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World > Europe > France > France Shopping

Shopping of France

Shopping in France is part of the French art of living. France is proud to be
the home of the most famous and the most promising couturiers. Besides
designer clothes and shoes, one of the best things to buy in France are
perfumes, wines, cheeses and traditional crafts articles.

Undoubtedly, Paris is the haute couture capital of the world where you can
buy top fashion goods in luxury boutiques as well as last year’s models at
surprisingly low prices in its numerous discount shops. Other great cities
for shopping are Lyon, Marseille and Nice. France’s top fashion boutiques and
all-encompassing department stores are preferred by the French and
international clientèle. Flea markets – a traditional French phenomenon –
happen once or twice a week in every French neighborhood and are not to be

French wines are an indispensable part of your purchasing experience in
France. You should visit the wineries and enjoy the free samples . Wineries
are open daily from 9 am to 9 pm and you can buy wine by the bottle. Some
wineries will even ship your wine for free. French champagne and cognac are
also highly recommended. A liberal sampling of French cheeses is a must, as
are French chocolates and pastries. You should consider buying traditional
French delicacies such as pâtés and mustard too.

French porcelain is of exceptional quality especially ones produced in the
city of Limoges. Lalique and the Baccarat crystals are world renowned and
worth every penny. French tapestries and hand blown glass are an interesting
alternative for the visitor who wants to make an unconventional purchase.
Fine lace and ceramics can be excellent presents for your friends and family
when you get back home. French handcrafted items are traditionally of
extremely high quality and the available varieties are usually mind-boggling.

Shopping hours in France are from 9am to 7pm from Monday to Saturday. Food
stores tend to stay open a bit longer. Sales take place in January and July
when it is really worth shopping since prices usually drop 50 percent. Big
department stores like Printemps and Galerie Lafayette are a convenient and
economic shopping alternative under one roof. They offer a wide choice of
textile, clothes, domestic decoration, furniture, cosmetics and perfumes.
When you enter a French shop remember to show your respect towards the staff;
be nice and polite. It is preferable to greet the staff in French to
demonstrate that you are a serious buyer and not just a window-shopper.

Some of the best French cities to go on a shopping spree include Paris,
Marseille and Lyon. While the City of Lights offers an exuberance of fashion
houses and designer boutiques, it also boasts some well-known department
stores. A particular challenge are the Parisian street markets, where you can
sharpen your bargaining techniques Shopping in Marseille, the country’s
largest commercial port, happens at Le Bourse. The city’s spending hub is
awash in shoe and jewellery shops, designer boutiques, and also has a Virgin
Megastore open seven days a week. Lyon, France’s third largest city, is a
designer's mecca, its multitude of fashion shops almost outnumbering the
capital’s. Lyon is also world famous for its chocolate and pastries. 1 2


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