The Best Paris Souvenirs

the best paris souvenirs everyday parisian

The best French souvenirs from Paris can be found in various places in the city, and not all have to break the bank. Some souvenirs like a metro ticket, matches, or a menu from your favorite bistro can be sentimental. Blog readers have been requesting this post for a while now. This post will cover what to buy in Paris and various ideas to bring home for yourself or the Francophile. You can also think ahead for a birthday, baby gifts, and holiday gift ideas from your trip to Paris.

Did I miss one of your favorite souvenir ideas from the City of Lights? Drop your favorite below and share it with the community.

The Best Paris Souvenirs

Did I miss one of your favorite souvenir ideas? Drop your favorite below and share it with the community.

the best french souvenirs

Visit a French Grocery Store for Souvenirs

You may not think of it, but the grocery store is a great place to shop for souvenirs. There are lots of unique French products to bring home. Browse the aisles and remember if you are packing in a carry-on or checked bag. If you have a checked bag, look for confiture (French jams in various fruit flavors), olive oil, and honey. I love bringing back Fleur de sel as a gift for friends who cook. French sea salt is an affordable and small item for your luggage. Keep an eye out for this pink baking powder. The French swear by it! 

French baking powder

You can also bring back a colorful tea towel or a Torchon in French. French kitchen items make the best souvenirs for the chef or baker in your life. I picked up this one at La Cuisine Paris. You can find some at Monoprix in the kitchen section. 

Tea towel La Cuisine Paris

The best Paris souvenirs to buy

Les Bouquinistes in Paris: Where to Buy the Best French Souvenirs

Books by the Seine Paris souvenirs

Les Bouqinistes are the vendors that line the Seine across from Notre Dame with green wood boxes filled with books and paintings. Stroll the Seine and pick up an old book or a piece of art to frame. The Bouquinistes are an iconic part of Paris and an excellent place to pick up a souvenir in Paris. Each vendor is different, so take a little time to stroll around and choose something unique. They can roll up posters into a tube for easy transport home. 

shopping for souvenirs in Paris

What to Buy in Paris: E. Dehillerin

Dehillerin is a world-famous kitchen supply shop in Paris. My friends at La Cuisine Paris always talk about this shop. It is the perfect place to discover and shop if you love kitchen items. They have various professional cooking equipment, baking pans, and copper pots. Dehillerin is closed on Sundays, so keep this in mind as you plan your schedule. The shop will ship to the US, so if something doesn’t fit in your suitcase, you can send it home.

Paris Souvenirs: Visit a French Flea Market

Paris dishes at the flea market

A Brocante is a French flea market. You can find it all over the city in different areas. On the weekends, there are pop-up Brocantes identified by signage in the arrondissement a few days in advance. 

Visit the Puces in Paris on the weekend to find something special. Take line 4 to the end of Clignancourt and walk about 10 minutes to the area where all the vendors will be. Another quick option is to take an Uber or taxi directly to the Puces. There are a variety of vendors and markets, all intertwined for an afternoon adventure. Book lunch at Bonne Aventure, and it will not disappoint. 

best Paris souvenirs flea market finds

Marché d’aligre is a food and flea market in Paris. It is a fun local spot to spend a morning picking up souvenirs and chatting with other local French people. 

Parisian Brocante sign

What to Buy at a Paris Museum Gift Shop

The museum gift shop shouldn’t be overlooked, as it is one of the best souvenir shops. Pick up a postcard, bookmark, or poster from the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay. Each museum gift shop has specific items based on the art and exhibitions at the museums. My aunt used always to send my sister and me these gifts when we were kids. 

Paris Louvre Museum gift shops

Buying French Perfumes in Paris

French perfumes Paris Diptyque

Perfume is very personal to me and may be best for a gift for yourself instead of bringing something home to a friend or loved one. You should wear the scent throughout the day to see how it changes and if you still enjoy it. You can create your perfume in different places in Paris.

Diptyque has excellent options, as does Penhaligon. I typically pick up new clothes in these two spots while in Paris.

