Monthly Archives: September 2016

Top 4 Coffee Shops in Paris

Coffee shops are ubiquitous. Parisian coffee shops are some of the coziest coffee shops in the world. Providing a peaceful environment for studying or catching up with good friends, these coffee shops provide a temperate and inexpensive backdrop to do so. The following coffee shops shine above them all:

1. Laduree– Opening the door to any Parisian coffee shop will immediately teach you that Parisian coffee shops are very different from most American coffee shops. This coffee shop welcomes you with aromas of baked goods the moment you walk in. This shop is most famous for its delicious macaroons. The building itself is reminiscent of an old boutique, providing the perfect quaint environment for an evening cappuccino or tea. Prices are a bit higher than a typical coffee shop, but all loyal customers will agree that the experience is well worth the extra Euros.

2. Angelina– The diner’s rule of thumb for French restaurants is the longer the line, the better the food and service. Angelina is no exception. The wait is surprisingly brief, and once you are inside, you will be glad you exercised a bit of patience. In this beautifully decorated and intimate cafe, flavorful treats are served with the richest of teas. The hot chocolate is legendary, with loyal patrons describing it as, “rich” and “delicious.” In addition to serving wonderful teas and treats, Angelina offers delectable sandwiches as well.

3. Flora Danica– is quite possibly the closest to American coffee shop culture simply because it is quick. The coffee is freshly brewed and the service is superb. Flora Danica even offers brunch on Sundays. And as if great flavor and service were not enough, this cafe is modestly priced.

4. Cafe des Deux Magots– Another great past time of visiting the city of Paris is people- watching on a patio of a Parisian cafe. Cafe des Deux Magots has been hailed by the locals as one of the best venues in Paris for people- watching. Satre, Picasso, and Hemingway have all sat at this very cafe, so many people come here to observe and be inspired. In addition to delicious teas and coffee, this cafe also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The best part about including any of these fine coffee shops on your next Parisian voyage is that they allow you to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Too often, travel becomes a competition to hit the most tourist destinations and check off as many items on our itineraries, and we forget that the real point of traveling is to experience life and culture in a new place. Soak it all in at any Parisian coffee shop and truly enjoy your time in this great city.

Shopping in Paris


I bet you already know that Paris is considered a shopping haven. The moment you hear about Paris, you can never take “shopping” out of the picture. Being one of the premiere shopping cities in the world, Paris is every shopper’s heaven here on earth. And because your Paris trip wouldn’t be complete without souvenirs to remind you of this majestic city, you can opt to shop at Paris’ wide range of stores which will make you love the city all the more.

If you’re into designer fashion and haute couture, you will most likely enjoy the shops found along the famous Triangle d’Or. It houses the finest haute couture shops such as Dior, Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Ferragamo, and a lot more. For your trendy finds, you can set foot towards the Champs Elysees and shop at Sephora, Zara, and the famous Louis Vuitton flagship store. Most of these shops are open from 10AM to 7PM, Monday through Saturday.

Fashion boutiques of world-renowned designers can also be found on Paris’ Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore and Avenue Montaigne in the 8th arrondissement including Gucci, Hermes, Yves Saint-Laurent and Christian Dior. There is also the Carrousel de Louvre, which is located under the Louvre museum that features a huge food court and a wide variety of boutiques. There are apartments located on the 7th street just in case you can’t get enough of shopping in Paris.

However, if you’re on the hunt for department stores, you can visit Bon Marche, Samaritaine, Printemps, and Bazar de l’Hotel de Ville (BHV). Besides offering a huge variety of items for sale, these shops are also part of Paris’ history.

Paris is part of every shopaholic’s must-shop-at places as this city offers a multitude of shopping malls, boutiques, department stores and designer shops that are sure to capture every shopper’s fancy.

Places To Shop In Paris

Paris is the capital of fashion and design trends. For Parisians fashion and design is like a ‘walk in the park’, thus making Paris the reigning centre for trend-setting fashions. Making a list of shopping areas and boutiques in Paris is no easy task because all centres are almost equal in popularity. Shopping is one of the main reasons for Paris to draw millions of visitors every year, and given below are some the leading shopping districts and shops.

1) Place de lopper & Boulevard Hausmann

These are two popular streets in Paris which hosts massively large departmental stores like Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. Like most popular stores they too feature designer collections, gourmet foods, household goods, jewellery, hardware and much more. The Printemps Department store also boasts of a large rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Paris. Visitors choose this shopping area as anything they desire is available here. Boulevard Hausmann is about 2.5 kilometres and is one of the tree-lined boulevards in Paris.

2) Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore

This is relatively a narrow street when compared to the rest in Paris. However, it is considered to be one of the most fashionable streets in the world because it hosts practically every single major global fashion house. It has a serious of high fashion stores and other exclusive establishments. Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honore is an extension of Rue Saint-Honore. On this street at number 55 is the Elysee Palace which houses the President of the Republic.

