One question, I get asked time and time again is which department stores in Paris are the best. Needless to say, I’ve spent an enormous amount of time shopping in Paris. I feel 100% confident recommending each of these department stores to you. All of these places offer a great experience and high quality products. When it comes to shopping in Paris you have endless amounts of options.
At times it can be overwhelming. It’s hard to know which department stores are worth going to and which shopping areas should be avoided.
Today, I’m sharing with you my insider shopping guide to the best department stores in Paris. I’ve outlined why I like each of them and what you should focus on when shopping there.
When it comes to shopping keep in mind if you spend over 175.01 Euros at one given department store in Paris you are entitled to the tax vat refund process in Paris which is roughly 12%. I’ve written an entire article outlining the VAT tax refund process here!
One of the best things about shopping at the department stores in Paris, for example, Printemps, Bon Marche, BHV, and Galeries Lafayette is they offer additional discounts while shopping at the store. The shopping industry is competitive in Paris and these department stores have more flexibility when it comes to offering you additional discount.
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Printemps Department Store in Paris
Printemps dominants the Boulevard Haussmann shopping street corner. In one corner they have the mens store, they have the beauty store and finally have the women’s store. Printemps is a beautiful department store filled with many high end brands as well as affordable brands to fit all budgets. If I’m trying to go in and out quickly of a department store in Paris I always go to Printemps.
This department store in Paris is adored by locals and tourists alike.
If you have a chance to check out their rooftop they have one of the most incredible views of Paris. In addition, if you have an opportunity to eat at Brasserie Printemps you will be able to sit under one of the most famous domes in all of Paris. I’ve personally eaten here a few times and I highly recommend the food.
Another reason that I love shopping at the Printemps department store in Paris is because they offer wedding dresses. This is one of the few department stores in Paris that carry wedding dresses. However, make sure you book in advance as spots tend to fill up quickly. If you are looking for a unique Parisian wedding dress designer I highly recommend you check out Printemps.
I’ve spent a great deal amount of time not only shopping at Galeries Lafayette but also enjoying some of the experiences they offer. When you walk into Galeries Lafayette you will be blown away by their 8 story department store with a grand dome in the center of it all. This grand department store was founded in 1912 and continues to be one of the most popular places to go shopping in Paris.
People travel to Galeries Lafayette from around the world to stand under the dome and experience the greatness it offers. Galeries Lafayette is home to over 62 stores. It offers both high end luxury and affordable goods. This department store in Paris often gets crowded and many time stores like Louis Vuitton and Chanel at Galeries Lafayette form a line. I highly recommend arriving early or when the doors open to Galeries Lafayette to beat the crowd.
The great news about being a tourist and shopping at Galeries Lafayette is they often offer special discounts to international travelers. In addition to the special discounts they offer Galeries also has a special VIP section and experience that you can sign up for.
Le Bon Marche is classified as a high end shopping department store in Paris. I often refer to this as the department shop that Parisians shop at. The store, is calm, clean, gorgeous, and the staff is friendly. When I first moved to Paris I only shopped at Le Bon Marche. I loved the look of this department store and the experience. I often came here to browse around and look at the new designers they carried.
Le Bon Marche offers an additional discount for shopping at their department store. However, keep in mind it requires multiple days of shopping and a little bit of a strategy. When you go into Bon Marche sign up immediately for their rewards card called “La Carte 24 Sèvres.” Once you spend 500 Euros you are entitled to a privilege day.
A privilege day is a day you get an additional 10% back on your shopping purchases (keep in mind this is in the form of a credit back on your account).
Think of it as a 3 day shopping extravaganza. Here is a simple breakdown. Day 1, spend 500 Euros, Day 2 activate your privilege day to save 10%, Shop all day. Day 3 spend the money you have accrued on your La Carte 24 Sèvres card from Day 2 (10% back). Make sure each day you submit the VAT tax refund .
The best part about the Bon Marche department store privilege day is you can couple it with the tax refund in Paris. Meaning, for everyone who is a non-eu citizen you receive the VAT tax back on your purchase. That’s an additional 10 – 20% depending on the purchase! Talk about a deal!
What I love about this department store in Paris is that it carries brands high end luxury brands that are hard to find in other stores. In addition, since it’s not as crowded as the other department stores you will have a better time finding an exact piece that you’re looking for that you may not have been able to locate at another store.
Across the street from the Bon Marche store is one of my favorite groceries of all time. The Le Bon Marche grocery store offers unique Parisian food that you can only find there.
Another department store in Paris that I recommend is called BHV. BHV is short for Bazar de l’Hotel de Ville. This department store in Paris is located in the Marais district. BHV is home too many brands and a good mix of both locals and tourists. While BHV does have a few luxury brands they are more focused on the affordable brands. BHV offers an incredible shopping experience.
This department store is one of my favorites to shop at to find local Parisian brands that are exclusive to Paris and BHV. I’m also the first to tell you I love shopping local and finding local and unique brands that are only often in Paris. BHV carries a variety of these brands.
What I love about the BHV department store is that in 2012 it underwent a renovated. This renovation makes the shopping experience more enjoyable and modern.
In short, the department stores in Paris I highly recommend are Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, Bon Marche, and BHV. I would love to hear about which department store in Paris is your favorite. Also, feel free to share your experience shopping in Paris in the comments below. If you are looking to go shopping at the outlets in Paris, I’ve written an entire article on designer outlets in Paris.
Sincerely Petite in Paris,
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