I really like La Samaritaine department store. It's not high-fashion, trendy as Galeries Lafayette, Au Printemps, and Au Bon Marche, but it's got a good selection of everything.
It's just a typical department store but the most unique feature is its panoramic rooftop view. You can eat out on the terrace as there's a small eatery up there.
What to buy: Handbags-they offer a fair selection of all brands but not as extensive as Galeries Lafayette
What to pay: Prices are average. When I visited they had some Longchamps styles on sale which were well below US prices.
The main store is a wonderful Art Nouveau building.
Going though some face lifts but still in the shadow of Galeries Lafayette.
If anything have lunch or a snack on the rooftop cafe and take in the view.
You will find just about anything here, from fashion and sporting goods to housewares, hardware, and a nice toy department.
Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat 9:30am-7pm,
Several guide books I read suggest this old store for its great deck view of Paris. Yes, you can see & photograph incredible views ( see my intro page for view from their restaurant deck). Just take the elevator up to the fifth.
While I was there I figured I might as well use the ladies room! On the way there, I walked by several departments that I could barely wait to explore (after I went to the Ladies room!)! I ended up buying some small gifts for my daughters, a friend, a coworker and myself! They have nice little crafts section, a sewing dept., a pet toys & supplies dept., and some very clever home office gadgets all on the same floor & near each other.
It is a beautiful store to look at ,inside, with its unusual staircase with balcony overlooks.
Being right near the Seine is cool, too.
Closed indefinitely for safety upgrades and renovovations.
Just leaving it here for my own nostalgia:
Guess all we have now is our old photos and the film "Bourne Identity".... ... merde...
Multiple floors what Paris commercial department stores have to offer.
Paris' answer to a department store in your local mall, only with a beautiful view from the rooftop cafe-terrace of all of Paris.
What to buy: Parfum, dry goods, clothes, batteries, whatever, (only I suggest instead of Samaritaine you buy perfume in one of the shops on the Champs - Sephora).
Samaritaine is more like a Paris "Foleys" or something, though, like most things in Paris, it has a little "style," not to mention one of the most breathtaking views to be seen anywhere.
Note: if for some reason you are not able to either visit Paris or miss Samaritaine's roof, there are some nice scenes in the movie "Bourne Identity" that were shot and look exactly like the photo I took on this page.
La Samaritaine takes it name from an old water pump near the Pont Neuf which operated from 1609 to 1813. The pump was decorated with a gilded plaque of the good samaritan.
The store was built in 1869 and now occupies four to five buildings (depending on which guide book you read) on the north (right) bank of the Seine.
Not as ritzy as the Galeries Lafayette or Au Printemps. Instead of ball gowns, you can buy jeans. You can still find the most recent fashions here though but in a more relaxed atmosphere.
The inside is a wonder of iron work from the art neuveau and art deco periods. Even if you don't want to shop for anything, be sure to go in and see a work of art.
Head up to the café on the roof of store number two to get a (FREE) 360 degree view of Paris!
According to thier website, the store is closed for security reasons due to fire prevention updating.
What to buy: You can buy almost anything.
What to pay: Normal amounts
Before I find a picture of the Galleries Lafayette, the Samaritaine will have to do it. It is a shopping tip in its own right. The great Parisian department stores (as they say in French, "Les Grands-Magasins") are the G. Lafayette, Au Printemps (these two occupy, each, some entire blocks behind the Opera), followed by the Samaritaine and the Bazar de l`Hotel-de-Ville (BHV). If you saw that movie The Bourne Identity, you`ll recognize the open lounge of the Samaritaine and its view over the Pont Neuf, right Christine??
Naturally, in Paris, you can bring your dog into the attractive & large pet supply department at Samaritaine. I asked this woman if I could photograph her cute dog. She was happy to let me. They have dog and cat supplies here and lots of cute toys for your four-legged friends.
What to buy: Tuck a toy for your pet into your backpack or suitcase! No substitute for your absence, of course, but it may make YOU feel better!
What to pay: what you would expect a sturdy, chewable toy to cost....
Shopping in Paris is a nightmare, IMHO, so I didn't do much of it. I did visit some bookstores and smaller shops for gifts. Samaritaine has THE most beautiful window displays and I had to take a shot of one (albeit all off-center and terrible).
I can't say enough how much of a treat it is to walk through Paris. Just walk and walk and walk more. Everything around you has something you don't expect. For me, just walking through the shopping areas and cafe-lined side streets was the most amazing thing about the trip.
What to buy: I found a few things in Paris that I'm very glad I found... near the Pere-Lachaise cemetary are several flower shops and antique/junk stores. I found a beautiful plaster mask for my garden there.
I have a special love for books and bookstores, Paris had some of the most impressive bookstores I've ever seen. Books spilling onto the streets and stacked in columns to the ceiling. One of my favorite finds was a erotic, graphic novel in french.
What to pay: far, far more then you ever wanted to
La Samaritaine was and will be an institution in Paris, known to shoppers and visitors alike for years. It was founded by Ernest Cognacq and his wife Louise Jay in 1869. Several adjacent buildings were acquired over time and converted, turning the store into a vast emporium and much-loved shopping destination – a Paris institution. In 2005, it was shut down for extensive fire-safety upgrades required to bring the building up to code. Since then, LVMH has acquired a full stake in the company and convinced the city of Paris to reclassify La Samaritaine from a “department store” to a “multi-activity” complex, which will incorporate a hotel, shops, housing and a nursery school.
Tokyo-based Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates), founded in 1995 by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, have been commissioned by La Samaritaine’s owner, luxury conglomerate LVMH, to completely refurbish the buildings of the former department store.
The working permit was done in June 2012, and the construction will probably will starts shortly after by 2013, and finish by 2015. The store and its 80000 m2 in the heart of Paris will have an island of commerces and offices with a glass facade on the side of the rue de Rivoli,and a luxury 72 rooms hotels on the side of the Seine river. It will have a social element in that will have 96 lucky parisiens the chance to have their kids sitter here.
the project from the mayor's office says by 2014 but i have it on 2015 to be on the safe side of political predictions.
What to buy: it will have shops of course ,and the owner is LVMH so expect class and Parisien fashions
What to pay: nobody look at prices in Paris dept stores lol!
La Samaritaine is a huge department store in the heart of Paris. Well, I should correct myself now (2006): it was a huge department store, since it was closed in summer 2005 due to security reasons. There are lots of rumors going on now: one rumor is that the renovation will last at least 5 years, other rumors are that instead of the reopening of the department store there will be a first class hotel opening and yet other rumors are that the whole building will be torn down....
When I visited in 1996, I didn't go shopping there, but rather enjoyed the fabulous view from the very top!
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