Paris attracts tourists for a wide variety of reasons, but I’m a firm believer in that you can’t go to the city of love without splurging a little bit. I most recently was in Paris for a girls trip and was lucky enough to do some shopping throughout my time there.
The luxury shopping scene in Paris is truly unmatched, offering you the perfect excuse to get that bag you’ve always wanted or those heels you’ve been eyeing. I honestly learned a lot about shopping in Paris during my trip, so I thought I’d round up everything I wish I knew beforehand.
Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know before shopping in Paris…
10 Tips for Luxury Shopping in Paris
Go with a list of what you want.
This is hands-down the most useful tip I could ever give someone who is shopping in Paris. If you go in with photos or a list of some things you have your eyes on, it will help you avoid impulse purchases that you might later regret. Plus, a lot of store have items that are not on display. If you give the sales associate an idea of what you’re looking for they might be able to pull it for you.
Many hotels in Paris will schedule shopping appointments for you (dreamy, right?), so be sure to ask about this offering when you check in. For example, if you know you want to stop by Chanel, Gucci, or Prada, you can ask the concierge to set up shopping time slots for you. This can help you stay on track and make sure you hit all the stores you want to.
Research stores in advance.
I’d highly recommend doing a little bit of research so you can find out the flagship location of whatever store you want to go to. Going to a larger store means that you’ll have both a larger product selection and less wait time.
Go first thing in the morning.
The lines for luxury stores in Paris can get rather lengthy. I always suggest that people go first thing in the morning (around 10 am), at lunch time, or shortly before closing for shortest wait.
Wear the right outfit.
You don’t want to show up to your appointment in an outfit that you’d never wear your dream bag or shoes with. It can honestly be a bit overwhelming to be in the stores in the first place, but add on a weird outfit and it can be nearly impossible to visualize the right look. Make sure you wear something that you’d style with whatever it is that you’re shopping for. Trust me, it will make a huge difference.
Ask about other locations.
If you’re looking for something that you don’t see in the store or your specific size isn’t available, ask a sales associate to check other locations. Merchandise is sent between stores multiple times each day and the associates are always happy to coordinate with you so you can leave with what you want.
Get the right contact info.
I cannot emphasize this point enough: Get to know the sales associates and get their contact info. If you have an issue with your purchase or have regret about not buying something, you’ll be so glad that you can reach out to them.
Ask for champagne.
While you’re shopping, don’t be afraid to ask for sparkling water or a glass of champagne. It’s part of the experience and they won’t you asking!
Get a VAT refund.
Remember that if you’re a U.S. citizen, you’re entitled to a 12% VAT refund on your purchases (which you can get at the airport.) Just be sure to get the correct paperwork from your sales associate while you’re checking out.
Have your bags delivered to your room.
When you get back to your room, I’d recommend checking all delivered bags to make sure nothing is missing. I made the mistake of waiting until the night before my departure (while I was packing) and noticed that one of the bags I purchased had never been delivered. Needless to say, I had to make a frantic call to the store in the morning before I was rushing to the airport. Thankfully they were able to sort out what had happened: it was delivered to the wrong person. Not the most ideal way to end a trip!
Best Paris Luxury Shopping Streets
- Avenue des Champs-Élysées
- Place Vendome
- Rue de Rivoli
- Avenue Montaigne
- Les Halles
- Rue des Abbesses
- Rue de Passy
- Boulevard Haussmann
Best Luxury Stores in Paris
- Samaritaine (incredible department store — I’d recommend it over the more popular Le Bon Marché & Galeries Lafeyette)
- Le Bon Marché
- Galeries Lafeyette
- Christian Dior
- Miu Miu
- Saint Laurent
- Bottega Veneta
- Louis Vuitton
- Isabel Marant
- The Frankie Shop
- L’Appartement Sézane
- Claudie Pierlot
- & Other Stories