|There are many things to shop for in Paris but ultimately the two most popular are always clothes and food.
There are a few department stores to look at which are right behind the Opera. Those would be “Printemps” and the “Galleries Lafayette”. In these two stores you will find all the Parisian accessories but as usual with Paris it is quite expensive.
Another fun area to shop is the “Champs-Elysees” You will be able to Browse all kinds of shops like Zara, Benetton and many other but you will also be able to browse through skin care boutiques, sunglasses shops, try on the latest fancy Parisian footwear, buy CD”s and wonder through the wonderful world of the perfume extravaganza called “Sephora”.
Surprisingly the shopping in this area is not overly expensive.
If you want to browse the luxury boutiques and shops you can wonder down “Rue St Honore” towards “Place Vendome”. Here all the famous designers have set up shop alongside jewelery makers such as Cartier and Boucheron.
From “place Vendome” you are only a few hundred yards from “Rue de Rivoli” which borders the Seine and Tuileries gardens on one side, and the “Opera Garnier” behind which you will find as I mention above the “Galleries Lafayette”.
If you are the other side of the river the “Rue de Rennes” is another well known area where you will find many interesting boutiques and well known brands. Also at the top of the “Rue de Rennes” you will be able to run into the massive shopping mall at the base of the “Tour Montparnasse”.
If you are in this area you will also find in and around “St-Germain des pres” quite a few off beat little shops that should delight those who are looking for items only to be found n Paris .
At this point you can also sneak off to the “Grande Epicerie of Paris ” that is one of the most popular food courts in Paris . If you do wish to take home some “Pate” or “Fois Gras”, “Saucisson” for friends or family I recommend purchasing it here as the prices are far more reasonable that “Fauchon”s”, and you are still getting fantastic quality food.
There are two other great areas to go shopping in, one would be the “Marais” that borders place de la Republique and the other would be the 17eme around the “Place Charles de Gaulle Etoile”. The “Marais” is a very much a shopping hot-spot, the 17eme you can go to Decathlon and find the latest French sports team apparel if you are so inclined but you will also find many lovely clothes shops.
Alternatively you can always venture towards the 16eme arrondissement which is awash with trendy sophisticated shopping areas. I would definitely recommend rue de la Pompe which you can get to by metro “rue de la Muette” stop.
Finally if you are looking for great little French bargains you want to make your way to “Porte de Clignancourt” for the “ Marche aux puces” This is the largest open air market in Paris and you can find anything at any price depending on negotiation skills. The market is open three to four days a week and generally this extends to the weekend but make sure you double check before going.
If you would like a nice visual souvenir of Paris many tourist shops have lovely litographies of Paris , you will also find thousands of famous framed pictures of Paris . However, if you want something unique I strongly recommend buying the paintings of the street artist. Not only are they unique but it will be all the more significant because it will be a painting of Paris as you see it. You can also haunt Monmartre very early in the morning around 6 am and see if you can catch a painter at work and ask them very politely whether they have any to sell. I do recommend extreme caution here, as these painters are artists and interrupting them can cause them serious distress which they will certainly voice. However, some of their paintings are lovely and though it will cost you more than any of the previous Paris souvenirs, you will be getting an artists vision of Paris that will be priceless to you a few years down the line.
For those who collect T-Shirts from around the world you will find Planet Hollywood on the “Champs-Elysees” and the Hard Rock Café on the “Boulevard des Italiens” not far from the Opera.
Once again though, depending on where your hotel is, go for local knowledge. Ask the concierge or at the front desk where to shop for certain items, because depending on what you're looking for, you will get invaluable advice and thus guaranteeing a fruitful journey.