Souvenirs Shopping Walk I, Paris (Self Guided)

It would be a pity to leave Paris without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. Being one of the world's premier shopping cities and a great "get your cash out" destination, Paris attracts thousands of shopaholics every year. Even people who hate shopping, enjoy doing it in Paris. In addition to fabulous designer shops and luxury items, it is a great destination if you are into fashion, gourmet food and fine perfumes. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Paris, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.
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Souvenirs Shopping Walk I Map

Guide Name: Souvenirs Shopping Walk I
Guide Location: France » Paris (See other walking tours in Paris)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Author: Daniel
Galleries Lafayette

1) Galleries Lafayette

What to buy here: Sel de Geurande.

These hand picked sea salts from the coasts of Brittany in Western France are heralded from around the world. Although they can be found in specialty stores abroad, you will find the best prices in France for this gourmet salt. The Sel Gros (coarse salt) and the Feur de Sel (the top layer-finer salt) can be bought in grocery stores, at Galleries Layfayette in their gourmet food section, at the weekend street market at the Bastille metro stop, and at many gourmet food stores. There are many different types of containers this salt comes in, from little pots to bags and bottles. Expect to pay around 5-10 Euro for a small bag of salt and impress your foodie friends/relatives with this gift. Galleries Layfayette is located at 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France. Metro: Chaussee d’Antin-La Fayette, Opera.

Operation hours: Monday-Friday: 9:30-20:00; Saturday: 09:30-21:00.
Fragonard Perfume Museum Shop

2) Fragonard Perfume Museum Shop

What to buy here: Perfume.

Fagonard perfumerie not only has multiple stores in Paris, but the original shop has a free museum about how the perfume is made. Soaps, mini scents, and solid perfumes are some of the things this store is most famous for. This gift box of 10 of their most popular perfumes costs 21 euro. The price range for other gifts is around 20-60 euro. There are 8 locations in Paris, but the museum and store address is 9 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris, France. Metro: Opera.

Operation hours: Monday-Saturday: 9:00-18:00; Sundays and holidays: 9:00-17:00.
Van Cleef and Arpels

3) Van Cleef and Arpels

What to buy here: Jewelry, watches or perfume from Van Cleef and Arpels.

Founded in 1896, the first Van Cleef and Arpel’s store in Paris is still around today. Address: 22 Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris, France. Worn by many celebrities and with the easily recognizable four-star clover pendant, this is an unforgettable gift. The company has won many awards and is highly regarded as one of the top in its class for its ability to enhance the beauty of stones and gems. The perfumes cost around 50 euro. The jewelry starts at around 100 euro and goes up to about 80,000.

Operation hours: Monday - Friday: 10:30 am – 7:00 pm; Saturday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Jean-Paul Hevin

4) Jean-Paul Hevin

What to buy here: Chocolate.

Good chocolate is almost a fail-proof gift idea and Paris makes it very easy to find. With world-renowned chocolatiers like Pierre Herme, Paul Hevin, and Pierre Marcolini, you will easily be able to find high quality chocolate without even searching for it. Plan to spend from 10-20 euro on average for a chocolate souvenir or present. I personally love the Paul Hevin chocolate gift set. There is a store at 231 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France. You can walk away with an inexpensive salted caramel chocolate bar that melts in your mouth for 3.90 euro or buy a gift box. One popular box called the Tri-box No. 1 includes assorted chocolates, 1 jar of jam (240g), and 14 pieces of caramel for around 60 euro.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 7:30 pm

5) Longchamp

What to buy here: Longchamp purses.

Jean Cassegrain founded Longchamp in 1948 as a leather goods travel accessory store. In 1993, Longchamp introduced its “Le Pliage” line, a collection of foldable travel bags made of vinyl and leather trim like the one in the photo. This line’s popularity has allowed the Longchamp brand to enter many international markets. Longchamp has some great variety and is usually crowded with shoppers eager to own one of the brands bags. 1 Rue du Chevalier de Saint-Georges, 75008 Paris, France. These popular handbags range from 60-200 euro. Metro: Concord

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 - 19:00.

