The Best Department Stores in Paris (2020)

le bon marche

The battle among the best department stores in Paris for the ultimate title is pitched — and there are true believers in all corners.

Some people love Printemps; I am not one of them. For me, the best department store in Paris has to be BHV. Am I biased, since it is perhaps not coincidentally the one closest to my apartment? Maybe. But it is certainly the most lived in: If you’re here the long haul, this is where you come to buy a really, really nice and likely slightly overpriced ladder.

If you’re doing additional shopping in Paris, these are our picks for the best women’s shops, beauty shops, and bookstores.

Without further ado, the best department stores in Paris, ranked.

 

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#1: BHV
The Parisian version of Macy’s. BHV is more workaday than its competing department stores, but if you need a hammer, duvet, Chanel lipstick, towel, Moleskine, lamp, juicer, Marc Jacobs bag, or Topshop shorts, this is the place. There’s a fantastic hardware store on the basement level, and a recently spruced-up cafeteria on the fifth floor with prices to match the expansive views. 52 rue de Rivoli, 75004. Metro: Hotel de Ville. bhv.fr

 

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#2: LE BON MARCHE
The city’s oldest department store is also its best. BHV is more practical, Galeries Lafayette more popular—but Le Bon Marché is the best curated and most inventive, with regular pop-ups spotlighting artists (like Leandro Erlich, invited to meditate upon the Parisian sky), places (like Tokyo), and events (like the summer exodus). The photo at top is an installation of “fleurs de pluie” by Japanese artist Oki Sato. 24 rue de Sèvres, 75007. Metro: Sèvres-Babylone. 24s.com/en-fr/le-bon-marche

 

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#3: GALERIES LAFAYETTES
Paris’s signature department store. Arrive by metro and your first encounter will be the magnificent, floor-wide shoe selection (make a beeline for the Repetto ballet shoes). The store is a top attraction come Christmas, when spectacular decorations are hung from the Belle Époque dome ceiling. 40 boulevard Haussmann, 75009. Metro: Chaussée d’Antin La Fayette. haussmann.galerieslafayette.com

 

 

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#4: PRINTEMPS
The last of the four big names, with a tremendous beauty section. It’s also last on the list for us—except for the expansive roof terrace, which is glorious in good weather. 64 boulevard Haussmann, 75009. Metro: Chaussée d’Antin La Fayette. printemps.com

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