Snap Up Some Bargains at the Paris January Sales

There are always many reasons to visit Paris, at any time of the year. Besides being well known for all that great food and culture Paris is also a shopper’s paradise, and even more so during January.

Photograph by Jack from Paris

January 2011 is the fifth year that the city hosts “Soldes by Paris“. Or, ‘Sales by Paris’ – the city’s sale event of the year, which lasts throughout the month, and in some areas even into February. As an indication of how seriously the planning and marketing of this event has been, the city has produced ‘shopping itineraries’ – five of them in fact. As the Shopping By Paris strap-line goes: 5 different itineraries for 5 different styles – and they are Select, Trendy, Creative, Bobo-Chic and Ethic-Ethnic. The organisers have even thought of the ‘Savvy itinerary’ for those people who favour stock clearance stores and cut-price designer labels. Voilà! There truly is something for everyone!

For the ultimate shopping experience in Paris, you want to be heading for the Faubourg Saint-Honor̩ district, located in the vicinity of the found in the Louvre-Tuileries area. But, if it is the grand magasins, or the Department stores, you are looking for then it is Boulevard Haussmann you want. Perhaps the most famous of these department stores is Galeries Lafayette Рwhich occupies four different buildings. The Marais district is where you will find the more trendy shops.

But, no shopping tips for Paris would be complete without mentioning the Saint-Ouen flea market; the city’s largest, dating back to the nineteenth century. Here you will find everything from antique furniture to vintage clothes. Urban legend has it that one lucky shopper found a a grand master’s painting. That may not happen again, but you will find something quirky and interesting. Given the weekend crowds, its advisable to avoid this area during the weekend. Unless, of course it is crowds you are after. Certain shops in Paris still close on Sundays, for religious reasons. Increasingly, however, many shops open on Sundays – particularly for the tourist trade.

Photograph by David Salas

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About Thomas Dowson

Hello, I am Thomas Dowson - a freelance writer and archaeologist living in Normandy, France. My field of expertise is prehistoric art - such as the cave paintings in the Dordogne and South Africa. But I am becoming passionately interested in France more generally, and Normandy in particular, and what this country and one of its very well known regions has to offer people with all sorts of tastes and desires. In 2005 I exchanged a university archaeology lecture room for a Bed & Breakfast in Normandy. More recently I started the Archaeology Travel website; sharing my expertise and love of archaeology and travel with others who also want to explore the many different pasts around the World.