Paris is usually at the top of most travelers’ lists when shopping in France. The spellbinding capital offers everything from designer boutiques and glamorous department stores to some of the best and biggest antique markets in the world.
Look beyond the capital, however, for gourmet produce, world-class wines, and heavenly skincare found in destinations including Nice, Bordeaux, Saint- Tropez, and Aix-en-Provence.
From perfumes that will evoke memories of your travels long after you return home to colorful macarons to savor with friends, shopping in France is a highly pleasurable activity, and an insight into the local culture.
Here are some of the best spots in France for retail therapy.
Fragonard Perfume Factory, Grasse
Nestled in the rolling hills north of Cannes, Grasse is the go-to destination if you’re shopping in France for fragrances.
The region’s warm climate and sun-soaked fields of jasmine, lavender, and roses led to Grasse becoming the heart of France’s perfume industry as far back as the 1600s, with factories set up to create delicious scents.
Parfumerie Fragonard is one of the town’s venerable fragrance makers, just a short walk from Grasse’s centuries-old cathedral.
Visit the pink-hued factory of Parfumerie Fragonard to enjoy a guided tour by an olfactory expert before letting your nose guide you in selecting your perfect fragrance.
Choose from various scents, including sweet orange blossom, fresh verbena, and sumptuous violet.
After your visit to Parfumerie Fragonard, stroll around the old town’s hypnotic winding streets for plenty more shopping opportunities that France is known for. Isnard Grasse stocks lavender soaps and peony-scented candles, while Comptoir Des Thés offers refreshing teas.
Boulevard De La Croisette, Cannes
In the glorious French beach town of Cannes, clued-up shoppers head straight for La Croisette, the city’s sweeping waterfront boulevard, which runs from the picturesque port to Cannes Yacht Club.
Christian Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Moncler, and Boucheron are just a selection of the high-end names you’ll find on Boulevard de la Croisette.
Wander the palm-lined strip and stop for cooling ice cream. Once you’ved enjoyed a spot of shopping, luxuriate in the warm Mediterranean breeze from some of Cannes’ best beaches.
Walking the Boulevard de la Croisette is one of the best things to do in Cannes, as it is also home to some of the most exclusive bars and restaurants in the south of France, including Bijou Plage, L’Ecrin Plage, and 3.14 Plage, specializing in regional seafood dishes.
Avenue Des Champs-Élysées, Paris
Avenue des Champs-Élysées, which cuts diagonally through the eighth arrondissement of Paris, not only offers the best shopping in the world but some of the most famous landmarks in Paris, too.
Have your camera ready as you approach the Arc de Triomphe at the northwest tip of the Champs-Élysées and the Place de la Concorde, with its gold-topped Egyptian obelisk, at the southwest end.
Wander down this beautiful boulevard to explore the many cafés, restaurants, and international and national fashion brands that make Paris one of the best shopping cities in Europe. The displays are so beautiful that window shopping can be as much fun as flexing the credit card.
Louis Vuitton’s iconic flagship on the Champs-Élysées doubles as a museum, exploring the iconic trunk-making brand’s collections of the past.
There’s Petit Bateau for children’s wear. Longchamp for leather goods. Tara Jarmon and Maje for sophisticated women’s apparel, and the sprawling Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées department store, spread over four floors.
Avenue des Champs-Élysées is also the location of one of only three Nike House of Innovation stores in the world, and a Pierre Hermé and L’Occitane concept store.
This hybrid of the legendary macaron maker and the Provençal perfumer is an absolute feast for the senses. Admire the rainbow colors of the macarons, select some to taste, and then lose yourself in L’Occitane’s sumptuous scents of the south.
Pick up more sweet treats and stop for a coffee break at Ladurée, the upscale Parisian bakery known for its pistachio-colored exterior and colorful selection of macarons.
Macarons are available in various flavors, such as rose and chocolate, presented in pretty boxes so you can take them home—if you can resist the temptation to eat them all on the spot.
Read: One Day in Paris
Marché Aux Fleurs Cours Saleya, Nice
Starting out in 1897, Marché Aux Fleurs Cours Saleya—Nice’s pedestrianized flower market near the city’s Old Port—is one of the best destinations in France to browse bright bouquets.
