Whether it be a weekend of relax with your friends, or a stop during a trip across Europe, having just a couple of days to visit one of the most fascinating cities in the world can be quite frustrating. But if you only have two days, there are a few indispensable shopping destinations you should not miss. We will divide the trip in four main destinations, one for each morning and one for each afternoon.
Saturday morning – something unusual: Ragtime, 23 Rue Echaudè
If you’re interested in vintage clothing, you must stop at Ragtime, at Rue Echaudé 23. It is open from 2:30PM to 7:30PM from Monday to Saturday. It offers a vast choice of clothing and accessories, but it is not an ordinary second-hand/vintage shop in any way. Ragtime offers a rich collection of items made between 1880 and 1970, including shoes, boots, hats, jackets etc. The shop looks a bit like an underground cave. If you stay for the weekend, make sure your shopping trip starts from here, since on Sundays the shop is closed.
Saturday afternoon – a moral duty: the Champs Elysées
After vintage and unusual clothing, let’s get more serious. Think about it: it’s Saturday afternoon, you’re in Paris, the weather’s nice and you have an irresistible urge to do some shopping. So you won’t be scared by three consecutive kilometers of luxury shop windows, high class shopping centers and fashion boutiques, will you? Then you must go to the Champs Elysées, which have a vast area devoted to shopping: do not expect to find parisian boutiques, since most of the shops are megastores by international brands like H&M, Kookai, Naf Naf etc. But there you’ll find so much choice you won’t believe your eyes.
If you’re after something more Parisian you should walk towards the Musée d’Orsay and then towards the Le Bon Marché department store and the Rue de Bac, the street of choice for successful parisian fashion designers. To get there faster, you can use the Metro 12 in the Rue de Bac direction so you’re not too tired when you get there. You’ll have plenty of reasons to walk around for most of the afternoon anyway!!
If you feel guilty for having shopped too much, and if in later days anyone asks you where you spent your afternoon, remember that you can always say you have visited the Luxor Obelisk in Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe, so that no one finds you out!
Sunday morning – something for the stomach: St. Germain des Prés
In order to surround oneself with the most famous French brands one should go to St. Germain des Prés, where in approximately an hour’s walk you can see a lot of things. There are the shop windows of Dior, and on the opposite side of the road Nobilis, a brand entirely devoted to furniture which is so Parisian you won’t believe your eyes. If instead you take Rue Jacob you will find a confectioner’s shop called Lauderee, which is a compulsory stop for every tourist in Paris. If you go on on the left side of the street you will find Petit Faune, which is the ideal place to buy a present for your/your sister’s/your absent friends’ kids. Kids like presents almost as much as you do. If you turn left into Rue St. Peres you will face your last temptation by passing in front of Debauve and Gallais, one of the oldest chocolate shops in Paris. Yes, you are on holiday. Diets are for the home. Remember that. Besides, you’ve been walking all morning…
Sunday afternoon: a drink in Montmartre
It is Sunday Afternoon, and maybe you’ve just come out of the streets of St.Germain des Prés, your weekend is about to finish and in this day and a half you’ve had time to see a lot of things. To savour the last bits of Paris’ perfumes and ambience there’s nothing better than going for a drink in Montmartre: it is a hill which is a real city in the city, with its own specific rituals, its shops and restaurants, and tens of artists ready to take a portrait of tourists and passers-by. The atmosphere in Montmartre, in spite of all the hordes of tourists that go there, is still special and quite magical. There are a lot of places where you can just sit down on a table on the street, have a glass of wine, take a look around and maybe wait for the sunset. You won’t regret it.
If at the end of your Montmartre visit you go down Rue Lepic, you will also find the Les Deux Moulins bistrot, which has been made famous by the French Film Amélie (aka Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain), which is by the way a must-see before going to Paris. If you proceed along that street you will also be able to have a glance at the famous Mouline Rouge club and the notorious Pigalle but, as you will well know, these are locations suited for another kind of holiday.
When the light go down on the city you’ll go back to your hostel full of packages and shopping bags. If you want to go on a shopping spree you can spare some money on lodging and go to one of HostelsClub’s hostels in Paris.