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Shopping in Paris

Hello. I wanted to ask for recommendations as to the best shopping areas in Paris for 3 young girls - ages 11, 12, and 13 who are very interested in setting aside time for this activity. I had thought of the Rue de Rivoli area, because it is near the Louvre (where we will be visiting), but I have been hearing mixed messages about this area. Champs Elysee is above our budget. We are just looking for an area - not far from the main sites of Paris - that is reasonably priced but still very "Parisian." Thank you for any help you can give me with this matter. Linda

Posted by
140 posts

I can’t offer much in the way of recent experience but we are planning on visiting the Galeries Lafayette (mostly because the stained glass dome is of interest to me, and I want to visit their gourmet food area they have for stocking up on wine and cheese). It might be something your preteens enjoy. Basically a mall in an historic building, with a rooftop cafe offering views of Paris.

Posted by
6721 posts

th eproblem with the big department stores like Lafayette is that they are composed of 'boutique' sections of very high priced designer stuff that you can buy anywhere. For kids this age, I'd probably head for the mall at Les Halles which has lots of shops that cater to young people.

Posted by
140 posts

I hear Les Halles is quite large. And combined with a train station, so very convenient transportation. If my goals were serious (but not super high end) shopping, I would likely visit there as well.

Posted by
47 posts

My teenage daughters keep trying to convince me that many designer items are cheaper in Paris. I know there is a potential VAT refund, but otherwise I am skeptical about any significant savings. Does anyone have any insight? The OP might be more interested in seeing the flashier shopping areas if there is any truth to it.

Posted by
4 posts

Hi,
We were in a similar situation with our Grand daughter, wanted her to have some shopping time. We found Monoprix to be fun, sorta like a Super Target. Another idea might be to venture out to the flea markets, which are famous and fun. Another idea is to go to the large and beautiful department stores and let each girl buy a lipstick or some smallish item and then head up to the roof top and have a lemonade and enjoy the beautiful view. This worked pretty well for us.
HTH
Catherine

Posted by
1023 posts

I doubt that Dior or other houses of fashion are going to be significantly cheaper in Paris.

Knockoffs may be less expensive, and Monoprix and other department stores stock lots of young fashion items for tweens. FWIW, there's at least one Monoprix on the Champs Elysee. Let them shop while you enjoy a Royale with cheese at the Golden Arches.

Posted by
3699 posts

Dear SCF: Tell your teens that their blue jeans will cost twice as much in Paris as in the mall back home. Well-dressed Parisiennes are expert at purchasing a few key essentials at stiff prices but will look smart for years. One thing to shop for: Scarves, worn by both men and women. The ones in the big stores will cost more than at the souvenir shops but they do last and do provide warmth as well as colour. If they are lucky enough to find a young shop attendant who isn't busy, they might get some tips on how to wear them.

Posted by
52 posts

I'm not a teenager but I have the shopping instincts of one. :) Monoprix is all over the city and lots of fun for cheap clothes/makeup shopping (It's Target-like). If the girls like skincare products, they might enjoy City Pharma in the 6th -- it's a pharmacy with a massive and quite crowded skincare department on the first floor. People come from all over the world to shop there, so it's pretty hectic, and the prices are great.

If I were to take my 13-year-old-niece to Paris, I'd probably go to the cheapie shops along Boulevard St-Michel in the Latin Quarter -- they're like cheap mall shops everywhere, but French. :) While a bit more expensive, I think the boutiques on the side streets off Blvd. St-Germain are also fun.

I also wouldn't pass up the cheesy souvenir shops all over the city -- but I know there are a bunch on rue des Abbesses in the Montmartre. I bring back glittery Eiffel Towers for my nieces and they love them.

CK

Posted by
8394 posts

I don’t know what kind of shopping they want to do, and I agree Monoprix is a great suggestion, but I would take them to the Marais area in the 4th arrondissement. Lots of fun shops from inexpensive on up. The Marais is one of the oldest areas of Paris, super charming, and lots of fun.

I don’t like shopping at the large department stores (except i do love BHV next to Hotel de Ville - Paris’ city hall), you may as well be in Nordstrom/Macy’s/Bloomingdales.

Posted by
481 posts

France doesn't really have knockoffs - unlike the US, if you're found in possession of a fake knockoff, you get fined, as does the seller (my former boss was from France and we got into a discussion about high end purses and fakes).

I found that MANY things in Paris were NOT cheaper than the US. I bought a small Longchamp Le Pliage purse, same price as the US. I checked makeup prices at Sephora, same price as the US (and let me clarify - if a lipstick in the US was $15, it was 15 Euro in Paris, so technically more expensive). And while I LOVE Monoprix (went to multiple), even something like L'Oreal lipstick was MORE expensive (by almost double) than a US Target. The ONLY brand I buy that was cheaper in Paris was Caudalie (at Monoprix, I did not go into a boutique).

