Mara's Paris

Saturday shopping on Rue du Cherche Midi

Shopping for Samantha

The best shopping areas for Samantha would be :

St. Germain / St. Sulpice Area :

The St. Germain / St. Sulpice area in the 6ème Arr. (close to where I lived) . . . this above is a picture of Rue du Cherche Midi. It has a whole bunch of small boutique shops and is a nice walk around. Maje (pictured above) is still there I think and has fun stuff. Many of the shops here are open on Sunday (not typical of all French stores). This is a pretty "young" area as it is in the heart of the city and borders the Latin Quarter.

For fun, you can look up my old address relative to here . . . 23 rue de l'Observatoire. Here's a picture of my apartment from the street side that my balcony overlooked (Boulevard St. Michel). The other side of the building had a pretty decent view of the Eiffel Tower. I loved that place . . . all 200 sq. ft and the bathroom I shared with 10 others. LOL!

St. Sulpice Church

My apartment (top floor middle window with flags) from Blvd. St. Michel

My bus stop . . .

Best place for fruit and canned ravioli (don't ask)

Second from the left . . .

While you're shopping in the area, take a walk over to the Jardin du Luxembourg. LOTS to see and totally relaxing. When I worked at Cornell, I toured the Senate building (Palais de Luxembourg in the back of the pond). Always busy on weekends.

The Marais :

The Marais tends to be a bit "older" but still has great places to shop, eat, and hang out. The oldest covered market in Paris, Marché couvert des Enfants Rouges, is cool. The Marais is in the 4ème Arr. If you go to the Marais, eat lunch at Dame Tartine. I used to have a "poulet à la cannelle" (cinnamon chicken) here all the time. It's pretty inexpensive. Then you can wander around Centre Pompidou - Musée Beaubourg and watch the crazy fountains.

Châtelet les Halles :

The dead center of the city, in the 1ère Arr., Châtelet has an "underground" mall that connects to the train station. There are a lot of shops here and above ground flanking the square. I spent a lot of time here but it's not awesome past dark, so stick to the area during the day. I ate my first mango here with a spoon sitting on a folding chair. Don't ask why this is my prevailing memory of Châtelet.

Montmartre :

You have probably been here but I hope you go back. Lots of touristy stuff but also some cheaper and fun clothing shopping. You should definitely go in any case. I love going up there at dusk and watching the sun set over Paris.

Galleries Lafayette - Definitely the prettiest of the "grands magasins" and actually a chain of stores around Paris. The one on Boulevard Haussman in the 9ème Arr. is the flagship.

Bon Marché - A bit "older" and pricier, probably not my first stop

BHV - A beautiful building and sells everything, so not just clothing. I think I bought paint here once. LOL! But worth wandering through.

La Samaritaine - Was closed for a while but I think re-opened now.

Printemps - Probably my pick. Lots of great shops. Not the most pricey but good stuff. And a rooftop café with a great view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower when you've shopped til you almost drop!

You might see advertisement for shopping around Montparnasse (in the 14ème). This is (or was) where H&M and a lot of those stores are. Not worth it.

FYI - You will not likely hot a lot of sales, so don't try to "bargain hunt." Sales are regulated by the government (of course they are . . . this is France) to only take place twice a year. Once in July (or August, I can't remember . . . clearly summer) and once in the winter.

Refuge des Fondues (Montmartre Dinner)

17 Rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris

And once the sun sets, I love going to my favorite restaurant, Refuge des Fondues. I'm not sure if your mom is up for this kind of place but I took everyone (including my parents) who came to visit me and they always had a good time. A literal hole in the wall but good food. You sit along two long benches elbow-to-elbow and drink wine out of baby bottles. I'm still friends with Megan, the girl showing through the door in the picture of the facade below, from this night in 2014. Cash only.


La Coupole

Iconic . . . I've been here twice.

Near Your Hotel

View of Rue Royale from the steps of the Madeleine church.

Your hotel (Crillon) is the building on the right facing Place de la Concorde.

Concerts at the Madeleine and other Paris church venues

The Requiem is playing the 25th (I saw this here in 1993) . . . not sure of your dates.

Steps of the Madeleine of Rue Royale at dusk (just before Four Seasons concert began in 2014)

Église de la Madeleine

And of course, you'll have to go up the Eiffel Tower if Samantha hasn't gone.

View NE from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Flea Market (Marché Aux Puces)

The one at Porte de Clignancourt is the best. Only Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It's an OK area but anything north or to the east and / or west of the area is a bit iff-y. A very "immigrant" area without saying too much more. Porte de Clichy is a dump. Stay away. I would DEFINITELY hit this market if you're up for it. Way more interesting than any of the other touristy shopping areas, IMHO.

More info.

I have a picture of me at the Marché when I was 19. I'll dig it out and show you when you come back.

If I dig up anything else interesting, I'll be sure to post it. Whatever you end up doing, you'll have an amazing time! Can't wait to hear all about it!!! XO