Check out the Fragonard perfume museum close to the Opéra Garnier for something unique. The Paris department stores have a wide variety of French perfume brands. This is probably the best place to purchase a perfume with the guidance of a sales representative. Don’t be intimidated by the sales staff not speaking English. There should be someone to help you.

Bring Home Art from Local Artists

Place du Tertre is known for the local artists in Montmartre who paint portraits and sell their art. The area is touristy, and I recommend buying art on the banks of the Seine. I have had luck outside the Louvre museum, crossing over to the Left Bank and on Pont Neuf, finding local artists who paint or draw. I purchased a piece framed in my home and a beautiful reminder of Paris a few years ago. Occasionally, You can find a painter in Place des Vosges who does gorgeous paintings.

montmartre paris everyday parisian the best souvenirs in Paris

Paris Souvenirs: French Pharmacie

I love to shop at French pharmacies for beauty products. I started trying different French brands for skincare when I moved to Paris in 2013, and I haven’t stopped since. There is always something new to try or discover. Some brands to look out for are Avène (they are famous for their healing thermal water), Klorane (my dry shampoo of choice), which is also the best-selling French dry shampoo, Caudalie, and Sisley Paris are my favorites. Sisley Paris is a higher-end makeup and skincare brand, and you might have better luck finding it at a duty-free or department store.

I often visit French Pharmacies in Paris, and someone always speaks English. I highly recommend chatting with someone working at the pharmacies for recommendations. Tell them your skin concerns and what you are looking for. They will be more than happy to give suggestions of brands and products to purchase.

french pharmacie in Paris

The Best Paris Souvenirs: Shakespeare and Company

the best souvenirs in Paris shakespeare and co

Anything from Shakespeare and Company is an excellent gift for the book lover in your life. This is one of the most famous bookstores in Paris. You can purchase second-hand books as well as new books from the bookshop. Always remember to have them stamp the inside with their iconic Shakespeare and Company stamp. If you don’t have much room in your bag, you can always pick up a tote bag. These canvas tote bags help contribute money to the bookshop and can be used at home in the US to help you remember your memorable trip.

Paris Matchbooks from French Bistros

My husband and I make it a point to collect matchbooks from our travels. Whenever we see a restaurant or bar with matches, we grab one for a souvenir. We don’t smoke but always need matches to light a candle or the fireplace. They also make great styling pieces on our coffee table or mantle. The matchbooks bring back great memories of meals in our favorite city.

French Food Items for Paris Souvenirs

Maille mustard store Paris souvenirs

If you are a foodie or know someone who loves to cook, bringing home a French food item may be the perfect souvenir. French dijon mustard is a great idea, and visiting the flagship store in Paris is also a fun experience. The Maille Mustard shop is close to the Madeleine metro stop in Paris. You can taste all different types of mustard, some with unique flavors, such as fig and classic honey mustard. There are also many options at the local grocery stores, such as Monoprix or Carrefour.

Confiture Paris best souvenirs

Confiture or jam in various flavors and honey also make excellent foodie gifts. The French take their jams and honey seriously, with shops dedicated to them.

Paris cheese shop ile st louis

French cheese makes an excellent gift for a Francophile. Some cheese shops will vacuum seal your cheese so you can put it in your suitcase. Specifically, a cheese shop on île Saint Louis will do this for you.

cheese shop in Paris the best souvenirs in Paris

Paris Coffee Shops: Bring Coffee Beans Home as A Souvenir

10 belles coffee shop Paris

Paris has an extensive craft coffee scene that keeps growing. Many craft coffee shops, including shops that roast their beans, are on site. Bringing beans home from Paris and other places I travel has been one of my favorite souvenirs. It is a fun way to extend your trip and bring back memories. I try to support local coffee shops whenever I am traveling. Beans run around 15-20 euros, and I use them in my Breville machine at home. If you frequent a particular coffee shop, it is best to buy from them.

