With souvenir shops on nearly every street in Paris, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when deciding what to bring home. After 3 trips to the French capital, the following are what I consider to be the best and most authentic souvenirs to purchase in Paris.
Must-Have Souvenirs to Bring Back From Your Paris Vacation
Escargot Serving Set
In Paris, you can buy all the escargot serving items you need at E. Dehillerin. Opened in 1820 in the Les Halles district, this gourmet cookware and kitchenware shop was made famous by famed chef Julia Child.
Hoping to enjoy some escargots in Paris? Check out the following post which will tell you how to find, order and eat the best escargots in Paris.
Reusable Shopping Bags
One of the most practical, easy-to-find souvenirs to purchase in Paris are reusable shopping bags. Not only will they remind you of the places you’ve visited, but they will also help the environment!
Scarves are one of the most popular souvenirs to bring back from Paris. Not only are they fashionable, but they also make fantastic gifts. If you’re wondering where to buy scarves in Paris, check out the extensive collection at Diwali Paris or the one-of-a-kind scarves in museum gift shops. I’ve also purchased some beautiful scarves at the Bastille market. Word to the wise, check the labels if you want to buy something that was actually made in France.
Paris is home to some of the world’s best perfumeries including Guerlain, Fragonard and Diptyque. Visit their flagship stores to find your perfect scent and buy gifts for your loved ones.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for buying a souvenir for your lady, French lingerie is a classic item to purchase in Paris. Brands like Simone Perele, Empreinte and Aubade have stores in Paris that sell elegant, sexy, delicate, yet comfortable collections.
Stamped Book from Shakespeare & Company
The perfect souvenir for any book lover is a stamped book purchased at one of the most famous bookstores in Paris, Shakespeare & Company. Located not far from Notre Dame, this bookstore was once frequented by famous writers such as Joyce, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald.
Items from Les Bouquinistes
Les Bouquinistes are booksellers located along the Seine which sell old books, vintage postcards, posters and more. Recognized as a Unesco World Heritage site, this is the ideal place to pick up a souvenir that will always remind you of Paris.
A Portrait or Painting from Place du Tertre
While in Paris, be sure to take a stroll through Place du Tertre in Montmartre. Here amateur artists sell their paintings and sketch portraits of eager tourists. Purchase one of these paintings or have your portrait drawn in what is sure to be one of your all-time favourite souvenirs from Paris.
Museum Entry Tickets / Metro Tickets
When I travel, I always make a point to keep museum and attraction entry tickets. The first time I went to Paris I combined these items along with metro tickets and photographs into a beautiful souvenir scrapbook. When I look back on this album it brings back incredible memories and inspires me to revisit the French capital.
Eiffel Tower Souvenirs
Who can resist a tacky mini replica of the Eiffel Tower? Not me! In fact, on my last trip to Paris, I purchased several Eiffel Tower souvenirs. Not only did I buy a few small replicas, but I also bought an Eiffel Tower lamp and a bottle of perfume shaped like the Eiffel Tower!
Fleur de Sel de Guerande
Hand-picked from the coast of Brittany, Fleur de Sel de Guerande is coveted around the world. Although this gourmet salt can be found abroad, it’s more economical to buy it in France. This souvenir which is sure to impress any chef or foodie is sold at most gourmet food stores and some grocery stores around Paris.
To learn more about Brittany, and the other regions in France, click here.
A great souvenir to bring back from Paris is artisanal chocolate. Some of the best chocolate shops in the city include Pierre Marcolini which is known for their rare cocoa and signature chocolate raspberry heart bonbons, and Patrick Roger, a revolutionary chocolate shop with unique flavours such as vinegar and raisin caramel (Rafale), honey and salted butter caramel (Mistral) and lime caramel (Amazone).
Over the last few years, the popularity of tea has risen greatly in Paris. Whether you are looking for plain tea, artisanal tea, herbal tea, or fragrant tea, you are guaranteed to discover something both delicious and high-quality. Some of the best tea shops in Paris include Dammann Frères, a pioneering tea company offering more than 200 varieties of teas and Mariage Frères which hosts several “Tea Clubs” and sells souvenirs including cups, teapots and other tea accessories.
Paris is known for its charming cafes and outdoor patios which are perfect for that early morning cup of coffee. Their specialty coffees are one of a kind, and while you can’t replicate them at home, you can purchase their cups and saucers as a souvenir. Some coffee shops even sell souvenirs like espresso spoons with handles embellished with the Paris landmarks.
Established in 1747, the French mustard company Maille produces some of the most unique flavours of mustard imaginable. While in Paris, pay a visit to their retail boutique which sells premade souvenir gift boxes and mustard collections that are guaranteed to impress your foodie friends back home.
Paris is not only famous for chocolate, but for caramels as well. Thrill your friends and bring back some buttery handcrafted caramels from shops like Jacques Genin, Pierre Hermé and Ladurée.
Tourists are often surprised to learn that urban beekeepers raise their colonies on the rooftops of Paris’s most famous buildings. While the honey is a little pricey, it makes a fantastic souvenir unique to Paris. These unique kinds of honey are sold in specialty shops such as La Maison du Miel, Les Abeilles, and in the gourmet food section of the Galeries Lafayette department store.
Nicknamed the “green fairy” absinthe is an anise-flavoured spirit with a high alcohol content. It is said to have psychedelic effects due to the chemical thujone which occurs naturally in the drink. Associated with artists and writers from the Belle Epoque, Absinthe is best purchased as a souvenir in Paris as the levels of thujone are capped in the US and Canada.
Souvenirs from Paris For Kids
On the hunt for a souvenir from Paris for kids? Consider purchasing a French children’s book. The stories about French characters such as Astérix, Tintin and Babar are sure to spark curiosity in any little reader. Alternatively, you could purchase a book they already know translated into the French language.
Since I was a kid, one of my favourite souvenirs has always been fridge magnets. Whether I purchased them for myself or received them as a gift, they are great reminders of all the places I have been and the places I have yet to go.
Kids love to collect things, so why not help them start an international coin collection! This is by far the easiest souvenir you can get from your Paris vacation, and also one of the most interesting.
Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Paris
Before you purchase your souvenirs in Paris it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the customs regulations of the country to which you’re travelling. Rules vary and there are often restrictions in place regarding both agricultural and animal products.
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