The Galeries Lafayette is of course a must see of shopping in Paris. Even if you don't buy anything, just come and have a look at the beautiful ceilings and "coupole". It's impressing, and if you come at Christmas time the decoration will be even more magnificient.
You can find pretty much everything you're looking for. And they are so used to hosting tourists that you won't have any problem with language.
They are open from monday to saturday until 07h30 PM. And later on thursdays evenings.They are several restaurants there to eat also.
Just get into the Paris shopping spree !
What to buy: * Main building : woman fashion, youth fashion, cosmetics, jewels and luxury bags, bookstore, multimedia, toys...
* Lafayette Homme : man fashion
* Lafayette Gourmet : food mall
* Lafayette Maison : Interior Decorating
What to pay: Quite expensive, but they have all levels of brands
Galeries Lafayette is a department store in Paris that is unlike any of the department stores in North America. If you are looking for bargains, this is not the place for you! Everything is designer label and very beautifully made. The mall itself is exquisite and there's an excellent view of the city from the building's roof.
What to buy: Everything.
I've written about the architeture on another page.
This is a tip written by shopaphobic who had to visit Paris with a Shopaholic.
1) It sells tons of perfume on the ground floor - see tip on local customs
2) You can escape the shop for a while by going to the roof for a great view of Paris
3) There are a number of restaurants, canteens and a McDonalds in which you can hide for a while
4) It has a 'tourist' section where you can by all your crappy souveniers in one place.
5) It has a nice staircase.
Oh, and tons of stuff to buy if you like that sort of thing.
I think this is the most expensive department store in Paris.
I liked it because it’s so expensive you don’t even think to buy anything here so there’s no stress :) We actually visited this huge store just because it was near the theatre we would go later.
Ok, what we really liked here was the beautiful building, most of the customers try to take pictures of the building instead of shopping, check pic 1 :) There is also view for free at 7th floor.
If you have Paris Visite card you’ll get 10% discount, of course the final price will still be expensive but just in case you are interested about it.
The best department store that i´ve never seem. You´ll find them there, gucci, versace, armani, etc............
The biggest perfumer´s shop in the world is on the ground floor.
So take your visa credit card and start to spend.
A Paris version of Harrod's but 100% French.
The store expand over these three buildings:
-Lafayette Coupole-Main Store
*Häagen Dazs-Ice-cream Parlor
*L by Linda's-Gourmet Sandwich
*Bar à Bulles-Champane Bar
*Fauchon-Tea Room & Restaurant
*Café Sushi-Japanese Restaurant
*Lafayette Café-Self-service Restaurant
-Lafayette Homme-Men's Store
*Lafayette Gourmet-Food Hall
*World Wines-Wine Bar
*Bar Rouge-Fusion Food Cuisine
-Lafayette Maison-Home Store
A man gets a map from Printemps; Gets another one from Galeries La Fayette, and becomes ready to be dragged from one place to the other with 2763 stops in between by his shopaholic wife.
He tries to remember the places, their differences, but... no way. The building is wonderful and it seems to sell everything, but in such a bustle even breeding is hard. And in a couple of weeks I will be back.
With the same stores, and thousands more, because this time we will stay a week. I promise that the 6 visits planned to these galleries will allow me to see, at last, the Invalides and Sainte Chapelle. Well, let's not be optimist: at least one of them!
Hurrah! I DID see both, in my return to Paris. And the galleries once more. Of course!
Gallerrie La Fayette has complete selection of clothing from kids to adults and men/women...there is also a supermarkt, can't remember which floor exactly, and dine or take out food there is!
What to buy: Clothes and accesories for man and womens! but I think this should be more fun for womens shopping in Paris like here.
What to pay: Quite cheaper compared to those boutiques, ( of course!)
On the roof of the big department store Galeries Lafayette (main building) there is a popular observation deck where you can look out over the rooftops of Paris and of course see the Eiffel Tower. Just in front of the Eiffel Tower you might recognize the greenish roof of La Madeleine and slightly off to the right the big glass roof of the Grand Palais.
