A city of love and passion. A metropolitan brimming with culture. A contemporary world capital that never fails to amaze. Paris is delightful and expectedly international in its allure.
Vacationing in Paris is a dream come true for many a traveler. As a result, bringing a little piece of the city back to celebrate all the memorable moments spent there is a given. Featuring a diverse collection of fun, fashionable and exclusive souvenirs, Parisian mementos are ideal for tourists of different tastes and budgets.
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13 Souvenirs You Need to Bring Home from Paris
Eiffel Tower Miniatures
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Tiny models, key chains and magnets, there are various types of Eiffel Tower miniatures available for the avid Paris explorer, found at the numerous kitsch tourist shops spread around the city. Key chains and coffee mugs typically work great as gifts for friends and family, whereas a miniature can be the perfect addition on your work desk.
Caricatures and Paintings
Montmartre is one of the most adored places in all of Paris, and rightly so. This hilltop district is brimming with ancient architecture, picturesque cobbled streets, and a buzz of excitement brought about by the awestruck tourists who come here every day for its charming cafes and shops. However it's at Place du Tertre, where you'll find several aspiring artists sitting with their easels, eager to make a caricature, portrait, or painting for you. A great way to support local artists that leaves you with a lasting souvenir, this is definitely something you won't regret spending money on later.
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It doesn't really matter what book you buy, although if it's about Paris, all the better, but visiting the legendary Shakespeare and Co. while in the city is a must. The bookshop has long defined the charm of classic Parisian lifestyle and is an integral part of its culture. Purchasing a book from here is all about supporting independents, and of course, gives you boasting rights about visiting the most iconic bookshop in the world. You can also ask the staff to imprint the books you purchase with a unique Shakespeare and Co. stamp for that extra souvenir status.
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It's probably the cheapest souvenir you can take back from Paris if you don't consider the entrance fee to the excursions. Museum, metro, or even Disneyland Paris tickets are a pleasant reminder of all the fun and educational time you had in the city. In addition, these tickets are quite functional as bookmarks that you can use for years to come. So don't crumple them up and stuff them in your pocket, put them in your wallet and keep them as a souvenir instead.
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Even if you don't drink wine, there's a strong possibility that you know someone who does, because leaving Paris without picking up a bottle of a beautiful French wine is a huge culinary sin you don't want to commit. French wine suits all budgets, and you can either pick a bottle up from a specialty wine shop in Paris, such as Philovino, Soif d'Ailleurs and L'Ambassade de Bourgogne, or from the duty-free at the airport.
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There's nothing more unique than French fashion, and travelers with an endless bank balance can indulge in the latest from one of the high-end stores on the Left Bank. For everyone else, vintage and second-hand clothing is the way to go. It is among these racks and piles of old clothes that you will find some truly fashionable hidden gems at knock-down prices. Roam the streets of Marais and Montmartre, and you'll come across many vintage stores such as Fanny Miami, Episode and Vintage Désir, packed to the brim with colorful and vibrant dresses and shirts, guaranteed to make heads turn when you wear them.
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Taking home the Mona Lisa or an original Picasso painting might prove to be a tad challenging, but you'll find a huge variety of art-related paraphernalia instead. Mona Lisa shot glasses, Van Gogh prints, or Monet's works on bedcovers, you'll find a good range of these artsy souvenirs in shops all over Paris.
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You can take chocolates back as gifts from pretty much any country in the world. That's why when in Paris, it makes sense to pick up some macarons instead. A tiny, colorful and stylish dessert, macrons might be perishable but are still a wonderful reminder of all the sweet moments you've spent in the most romantic city in the world.
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A walk along the Seine on a beautiful day in Paris is the ultimate romantic experience in the city. To help this experience further are the Bouquinistes. Makeshift stalls along the river, these 'shops' sell antique books, mostly in French and vintage posters. Rummaging through all the books has a charm of its own, but the old-fashioned posters will surely make for some exclusive wall art in your home.
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This classic piece of French headwear might not be for everyone. A beret is as quintessentially French as it gets, and if it suits you, it'll make you come across as artistic and sophisticated, even if you're not particularly so. Try on this legendary cap and if it fits well, take it home to wear it on days when you're attending an art exhibition. Otherwise, it's surprisingly warm and can be welcoming on cold evenings.
Elegant and aesthetically appealing, nothing can make you feel quite as good or even heat-up the bedroom like French lingerie. Head over to Cadolle, who invented the bra, or to Carine Gilson, where all the lingerie on offer is hand made.
Flea Market Items
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Paris' Les Puces is one of the largest flea markets in the world and an opportunity to rummage through some genuinely incredible treasures you won't find anywhere else. You do need a keen eye to find the right goods, but there's something here for all ages and tastes. From cutlery to first edition books, and wooden toy horses to decorative plates and furniture; you only need to worry about having enough space in your luggage for these unique French souvenirs. Take note that a little bargaining is acceptable here and that the area is also notoriously infamous for pick-pocketing so make sure to be careful of your belongings.
Another one of those freebies, coasters and paper place mats from city bars and restaurants will often have something uniquely Parisian printed on them. It can be a quote, a funny drawing or one of the city's famous landmarks. So feel free to keep them after you finish eating and drinking. You can also buy coasters as a souvenir, from various tourist shops around the city.
The key to scoring the perfect souvenir in Paris is to step away from the main tourist spots and look for them in the lesser-known local markets. It's fine to pick up a few kitsch oddities from the countless souvenir shops you'll pass near the Eiffel Tower, but spend a little time exploring Paris' many side streets for hidden gems that are novel and uncommon.