Christmas Shopping Toolkit

Christmas will soon be upon us, a thought which turned our minds to the annual task of finding and buying presents for one’s friends and family. The idea of doing this in a foreign country may seem daunting, but we have compiled a list of shops and markets that you can visit, both in Paris and beyond, to make Christmas shopping a fun and interesting experience, which will broaden your cultural horizons as well as helping you find the perfect gift for your loved ones.

If you are shopping in Paris, and fancy indulging in some luxury goods, you can make a visit to Galeries Lafayette, with its selection of designer brands, cosmetics and perfumes. Even if you are on a tight budget, it is worth taking a look inside this shopping centre, as the interior, which is elegant and impressive all year round, is rendered even more beautiful by the enormous Christmas tree that reaches right up into the dome!

If you want to avoid the crowds and the familiarity of the labels in Galeries Lafayette, you can take a trip up to Montmartre and Les Créateurs des Abbesses, a collection of small, independent shops where you will be sure to find a unique and personal gift.

You may be looking for a particular type of present, such as a book, in which case we recommend that you visit Shakespeare and Co., and English language bookshop just across the river from Notre Dame, where, joined by the resident cat, you can browse through beautiful editions of all the important works of English literature.

Of course, you may not be based in Paris, or may want to make Christmas shopping an excuse to explore a new French city. The most obvious example of the perfect town for Christmas shopping is Strasbourg, in northeastern France. With its timber framed, Alsatian style architecture, winding streets and imposing Gothic cathedral, this city and its Christmas market is a really atmospheric place to visit in the lead up to the festive season.

Galeries Lafayette