Since the store is only slightly higher than the surrounding buildings, the views are not spectacular, but they are still interesting and they are free. Anybody can go up there and have a look around, even non-shoppers like me. There is a guy selling coffee in cardboard cups and a young lady selling frozen yogurt with various kinds of fresh fruit.
The roof is covered by a sort of green spongy carpet that feels vaguely like a lawn, so people feel comfortable sitting on it or walking around to look at the views.
The folks in my first photo are sitting in the shade because it was quite a hot day when I took the pictures.
Second photo: As you can see, the roof is fairly large, so there is plenty of space for everybody to sit around or walk around.
At the west side of the observation deck there is a plaque explaining that in the early twentieth century the Galeries Lafayette promised to pay 25,000 francs to the first pilot who managed to land a plane on their roof. In 1919 a pilot named Jules Védrines succeeded in doing this. He was given the 25,000 francs but only could keep 24,984 because he had to pay a 16-franc fine for flying over Paris, which was illegal, and for landing in a forbidden area.
Third photo: The back of the Opéra Garnier, which is right across the street from the Galeries Lafayette.
Fourth photo: Looking down at the staff entrance of the Opéra Garnier. The little traffic circle in the foreground is called Place Diaghilev, named after the Russian ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev (1872-1929), founder of the Ballets Russes.
The street to the right of the opera house is Rue Scribe, named after the French dramatist and librettist Eugène Scribe (1791–1861). He was the author or co-author of the libretti (the text) of numerous then-famous operas such as Auber's Fra Diavolo and Meyerbeer's Robert le diable, which I had occasion to mention in one of my Brugge tips. Scribe was also the co-author of the text to Les vêpres siciliennes by Giuseppe Verdi, which I have recently seen twice in Frankfurt.
The street to the left of the opera house is Rue Gluck, named after the German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787). I once saw Gluck’s opera Iphigénie in Aulis in Nürnberg, and later his Iphigénie en Tauride right here at the Opéra Garnier with the American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham in the title role.
Fifth photo: The outside of the cupola, as seen from the observation deck.
Next review from July 2013: Au Printemps
You will find numerous designer boutiques and consessions from Yamamoto, Montanta and V.Westwood.
At the same time there's Gap, Agnes B. and the stores own label of goods for women.
...AND, you can take in one one of their fashion shows every Tuesday and Friday! :o)
Mon-Wed & Fri-Sat 9:30am-7pm,
I stumbled across the Galeries Lafayette near the old Opera one morning while looking for something to pass time. Little did I know that I was going to find a seven-story behemoth of a "department store." It had everything. I know Paris is known for fashion, but this was kind of ridiculous. I went up and down the escalators looking for men's stuff... and didn't find any. I came to find the men had their own building, albeit not as grand as the women's building. If you're into shopping, you've got to pay homage to this place.
For me, the best part of finding this mall was seeing the stained glass domed roof and the fantastic terrace on the top floor of the women's wing. Luckily it was an absolute gorgeous day out and I got some good panoramic views of Paris.
What to buy: Galeries Lafayette is for the fashion conscious. Bust out the Visa 'cause you're going to be feeling a bit out of control.
What to pay: Typical fashion prices.
Most of you are too young to remember this, but back in the twentieth century it was customary for department stores to consist of – departments.
If you were looking for, say, men’s trousers, all you had to do was take a deep breath, enter the store, find your way through a maze of perfume and jewelry counters, and then somewhere near the escalators you would find a big sign with a list of ‘departments’, all with generic names. With any luck, there would even be a department called ‘men’s trousers’ on one of the upper floors, and when you got up there you would find some floor space where they were indeed selling men’s trousers of various sorts and sizes.
Of course in the twenty-first century no self-respecting store would want to be organized in such an anachronistic way, certainly not the Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann behind the Opéra Garnier in Paris.