Breville coffee machine

I recently enjoyed 10 Belles coffee while in Paris. Based on my flavor preferences, they recommended the mixed cassette tape blend. It was a home run, and I was so sad when I finished it. We purchased another bag when I was back in April. It is best to buy the bag with whole beans and grind them before brewing at home.

Paris souvenirs

French Macarons: Pierre Hermé Paris Souvenirs

Paris souvenirs to bring home

French macarons from Pierre Hermé are my top pick for those who love macarons and want something French and fresh from Paris. There is a Ladurée and Pierre Hermé shop at Charles de Gaulle Airport.  They will keep in the fridge for a few days, or you can freeze them for up to a few months.

Angelina Hot Chocolate is a classic Parisian souvenir. You should try the hot chocolate yourself at least once, but I will warn you that it is thick and sweet. They have a few shops around Paris and Versailles. I recommend the tea room on Rue de Rivoli for the whole experience. It is one of the best things you can do on a rainy day in Paris if you visit for the first time. This goes over very well with kids. Angelina sells hot chocolate in a liquid form in a bottle or a powder version. You can tuck the powder version away in your carry-on.

The best paris souvenirs angelina hot chocolate

French Chocolate: The Best Paris Souvenirs

Alain Ducasse Paris chocolate souvenirs

French chocolate is my favorite souvenir from Paris. I typically buy chocolate for myself and gifts for friends at home at Alain Ducasse. Their packaging is beautiful, and there are a few shops in Paris. I love anything praline and with dark chocolate or praliné avec chocolate noir. They have various flavors, between dark and milk chocolate, in bars, and small chocolate pieces. I prefer to take the bars home and break off a little square with a cup of coffee.

The Best Paris Souvenirs: Tea from Mariage Frères

Mariage Frères tea in Paris. The best French souvenirs

Mariage Frères is famous for its tea. They have a large variety of tea selections, which makes them great souvenirs. In Paris, there are several locations now to pick up Mariage Frères tea. My favorite shop is the Left Bank of Paris on Rue des Grands Augustins. I try to pick up some tea for home each visit. Their fruity green tea is what I typically drink at home. If you are traveling during the holidays, don’t miss their Christmas tea, which is a top pick of mine. Mariage Frères has a new variation each year.

the best souvenirs in Paris everyday parisian mariage freres

French Wine as A Souvenir

A bottle of French wine is the perfect gift for a wine lover. This is a popular souvenir because French wine is much more affordable abroad. A one-liter limit exists for duty tax to be returned to the US, and laws prohibit you from mailing wine to certain states.  You can always pack a wine bottle with the proper padding for those checking luggage. This blog post gives all the correct details on how much wine you can bring home without duty tax and how to pack your French wine correctly. 

Paris Department Stores

view from galleries lafayette rooftop view of Paris

Galeries Lafayette and Printemps are two major department stores located on Boulevard Haussmann. The department stores are enormous, with various clothing brands for men and women. If you want to buy gifts for multiple people, this is a great way to get everything done in one place. Don’t forget to bring a photo of your passport to qualify for the VAT tax and save 12% on purchases over 100 euros. The major department stores can guide you quickly and walk you through the process. You must turn in a form at the airport, so allow extra time. You can pay VAT taxes at stores all around Paris. Make sure to ask as you are checking out for the forms. It will take a bit longer as they have to enter it manually.

Paris Souvenris : Photography

Photography of Paris makes my favorite souvenir. There are many trips when I barely buy anything to bring home, but I always bring photos of Paris. As a Paris photographer for over 14 years, I love capturing the city’s everyday life. If you don’t take the best pictures, leave it up to me and enjoy the city of Paris and you can purchase something from The Print Shop to remind you of your trip to Paris.

what to do in paris in the summer everyday parisian

Sézane Paris 25 French brands you can buy in the US

I also recommend hiring a photographer to capture you in Paris. This idea is great for families, couples, and solo female travelers. My friend Katie Donnelly has done all my photography for years and her photos of me in Paris are some of my favorite memories.

