Wondering what souvenirs are worth buying in Paris? We cover all the souvenirs that are commonly bought, and why you should or should not buy them.
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We've already covered a lot about Paris, including Parisian foods to eat and where to stay in. As one of the most popular and romantic destinations in the world, you're bound to want to bring a couple things home for yourself to commemorate the moment. One of the best parts about traveling is buying souvenirs for yourself and those you love.
Since there are so many things to do in Paris, it can be overwhelming to decide what kind of things to buy while you’re there. Looking for some advice on finding the best Parisian souvenirs? Read on for some helpful shopping advice!
What are the best things to buy in Paris?
Paris is the shopping capital of the world, which means the opportunities to buy keepsakes and gifts are endless. As a major tourist destination, you'll probably a gift or souvenir shop in most of the French neighborhoods you visit. Before you try going into every store you find, here are some suggestions for what to buy during your holiday in Paris.
Low budget souvenirs
While it can sometimes be tempting to splurge massively on souvenirs, don’t forget there are cheaper options. Postcards make for great keepsakes of your holidays, and you can buy ones of photos you might not be able to capture with your smartphone. If you’re spending a few weeks abroad, these also make for great things to send back to your friends and family with some travel updates!
Even though some might consider them tacky, keychains and snow globes also make for fun, lowkey souvenirs. You can find them at most tourist hotspots, and they typically are very affordable! Be sure to pack any snow globe purchases in a checked bag, though!
Bringing any food home can be a hassle through customs, but if your country allows it, macarons are an excellent edible souvenir for your friends (or even yourself). Treat yourself to some Ladurée macarons, but be sure to wrap them up carefully to ensure they don’t get squished on the way home!
Another classic French food souvenir? Chocolate. Be sure to aim for local chocolatiers rather than big-name stores to get the most Parisian chocolate experience. You can also check out Fauchon for all things sweet, both for eating in one day and for taking home.
Don’t forget the mustard!
If you’re really a mustard fan, Dijon is the city to visit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find excellent mustard in Paris. The Maille Mustard Shop is full of delicious mustard combinations, some in unique ceramic pots that make for the perfect souvenir, even after you’ve finished your delectable condiment. Maille has five locations in France, but their Paris boutique is located in Place de la Madeleine.
Paris is well known for les bouquinistes, antique booksellers located along the banks of the Seine. The stretch of booksellers runs for 3km, and what makes for a better authentic Parisian gift than a book bought by the Seine? You’ll also find stalls with artwork that you could bring home, too!
If you visit Shakespeare & Company (located in the Latin Quarter), and decide to purchase a book, you can ask to have it stamped. You’ll receive a special Shakespeare & Co stamp on the inside cover of your book to make it a unique one of a kind purchase.
The French are well known for their perfumes, and Paris is no exception. For a unique experience, you can design your own parfum to take home. There are countless places for you to put your olfactory skills to the test, but a highly rated experience is The Perfumer’s Apprentice Workshop at Fragonard. For 95€, you’ll get the chance to make your own 100mL fragrance, while learning about the perfume creation experience. With this souvenir, you’ll be able to think of your wonderful time in Paris with every spray!
Soap and personal care products
While much of French soap is made in Southern France, Paris is home to Buly 1803. With three locations (Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, Le Haut Marais, and Le Bon Marché), you’re sure to find a lovely, good-smelling Parisian souvenir. They sell more than just soap, but their adorable packaging makes for a unique French keepsake that you can use, or just admire!
Where in Paris is famous for shopping?
If you’re looking for well-known brand names, the Champs-Elysées is your go-to avenue for shopping. There you’ll find Dior, Channel, Louis Vuitton (with a seven-story store), and you can shop to your heart’s content. You can also finish your day with a visit to the Arc de Triomphe, located at the end of the Champs-Elysées.
If the Champs-Elysées isn’t appealing to you, there’s also Boulevard Saint Germain, Avenue Montaigne, Boulevard Haussmann, and Rue Saint-Honoré where you can do some high-class shopping.
The most famous French department store is Galeries Lafayette. Spread out across several stories, you’ll find clothing for all different styles and even a food hall. Even if you’re not interested in shopping, the building itself is something to behold. Take a step inside to admire the beautiful architecture (and the fabulous clothes)!
An excellent place to go souvenir shopping is in museum gift shops. There you can find unique, beautiful gifts for all your loved ones. Whether you’re looking for a Monet-themed tea towel, a Louvre eraser, or a highbrow piece of art, museum gift shops are a perfect place to get some souvenir inspiration. With so many museums in Paris, you’ll have loads of souvenirs from which to choose!
It might seem like an unusual place to shop for souvenirs, but if you’re into skincare or beauty products, especially ones from French brands, you should pop into a pharmacy in Paris. You’ll find a wide array of options, and typically at a lower price tag than you’d find at home. Pharmacies are designated by a green cross on the side of the building.
Perfect Parisian souvenirs
No matter how many times you visit a city, it’s always nice to bring home something to remember the trip. It’s even more fun to buy souvenirs for your loved ones so they can partake in your travel joy as well. Even though Paris is well known for shopping, you can find souvenirs at any price point, and for any taste.
While buying souvenirs is a great way to remember your holiday, don’t forget to enjoy the city itself! Before you leave, head over to Pilot for itinerary planning ideas, budgeting tips, and more! If Paris is your next destination, be sure to also read our post on where to stay in Paris so you can figure out your accommodation easily! You can also read up on the best food to try in Paris to cover all your bases. Bon voyage!