Where to Shop for Holiday Gifts in Paris

If you're hoping to bring back some memorable holiday gifts from Paris, look no further. We've put together some excellent choices for Christmas and holiday shopping, whether you're hunting for gourmet goodies, clothes, jewelry, books, or decorative items to stack in your suitcase. If you can make it to one of the city's festive Christmas markets at some point during your stay in the capital, you're even more likely to find a memorable (and locally authentic) gift or holiday souvenir. Once you've perused this list, make sure to check out our complete guide to choosing an authentic (and non-cliche) gift from Paris. On a tight budget? Not to fret: consult our complete guide to discount shopping in Paris, and home in on unique presents from the city of light that won't break the bank. 

01 of 08

Christmas Markets in Paris: For Regional Specialties

The Christmas Village at the Trocadéro
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You know the end-of-year holidays have arrived in Paris when little wooden chalets strung with cheerful lights start springing up around town. The city's annual pop-up Christmas markets (created in the tradition of those found in the Northeastern region of Alsace, which has alternately been part of both France and Germany) bring a special warmth to the season, and are a treasure trove for authentic and locally made gifts. Head here to find regional specialties from Alsace like pain d'épices (spice bread) and mulled wine, in addition to gourmet treats from other regions and traditional Christmas decorations, toys, and cozy hand-made knits.

02 of 08

Paris Department Stores: For High Fashion & Gourmet Goods

Interior of Le Bon Marche department store with large chandelier
Getty Images/Bruce Yuanyue Bi

The city's historical department stores are not merely shopping shrines, they're also architectural treasures and coveted caches brimming with fine clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, home furnishing, and gourmet items. If you can withstand the crowds and the heat, they're ideal stops for holiday shopping in the capital. For those of you looking for gifts for a foodie or wine lover, be sure to check out the massive gourmet groceries at Galeries Lafayette and Au Bon Marché. While you're at it, enjoy the always colorful and creative holiday window displays at Paris department stores.

03 of 08

Boutiques and Concept Stores in Paris: For Local Designers

Colette Concept Store : Window Display At Rue St-Honore In Paris
Getty Images/Chesnot/Contributor

Paris counts an inordinate number of trendy boutiques and concept stores. The coveted boutique Colette in particular draws crowds and celebrities for its constantly updated selection of the latest concepts in electronics, fashion, accessories, beauty products, and other items, and also boasts an extensive and edgy collection of new releases in books, DVDs, and music. Try here to find the perfect gift for a hipster or fashionista. After shopping, you can sit around looking fashionable and aloof at the downstairs "water bar".

04 of 08

Best Perfume Shops in Paris: For Discerning Noses

Detail of perfume bottles in Shiseido perfume shop
Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

Paris is the world center of luxury and bespoke fragrance-making, and artisan noses from Serge Lutens to Frederic Malle have standalone shops here. You can also find flagship stores from big-name luxury brands like Guerlain and Jo Malone, where it's often possible to get your hands on limited-edition scents you won't be able to find elsewhere.

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05 of 08

Best Chocolate Shops in Paris: For Cocoa Aficionados

Chocolates for sale at Christmas, Paris, France
Getty Images/Danita Delimont

Paris is one of the world's chocolate capitals, so if you know a cocoa connoisseur, be sure to stop by one of the city's best chocolate shops to bring back a special gift. From ganaches to nutty mendiants and truffles, there's something special awaiting every kind of chocolate lover. 

06 of 08

Best English-Language Bookshops in Paris: For Your Favorite Bookworm

Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris (France)
Getty Images/Neyya

Paris counts dozens of bookshops: some traditional and others branches of big chain stores. Peruse this list of the very best to find that perfect read for a bookwormish friend or loved one.

07 of 08

More for Book Lovers: Traditional Seine-River Booksellers

Book and postcard sellers by the river Seine
Getty Images/Julian Elliott Photography

Looking for a rare book or magazine for a bibliophile friend or family member? Paris boasts tons of old bookstores, especially in the Latin Quarter around the old university district. But when the sun's out, why not peruse the city's Seine-side booksellers? Paris boasts over 200 independent outdoor stalls, offering some 300,000 collectable, new and used books and magazines under open skies.

08 of 08

Les Créateurs des Abbesses (Montmartre Artisan Boutiques)

Montmartre, Paris
Getty Images/shishic

Clustered along a few small streets in the quaint Montmartre neighborhood are a series of artisanal boutiques offering unique clothing, jewelry, decorative items, and more. It's a good alternative to overcrowded department stores and a long shot from chain stores where multinational brands reign (thus guaranteeing unoriginal gifts).

Getting there: Metro Abbesses, Pigalle
Main streets (bring a city map): Rue Houdon, Rue d'Orsel, Rue des Martyrs, Rue des Abbesses, Rue Yvonne-Le-Tac.

See these neighborhood guides to explore more unique artisan shops around Paris:

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