France has an unrivaled shopping scene, perfect for buying tasteful souvenirs of your time spent exploring.
Whether you’re visiting the City Of Lights or the countryside of Provence, there’s a wide array of authentic products worth buying to bring home with you.
Browse lavender products in Provence, taste and purchase a variety of French cheeses to enjoy back at home, check out Eiffel tower souvenirs on the famous Champs-Élysée in Paris, and buy perfume you’ve created yourself in the hills north of Cannes.
Here are the top 11 souvenirs from France to look out for on your exciting French adventure.
Eiffel Tower Souvenirs
No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the most famous Parisian landmark. The Eiffel Tower was built in the late 1800s as the main attraction of the 1889 World’s Fair and is breathtaking to see first-hand.
As the most recognizable symbol of Paris and the beautiful European country as a whole, it’s one of the most popular souvenirs to purchase.
Whether you choose a key chain in the shape of the tower, or a painting of the structure to hang in your home, there’s no better theme for your French memorabilia.
While you’ll find these souvenirs all over the City of Lights, there are a few key spots worth checking out. The official Eiffel Tower stores on the first levels of the tower are great places to find items like stationery, snow globes, and miniature Eiffel Towers.
Book lovers will enjoy browsing the literary selection detailing the history of the monument, including sketches and artwork.
Other souvenir shops that sell Eiffel Tower items, including the landmark statues in a variety of sizes and colors, can be found along the Rue de Rivoli, across from the Louvre.
France is famous for its high-quality perfumes, particularly its designer brands. That’s not all though; in the French Riveria, you can make your own perfume, creating a memorable and special souvenir or gift to bring home.
In the center of the old town section of Grasse, you’ll find one of the oldest perfume factories in the country.
The town itself is known as the “Perfume Capital of the World” due to its microclimate, ideal for growing flowers. Perfume production here dates back to the 18th century, so there’s rich history surrounding it as well.
The Fragonard Perfume Factory is one of Grasse’s best-known parfumeries and includes a museum too. View approximately 100 rare objects from antiques to present day from the world of perfume, as well as a collection of paintings when touring the museum.
When visiting the family-run factory, enjoy a guided tour of the laboratories, and participate in the very unique perfume-making workshop.
Learn about the process behind creating an Eau de Cologne and hear about the history of perfume making as you create your own concoction with a mix of citrus, aromatic and orange blossom scents. This is an experience not to miss while visiting the French Riviera.
Dijon mustard is a staple item in the culinary scene of France. Pale yellow in color and creamy instead of the bright yellow of American-style, this condiment is well-loved around the world for spreading on sandwiches or incorporating into other recipes.
Made from mustard seed and white wine, it was first created in the city of Dijon, the capital city of Burgundy located in eastern France. You’ll find it all over France, though.
One of the most popular brands is Maille, which has a boutique that you can visit in Paris. Browse the walls lined with different varieties of mustard sold in glass jars, and taste some in order to choose your favorite.
Whether you buy their signature Dijon and whole grain gourmet mustard or one of the more unique varieties with pesto or truffles, you’re sure to find one that suits your taste.
The round, soft French beret is a classic wardrobe item to purchase while visiting France. The hat style dates back to 17th century France, though it wasn’t a fashion statement until the 1900s.
If you’d like to shop for a beret for yourself as a souvenir, the shops on Rue de Rivoli in the heart of Paris is a good place to start. Alternatively, bigger department stores such as Le Bon Marche and Printemps are another place to shop for a more authentic French beret.
For high-end berets that have been produced by the company since the mid-1800s, Maison Laulhère in Paris is a top choice as well.
Note that you won’t spot young, hip Parisians walking around sporting berets, unless a particular designer has a beret line that season. You’re more likely to see older people in rural areas wearing this iconic headgear.
The gorgeous purple flower of lavender is symbolic of sun-drenched Provence. Grown in long rows across the countryside in the southern region of the country, it typically blooms during summer in France, creating a striking and fragrant purple haze.
Visiting one of the area’s farms is a top activity to explore, experience, and photograph France’s most iconic flower. It comes in two varieties, fine lavender and lavandin, although fine lavender is only grown in Provence. It’s used in perfume, soaps, lotion, aromatic sachets, candles, oils, and much more, available at most farm gift shops.
Venture to Alpes-de-Haute, Provence, approximately two hours from Toulon and Marseille to view some of the most scenic lavender fields and browse the wide array of lavender products.
Sweet and soft sandwich cookies, Macarons are one of the most famous French desserts and one of the best souvenirs from France, given their delicate beauty and pretty colors.
While you’ll find them throughout France, Paris is a great destination to shop for this sweet treat, which comes in numerous flavors. Light and crisp on the outside and filled with a soft meringue on the inside, macarons are a bite-sized delight.
One of the most famous places to buy a gift box in France is Laduree, on the Champs-Élysées, the main shopping avenue in Paris.
A box of colorful macarons is the perfect souvenir after tasting some flavors in the store. Try classic flavors of this popular dessert such as hazelnut, vanilla, or pistachio, or venture to some of the more specialized flavors such as cardamom or lychee pink.
