Part of the experience of shopping in Paris is wandering the streets and finding hidden boutiques. The other part however is getting lost in the French capital’s many cavernous and historic department stores. Here’s our pick of the very best to dip into during a weekend break.
The perfect destination for everything audiovisual and electronic, and a reminder of the times before Virgin Megastores turned rubbish, then into Zavvi and then went belly-up. FNAC is an enormous, breathtaking monument to music, films, books and the gear you need to play them on. Multiple locations across Paris.
Le Bon Marché
A commercial behemoth perched on the Left Bank, Le Bon Marché started life in 1838, and is now part of French shopping royalty. Holding an astounding 400,000 square feet of retail space, it is home to anything you could ever want from antiques, clothes, sporting goods, housewares, as well as a host of popular restaurants.
A distinctly Parisian shopping experience, Galeries Lafayette opened in 1893. This 10-storey department store is a must-visit, carrying nearly 100,000 different labels. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, it is home to the world's largest perfumery, this is France after all. Throw in some gorgeous Art Nouveau and Belle Epoque architecture and free fashion shows every Friday and what more could you ask for?
Au Printemps competes with nearby Galeries Lafayette for Parisians’ affections. Equally stuffed to the gills with designer goods it also boasts a great restaurant, a hair salon and a post office. Come by at night to check out its beautifully lit facade.