The Best Paris Souvenirs: Metro Tickets

the best souvenirs of Paris everyday parisian

This may sound simple, but I truly love discovering old metro tickets in my pockets or at the bottom of my purse. They will eventually phase out the metro tickets and collector’s items. The metro costs 2.10 euros to ride and is the perfect little souvenir of Paris. I use the metro tickets on my desk as reminders of Paris, and they make the ideal bookmarks.

Marin Montagaut: Paris Souvenirs to Buy

Marin Montagaut

A few years ago, I discovered Marin Montagaut. He hand paints on ceramics and glassware in fun designs celebrating the little details of Paris. A metro sign, the chairs at Luxembourg Gardens, or the famous Café de Flore. It is the perfect gift for a Francophile. The ceramics and glass are not easy to transport, but the store is terrific at wrapping pieces for travel. I carried home a few dishes in my suitcase.

Marin Montagaut also offers journals, scarves, tea towels, and pillows for non-breakable items if you are concerned about transporting things home. The artist sells at retailers in the US, but the prices are much higher. Spending an afternoon browsing the shop after spending time in Paris is enjoyable.

Where to Buy Baby Gifts in Paris

One of the most famous French items you may know is the giraffe Sophie, which is a teething toy. This can be found at different grocery stores and pharmacies in Paris. For a budget-friendly and cute option for clothing, I love Monoprix, like a French version of Target. They have adorable baby clothes and toys that fit easily in your suitcase. Also, I love Petit Bateau, a French brand you will find all over Paris. Their branding is iconic blue and white stripes with bright yellow; you can’t miss it.

I hope you enjoy this post on the best Paris souvenirs and that it helps you come up with ideas for your friends and family for your next trip to Paris.

The Best Paris Souvenirs: Luxury Goods

The euro is currently at an excellent rate compared to the US dollar, making shopping even better for American tourists. If you want to purchase a luxury good such as a handbag, purse, or pair of shoes, now may be the perfect time. Visit the Chanel store on Rue Cambon for the original Chanel store where Coco Chanel had her apartment in Paris. Louis Vuitton is less expensive in France than in the US and can be a fun experience if you are looking to purchase a bag.

I recommend having patience when shopping during peak times or the weekend, as luxury shops can be bustling. Ask for a glass of champagne, take your time, and soak up the experience. The shops on Rue Saint-Honoré have many of the flagship locations of the major luxury brands. Even if you don’t have it in your budget, it is fun to pop in for a look.

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  1. Have purchased many souvenirs from sources you named above. My latest find (as yours too) is Marin Montagaut, which is right off Luxembourg Gardens in the 6th. LOVE his things! Spent lots there on our last Paris trip! His goods are also available at Bon Marche in the 7th upstairs in housewares. And always beautifully gift wrapped.

  2. My favorite souvenir, after chocolate, is butter. I have it shrink wrapped, like cheese, freeze it and it always does well in my suitcase.

  3. I’m not a big souvenir shopper for myself or others. On my last trip to Paris I bought some wonderful old engravings from vendors on the Seine plus a lovely painting and more small items from the Flea Market and smaller markets that happen in most neighborhoods. We shopped more after we left Paris with a new abundance of flea markets and brocante sales!

  4. I have a “Travel Xmas Tree” that has ornaments from every place my husband and I travel on vacation. Almost every “touristy” place has them. A couple of years ago we went to the western state National Parks….Zion, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, others. I purchased ornaments from all of them. Last fall we got to take my “bucket list” trip to London and Paris. Luckily every single place had these fabulous felt and fabric, very ornately decorated ornaments. And they are all flat, so easy to pack. I got Notre Dame, the Mona Lisa, Napoleon, the Louvre, more from Paris, and then several from London. This means every Xmas when I put up my tree I can “regift” myself with renewed memories of our travels. And they don’t break!

  5. After 10 visits to Paris, it’s nice to see some new ideas and reminders of old ones. I have a beautiful silk scarf from the gift shop in Giverny–museums always have lovely gift shops; we’ve brought home cheese, perfectly packed, as a gift for a neighbor (she loved it); I’ve bought kids’ books in French for grandson, to introduce him to French music & stories; a Christmas gift from Paris is always special. We are going in December this year–my first winter trip to Paris! This is a great list, thank you for sharing!

