Shopping in Paris is great. It's kind of like a haven for fashionistas. In fact, one of the things I was looking forward to seeing in Paris was the fashion. Not just the fashion in the stores, but the fashionable people in the streets. I mean imagine walking down the streets of one of the most fashionable cities and being surrounded by so many stylish people. It's like a never-ending fashion show. Don't mind if I stare.
The first time I went to Paris, I visited a spectacular department store called Galleries Lafayette. It was so beautiful in all of its architectual glory. I mean stain glass windows, ornate crown molding with gold detail, and orchestra balconies that overlooked the rest of the mall. It was amazing, luxurious and beautiful. I know I may sound superficial, but it was just breathtaking. It was nothing like anything I had ever seen before, when it comes to department stores; especially living in Toronto.
As I explored the different levels of this building I came across the designer floor for children! I have never seen so much designer clothing catered to children in my life. There was baby Dior, Gucci, Burberry, and Little Marc Jacobs just to name a few.
While the department stores were fascinating to explore, the streets of Paris were no exception. Champs-Elysées (one of the most famous streets in Paris) is a popular shopping destination for tourists that want to experience high fashion. In fact, the famous avenue holds many luxury and flagship stores that are quite impressive to see in person, due to their large size. For instance, the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store has a gated entrance and a massive line-up of eager customers trying to get inside.
This was the line up to get into the Abercrombie & Fitch store!
I cannot believe the size of this Louis Vuitton building. Can you imagine setting up that window display?
Although shopping in Paris can be pricey, designer brands are often a little less expensive than purchasing them in North America. For instance, I purchased my Longchamp bags in Paris as they were much more affordable than purchasing them in Toronto. As well, the Value Added Tax (VAT) also helps tourist to save money when shopping.
How the VAT refund works: When Non-EU residents shop, they can get a refund on the Value Added Tax (VAT) when they spend more than $175 dollars in one store. Once you get back to the airport make sure to have the receipt and item (they made me show both) and you will be refunded a certain percentage depending on the item you purchase.
I personally find that the VAT refund was great, since I am always open to any deals or refunds I can get. Note: When I was refunded money, they gave me a choice of getting back US dollars or Euros. Not Canadian dollars. I decided to go with the US dollars since I was planning on traveling to the States in the near future.
Overall, shopping in Paris is such a fun experience. I personally did not do too much shopping, probably more window shopping, but the opportunity to see the iconic flagship stores, department stores and street fashion was fantastic. I would do it all again in a second!
Thank you for reading my Travel Series in Paris! Stay tuned for tomorrow's post. Hint** If you like wine you are going to like the my next post for the series.
If you have been to Paris, did you enjoy the shopping?
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