8 Best Souvenirs to Bring Back From Paris

Don’t bring back a plastic keychain from Paris! The City of Lights has so much more to offer.

souvenirs

So, you’ve finally booked your dream Paris vacation…way to go! Get ready to eat lots of bread and cheese, drink delicious wine, see all of the sites, and (hopefully) go on a few Sight Seeker’s Delight walking tours!

You’ve probably told all of your friends and family your plans because, hey, you’re excited! We don’t blame you. Our Paris dream vacation turned into us living here so…we get it! And, if your friends and family are anything like ours, they probably told you to make sure to bring them back something good!

Once you arrive in the city and start checking out the sites, you’re bound to notice all of the small souvenirs for sale. There are shops, stands, and of course vendors crowded around all of the famous monuments just begging you to buy some of their merchandise. While we don’t want to knock any of these typical souvenirs, I’m here to say…you can do better than that.

Sure, you could buy a bunch of little Eiffel Tower keychains to pass out to your loved ones, but there are some much more interesting options out there. Keep reading for my 8 best souvenirs to bring back from Paris!

1. Chocolate

chocolate
Patrick Roger chocolate Image: Flickr

Many people will want to stock up on macarons, those trendy little French desserts that have been making a splash all around the world in the past few years. But why not switch it up a little bit and bring back some chocolate?

I know that Belgium and Switzerland are most famous for their chocolates, but the French know what they’re doing too! There are dozens, if not hundreds, of chocolate shops scattered around Paris. Pick up a pre-made box, or, if you’re feeling fancy, head to a shop where you can build your own assortment.

My top spots:

Benoit Chocolats: we love this chocolate shop so much that we visit it on our Sweet Street tour! The chocolate is delicious and beautiful, and the staff are friendly! Now that’s a recipe for a great souvenir.

Address: 75 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris
Open: Monday 11am-1pm, 2pm-7:30pm Tuesday-Saturday 10am-1pm, 2pm-7:30pm. Closed Sundays
01 49 96 52 02

Patrick Roger: head to this shop if you agree that chocolate making is an art form! Patrick Roger not only produces delicious treats, he also creates amazing sculptures. While the sculptures are definitely way to big to fit in your suitcase, a small box should do the trick.

Address: 108 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris
Open: Everyday 10:30am-7:30pm
01 43 29 38 42

À La Mère de Famille: this shop is the oldest chocolate shop in Paris! It was founded in 1761 and has been in business in the Capital ever since. À La Mère de Famille specializes in the most traditional of French chocolates because, well…if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Address: 35 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris
Open: Monday-Saturday 9:30am-8pm, Sunday 10am-7:30pm
01 47 70 83 69

2. Flea market finds

flea market

Les Puces de Saint-Ouen flea market Image: Flickr

Okay, so I know some of you may be cringing at the words “flea market,” but bear with me! I’m not talking about rummaging through someone’s smelly old socks to find a gem, I’m talking about wandering through markets filled with amazing French antiques.

Sure, you could visit one of the many antique stores in Saint-Germain-des-Près, but be prepared to spend an arm and a leg. The best part of the flea markets in Paris? Test out your French skillz and try to strike up a deal with the vendors!

You’ll definitely be able to find a unique trinket to bring back to your loved ones (and to keep for yourselves!) if you head to one of my recommendations.

My top spots:

Les Puces de Saint-Ouen: arguably the most famous flea market in Paris, Les Puces de Saint-Ouen is a maze of antique vendors, vintage clothing sellers, and other treasures. Be prepared to spend an afternoon wheeling and dealing, and you’re sure to find something special.

Address: 93400 Saint-Ouen
Open: Monday-Thursday 10am-5pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 10am-6pm. Closed Fridays.

Marché aux Puces de Vanves: this flea market is located in southern Paris and is completely outdoors. Although it is much smaller than Les Puces de Saint-Ouen and is only open on the weekends, doesn’t make it any less interesting!

Address: 14 Avenue Georges Lafenestre, 75014 Paris
Open: Saturday & Sunday 7am-2pm

3. Fauchon

fauchon

Tea from Fauchon Image: photozou.jp

Fauchon has been specializing in gift giving since 1886! Featuring wine, tea, champagne, chocolates, pastries, and gift baskets galore, you’re sure to find something really great to bring back with you.

I was just checking out their website, and they even carry a box of summer truffles for just 15 euros! I may just have to head there and buy some for myself… 😉

Address: 30 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris
Open: Monday-Wednesday 10am-8:30pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-8:30pm. Closed Thursdays and Sundays.
Website
01 70 39 38 00

4. Perfume

perfume

Image: pixabay.com

There is just something really nice about gifting and receiving perfume, isn’t there?! You always hope that the person will think of you whenever they put it on, and how cool would it be if it was a perfume that came from Paris? Personally, I think pretty cool!