  6. My best souvenir from Paris was my first Hermes scarf. I had also purchased another silk scarf in a country shop outside the city, which I love as well. The tea towels were so pretty and affordable I bought a dozen! Next trip I hope to visit La Cuisine and Dehellerin. I loved The French Ingredient book club selection and can’t wait to return to Paris.

  7. Whenever I travel abroad, I buy canvas grocery store totes. I use them all the time here and they always bring a smile to my face when doing my grocery shopping!

  8. Update! Post COVID era travel, we went to Le Grand Epicerie in the 7th. It was absolutely amazing. It’s not just spices, they sell all kinds of fabulous gourmet goodies. Also on the list this time, mynhubby the fashioning bought a lightweight summer suit (tailored in one day!), thin sweaters, and a scarf. And I the beauty junkie got more red lipstick, skincare products, and a beautiful France-only Diptyque candle.

  9. My absolute go to when visiting Paris, Latin Quarter, is the amazing La Folie Savon for deliciously fragrant soaps. Beautifully wrapped selections for Christmas gifts, birthdays, all occasions. Send to friends and family as a unique way to experience Paris.

  10. Fabulous souvenir ideas! One that I love are the souvenir shops near Notre Dame. I never miss this area for great and inexpensive scarves, berets, tee shirts for the grandkids and so much more. I get stopped multiple times when I wear the scarf I purchased in October making me wish I brought back more!

  11. Lovely ideas! My last trip to Paris -Dec 2021, I followed your recommendation and brought home a Degrenne teapot (so lovely) and a few boxes of Dammann Freres tea for myself and some friends. I also bought a Chanel wallet which is a super pricey and luxurious souvenir for myself 🙂 I went to Monoprix and bought a few bags of French salt, which is so great to cook with – and I also had a cheese shop near my hotel vacuum pack some French cheeses for me to take home, which was so great to remember my trip. Oh, and I also brought some boxes of Chocolat Chapon chocolates which were pricey but DIVINE…

  12. I like to pick up logo’d espresso cups. I currently have cups from Frenchie, Cafe Kitsune and Coutume. I also like to buy pillow cases from the fancy linen department at Bon Marche. European beds a different sizes, but the pillow cases work great!

  13. It’s been a hot minute since I have been to Paris (pre-COVID) but the previous times I have brought back lots of stuff from Monoprix of all places! I found the cutest little velvet frou frou house slippers with marabou on them, red lipsticks galore (which every single one of my girlfriends said was their new favorite lipstick and asked where they can buy it in the U.S.), little cookies and chocolates and crepe mix, “fancy” herbs de Provence, and various beauty/health products.

    I also really love the bookstores in Paris and you can find some fabulous coffee table books!

  14. Last November I bought a Laguiole knife for a friend’s 60th birthday which was just a few weeks later. It had a hand carved handle and a corkscrew also folded into it. Excellent souvenir and gift idea – he was really touched.

  15. I purchased a cup and saucer from both Angelina’s, where we’d had afternoon tea, and Le Deux Magots, where we had a hot chocolate. I also bought a single-serve teapot from Cafe de Flore after lunching there. While these are on display in my kitchen, I also use them. Seeing them reminds me daily of my lovely time in Paris!

  16. Football (soccer) shirts, socks, pennants etc from sporting goods stores.
    House number plaques or tiles. I have a “CAVE” (wine cellar) plaque on the door of the closet where our wine is kept.
    If you’re shopping for a fellow Francophile, look in the gift shop at the Comédie Française. Tees with quotes from classic French plays, posters, scripts…

  17. Honestly, I go to BHV in Le Marais where they have the hardware store in the basement. You can buy the cutest little signs and things. It is cheap’ish and very charming if you want to put a little sign up on your property or home that says something in French. I bought a little sign that says Chien Mechant. Very funny because my dogs aren’t mean at all.