Whether you are on the budget for a small gift for a loved one, or are hunting for a unique and extravagant present, Paris always has something to offer.
Although it may seem tempting to purchase Eiffel Tower key chains from the stores surrounding famous sights, it is not always a great idea. Usually, souvenir stores around these areas are highly overpriced for the quality. Instead, shop like a local Parisian and opt for less touristic spots for your souvenir purchases.
Once you’ve picked up your French gifts, you can get it wrapped for free. Ask the shopkeeper to do the gift-wrapping for you or just ask for the wrapping paper and perfect the gift look at home if you worry the wrapped presents getting crumpled in your luggage.
Now that you know some tips to help you on your souvenir hunt, it’s time to get started. Read on to discover the best gifts to take home from Paris.
Make sure you leave room in your suitcase for some legendary beauty staples. French Pharmacies offer some of the best skincare finds, well-loved even by models.
Created with high quality ingredients and sold at affordable prices, these marvelous skincare saviors protect both your skin and your pocket. There is plenty to choose from, whether you are searching for a new skin moisturizer, sun protectant, or micellar water, you will surely find something to suit your needs.
Some of the most popular brands include La Roche-Posay, Institut Esthiderm, Avene, Oenobiol, Uriage, Bioderma and Ducray. To get your hands on a cult makeup remover, pick up the bioderma H20 solution micellaire, for around 14$.
BEST GIFTS FOR: Your skincare-aholic mother, a girlfriend, wife, or anyone that needs some TLC.
PRICES: Prices vary depending on brand and size. You will find high-end skincare (30$+) and cheaper budget-friendly alternatives for just 2-5$.
PORTABLE LEVEL: Very easy to carry, but watch out for liquid allowances if you are only travelling with a cabin bag.
WHERE TO BUY: Try to avoid pharmacies in the heart of the city center. Instead, opt for pharmacies in the suburbs. You can get great deals from:
Satisfy your sweet-tooth and bring some home for the family! You cannot leave Paris without experiencing the mouthwatering artisan crafted chocolate.
Created by some of the country’s most talented chocolatiers, Parisian chocolate stores offer a variety of delicious goods. Try the bonbon de chocolat, for a bite-size chocolate stuffed with ganache. Looking to take some home? Make your pick from the assortment of tablettes de chocolat, with a variety of flavors, sizes and cacao percentages.
Chocolate stores in Paris are very extravagant and chic, but might be a bit intimidating. Take your time, and enjoy the experience.
BEST GIFTS FOR: Your chocoholic best friend, a boss, co-worker, or anyone with a sweet-tooth!
PRICES: Prices vary depending on the chocolate store, type, and weight. You can find individual bonbons for around 1$ per piece. Chocolate bars usually range between 7-12$ for a 100g pack.
PORTABLE LEVEL: Very manageable
WHERE TO BUY: Henri Le Roux, Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, Pralus, La Maison du Chocolat.
This divine French treat is loved by many around the world. It is therefore a must-try while being in Paris, home to some of the top macarons in the country. Discover the dainty macaron boutiques around the city, and allow these melt-in-your-mouth macarons to lure you in.
Most of the macaron stores have an e-shop to purchase macarons online, and also offer souvenirs and gifts in store. Explore the variety of vibrant colors and unique flavors that these boutiques have to offer.
BEST GIFTS FOR: Any dessert lover, co-workers, family, and yourself (they are hard to resist).
PRICES: Between 2-4$ per macaron. This varies depending on boutique, some are a lot pricier than others.
PORTABLE LEVEL: Manageable
WHERE TO BUY: Carette: 4, Place du Trocardero, 75016, Laduree Champs Elysees: 75, Avenue des Champs Elysees, 75008, Jean-Paul Hevin: 41, rue de Bretagne, 75003.
Renowned for its perfume industry, France is one of the top places to purchase your next fragrance. Breathe in the delicate notes of Rose de mai, deep wooded notes of sandalwood and patchouli.
During your perfume hunt, you will come across world-famous brands, such as Maison Guerlain, and smaller French perfumeries that are equally as fragrant. Visit the Fragonard Perfume Museum on Rue Scribe for a wide array of perfumes with different notes and styles. For another store with exquisite scents, stop at Parfums de Rosine for delicate rose-noted perfumes.
BEST GIFTS FOR: Your significant other, mother-in-law or your friend that always smells good, or any scent addict.
PRICES: Prices vary depending on size and brand. Typical prices range between 90-150$ for boutique perfumes.
PORTABLE LEVEL: Portable, but watch out for liquid allowance limits.
WHERE TO BUY:
The French are not new to candle-making. The world’s oldest candle maker, Claude Trudon, sold his hand-crafted candles in Paris since 1643.
While you are in Paris, make sure to stop by some of the most beautiful boutiques, lined with fragrant candles to match every mood in a variety of colors. Pop over to Diptyque for a luxurious candle, travel-sized perfumes, or perfumed wax. Their scents are extremely long lasting and unique. Another amazing candle store is Annick Goutal, which carries a selection of different scents to suit your mood.
