Confession — I’m one of those uncool travel bloggers who loves souvenirs. And I especially love souvenirs from Paris, where you can easily find antiques, skincare, French food products, and macarons every color of the rainbow.
The truth is, it’s not easy to find authentic souvenirs in Paris. If you’re not careful, you may end up with a béret (which no one in France under the age of 80 wears) or an Eiffel Tower shot glass (shudder).
So after years of wanting to write this, here it is! My Paris souvenir guide with 25 of my best Paris souvenir ideas. I hope you enjoy. Grab a coffee because this is a long one.
A stamped book from Shakespeare and Company
One fun Paris souvenir is to stop by Shakespeare and Company, Paris’ most famous English-language bookstore. If you buy a book, they’ll stamp the inner cover with the Bard himself.
Where to buy it: Shakespeare and Company is in the Latin Quarter, across the river from the Notre Dame.
A photoshoot with a professional travel photographer
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, book a session with a professional travel photographer. Paris has so many iconic backdrops, from the Eiffel Tower to Louvre, that you’re bound to end up with some amazing shots.
Where to buy it: You can book a private a photo shoot with a travel photographer in Paris here.
You can’t visit Paris without picking up a box of macarons (well you can, but you’re missing out). Though many tourists head to Ladurée for macarons, I recommend smaller shops like Carrette or Pierre Hermé. Personally, my favorite macaron shop is Pierre Hermé, which features unusual flavors like foie gras or white truffle.
Tip – macarons keep for about a week, so buy them towards the end of your trip.
Where to buy them: You can find macaron shops all across Paris; Pierre Hermé has more than 10 locations. You can also buy Ladurée macarons at Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport.
Along with macarons, Paris has no shortage of chocolate shops. They’re especially plentiful in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the swanky 6th arrondissement. My favorite chocolate maker is Patrick Roger, a chocolatier who specializes in unique flavors like Sichuan pepper, Ethiopian coffee, and jasmine flower. Another reason to visit is because of the chocolate art – he makes gorgeous, life-size chocolate sculptures displayed in the shop windows.
Where to buy it: There are multiple Pierre Herme shops in Paris – see here. If you’re on a budget, you can buy chocolate at Monoprix or any grocery store — I recommend Côte d’Or or Lindt (Lindt Maxi Plaisir is my favorite chocolate of all time).
If you’re a tea-drinker, stop by Mariage Frères, a French gourmet tea company with locations across Paris. They have dozens of looseleaf teas from all over the world. Their tea makes for a great gift as it is packaged beautifully in a black metal box with a gold label.
Where to buy it: Mariage Frères has around 10 locations in Paris, so it’s not hard to find — see here.
Ubiquitous in French cuisine, Dijon mustard is also an easy souvenir to bring home. Before leaving, grab a bottle of gourmet Edmund Fallot mustard, which comes in unique flavors such as horseradish and tarragon.
French sea salt
French sea salt is another useful food item to bring back from Paris. Traditionally, the best sea salt in France comes from Guérande, a city on the Atlantic coast of France.
Where to buy it: You can buy Guérande sea salt (French: fleur de sel de Guérande) at Monoprix or any grocery store. You can also buy Guérande sea salt in bulk on Amazon — click here to see current prices here.
11. Powdered hot chocolate
Café Angelina is a café famous for its (very expensive) hot chocolate. If you want to take Paris’ cult hot chocolate home with you, there’s a powdered version for sale at the café.
Where to buy it: The original Café Angelina is located in the 1st arrondissement, next to the Louvre. View the location here.
Fresh-churned and glistening with salt crystals, French butter is a national treasure. My favorite butter comes from Pascal Beillvaire, a cheese shop chain with several locations in Paris.
Tip – before buying butter to take home, check if your home country allows you to fly with it (the US does, but other countries may not). Once you get home, you can preserve it by packing it in a ziplock bag and storing it in your freezer.
Where to buy it: You can buy salted butter in any French supermarket. The best butter usually comes in a blue and white label and has aux cristaux de sel de mer, or ‘with sea salt crystals’ on the label.
If you want to bring back some pâté, I recommend stopping by Comtesse du Barry, a gourmet French food company that makes pâté, foie gras, and more. As their pâté comes in a small can, it’s an easy souvenir to bring home.
Where to buy it: You can buy Comtesse du Barry at Monoprix and Galeries Lafayette Gourmet.
A bottle of French wine
Personally, wine is one of my favorite souvenirs from Paris. What better way to remember your favorite meals of the trip?
If you’re new to French wine, here are some recommendations on what to buy. If you like whites, try Sancerre, Chenin blanc, or white Burgundy (Bourgogne blanc). If you prefer reds, try Côtes du Rhône, Bourdeaux, or Burgundy.
Where to buy it: You can pick up French wine at Nicolas, a French wine chain with many locations in Paris. I also recommend Le Baron Rouge, a charming wine bar located in the 12th arrondissement.
COOKWARE & HOME
Paris is arguably the best place in the world to buy antiques, with countless antique markets across the city accommodating every price point.
If you’re on a budget, I recommend the Marché d’Aligre, a small flea market in the 12th arrondissement. It’s full of amazing deals — my friend once bought a vintage Le Creuset Dutch oven there for four euros.