From Tuesday to Sunday, Marché Aux Fleurs Cours Saleya welcomes visitors to soak up the intoxicating aisles of vibrant fresh flowers and plants, along with other French souvenirs such as gourmet items, local crafts, and a selection of fruit and vegetables.
Visiting this photogenic market is one of the best things to do in Nice. Admire the blushing blooms, including sunflowers, roses, tulips, peonies, dahlias, and lilies, among others, displayed under striped awnings.
The streets around Cours Saleya are filled with cafés, bars, and restaurants that overflow onto sidewalks. Look out for some of the city’s remarkable architecture as you stroll around the market, including the 19th-century opera house on rue Saint-François de Paule.
Once you’ve browsed this wonderful market, enjoy a waterfront walk on Quai des États-Unis and Ponchettes Public Beach.
Cours Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence
The tree-fringed Cours Mirabeau is the lively center of the beautiful city of Aix-en-Provence in southern France.
Cours Mirabeau—the strip between Fontaine de la Rotonde and Fontaine Du Roi René—is lined with cafés, including the legendary Les Deux Garçons. It’s also the city’s shopping mecca, offering a range of independent boutiques, art galleries, designer brands, and gourmet outlets.
Pick out beautiful jewelry at Mauboussin and glitzy watches at LePassionneur. Shopping in France is known for its pharmacies par excellence, and Marionnaud and Cours Mirabeau Pharmacy are must-visit destinations for cult French beauty brands.
Select a range of sensational cheeses at La Fromagerie du Passage. Wine merchant La Cave du Cours Mirabeau will help you to pick out some of the region’s easy-drinking rosé, while Maison Bechard sells exquisite Provencal food like patisseries, nougats, and chocolates.
You’ll also find menswear, women’s fashion, leather goods, and book shops on Cours Mirabeau. Enjoy a seat at Bar Le Grillon once you’ve shopped to savor the outstanding côte de boeuf or share a selection of small plates.
Cassis is a charming seaside spot known for its tranquil Calanques—the French fjords—on a craggy section of coastline around 15 miles from Marseille.
Not only is Cassis a shopper’s dream, but it’s incredibly scenic, boasting a pretty, boat-filled harbor surrounded by coral-hued buildings, quaint cafés, and wine bars.
Cassis’s main shopping area lies on and just off Avenue Victor Hugo and rue Alexandre Gervais, to the right of the harbor. Rue Alexandre Gervais is also the location of the local market, Marché de Cassis.
Pick up breezy tunics, jaunty swimwear, and locally-made ceramics. Highlights include Boutique Autrefois for delicious produce, including calisson of Provence (a regional candy specialty of almonds and candied fruits) and divine organic teas.
L’Eau de Cassis is a magnificent perfumery, while La Cabane du Poisson Rouge sells a range of gifts, including candles, soaps, wicker baskets, vases, and blankets.
Côté Cassis L’Eau de Cassis Maison is a homeware store where the shelves are stacked with warm-scented home fragrances, tote bags, jewelry, cushions, scarves, and tableware.
Marché Aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, Paris
Paris isn’t just about flashy designer labels. The pinnacle of shopping in France for antique lovers is Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, the city’s fabled flea market, just north of Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement.
Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is a sprawling web of antiques and vintage pieces, with thousands of vendors routinely laying out their collections.
Focus your visit on one section of the market as it’s impossible to get around all of the alleyways and warehouses in one trip.
Weave your way around rue des Rosiers, rummaging beside top fashion and interior stylists and Parisiennes. Uncover candlesticks, embroidered French linens, gilt mirrors, vintage designer fashion, antique wall maps, and period paintings among the trinkets and treasures.
As this is the largest antique market in the world, you’re guaranteed a thrilling shopping experience that Paris is famous for.
Marché D’Ajaccio, Corsica
In Ajaccio, on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, Marché d’Ajaccio is the city’s buzzy, covered market, open daily during summer, between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The best time to visit is usually over the weekend when an additional clothing and jewelry market is open, and locals jostle for the best fresh produce.
Try tasty Corsican food like local cheese and honey on fluffy baguettes. There’s a fish market filled with fresh-off-the-boat produce, delicatessens, patisserie, and wine merchants among the vendors. The displays of fresh fruit alone are enough to make your mouth water.
