Emily’s Top International Shopping Destinations: Paris, France

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Emily:   Hi everyone!  You know how much I like traveling.  Another passion of mine is shopping for locally handmade art and treasures in the places I visit.

To me, art is the absolute best thing to bring back home.  It’s so unique, and there’s soul behind it.  Of course, I also love bringing back small random gifts for family and friends.

Emilys Top International Shopping Destinations Paris France

A View of Galeries Lafayette, One of the Most Famous Shopping Malls in Paris

Because the holidays are coming up, I’ve created a few posts on some of my favorite shopping destinations and how to get there on miles & points!  And for those who don’t like shopping as much, I’ve also included my other favorite experiences in these cities!

Emily’s Top International Shopping Destinations Index:

Achieve Shopping Nirvana in Paris, France

France is one of my favorite destinations for history, culture, and shopping!  Paris is a global trend-setter in fashion.  But you don’t need to spend a lot to bring the Parisian lifestyle home with you!

Galeries Lafayette has a large selection of clothing, shoes, and accessories from mid-priced to really high-end.  Plus, the gorgeous architecture makes it feel like you’re in a French museum!  It’s one of my can’t-miss hot spots when I visit Paris.

Emilys Top International Shopping Destinations Paris France

Lingerie Found at Galeries Lafayette

For high-quality artsy souvenirs, books, and paper products, visit Brentano’s Librairie Americaine on 37 Avenue de l’Opéra.  This is on my must-visit list every time I visit Paris. The first time, I think I spent 2 hours admiring all their creative stationery, stickers, and other handmade crafts.

Emilys Top International Shopping Destinations Paris France

Get Your Stationery Fix at Brentano’s

Rue de Rivoli is lined with brand-name shops.  Some of my favorites include Bershka, Zara, and Kiko Cosmetics. And you can find sale racks in nearly every store!

I LOVE escaping the crowds of tourists by shopping at Montmartre.  Here you’ll find inexpensive vintage clothes, thrift shops, one-of-a kind jewelry, cute leather purses, and unique sweaters.

Emilys Top International Shopping Destinations Paris France

To Shop With the Locals, Head to Montmartre

Get off on the Abbesses metro stop and spend half a day exploring the many streets lined with shops!  Many stores are closed on Sunday, so remember that when planning your shopping spree.

Explore the City’s History and Culture

If you’re not into shopping, there is so much to see and do in Paris.  The city has enough museums to keep you busy for weeks!  Do your research ahead of time to determine which ones you want to visit.

My friends and I had a great time at the Musée d’Orsay.  I also really liked the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris.  It’s currently closed for renovations, but should reopen in the fall of 2017.

Emilys Top International Shopping Destinations Paris France

The Musée d’Orsay Used to be a Train Station, and Even Maintains Its Original Clock

Here’s a link to a post on the best small museums in Paris to give you an idea of what’s out there!

There are so many must-see attractions in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.  Or if you’re obsessed with architecture like me, you need to visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame!

Immerse Yourself in History by Visiting a Chateau

The French were known for opulence, and the chateaus tell a story of lavish bygone times.  Although Versailles is the most famous, you should check out other less touristy palaces.  The Château of Vincennes is a 14th century castle just a 25-minute metro ride from the Paris city center!

The Palace of Fontainebleau has extravagant interiors with detailed woodwork, expressive paintings, and other art from the best French and Italian artists from the period.

Emilys Top International Shopping Destinations Paris France

Chateauing in Vincennes

Here’s a link to 11 Must-See Chateaux Outside Paris.

Eat All the French Food You Can Handle

I LOVE French food.  I love the coffee, the desserts, and everything in between.  Try different bakeries and enjoy unique creations (bakeries are also a low-pressure way to practice your French!).

If you’re shopping near Galeries Lafayette or Rue de Rivoli, don’t miss trying the food at the Laurent Dheilly Artisan Boulanger.  I had the best pistachio macaroon sandwich with raspberry filling and fresh raspberries on top.  Divine!

Every day when I was in Paris, I would pop into a patisserie (bakery) to see the morning’s masterpieces.  Parisians bring their love of art to their desserts.  Not only do they look nice, but they’re full of flavor, and melt in your mouth!

Emilys Top International Shopping Destinations Paris France

The Human Body Can Consume 4.5 Pounds of Sugar in 1 Sitting Without Dying

Also, don’t expect your American coffee with free refills.  I’ve never seen a restaurant or café offer free refills.  Part of traveling is experiencing life – and coffee – how the locals experience it! 🙂

You Can Do It, Too!

