Looking to find the best souvenirs from Paris? This guest post comes from Richard Cole at Must Go who tells us which trinkets to buy when in the city of love.
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Known for its romantic surrounds, impressive architecture, and unforgettable cuisine, it’s one of those destinations that is going to be a part of your memories forever.
Many people choose to bring back physical mementos of their time in Paris. But what should you get? Most souvenir stores sell similar things, which can cheapen the idea of bringing back a unique item from the city of love.
To help you decide, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of souvenirs you can bring from Paris to your home; including everything from delicious desserts to fantastic home décor items.
What are the best souvenirs from Paris?
First up, Paris can be a place where you easily get lost. Our advice? Have an itinerary prepared from a company like online travel agency MustGo; you can even request a day dedicated to searching out these specific souvenirs!
Another way to go about it is to simply wander along the beautiful Parisian streets and alleys and buy things as you see them. And of course you can stock up on souvenirs at the gift shops dotted around iconic places like the Eiffel Tower but it’s the true treasures of Paris that lie in the more unassuming stores.
Some of the souvenirs you should definitely look for are:
You can’t go to Paris and not try their incredible chocolate, which is famous worldwide. There are numerous specialized stores, which create mouthwatering confections with some of the highest quality ingredients. While the chocolate might be a little heavier than how its concocted in countries like Switzerland, French chocolate is silky smooth and definitely something you want to take back home. Every time you bite into it, you’ll be transported right back into Paris, in all its finery. The best place to get some? You can try the historic Debauve & Gallais
Location: 30 Rue des Saints-Pères, 75007 Paris, France
It might sound like something you can get at home, but French beauty products are well-known for their high-quality. While they probably sell them at your local store, the price is very likely to be triple what you will pay in Paris, so its undoubtedly worth stocking up! One of the great things about bringing back beauty products is that you can find them at any drugstore or pharmacie in the city.
Do make sure you have enough space in your suitcase, since you’ll want to bring back at least a year’s supply once you see the rock-bottom prices for coveted Parisian brands.
This is an especially popular souvenir when it comes to Christmastime as it’s a typical dish eaten during the holidays. If you tried it and loved it, you will want to bring some back home for you. If you’re bringing it back as a gift, make sure you are not offering it to a vegan or vegetarian friend. Foie gras is made of the liver of ducks or geese, and they would probably be horrified by this offering!
Note: Many countries don’t allow the import of meat products so make sure to check this before stuffing heaps of foie gras in your luggage!
Speaking of decorative pieces for your home, a must-visit place if you want to get beautiful items is the Museum of Decorative Arts. As you can imagine, the souvenirs offered here are quite unique, and they could make a great addition to your home.
Location: 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001
You could also swing by the ever so fancy Astier de Villate, which is a store world-renowned for its handmade pottery, as well as cutlery and chandeliers, or buy the uniquely Parisian china cups from various patisseries, like the Café de Flore in the Latin Quarter.
Location: 173 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001
Are you a true baguette lover? You won’t be able to bring back home Paris’ delicious bread, but there are still options to indulge when it comes to this specific item, as an undoubtedly unique French souvenir.
Many stores sell baguette kits, with cutting boards, special knives, and even a baguette bag! This is perfect for all picnic lovers out there, who can now bring their baguette in this bag and some wine in another. All you’ll need is some delicious cheese and you will be ready for a perfect afternoon. If you truly love picnics, you can have one right behind the Eiffel Tower, where you can use your baguette bag for the very first time. What a view!
Second-hand items and antiques
Wanting a piece of Parisian history? Rather than frequenting the larger department stores or even the boutiques on Boulevard Saint Germain, take a turn at one of the many expansive flea markets in Paris. Like the Les Puces de Montreuil, which has everything from antiques to retro gear. Alternatively, you can head to the largest flea market in the city, the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen which is so large that it is demarcated into fourteen separate areas!
This Spanish painter spent a great part of his productive life in Paris. This is why the Picasso Museum is one of the must-see places in the city if you are an art lover. Make your way to the museum and purchase one of the many souvenirs sold there that are inspired by Picasso’s paintings. From clothes to home décor, you can find a bit of everything, with designs that are clearly following Picasso’s cubist style.