6) Chanel

What to buy here: Chanel No. 5

Often considered the worlds most famous perfume, The French government reports that a bottle of Chanel No. 5 is sold every thirty seconds. Coco Chanel had a strong affinity to the number five and felt it very lucky. This is the first perfume that she ever sold. The perfume has a great smell with a delicate balance between musky, flowery, and fresh. You can find the Chanel No. 5 Perfume at Sephora on the Champs Elysees 70 Avenue des Champs Elysées, or go directly to a Chanel store 38 Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore. Expect to pay around 40-70 euro for perfume. Metro: George V for Sephora and Concord for the Chanel store.

7) Laduree

What to buy here: Macarons.

Macarons are becoming more popular abroad and are one of France’s most renowned desserts. The patisserie Laduree’s claim to fame is in the invention of the double-decker macaron. In 1930, they invented the currently popular two macaron cookies sandwiched together with a creamy ganache filling. Since its founding in 1862, Laduree has grown to sell over 15,000 of these double-decker macarons daily, thus making Laduree one of the world’s elite macaron stores. A box of 8 Macarons costs around 15 Euro and each macaron individually costs around 1.7 euro. The wrapping is beautiful and this is a great gift to bring home. I would only recommend this if you will be giving the macaroons within 2 days of buying them. There are 4 locations in Paris but the largest store is on the Champs Elysees at 75 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008 Paris, France. Metro: George V. My favorite flavors are Vanilla, Rose, Citron (lemon), and Salted Caramel.

Operation hours: Monday-Friday: 7:30-23:00; Saturday: 7:30-00:00; Sunday: 7:30-22:00.

8) Petit-Bateau

What to buy here: French designer clothes.

Petit Bateau designs clothes for babies, children, teenagers and adults providing great quality and designs that haven't changed in years. They offer high-grade cotton clothes featuring T-shirts that change colors every season, underwear sets and dresses. Once you are in Paris, you would better stock up as you can find here cheaper items than in other shops outside France.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm; Sunday: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
La Maison du Chocolat

9) La Maison du Chocolat

What to buy here: French-made chocolate.

You can find several shops of La Maison du Chocolat in several districts of Paris and in other big cities in the world. If you are not an admirer of bitter chocolate, note that La maison du Chocolat never uses more than 65% of cocoa in their confections. The shop specializes in ganaches, truffles, mendiants and bars with fruit and herbal flavors. Hot chocolate here is also said to be really good.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 7:30 pm; Sunday: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Fromagerie Alleosse

10) Fromagerie Alleosse

What to buy here: French cheese.

Fromagerie Alléosse is claimed to be one of the best in Paris with 100 years experience, this being of course a family business so that the tradition of making good cheese is strongly kept. You can taste here over 200 kinds of cheese, some of them being aged in the cellars of the shop. The store claims to have a national and international fame for their handicraft cheese and many curious customers that would like to taste the specialties they have.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm & 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm; Friday - Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm & 3:30 pm - 7:00 pm; Sunday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Walking Tours in Paris, France

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Creating your own self-guided walk in Paris is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Elysee (8th Arr) Walking Tour II

Elysee (8th Arr) Walking Tour II

This is the 2nd part of the 8th arrondissement tour of Paris, exploring one of the busiest districts of the French capital. Among the tourist highlights visited on this walk is the famous Arc de Triomphe, plus a number of museums and historic monuments.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Religious Sights Walking Tour

Religious Sights Walking Tour

Paris is one of the cities that can fairly be considered a religious destination because of the number of churches that one is able to visit here. Reports show that, for instance, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, recorded 13.65 million visits in 2006, and the number is increasing every year. This is a tour that includes some of the most beautiful Christian relics located in the center of Paris -...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
City Center Nightlife