 One-Way Business Class Ticket from Austin to EuropeAirbnb in Paris
Retail Cost~$5,000$149 per night
Our Cash Cost~$130$149 per night, or $20 per person
Miles & Points Used57,500 American Airlines milesN/A
Source of Miles & Points - Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 American Airlines miles
- CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 American Airlines miles
- Citi AAdvantage Executive
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 American Airlines miles
N/A
Alternatives- Chase United Explorer
Current sign-up bonus of 30,000 United Airlines miles
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (which transfer to United Airlines)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
Current sign-up bonus of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (which transfer to United Airlines)
- Chase Ink Preferred
Current sign-up bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (which transfer to United Airlines)
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles ($500) towards travel, including Airbnb
- Chase Hyatt
Current sign-up bonus of 2 free nights at any Hyatt
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (which transfer to Hyatt)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
Current sign-up bonus of 100,000 points (which transfer to Hyatt)
Additional Information- You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways at a ratio of 1:1- You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt at a ratio of 1:1

1.   Flights

Sometimes you can find a fare sale for cheap tickets into Europe. These deals have been happening more quickly, so check our blog often for updates.  If you can’t find cheap tickets though, consider using airline miles earned from credit cards to help get you there.

The easiest ways to get to Paris is with American Airlines.  To get to Europe, it costs:

  • 30,000 American Airlines miles for a one-way coach ticket (22,500 American Airlines miles if your travel dates are between January 10 and March 14, or November 1 and December 14)
  • 57,500 American Airlines miles for a one-way Business Class ticket
  • 85,000 American Airlines miles for a one-way First Class ticket

You can earn American Airlines miles quickly by signing-up for:

Emilys Top International Shopping Destinations Paris France

Air Berlin’s Business Class Ticket for $130

Or, you can fly United Airlines to Europe for:

  • 30,000 United Airlines miles in coach
  • 57,500 United Airlines miles in Business Class (70,000 miles if you fly on United Airlines partner airlines)
  • 80,000 United Airlines miles in First Class (110,000 miles if you fly on United Airlines partner airlines)

You can earn United Airlines miles quickly by signing-up for:

  • Chase United Explorer – Earn 30,000 United Airlines miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – Earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – Earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account
  • Ink Business Preferred – Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after making $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account

Note:   Many folks may qualify for small business cards even if they don’t think they do.  If you have a for-profit venture, like selling items on eBay, tutoring, or coaching, you can likely get approved for a small business card.

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United at a 1:1 ratio.  Make sure you click on “Redeem Miles” and then “Show Full Calendar” for the least number of miles needed if your dates are flexible.

If you’re using American Airlines miles, try to stay away from flying across the ocean with partner British Airways.  They add heavy fuel surcharges!  If you can help it, stick with American Airlines flights, or partners like Air Berlin.

Booking well in advance helps a lot, too.

2.   Use Hotel Points for Free Stays

While my main focus when traveling is seeing the sights and getting to know the locals, it’s definitely nice to pamper yourself, too.  So consider using hotel points for an award stay.

You can use Hyatt points to stay at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome or at the Hotel du Louvre.  And if you’re short on Hyatt points, you can easily transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.

Emilys Top International Shopping Destinations Paris France

I Loved Being Close to the Louvre and Opera House at the Park Hyatt!

Both the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome and the Hotel du Louvre make very good award stays.

3.   Try an Airbnb for a More Local Experience

My friends and I stayed in a Charming Flat in the Bastille neighborhood in Paris.  The location was convenient, and it had a modern feel.  Airbnbs give me lots of decorating ideas for my own home!

The cost was $149 per night, split between me and my 3 accompanying friends.  So we only paid $37 per night!

Emilys Top International Shopping Destinations Paris France

Our Modern and ADORABLE Parisian Airbnb

And if you use my Airbnb referral link, you can get $20 off your next rental!

Bottom Line

Shopping in international cities is so fun, because you can find unique items at good prices.  I also love exploring and appreciating the food, architecture, and people.  You can’t miss Galeries Lafayette if you plan a trip to Paris.  It’s my top shopping recommendation!

Because collecting frequent flyer miles from credit card sign-up bonuses is so easy, there’s no excuse not to fit in a shopping trip to the city of your dreams!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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2 responses to “Emily’s Top International Shopping Destinations: Paris, France

  1. I’ll pass on Galeries Lafayette. The place is over run by rude Chinese tourists. Everything is in Chinese, even the signs in the bathroom, and the place is full of Chinese people running around, sitting all over the floor in places they shouldn’t. The management is directed to protect them as well as any incident involving Chinese tourists is to be handled in a way that wouldn’t prevent future visits… Disgusting.

  2. Emily Hi, What month did your group travel to Paris ? The point details and travel specifics are much appreciated. Thank you for the interesting travel logs. SteveO