Jewelry is one of the most popular French souvenirs, with many famous designers to wear, such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, De Grace, Burma, and Nouvel Amour. Of course, all of these sell overseas, as well, but to say you’re wearing a piece of jewelry actually bought in France is extra special.
The coastal city of Cannes in the south of France is a fantastic place to visit if you’re in the market for some beautiful French jewelry pieces. Head to La Croisette, the palm-lined boulevard with an abundance of luxury stores, including jewelry shops.
You’ll also find designer brands like Gucci, Chanel, and Dior, offering anything from necklaces to rings and you’ll find a treasure to bring home and wear as a symbol of your time spent in southern France.
Of course, costume jewelry is also widely available in France. Look out for delicate pieces in high-end areas like the small French town of Saint-Tropez, where there are plenty of family-run jewelers among the designer boutiques.
France is known for making delicious cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, Epoisses, and Roquefort. While visiting the country, trying a variety of cheeses is all part of the rich culinary experience that the destination offers.
Cheese can also make a great souvenir, if you know where to buy your favorite varieties. While it’s possible to purchase cheeses at a local grocery store almost anywhere in France, choosing to go to a fromagerie (specialized cheese store) is a more enriching and cultural experience.
If you see affineur on the shop sign, that signifies that the shop specializes in aging cheese, giving it higher quality. A shop like this will help you choose your cheese and find the exact peak ripeness based on when you’ll be eating it.
Make sure to ask what’s in season as well; the best time to visit France to find blue cheeses is during the fall months and softer cow’s cheeses like Beaufort, in the summer months.
Some fromageries in Paris worth visiting are Laurent Dubois, with a focus on raw cheeses, Androuet, which dates back to the early 1900s and offers a cheese calendar, with varieties from all over France.
Bear in mind that if you buy the exquisite but pungent Epoisses, you’ll need to wrap it extremely well for the journey home or your traveling companions won’t thank you. But while Epoisses exudes a powerful smell, its taste is subtle and sublime.
French wine is known around the world for its high quality and superb taste. From classic Bordeaux reds to Provence rosés, French wine can make for a perfect gift or souvenir.
In Provence, the oldest wine region in the country, the mild climate is ideal for producing rosé, a delicious pink wine to drink chilled on a warm day.
Spend a few hours shopping in Aix-en-Provence at the Cours Mirabeau under the shade of the tree-lined avenue, with a stop in La Cave du Cours Mirabeau, where you can purchase from a wide selection of regional wines.
Browsing for antiques is an enjoyable experience while shopping in France. The seaside city of Nice is host to a few fantastic flea and antique markets where you can unearth some French treasures to bring home.
Visiting the Marché aux Fleurs (Flower Market) near the Old Port is one of the best things to do in Nice. The market typically sells flowers, produce and other local products, but on Mondays, they also sell antiques.
While exploring the Old Port area of Nice, you’ll find several open-air antique shops selling anything from vintage clothing to first-edition books and camera equipment.
Additionally, on the third Saturday of every month, an antique market pops up at Place Garibaldi where you can find knickknacks and other old gems.
If time permits on your visit to Paris, and you’re there on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, head for Les Puces de Saint-Ouen at Porte de Clignancourt. This vast flea market, in fact, the largest of its kind in the world, sprawls over seven hectares.
Given that France is a destination with a rich culinary and beverage scene, it’s no surprise that chocolate is one of the best French souvenirs.
Artisanal chocolate includes bonbons, which are filled chocolates with anything from fruit, ganache, praline, or caramel.
Chocolate bars are also popular with a range of cacao percentages, also with different ingredients embedded inside like nuts or fruits. Disc-shaped chocolates with nuts and dried fruits on top of them are called mendiants, another popular choice.
Although there are many chocolate shops in Paris, one of the absolute best is Chocolate Alain Ducasse. Visit the manufacturing building on Rue de la Roquette, where you can see the process go from bean to chocolate bar using vintage machines. You can shop for chocolate pieces to enjoy during your French vacation or to bring home with you as well.
Local artwork is an excellent and long-lasting souvenir that will remind you of your time in France whenever you look at it in your home. Visit small art galleries, markets, and craft shops to find art posters, postcards, and other paintings or prints in any town or city to find a unique souvenir.
The French Riviera is a great place to purchase local artwork. Cannes is home to many independent art galleries and a bustling art scene.
Some of the best galleries to check out include Galerie Sintitulo and Galerie Neel, where you’ll find a mix of paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, as well as contemporary art.
Local flea markets are another treasure trove for art pieces, such as the Marche Brocante, with everything from paintings to vintage jewelry.
Alternatively, take your easel and watercolors and create your own masterpiece in the settings that inspired some of the great Impressionists.
Whether you’re in search of a first-edition book or other antiques, or prefer to bring home edible treats, there’s a wide range of souvenirs from France to consider buying. Browse Celebrity’s cruises to France to book your European escape today.