Wander Saint-Tropez’s winding streets and it won’t take you long to stumble upon some of the best shopping on the French Riviera.
One of the most luxurious cities in the world, sizzling designer boutiques dominate Saint-Tropez’s shopping scene, the glamorous resort laden with everything from beachwear to contemporary art and couture fashion.
Claudie Pierlot, Hermes, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton are among the many big-name brands scattered around this small French town.
Browse chic resort wear at Boutique Sunday on rue Gambetta, for linens, silks, and floral patterned fashion. Pick up maritime-themed polo shirts and jackets at Blanc Bleu on Avenue Foch.
Manoush on rue François Sibilli lures fashion-conscious travelers with its pretty dresses and fashionable two pieces, and Scarlett Saint-Tropez, on the corner of rue Henri Seillon and rue de la Poste, is a gorgeous book and gift store.
When you’re shopped out, enjoy a memorable lunch at La Petite Plage Saint-Tropez. The harbor-facing restaurant serves a luxurious menu of egg mayonnaise with black truffle, grilled eggplant with caviar, and zesty lobster salad, paired with ice-cold regional wines.
Rue Sainte-Catherine, Bordeaux
Once you’ve checked out the UNESCO World Heritage-listed churches and excellent museums of Bordeaux, head to rue Sainte-Catherine for a spot of shopping.
A major artery running through Old Bordeaux—from Place de la Comédie to Place de la Victoire—the pedestrianized rue Sainte-Catherine offers an eclectic mix of shopping on what is considered the longest shopping street in Europe.
One of the best things to do in Bordeaux is to browse the beautiful Galerie Bordelaise, a 19th-century arcade home to boutiques and cafes, including Michard Ardillier shoe shop and La Maison du Café.
Across the boulevard from Galerie Bordelaise, Bordeaux’s branch of Galeries Lafayette is the place for ready-to-wear fashion, jewelry, lingerie, perfumes, and homeware all under one roof.
You’ll find high street brands, including Mango and Zara, the Promenade Sainte Catherine shopping complex, and more cafés and restaurants making up the southern end of rue Sainte-Catherine.
Les Halles Market, near Nice
Close to the border with Italy, Menton is steeped in history. The French Riviera town is home to breathtaking manicured gardens, including Serre de la Madone, and a medieval old town featuring the Basilique Saint-Michel, with its 18th-century bell tower.
Menton’s bustling Les Halles Market has operated since 1898 on the waterfront’s Quai de Monléon, a wide boulevard skirting around the old quarter.
Open daily, Les Halles is one of the best places to shop for luscious Mediterranean produce. Start with a cappuccino and custard-filled pastry at the market’s Napoletano coffee bar.
Explore Les Halles’ dozens of stalls to discover mouth-watering aromas, colors, and flavors of rich Provençal and Italian fruits, vegetables, cheeses, bread, meats, and fish.
Plump lemons are the star of the show in Menton. Grown all around the region, they’re commonly used to make zingy lemon tarts.
Vieille Ville, Nice
The Old Town of Nice, also called Vieille Ville, or Vieux Nice, is centered around its treasured 17th-century Baroque cathedral near the ritzy, yacht-filled harbor.
Hidden among the Old Town’s narrow alleyways are hoards of independent shops and artists’ galleries.
The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it La Belle Epoque Vintage, across from the Church of Saint Jacques le Majeur, sells fabulous pre-loved designer pieces.
Go to Les Grandes Caves Caprioglio for top tipples to take home and Maison Brémond 1830 for olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and other artisan goods, on rue de la Préfecture.
Pick hand-painted ceramics at Dina Poterie Provençale, contemporary vases and plant pots at Autour Du Pot, and leather goods at Atelier Cuir Cousu Main.
Don’t leave Nice’s enchanting old quarter without calling on Maison Auer on rue Saint-François de Paule, a fifth-generation confectioner stocking a sublime selection of chocolate almonds and candied fruits.
France is one of the best places on the planet to shop. The country also boasts beautiful beaches, world-beating wines and gastronomy, and culture-packed towns and cities. Discover your next European vacation with our range of luxury cruises to France.