Whether you know it as la Ville Lumière (the city of lights), La Ville d’Amour (the city of love), or just that big, French place with the brown pointy tower, everyone knows about Paris. The French capital has forever been one of the world’s most desirable tourist destinations, thanks largely to its exceptional art museums, world-class landmarks and attractions, and famous food and wine scenes.
Not only is there so much to see, do, eat and drink, but there’s also a plethora of unique items to buy. Make sure that on your next visit to Paris, you’ve kept some room in your luggage, because you’ll be struggling to hold yourself back from collecting souvenirs that present themselves around each and every corner.
10 A Stamped Book From Shakespeare & Company
As without a doubt the most famous and revered English language bookstore in the city, no visit to Paris is complete without a quick stop into Shakespeare & Company. Here, literature enthusiasts and visitors alike can experience an atmosphere that was once a hangout for infamous names like Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
Since opening back in 1919, the bookstore is mostly unchanged, meaning that it hasn’t been converted into a money-hungry tourist trap, thankfully. If you’ve got space in your luggage, pick up one of your favorite books, and the staff will be happy to give it the Shakespeare & Co. stamped seal of approval.
9 French Macarons
It’s near impossible stroll down any of Paris’ charming cobblestones streets without some kind of alluring smell tantalizing you in like a fresh pie left on a windowsill, cartoon-style. From the world-renowned crepes to the freshly baked croissants, there is no shortage of tasty treats beckoning visitors.
One sweet delicacy that stands head and shoulders above the rest (and is golden material for any social media game), however, is the colorful array of Parisian macarons. A light, fluffy shell encompasses near-infinite variations of cream or jam, and you’ll find yourself struggling to sample just one. The particular location that can’t be overlooked is La Duree, and t only issue here is that you won’t want to share.
8 Items From The Bouquinistes
Along the banks of the glistening Seine river which runs through the center of Paris, little outdoor bookstores - selling pieces of art of different shapes and sizes, classic postcards and souvenirs, and of course, French books - known as bouquinistes are as quaintly romantic as they are iconic to the city.
They’re hard to avoid if you’re walking through the main touristy areas of the city, so why not take a few minutes to browse through their unique collections? The unmatched charm that these permanent pop-ups provide help to create the romance that Paris is known for, so don’t forget to pick up a keepsake or two.
7 A Mini Metro Ticket
With iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Sacre-Coeur Basilica, world-renowned Louvre museum, and the (currently being rebuilt after the fire) Notre Dame cathedral, Paris is abundant with points of interest and bucket list activities. To get from one to another, however, isn’t the easiest of tasks, considering that it’s one of the largest and most populous cities in Europe.
So, without a doubt, you’ll be catching the zippy underground metro across the city at least a handful of times. The tickets are much smaller than most, so they make for simple keepsakes. Plus, if you’ve got a spare couple of days, then day trips to Disneyland Paris and the stunning Palace of Versailles are also easily accessible by train.
6 A Selection Of French Chocolates
France might boast a reputation for its bubblin’ Champagne, delicate crepes, and world-class (albeit a tad smelly) cheese, but its chocolate scene is rather impressive in and of itself. Over the years, the selection of French chocolate has garnered a reputation as heavy-roasted and dark, but you don’t have to search the seven seas to find whichever variety your heart (and tastebuds) desires.
Maison du Chocolat is well-known and widespread, but as a chain, it can lack authenticity. Instead, head to one of the local spots like Benoit chocolates in the Marais area, or Debauve and Gallais in the 4th arrondissement.
5 Parisian Fashion (At Discount Prices)
It’s no secret that Paris is synonymous with fashion, and while fashion is seldom synonymous with budget, it’s certainly doable - you just need to know where to look. Penny-pinching travelers can easily rock the designer boutique styles without the pricetags by heading to one of the many outlet stores scattered across the city.
A common outlet shopping stop, La Vallee Village, while having great deals on high-end fashion, is rather out of the way, especially when time is precious. Instead, grab yourself a silk scarf or a knee-length coat at one of the local outlets smack bang in the heart of Paris, like L’Habilleur or the Sandro Outlet Store.
4 A Beret
You didn’t think that we’d be taking a trip to Paris without fulfilling one of the many overdone stereotypes, did you? It might be a little bit of a cliche, but there’s a good reason why it’s so popular - simply put, it looks darn good (if you know how to wear it, of course).
Depending on budget, visitors can pick up flimsy, cheap berets at pretty much any souvenir store, discounted ones at the aforementioned outlet stores, or even luxurious cashmere styles at one of the many luxury boutiques dotted along the Champs-Elysees and across the rest of the city.
3 A Little Iron Lady
If we’re talking about cliche and overdone, nothing else screams tourist quite like a fake-bronze, miniature Eiffel Tower replica. Yes, their vendors are (mostly) illegal and can be exceptionally pushy, and yes, the souvenirs themselves are awkwardly shaped and rather pointy and stabby, but you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t come home with at least a keyring-sized Iron Lady.
The positive news is that their pricetags sit next to nothing. Often the underground vendors who float around major tourist attractions sell 3 or 4 mini towers for 1 euro. Even if you’re of the opinion that they’re overly tacky, they make for cheap and simple gifts for the peeps back home.
2 A Good Bottle Of French Wine
Vivre la vie! We’re in France - it would be almost rude not to come home with a bottle of some sort of exclusive red. If you can venture out of Paris, then there’s also the opportunity to try some of the world’s most revered blends at their source, although they’re easily discoverable at markets across the city, so don’t fret too much.
While it might be tricky to take Parisian cheese back home due to customs regulations, an unopened bottle of wine should have no issues whatsoever. After the long-haul flight home, cracking open a Bordeaux Cab Sav sells itself as a perfect accompaniment to a catch-up dinner with friends and family.
Move over Snickers, because there’s a new kid on the block, and its name is Camabar! Well, technically, it’s a rather old kid, since the chewy caramel candies have been sitting on French shelves since way back in 1954. For those with a little bit of a sweet tooth, these popular sweets market themselves as a great and cost-effective Parisian souvenir,
Much like the Australian Fantales, or the Snapple bottle caps, the interior of the Carambar wrapper offers a little surprise to anyone who opens it. We’re not going to tell you though, you’ll just have to discover what it is for yourself!