There are plenty of perfumeries in Paris, and there is even the Fragonard Perfume Museum! If it’s something that interests you, I definitely recommend checking it out. In the meantime…

My top spots:

Fragonard Boutique: Fragonard is one of the major perfume makers in Paris and it’s easy to see why when you enter their boutique. This type of souvenir is a little bit on the expensive side, but hey, you or your loved ones deserve it! They also carry soaps and candles!

Address: 51 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75004 Paris
Open: Monday-Saturday 10:30am-7:30pm, Sunday 12pm-7pm
01 44 78 01 32

Nose: this high-end perfume store is just as pretty inside as their perfumes..erm…smell good. I know that analogy isn’t the best but you know what I mean! What I’m trying to say is that their scents are fabulous and so is the decor inside their boutique. Their staff is also super helpful, especially if you are feeling a little lost as far as what perfume you’d like to try.

Address: 20 Rue Bachaumont, 75002 Paris
Open: Monday-Saturday 10:30am-7:30pm. Closed Sundays.
01 40 26 46 03

5. Notebooks & stationery

notebooks

Image: Flickr

I have such a soft spot for pretty paper. Writing notes and letters is such a lost art form, and I am so for bringing it back in style! Who doesn’t like getting mail that isn’t a bill?! #teambringbackletterwriting all day, baby. Want to encourage your friends and family to start sending you more love notes? Buy them some pretty notebooks or stationary in Paris!

My top spots:

Calligrane: located just a stone’s throw away from the Seine River and the Pont Marie, Calligrane should be your go-to for stationary. Their handmade selections are what keep me coming back for more.

Address: 6 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-7pm. Closed Sundays & Mondays.
01 48 04 09 00

Papier Tigre: Oh, how I love this shop! If you’re anything like me, get ready to spend at least an hour looking through all of the treasures at Papier Tigre. They offer a ton of options for notebooks and stationary alike. Don’t miss their pen collection, either! Nothing says “write me a letter” more than some pretty paper and a pen.

Address: 5 Rue des Filles du Calvaire, 75003 Paris
Open: Tuesday-Friday 11:30am-7:30pm, Saturday 11am-8pm. Closed Sundays & Mondays.
01 48 04 00 21

6. Honey

honey

Lavendar honey Image: WikiCommons

I know you may be thinking, “okay, I like honey and all, but is that stuff even French?!” My answer is…YES! Did you know that France is divided into 22 different regions? Did you also know that each of these regions produces their own honey?! Yeah…so honey is definitely a French thing! There are even bee hives in Paris!

My top spots

Famille Mary: this is another shop that we visit on our Sweet Street tour! Head to this shop where you can chat with the sales people and try some free samples while you’re at it. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I used to not like honey (I know), but once I tried the miel at Famille Mary, I was hooked.

Address: 75 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris
Open: Monday 2:30pm-8pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10am-2pm, 2:30pm-8pm. Closed Sundays.
01 40 29 90 60

La Maison de Miel: this is the first boutique in Paris to sell honey, so it had to make it on my list! They have been in the biz since 1898. The shop gets it’s honey from regions all over France, and prides itself on the friendships they’ve made with their beekeepers.

Address: 24 Rue Vignon, 75009 Paris
Open: Monday-Saturday 9:30am-7pm. Closed Sundays.
01 47 42 26 70

7. Bouquinistes

bouquiniste

Bouquiniste stall Image: WikiCommons

Bouquiniste translates into English as “bookstall.” Have you ever noticed the small green stands that line the Seine River in Paris that sell books and other trinkets? Well, those are the bouquinistes, ladies and gents!

This practice dates back to the 16th century, when book peddlers of the Middle Ages crowded the Parisian streets. Today, there are over 200 bouquinistes that run along the Seine.

Head here to find some really unique souvenirs. They sell used and rare books, paintings, drawings, and other treasures just waiting to get scooped up by you.

The bouquinistes are located along the Seine from the Quai du Louvre to the Pont Marie and from the Quai Voltaire to the Quai de la Tournelle. They are open from sunup to sundown!

8. Artwork

art

The Place du Tertre in Montmartre Image: WikiCommons

You may or may not have noticed that we really love art here in Paris. What with all the museums and all of the artists that once called this city home, it’s to be expected! What better a souvenir than to bring back some artwork?!

I recommend you check out what the bouquinistes have to offer, as well as the individual artists that sell their stuff on the street. You’ll usually find them outside major museums, landmarks, and you’ll see a lot in Montmartre. Montmartre was once an artists haven, and the tradition is still kept alive today!

Conclusion

Have I given you some souvenir ideas?! I hope so! Down with the plastic keychains! I’m kidding, but seriously, why not try to be unique in what you bring back from your perfect Paris trip?

Have you brought back anything on my list? Did I forget anything interesting? Let me know in the comments below!


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