I did, however, buy 8 scarves, all knockoffs at the souvenir shops :)

Posted by
8499 posts

Tip for skunkket1771-- Longchamp shops at CDG are 10% less on everything, pliages and leather purses.

And, although I said to take them to a discount mall, I agree that Les Halles is right for them. I knew a designer for an American brand marketed to teens. She'd fly over twice a year to "go through the racks" in Les Halles to pick up trends for upcoming collections. She also did a lot of street watching to see what young people were creating.

Posted by
33 posts

somewhat similar to Les Halles, Beaugrenelle (closer to the Eiffel Tower) might be worth a visit. It feels slightly more upscale to me, and sometimes is less crowded, but it's still basically a mall with mall-type chain stores.

Posted by
108 posts

Another thumbs up for Monoprix - very much a Target vibe with a French accent. My daughter and I joke that we just need three things near our Paris hotels - a good bakery, a close metro stop and a Monoprix! I think that the clothes are made a bit better and maybe cost a bit more than Target but everything is adorable and - most importantly - not available in the US. Some stores are bigger than others. The one on Champs Elysee is very large and as I recall stocked with more clothes than most. I haven’t been to the one in Les Halles, but I’m guessing it’s good-sized. Google map Paris and search “Monoprix nearby” to find one close to your hotel.

On rue de Rivoli, by the hotel de ville, not far from the Louvre, there are a number of reasonably priced, trendy stores that my fashion-forward daughter likes. Monki is especially cute. She also likes Bershka and Pull and Bear. The stores directly across from the Louvre on Rivoli tend to be souvenir type stores so maybe that’s the mixed reviews you’ve seen.

And, another vote for the BHV. In addition to fashion, they have a very unique arts and crafts area if the girls are interested in crafting supplies. I love to look at the pens, paper and fabric. All inexpensive and easy to tuck in your suitcase to bring home for gifts.

Posted by
8394 posts

For Birkenstock fans, they are much less expensive in Paris (they have a store in the Marais). New Balance tennis shoes (at Les Halles) are the same. Uggs are much more expensive. Lancome is a bit more expensive.

And yes, BHV has lots of great stuff besides clothes. On the floor with arts & crafts and pens and stationary, they have great art posters, for instance.

Posted by
1884 posts

At the bottom of the funicular at the base of Sacre Coeur, if you then walk along the street to your right, there are a few little shops there.
The girls will probably like such stores as Pylones and Flying Tiger.
Also, the Fragonard fragrance shops are just beautiful, and not too expensive.

Posted by
1128 posts

Beaugrenelle mall or Les 4 Temps will give you a mall experience, if that's what you're looking for.

Posted by
134 posts

The Galeries Lafayette has a fashion show on Friday afternoon that is fun and while there you can see the store and shop. See Rick’s guide books and go to their web site. You need advanced tickets.

Posted by
237 posts

These are all wonderful Suggestions. Now it looks like we'll have to extend our stay in Paris so that we can visit all these places! Many thanks to you all.

Posted by
6721 posts

K2 summed up the big department stores nicely. Last time we shopped with a 13 year old in Paris was nearly 30 years ago and we wandered around Montmartre to little dress shops and found some nice things. We are taking a 12 year old this spring so following this thread. I say Les Halles, but my husband who likes to shop (I don't) wants to take her to little shops. So paying attention to suggestions here.

Posted by
2329 posts

I visited Paris in 2016 and spent a couple of hours shopping at the interesting boutiques in the Marais—the highlight was a delightfully funky pop-up shop featuring screenprinted tops and sweaters. The 3 pieces I bought that day are still favorites, along with a great scarf printed with crows—everyone there wears scarves, and I took up the habit as well.

Posted by
237 posts

Thanks, Crista - I will add this place to my long list of "must see" shops. And I love scarfs & my granddaughters love unique tee shirts so this seems like to place to go!

Posted by
1333 posts

I second the Westfield Forum Des Halles -We actually went to just the movie theater there (my husband just had to see a certain movie on the opening weekend) and we rushed through to the theater but Oh my gosh what a mall! Your girls will find everything there and some stores like Mango that we do not have in the states. We wondered around the area after the movie looking for some dinner (the exit to the theater we beautiful with a garden courtyard and lit up elevator) and we found the most wonderful sites, sculptures and just a different vibe. We would have never experienced this if we did not go to the movie. So go to the Mall and Yes also go to Rue de Rivoli, that is also a wonderful area to shop, but I did not find anything special there but they do have a nice Zara.

Posted by
3160 posts

Our granddaughters loved popping into interesting boutiques and used clothing shops selling clothing by the kilo in the Marais too. Have fun!