City Center Nightlife

A haven for the arts in Europe, with its influence felt worldwide, Paris boasts a steady stream of visitors to its fine city. After dark, guests to the City of Light can enjoy a multitude of great nightlife establishments that is sure to appeal to anyone looking for a hot night on the town. Whether its live DJs spinning intense electronic beats or a live acoustic jazz band you’re looking for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Elysee (8th Arr) Walking Tour I

Elysee (8th Arr) Walking Tour I

On this tour you will explore the 8th arrondissement of the French capital, one of its busiest and chic neighborhoods, thanks to the presence of Avenue des Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. If shine and glamour are up to your liking, we invite you to take this walk in a mixed crowd of fashionistas, tourists and local workers, and see some of Paris's most prominent...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Louvre (1st Arr) Walking Tour I

Louvre (1st Arr) Walking Tour I

The capital of France is made up of 20 administrative districts, commonly referred to as “arrondissements”. The 1st arrondissement of Paris sits mainly on the right bank of the River Seine and is one of the city's oldest, smallest and least populated areas. It is home to some of Paris's major landmarks, while the remainder of it is taken up by business and administration offices....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Top Paris Museums

Top Paris Museums

The following tour comprises a few great museums situated along the Seine. As France has a rich historic past and a vast cultural background, there are a lot of museums exhibiting collections that prove that. You can visit some of them by taking the suggested walking tour presented below.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Paris for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Paris has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Paris's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Paris Pass, Paris Explorer Pass, Paris Museum Pass, or Paris Night Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Paris' top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Paris hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Novotel Paris Les Halles, Les Rives de Notre-Dame, 9Confidentiel.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Paris, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Paris typically costs from around US$20 up to US$200 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Paris from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get off at any of the stops along the two interconnecting routes (your ticket is valid for both).

- Alternatively, you can cruise along the river Seine on a similar hop-on hop-off sightseeing boat viewing Paris's top attractions from a different angle, able to get on and off as often as you want at any of the eight stops along the Seine riverbanks. The ticket is valid for one day (24 hrs) and may be upgraded to two days (48 hrs).

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – this usually lasts about 3 hours and allows you to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have done by walking.

- Pedal your way around Paris on a bike tour. In the course of 4 hours you will visit the city's most spectacular sights stopping at each of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city from an informative group leader.

- Take a walk around Paris with a knowledgeable guide for an alternative view of the French capital. Over the course of this 2-hour walking tour you will get insights and hear stories about every major classic sight of this fascinating city. A complete overview of Paris from the ground up!

- Come see the best of the French capital in just one day in a combo of a Seine river cruise and historical walk of Paris. You may start either with the Eiffel Tower or the Notre-Dame Cathedral making your way around the iconic sights of the city: the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais, Alexandre III bridge, Invalides, Concorde Square, Orsay Museum, etc.

- Missing out on the French food, whilst in Paris, would be worse than a crime – it would be a mistake! If you don't want to make such a mistake, consider a private 3-hour food tour of Paris complete with a set of 10 unforgettable tastings the memories of which will last you a lifetime. Just make sure to bring along your appetite to make the most of the savory treats awaiting!

- Live a chocoholic’s dream right at the heart of Paris! Follow your sweet tooth sense on this 2-hour guided “chocolate walk” in central Paris visiting some of the best chocolate boutiques of the French capital, learning about peculiar chapters in the history of the city and the place delectable chocolate played in it. Adding to the excitement is a round of free tastings.

Day Trips

If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Paris, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like Versailles, Fontainebleau, Champagne region, Loire valley, Normandy, or a combo of Honfleur and Giverny. For as little as US$90+ to US$200+ per person you will get a chance to discover highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, see the favorite residence of the French royalty, world-famous vineyards, charming castles, and historic battlefields of World War II. For any of these tours you may be picked up either straight from your hotel or any other place in Paris, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned minivan or train (whenever applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.