Location: 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003
French jam is delicious! They have made something that seems deceptively simple into a gourmet art. Thankfully, there are numerous specialty brands and stores. Big favorites are those from Christine Ferber, which can be found in different bakeries. They are sinfully delicious and will completely change how you see jam. It’s a great item to bring back!
French fashion is well-known around the world. There’s a reason Paris’ Fashion Week is one of the most famous ones in the industry. While some articles might be considerably pricey, handbags and wallets are a sure way to bring some of Paris’ fashion home without breaking the bank. One great store where they sell affordable handbags made in France is Brontibay. They also sell wallets and other items. Bringing one of these gifts from Paris back home with you will be a way to remember your wonderful trip daily.
Location: 13 Rue la Fayette, 75009
Paintings and Art
After all, Paris is a city known to have attracted some of the masters of art throughout the ages, so its undoubtedly worth trying to get your hands on a piece of art while there. Of course you could go a little high brow and find yourself a work in one of the many galleries in the city. Or you could just walk the banks of the Seine River and pick up a painting from one of the many stalls dotted along the water’s edge.
This is one of the most famous export products made in France and best things to buy in Paris. Champagne has become the drink perfect for celebrations and you will want to commemorate your trip to Paris with some of the finest champagne you will find. While you can find this in Paris, this could also bring you to visit the neighboring area where this drink got its name from: Champagne!
Actually, we’ve got heaps of ideas for other Paris souvenirs you can buy in places like Champagne, done on day trips out of Paris below.
Day Trips from Paris – more souvenirs from the surrounding areas
Not content with just visiting Paris and looking for a few ideas? Here are some spectacular places you can visit as a day trip out of the city, plus some ideas (of course) on souvenirs you can purchase in these stunning spots.
If you want a wonderful experience when getting the souvenir of the same name, you can visit the place where it all happens. Vineyards are open for tours, and you can even visit those owned by some of the most famous brands, including Dom Pérignon and Moët. When you leave, don’t forget to buy a bottle for your next party back at home. Nothing like getting it straight from the source…!
This is a quaint place to visit, located very near central Paris. You can visit the Museum of Archeology, which used to be where kings and queens lived. Furthermore, you can get amazing macaroons at one of the many patisseries in the place. One of the best ones is Gouley, which has even won awards for how delicious their treats are. Macaroons are synonymous with France, and you won’t regret bringing them back. Just remember to put them inside your carry on to avoid them getting squished during your trip.
Location: Domaine National de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Château-Place Charles de Gaulle, 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye
While it’s technically in Paris, it’s far away enough that we can consider it a day trip. If you are a fan of theme parks or you are on a family vacation, then going to Disneyland is a great idea. Of course, you will find numerous souvenir shops here; its Disney after all! You might want to consider purchasing at least one of the photos they take of you during the ride. While it’s not exactly a souvenir, it’s the type of memento that will allow you to revisit the wonderful day you will spend there.
Location: Boulevard de Parc, 77700 Coupvra
We can’t recommend this place enough. It’s located on an island, and it’s one of the most beautiful monasteries on the entire European continent – there’s a reason why it’s a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the best landmarks in France.
Be careful where you park your car if you drive there, though. As the day goes by, the tide goes up and places that were land only hours before will be entirely covered by water.
To get there you need to wind your way through many picturesque villages and we’d suggest you stop along the way to buy one of the beautifully crafted scented soaps that France is famous for.
This beautiful area is a breathtaking place to visit. For nature and architecture lovers, this will be a dream come true, with incredible Renaissance castles brushing up against lush gardens and forests. If you have time make a stop in Amboise, a village where the great artist and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci was laid to rest. Here you can definitely find some souvenirs dedicated to this famous man.
France is an unforgettable place but to truly keep it in your memories, make sure to bring something home as a memento from your visit. We hope we’ve helped you make a decision on exactly what to buy – choose wisely and pack carefully!
What are your favorite French souvenirs? Or even the best souvenir ships in Paris? Let us know in the comments! Also, if you’re keen to find a good itinerary for the city of love, do check out our Paris itinerary or already in Paris and have an epic shot, then here are some of the best quotes about Paris.
About the author
Richard Cole is a Marketing and Content Manager at MustGo.com and has been working in the Digital Marketing industry since 2002. He writes about marketing, lifestyle, travel and everything else in between. As a conversion-driven marketer, he is passionate about helping businesses expand their online visibility and reach their goals.
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