopping palace is as much fun to look at as it is to shop in. In fact, the flagship store is the second most visited attraction in Paris, after the Louvre Museum. Each floor at Galeries Lafayette circles an atrium overlooking the bustling main cosmetics floor. This shopping mecca specializes in women’s clothing and accessories, but also has an adjacent menswear store and housewares department. Make sure to take in the view from the tea shop on the top floor; it’s well worth the visit. The Galeries Lafayette offers free fashion shows on Wednesdays.

Les Galeries Lafayette, 40 Blvd. Haussmann; Paris, France 75009; Tel: 011 33 01 42 82 34 56

Le Bon Marche – This stylish left bank department store was Paris’ first such store. Designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame), Le Bon Marche (“good deal” in French) is particularly known for its extensive food hall (Le Grande Epicerie), its wedding boutique and its selection of modern, “hip” clothes.

Le Bon Marche; 22 Rues de Sevres; Paris, France 75007;Tel: 011 33 01 44 39 80 00

La Forum des Halles – This modern, underground shopping complex was built in 1979 over the site of the city’s former food and vegetable market. The three-story 750,000-square foot La Forum des Halles complex offers everything from souvenirs to haute couture to entertainment, such as first-run movies and street performers. The subterranean shopping plaza is attached to the bustling Les Halle-Chatelet metro station and easily reached from all over Paris.

La Forum des Halles; 101 Porte Berger; Paris, France; Tel: 011 33 01 44 76 96 56

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