To start with, at the Galeries Lafayette they don’t sell clothing, they sell fashions.
In the main building there are several huge floors devoted entirely to women’s fashions. Each floor has a name, like Mode Créative (Creative Fashions), Mode Tendence (Contemporary Fashions), Mode Séduction (Seductive Fashions) or Mode Évasion (which they translate as Leisure Fashions).
The one about Évasion sounds funny to us English speakers, since evasion is one of those words that have negative connotations in English but mainly positive ones in French. In English we tend to think of tax evasion or breaking out of prison or finding some devious way to avoid answering an embarrassing question. But to the French the same word can also mean being entertained, relaxing, traveling, having a change of scene.
The seduction floor is also interesting, because it implies that we men are extremely hard to seduce, so they need a whole floor of seductive fashions just to get us into the mood.
Under each floor name there is a list of brand names, about twenty per floor. These are no doubt prestigious and awe-inspiring brands that make any true shopper’s heart beat faster in anticipation. Of course it is assumed that everyone knows what sorts of products are sold under each brand name.
Men’s fashions, by the way, are relegated to a separate (smaller) building across the street. This is presumably to get us out of the way, so we won’t interfere with the serious shoppers. But in the men’s store everything is also strictly organized by brand names. You won’t find a ‘department’ called ‘men’s trousers’ – although there is a Jeannerie, where they sell jeans, on the floor called Mode Sport.
Second photo: Corner view of the main building. On the left you can see an enclosed pedestrian bridge leading across the street (Rue de Mogador) to the smaller building for men’s fashions. Inside the pedestrian bridge they have expensive watches for sale.
Third photo: Inside the main building of Galeries Lafayette is a stunning art deco rotunda from the year 1912, under an equally stunning glass cupola.
Fourth photo: Looking up at the cupola.
Fifth photo: The upper balconies under the cupola.
Next review from July 2013: Roof of Galeries Lafayette
Although I tend to shy away from large department stores, I must say that les Galeries Lafayette are quite exceptional. The initial formation of the department store began in the late 19th century, but it wasn't until the early 20th century that the Galeries Lafayette became known internationally as a trend setter, in direct competition with neighbouring le Printemps. It was during this Belle Epoque that stores around the world copied its model. Today, les Galeries Lafayette continue to be one of the most important department store conglomerates in the world, where one could purchase nearly everything possible. Les Galeries Lafayette on boulevard Haussmann often have the most amazing display of decorations during Christmas time. Well worth the visit around the holiday time.
On my way to the Chapelle Expiatoire down the Boulevard Haussmann, I stopped at the vendors outside Galeries Lafayette to buy a 10€ *cashmina* scarf in blues & greens. It may not be real cashmere but I love it nonetheless and it has a wonderful feel to it. A nice, not too expensive purchase, plus a lovely remembrance of the trip.
The Galeries Lafayette is also a quintessential part of Christmas shopping when they have their department store all decked out in beautiful Christmas lights! I stopped by one night to take several photos of the lights on the buildings as they faded in & out of brilliant kaleidoscopic fashion (see photos 1-3).
Photos: February 2006 & November 2007
Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann offers an amazing shopping experience. Even if you don’t want to spend any money, visit the building. The interior domed courtyard from 1912 is remarkable. (The department store next door, Printemps, once had a similar court, but unfortunately it was taken away to add retail space. All that remains there is a café under the stained glass ceiling—still quite impressive). If you don’t mind a bit of paperwork, you can shop tax free. You can usually get a 10 percent tourist discount card, as well.
Be sure to check out the gourmet food area of Galeries Lafayette.
Métro : Chaussée-d'Antin-La Fayette, Opéra, Trinité, Havre-Caumartin
RER A : Auber
RER E : Haussmann-Saint Lazare
Open from 9h30 to 19h30 on Monday through Saturday (Thursday till 21h00)
What to pay: Way too much.