Paris is one of the world’s major tourist destinations in the run-up to Christmas. Visitors flock to the city several weeks before the big day so they can make their seasonal purchases in style. With world-class department stores, boulevards bursting with big name brands, vibrant shopping centres and charming Christmas markets, you’re sure to find the perfect choice of gifts awaiting you in the French capital.
Upon arrival in Paris, you might like to rest a while before setting out to explore the retail possibilities of the stores on the Champs Élysées. Take some time to enjoy the hospitality of the Hotel Opera Lafayette. Then, when you’re fully relaxed, you can set out on your shopping adventure and be enchanted by the splendour of the shop window displays as well as the wonderful Christmas lights adorning this legendary avenue. You’ll find toy vendors such as Disney Store, luxury outlets including Louis Vuitton and jewellery stores like Tiffany and Co along the world-famous boulevard and adjacent streets.
A century and a half of existence is certainly something to celebrate and the major department store chain Printemps has gone all out to delight its customers during this auspicious year. The company is offering a fabulous selection of thousands of quality gift items for Christmas in its four stores in the capital. If you can tear yourself away from the sight of the exquisite window displays you’ll find everything you require on the various floors of these stores, from the latest fashions to home accessories and the trendiest furnishings. Whether you’re looking for an elegant coat to look stylish during the end of year festivities or high-end leather goods as gifts for those you love, you’ll find yourself spoiled for choice.
A shopping spree in Paris would be incomplete without a visit to the architectural gem of swooping steel, latticed footbridges and monumental windows that is the Beaugrenelle shopping centre. Over 100 shops await your retail pleasure, including Zara, American Vintage and Petit Bateau. When your shopping energies start to flag you can pop into one of the wide selection of restaurants the centre offers for a recharge, or catch a movie in the multiplex cinema, before continuing on your quest for gifts. You’ll find it takes time and energy to explore the mall’s 6 extensive levels. The atmosphere is distinctly festive at Christmas and, in addition, there are hundreds of bargains that will leave you breathless.
Finally, for some delightfully traditional shopping opportunities, Paris also offers charming and convivial Christmas markets, with lovingly decorated wooden chalets filled with great gift ideas. Established in several districts of the capital for the duration of the season, they provide a truly magical atmosphere and are often the best places to discover French handicrafts and pure local produce. Gourmets can stroll along the aisles, searching for truffles and wine while enjoying a delicious hot crêpe.
• Christmas shopping in Paris
• Department store Printemps
• Department store Galeries Lafayette
• Christmas market at Champs Elysées, Paris 8th - november 15th to january 4th 2016 - Metro line 1, 2 or 6, station Charles De Gaulle Etoile or RER line A, station Charles De Gaulle - Etoile
Picture copyright holder: Tourist Office Paris - Photographer David Lefranc
Hotel Opéra Lafayette, a 3* hotel in Paris between Gare du Nord and Opera area