3) Mistigriff

Mistigriff is located on Rue St Charles is a store that might have a ‘budget-style’ look, but sells genuine clothes at attractive discounts. Women’s apparel and accessories are available for a very small price. You will need to spend some time in this store to find a Couture garment from a famous label. Mistigriff is listed as one of the popular shopping stores in Paris.

4) Shoes at Andre

Andre is a major French shoe brand and there are many shops in Paris and France. Visitors will find very trendy shoes at reasonable prices here, and they also offer limited edition shoes in collaboration with young and talented designers. Each season Andre takes pride to invite hot fashion designers like Katherine Pradeau and Bali Barret to create exclusive shoe and handbag collections.

5) Cosmetics at Viseart

Viseart recently opened their make-up bar on Rue Charlot, 3rd Metro Republique and is the latest tip for good-value and quality cosmetics. This store is well-known within the fashion and film-world. The assistants are professionals who will help you to test and choose your product. They will also give you a 45-minute makeover by appointment.

6) Saint-Ouen Flea Market

This is one of the famous flea markets in Paris officially known as Les Puces de Saint-Ouen but known to everyone as Les Puces (The Fleas). The Flea Market is located in a city close to Paris and is about six hectares in extent. It is open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays and is estimated to welcome over 70,000 visitors every week. It has over 2000 shopping selling almost everything and is one of Paris’ most famous shopping venues.

7) Avenue des Champs-Elysees

This is the most prestigious avenue in Paris, France and is a very famous tourist destination. There are cinemas, cafes and luxury speciality shops located amidst clipped horse-chestnut trees. It is one of the most famous streets universally as well and is the most expensive strip of real estate in Europe. It is also known as “The most beautiful avenue in the world”.

8) Avenue Montaigne

Originally this street was called Allee des Veuves (widow’s alley) because women who were in mourning gathered here, but the street has changed since the early days of the 18th century. Avenue Montaigne now boasts of many stores specialising in high fashion, such as Dior, Chanel, Valentino and Ralph Lauren. Jewellers such as Bulgari are found on this street as well.

9) Les Helles

Les Helles is one of the most important shopping centres in Paris. It is named after the large central wholesale marketplace which was demolished in 1971 and is now replaced with an underground modern shopping precinct. This area contains sculptures, fountains, museums etc and is very popular amongst visitors.

10) Rue d’Alesia

Rue d’Alesia is another major street in the south of Paris. It is the best place to find shops selling last season’s fashions at a discount. This street is frequented by visitors who are keen on bargain deals for clothing.

Shopping in Paris

Shopping in Paris is the ultimate experience for any shopaholic. From huge department stores like Printemps, the largest beauty department in the world, to tiny antique shops on the cobbled streets of Montmartre, there is something to delight every visitor and suit every budget.

Paris is considered the center of world fashion and haute couture, and has many designer boutiques and stores offering clothes, bags and shoes with that designer touch of ‘je ne sais quoi’. Wherever you go in Paris you will see local parisiennes immaculately turned out, looking chic and all done so effortlessly!

The most exclusive area to go shopping in Paris is along the chic Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore. Fashion houses such as Cartier, Chanel and Christian Lacroix, are all in this area.

The Champs-Elysees also has a mix of high fashion and budget Paris shopping. Les Halles is an underground shopping center with over one hundred stores where budget knock-offs of Parisian chic fashion can be swooped on. Still on a bargain theme, the Paris flea markets offer a great choice of European antiques and the most dedicated buyers arrive at 5am to trawl the stalls! They can be found at St Ouen Flea Market, Porte de Vanves and Porte de Montreuil. Interestingly the word ‘Porte’ means gate and the flea markets traditionally were held at the city gates.

Shopping of a different nature can be found at Bon Marche, known as La Grande Epicerie de Paris, and the oldest department store in Paris. Delectable french cheese, cold meats, pates, fresh breads and patisseries tempt and tantalise. The store also sells books, fashion and jewellery.

Open air markets are still a trademark of Paris and sell everything from pets to postcards. They are usually only open in the mornings and never on Mondays.

Whatever you want to buy you will find it in Paris. Window shopping, store browsing and bargain hunting can all bring an added dimension to a visit to Paris. The very best months for shopping in Paris is early January and July during the traditional sales. The previous season’s excess stock is heavily discounted to make way for the new range of stock. Discounts of up to 50% are offered on fashion, bags, shoes and accessories.

If you spend a worthwhile amount of money in Paris on goods to take back home with you, request a ‘detaxe’ form from the vendor along with the receipt. A refund on the 18.6% sales tax which is levied is available to overseas visitors. Hand your form in to the ‘tax-free shopping’ desk at customs in the airport when departing to collect your tax refund.