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Shopping and Sport

Parisians like to shop, but so too do visitors to Paris and there is no shortage of shopping experiences from high end fashion and perfume brands to trendy clothing designer brands and of course food, coffee, cheeses, wine and lots more.

If you are at the Louvre – you will be able to see small arcades under the Palais Royal, and equally if you are on the Champs Elysée you will also see many high end fashion brands.

There is no shortage of shops to find in Paris, and sometimes you will just come across a special shop as you tour the various sights of Paris.

There are however two shops and shopping areas that I think you should see and these are –

Galleries Lafayette – at 40 Boulevard Haussmann, nearest Metro – Chausée d’Antin La Fayette

This Department Store dates back to 1893 and its glass dome on top (which you should see from underneath) sets the tone for this great department store. Like many shops in Paris it may be closed on Sundays. See www.gallerieslafayette.com
NOTE: The Boulevard Haussmann has lots of other fashion and food shops too, including discount clothing shops. Also look at Printemps at 64 Boulevard Haussemann – another big department store that has a history dating back to 1865. See www.printemps.com
Also near the Metro Station, Opéra there are many big name fashion stores too, and this is where the beautiful Paris Opera House is located – one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris.

Le Bon Marché – 24 Rue de Sévres, nearest Metro, Sévres – Babylone. See www.lebonmarche.com

This department store was first built in 1852 and is also an institution within Paris. They have all the fashion brands, but one of the highlights is to see the Food Hall area at 38 Rue de Sévres. From cheeses, macarons, chocolates, biscuits, wine, fruit and everything food, this is the place to see it. Again in this area, you will also find many other stores too.

There are many other shopping areas in Paris, but if you first go to the ones above, you will gain one impression, and hopefully your credit cards haven’t suffered too much by the time you leave. For a different shopping experience – try finding these shopping areas –

Almost all of the shopping areas are close to or next to Metro stations, so if you get lost, just ask or get back to a Metro station and you will know where to go from there -

  • Les Halles and Rue de Rivoli – nearest Metro, Châtelet- Les Halles. See www.forumleshalles.com This is a big shopping centre with great architecture and all the big name fashion brands like H&M, Esprit, Sephora and others, as well as cinema theatres, McDonalds and other food choices. It is really close to the centre of Paris but like most Paris shops it is closed on Sundays. The Rue de Rivoli is a long street, but in the area around the Metro station you will find many shops, such as Gap, Yves Rocher, Levis, Foot Locker and more.
  • Marais Quarter – nearest Metro Saint Paul and Hôtel de Ville Metro. This whole area is now a trendy area to shop, stay in, find restaurants, gay bars and other places of interest. Just wander the streets around here. Look for Maison de la Prasline Mazet – for chocolates, pralines and other treats at 37 Rue des Archives – a beautiful shop that dates back to 1636. Also look for Place des Vosges
  • Also next to the Arts et Metiers Metro, there is the Arts et Metiers Museum – see www.arts-et-metiers.net which dates back to 1794 and has collections based on industrial design with some amazing inventions too. There are lots of shops near here too, so an interesting area to be in.
  • Also for up-market shops – head to the area near Sevres Metro staion.
  • Markets - the two biggest flea markets (Brocantes) in Paris are the Clignan Court market at St Ouen – 140 Rue des Rosiers, St Ouen. Metro – Porte de Clignan Court and the Puces de Vanves Market – Avenue Marc Sangnier. Nearest Metro – Porte de Vanves. These markets are open on weekends.

Also see the Marché Bastille – Boulevard Richard Lenoir, nearest Metros, Bastille or Richard Lenoir. This market is open on Thursday and Sundays.

SPORT

  • Roland Garros is the famous Tennis Court outside Paris where International Players come each year. See www.rolandgarros.com
  • Stade de France –is the massive Stadium with seating capacity for up to 80,000 spectators located at 93216 Saint-Denis See www.stadefrance.com The best way to get here is via the RER – heading north to Stade de France St Denis D Line, or RER Line B stopping at La Plaine Stade de France. Big Football, Rugby and Athletic matches and events are held here including big music concerts too.
  • Palais Omnisport de Bercy - 8 Boulevard de Bercy. See www.bercyarena.paris This is a big stadium complex that can seat up to 16,000 people for music and sports events, with bars, restaurants and other facilities.
  • Longchamp Horse Racing – 2 Route des Tribunes. See www.france-galop.com The Longchamp Race Course is one of the most famous in the world.
  • Golf – see www.golfparis.com for locations and details of different courses.

Happy Travelling!

Geoff Stuart

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