If you have money to spend (and time to burn), head to Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, an enormous antique market located in the far north of Paris, right outside the city limits. I recommend spending at least four hours as it’s very large and there’s a lot to see.
Vintage wine glasses
Paris has an incredible selection of vintage wine glasses. I would know as I have a small collection of them.
You can buy vintage wine glasses at Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, where there are many vendors who specialize in vintage French crystal. Once you pick out your glasses, make sure the vendor wraps them in newspaper so they survive the journey home (only one of mine has broken out of a dozen or so).
Where to buy them: The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is located here and is open every day.
Le Creuset Dutch oven
Le Creuset is a French cookware manufacturer that is famous for its beautiful enamel-coated Dutch ovens. If you have room in your luggage, pick up a Le Creuset Dutch oven while in Paris as it’s often cheaper in France. Though Le Creuset Dutch ovens are pricy, they are heritage products that last for generations.
Where to buy it: You can buy Le Creuset at any department store. You can often find vintage Le Creuset at flea markets. You can also buy Le Creuset Dutch ovens on Amazon — click here to see current prices.
If you’re looking for a useful souvenir that is made in France, consider an Opinel knife. Made in Savoie, these lightweight, foldable knives are great for picnics or camping. Best of all, Opinel knives are affordable; a classic one costs 15€.
Where to buy it: You can buy Opinel knives at any knife shop (French word: coutellerie). You can also buy them on REI.com — click here to see current prices.
Another heritage French knife brand, Laguiole is known by its characteristic bumble-bee symbol. Laguiole knives are a staple at many tables in France and are often reserved for special occasions.
The most expensive Laguiole knives are made with deer antlers, but there are many other more affordable versions. Warning — there are a LOT of counterfeit Laguiole made in Asia. Buy from a reputable buyer to avoid this.
Where to buy them: You can buy Laguiole knives at Galleries Lafayette and most knife shops.
French pharmacy skincare
French skincare is legendary. Best of all, it’s afforadable — the best brands are available at the pharmacy.
Here are some cult French pharmacy products to pick up (all of which I’ve tried and loved):
- Bioderma Micellar Water – Amazing for gently cleansing skin while removing makeup.
- Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré – A lightweight, dewy moisturizer that’s excellent for layering under makeup.
- Homeoplasmine – A super-hydrating lip balm.
Where to buy it: Any French pharmacy. You can also buy many of French skincare products online.
A bottle of French perfume
France is famous for its perfume. I recommend picking up a bottle of it from boutique perfume shops such as Etat Libre d’Orange, Diptyque, and Le Labo. If you’re on a budget, pick up a few perfume samples instead of an entire bottle.
Where to buy it: You can buy French perfume at any department store or perfume boutique. You can also learn how to make perfume yourself if you book this two-hour perfume workshop.
Le Petit Marseillais body wash
In nearly every French shower, you’ll find a bottle of Le Petit Marseillais, the beloved French body wash. The body wash’s fragrances are all inspired by scents from the South of France like white peach, orange blossom, and lavender honey.
Where to buy it: You can find Le Petit Marsellais at any French pharmacy. You can also buy it online — check current prices here.
Klorane is also a staple in French showers. A largely plant-based shampoo, Klorance is eco-friendly and uses botanical ingredients such as nettle, poppy, and mango butter.
Where to buy it: You can find Klorane products at most French pharmacies. You can also buy it online — check current prices here.
If you’re looking for a bougie souvenir (or a very nice gift), pick up a Diptyque candle. Diptyque is a luxury perfumer that started in Paris. Though their candles are expensive, they last a long time and smell amazing.
Where to buy it: There are multiple Diptyque boutiques in Paris — see here. The original boutique is located at 34 Boulevard de St. Germain.
Clothes from French brands
In my experience, French clothing brands are much more fashion-forward and interesting than US brands. Some of my favorite French clothing brands for women include Sandro, Maje, Comptoir des Cotonniers, The Kooples, and Sézane.
If you’re serious about shopping in Paris, visit during Les Soldes, the biannual city-wide sales that take place in January and July.
Where to buy it: My favorite place to shop in Paris is Le Marais, where you’ll find many of the shops mentioned.
It must be said that French lingerie is better than it’s American counterpart — it’s lacy, minimally padded, delicate, and durable. A good place to start is Princesse tam.tam, an affordable French lingerie chain.
Where to buy it: You can buy lingerie at department stores such as Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.
If you’re looking for a new tote bag, look no further than Longchamp. Made of polyamide canvas, the bags durable and never seem to show wear and tear. Plus, they’re less expensive in France — win-win.
Where to buy it: I recommend buying Longchamps at the Charles de Gaulle (airport), where you won’t have to pay VAT.
There are lots of shoe stores you’ll find in Paris you can’t find in the US. My favorites are Minelli, ASH, and Sézane. Then when someone asks where you got your shoes, you can say Paris, ha.
Where to buy it: There are Minelli, ASH, and Sezane boutiques all over Paris.
What are some of your favorite souvenirs to bring home from Paris? Am I missing anything?
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