BEST GIFTS FOR: Anyone that enjoys lovely scents, relatives, or your significant other.
PRICES: Around 30$+
PORTABLE LEVEL: Very portable, but purchase tin candles instead of porcelain if you are worried that it will break in transit.
WHERE TO BUY:
Bringing back an artisanal tea caddy from the historic tea houses in Paris is a must for tea lovers.
The first tea house to drop by should be Mariage Freres (since 1854), which houses over 500 different tea varieties in iconic tin packaging. If you’re struggling to make a choice, try out some of the teas in the adjoining tearoom before selecting your favorite brew.
Another elegant ‘maison de the’, Dammann Freres boasts a delicious selection of perfumed tea in a 17th century setting.
One more worth visiting is Angelina – a tea house that features divine hot brews.
BEST GIFTS FOR: Tea lovers, your co-workers, parents, neighbors.
PRICES:Dammann Freres black and green tea is from 12$ per 100g tin; a box of 24 sachets or cristal tea bags (Dammann Freres) has the average price of 13.50$
PORTABLE LEVEL: Very portable, easy to manage.
WHERE TO BUY:
France boasts some of the best soft and hard cheeses in the world. From Camembert, to Brie and Comte, it can be overwhelming to choose cheese in Paris. Once you enter a fromagerie (cheese store), allow the knowledgeable staff to help you pick the perfect cheese to suit your taste.
Visit Laurent Dubois for some specialty Comte, or Androuet to witness one of the oldest fromageries in France. Always ask what cheese is in season, to get the freshest artisanal cheese. Worried about transit? Most stores offer vacuum-sealed cheese packs that can withstand transit.
BEST GIFTS FOR: Your dad, a friend that loves to cook or the foodie in your life.
PRICES: Range per type, and weight. Cheese from grocery stores is often cheaper than fromageries, but quality may differ.
PORTABLE LEVEL: Portable if vacuum-sealed.
WHERE TO BUY:
Rather than going for the classic keychain, why not pick up something from the supermarket for your friends to taste the French culture! Shop for some delicious salted butter caramel sweets, flavorsome and original Dijon’s mustard, canned foie gras, fleur de sel (harvested sea salt), herbs de provence and much more.
You can also find famous French soap, Le Savon de Marseille, for sale at many supermarkets. What’s even better? Supermarket goods are very inexpensive, meaning that you can buy tons of presents without breaking the bank. Not only are they super cheap, they often come in adorable packaging, that can be used as décor after you are finished – just take a look at the beautiful tins of sardines.
BEST GIFTS FOR: Your foodie friend, mother, or anyone that enjoys trying new food.
PRICES: Dijon’s mustard for 1.80$; Sauce with foie gras (200g) for 11.20$; Mayonnaise with truffle (80g) for 8$; herbs are from 3.20$ per pack (18 to 30g)
PORTABLE LEVEL: Very portable, depending on the item. Always check for liquid allowances/food customs and regulations.
WHERE TO BUY:
Sip on some heavenly hot chocolate, crafted using perfected recipes and fresh cocoa beans from Paris. Bring some home for the family to enjoy on a cold winter day.
One to try out is the famous Angelina’s African hot chocolate. This is carefully created from 3 different cocoa beans from different African regions, making the perfect cup of hot chocolate with incomparable taste. Angelina is one of the oldest tearooms in Paris, celebrating its 110th anniversary in 2013. Therefore, the chocolate mixes are well-renowned and favored by many. Try out the chocolate pellets that melt into milk for a blissful and rich experience.
BEST GIFTS FOR: Chocoholics, tea and hot drink lovers, anyone with a sweet-tooth, your niece/nephew.
PRICES: A 600-gram hot chocolate mix pack of Angelina is priced at 26.50$
PORTABLE LEVEL: Very portable, variety of packaging.
WHERE TO BUY: Angelina, 226 rue de Rivoli, La Maison du Chocolat, 19 rue de Sevres.
This historic capital offers a great deal of nostalgic and vintage products. Browse through the multitude of vintage boutiques lining the streets, and bring back a piece of Parisian history. You will find everything from vintage stamps, to old posters and postcard and antique books and knick-knacks.
Head over to the les passage couverts (shopping arcade) for the ultimate blast from the past. This glass-roofed mall is a real gem, carrying a variety of dinky boutiques that are well worth the browse. For more unique pieces, stop at Paris Rendez-Vous for some designer souvenirs and old wooden toy sailing boats.
BEST GIFTS FOR: Anyone that loves vintage décor, parents and grandparents.
PRICES: Vary depending on item and store.
PORTABLE LEVEL: Vintage stamp, posters and postcards are very lightweight. Go for vintage books and toys if you have more space in your luggage.
WHERE TO BUY: