16 Best Souvenirs in Paris

Whether you’re planning your first trip to Paris or your tenth, there is always something new to discover and something memorable to take home. The best souvenirs in Paris don’t usually come from the tourist shops that try to sell you cheap light-up Eiffel Tower miniatures, key chains, and trinkets. There are SO many other unique things that are better and more memorable!

Why not consider buying the 16 best souvenirs from Paris instead?

1. Paris Family Photos

picture of Camille from Baker Street Society sitting at a cafe in Paris
Photo by Katie Donnelly Photography

If you want a souvenir that will last a lifetime, capture yourself in photos! I decided to do a photoshoot with Katie Donnelly on my last trip (thanks to a recommendation from a friend), and this is by far one of the neatest things I’ve ever done. After your photo session (depending on whom you hire and the package you choose), you’ll receive digital photos you can print at home. Some studios also offer beautiful canvases or framed prints to purchase after your shoot.

Photos of you (and your family) will be a timeless memento and will definitely be one of your best souvenirs from Paris. You’ll never throw them away, they’ll never spoil, and they won’t grow outdated. And that is priceless.

Where to Buy: Katie Donnelly Photography (I’m biased because Katie and her team are amazing. And no, I’m not being paid or sponsored to write any of this about her).

2. French Baking Supplies

E Dehillerin outside of the building

Alright, lovely bakers, this one is for you! What baker doesn’t need French baking supplies? You can find many baking tools made in France at various stores in Paris, some of which you can’t buy in the US because they are only sold locally. French baking supplies make the best Paris souvenirs for those who geek out on this sort of thing (that’s definitely me, is it you?).

What are some of the best baking items to buy, though? I highly recommend French whisks, tart pans, silicone baking mats, cookie cutters, and pastry molds. There are so many good things to choose from, so there’s really no limit (aside from your wallet, but who’s counting, right?). My biggest piece of advice is to buy something that you will actually use. For me, that means a small whisk from E. Dehillerin and some tart pans.

Where to Buy: E. Dehillerin, A. Simon, and Mora. These are three of the best stores for baking and cooking supplies in all of Paris, so visit at least one of them if you are a baker!

3. Parisian Scarves

French scarves at Monoprix

Walking around Paris, you’ll see Parisians wearing pretty, chic scarves. They have the most beautiful way of tying them too. A scarf is one of the best souvenirs from Paris because it’s something you can use for years. You’ll feel so chic wearing your Parisian scarf back in the States. It invokes that French girl confidence we all want!

Where to Buy: My favorite places to buy scarves include Monoprix and BHV Marais. At Monoprix, you’ll find very affordable scarves (think similar to Target prices). At BHV Marais, they are a little more expensive. You can also find scarves at almost any weekend marché throughout the city.

Pro Tip: When you buy thick or large scarves, use them to wrap breakable items in your suitcase so they don’t break on the journey home.

4. French Skincare Products

French skincare products are luxurious but without an expensive price tag. They are made with better ingredients than many American brands (and they often work better). While there are several other good things to buy in Paris, skincare products rank high on my list because they are really that good. Once you try them, you’ll understand why. They often cost at least half of what you’d pay in the US. Some of the best French skincare brands include Avène, Bioderma, Nuxe, and La Roche Posay.

Where to Buy: For a truly memorable shopping experience, go to CityPharma in the 6th arrondissement. It’s the ultimate destination for skincare souvenirs.

5. Decorative Treat Tins

La Cure Gourmande Cookie Tins in Paris

While sweet treats like macarons and French cookies don’t last long when you bring them home, they are still a wonderful souvenir from Paris! But the enduring memory will come from the tins you can purchase with the macarons and cookies. You can use the tins as decoration in your kitchen or fill them with other treats. The tins will remind you of your time in Paris every time you use them.

Where to Buy: Pierre Hermé and La Cure Gourmande

6. French Soaps

The French have a long-standing tradition of making fabulous soaps. You can buy soaps by the block, or you can buy small bars wrapped in beautiful French-designed paper. These make great gifts to give to people back home or to use for yourself. Three great brands to buy include Le Petit Marseille, Le Petit Olivier, and Le Savon de Marseille. French soaps tend to be gentler on skin, so they are good for people who have sensitive or dry skin.

Where to Buy: It’s easy to find many of these soaps in basic markets like Monoprix, or at a pharmacy like CityPharma.

7. Paris City Pop-Ups

This recommendation is not on many lists that you’ll find because I don’t think many people even know about them. I discovered these handmade popups on my trip in 2019 at a little print shop where the owner spoke no English (and didn’t accept credit cards). I have 3 of these Parisian pop-up scenes, and they sit on my dresser, where I see them daily.

This is one of the best inexpensive souvenirs to bring home! They pack flat and take up almost no space in your suitcase.

Where to Buy: I can’t remember the name of the original shop where I bought these, but luckily, they also sell the city pop-ups at Boisnard (where they speak some English and accept credit cards). This store is a fabulous papeterie selling stationary, leather journals, pens, and more.

8. Kitchen Towels

Instead of buying souvenirs that will quickly be forgotten, buy French kitchen towels! This is one of the best Parisian souvenirs because they are inexpensive, and you can find them in different colors and patterns to suit your taste. Use them decoratively, or buy some that you can use daily in your kitchen.

Where to Buy: You can buy French kitchen towels at Monoprix, Galeries LaFayette, and A. Simon.

9. Gourmet Chocolates

Chocolates at A La Mere de Famille in Paris

If you love chocolate (who doesn’t?), treat yourself to gourmet chocolates on your trip! This is one of the best souvenirs from Paris because you get to take them home with you, and they last for a few weeks (unless you eat them all within the first week, but c’est la vie). Many chocolateries also sell artisan chocolate bars, which stay fresh in your pantry for several months. 

Where to Buy: Edwart and Jacques Genin, among others. Check out my article here to learn where to find all the best chocolates in Paris.

10. Personalized Leather Notebook

Made from luxurious leather, personalized notebooks from Louise Carmen are a real keepsake. When you buy one, you can select the color of the leather and the style of the notebook cover. You can also have your name, initials, or something special embossed on the front of the cover.

This notebook is one of the best boutique souvenirs in Paris because the attention to detail is very Parisian, as is the simplicity of the design. Personalized notebooks are a quiet luxury that you’ll treasure forever.

Where to Buy: At Louise Carmen in the Passage du Grand Cerf in the 2nd arrondissement. You can also buy a Louise Carmen notebook at Boisnard, but you can’t have it personalized.

11. Reusable Shopping Bags

reusable shopping bags make the best souvenirs in Paris

Reusable shopping bags make my list of the best things to buy in Paris because they are truly useful! They are inexpensive, and you can use them at home after your trip. Each store has its own unique designs. They also pack flat, making it easy to take them home. My favorite one is from Fragonard, but there are a lot of cute bags at different shops in the city. Plus, some shops change the designs of their bags periodically, so you may find something different each trip.

Where to Buy: You can purchase reusable shopping bags at places like Monoprix, La Grande Epicerie, and Galeries Lafayette. I own several, and I use them all the time!

12. French Clothing

Sweater wall at Sézane

What would it feel like to walk out your door wearing a beautiful Parisian jacket you bought on your trip? Or maybe a little black dress or a beautiful sweater? I always look for at least one piece of French-branded clothing on each trip. The fun part is when people (at home) ask you where you got your adorable sweater, dress, etc, you can off-handedly say. “Oh this? I got this in Paris.” You’ve got to have a real French girl attitude about you, though. Like “this old thing, it’s no big deal.” (but secretly, you love it!).

Where to Buy: Sézane (the ultimate French girl store!), Monoprix, Soeur, Rouje, and Sandro. There are many more, but you must at least walk into a Sézane store and look at their sweater wall!

13. French Perfume

Perfume at Fragonard in Paris Opera District- best souvenirs in Paris

This is one of the best souvenirs. Period. Did you know there are some perfumes you can buy in Paris that you can’t buy outside France? So imagine how special that perfume will be to you when you put it on each time at home. You’ll have something truly Parisian that no one else will likely have at home. I own 3 scents and can’t wait to add more to my collection. And bonus, the bottles are beautiful to display!

Where to Buy: My favorite place for perfume is Fragonard (made in Grasse, FR). They have several dreamy scents. There are a few locations in Paris, so you can easily find one while you are there.

14. Table Linens

If you enjoy hosting parties, buy table linens! One option is to buy French fabric and hem the edges to make your own tablecloth and napkins. On the other hand, if you want finished linens, you will find boutique stores in the city that sell them. 

Where to Buy: Le Jacquard Francais (table linen store) and Marché Saint Pierre (fabric store)

15. French Handbags

Paris is known for luxury handbags, but there are also a lot of good quality handbags that won’t break the bank. A good handbag is an investment, but if you buy a high-quality bag and take good care of it, your purse will last many years. One of the advantages of buying a French handbag (and clothes) in Paris is that they are more affordable than if you order them online and ship them to the US.

Where to Buy: Sézane, Longchamps, and Polène (and many more).

16. LU Cookies

LU Cookies at Monoprix

Oh how I love LU cookies! Also known as Le Petit Ecolier Veritable, these crisp cookies are adorable and delicious! They have scalloped edges and are topped with chocolate that has been stamped to look like an old-fashioned schoolboy. The flavor is just perfect. Buy a box…or two or ten. The dark chocolate Lu cookies are my personal favorite, but the milk chocolate is excellent too. If you have a foodie in the family, this is one of the best souvenirs in Paris because you can’t get these in the US. And if you’re like me, you’ll crave these year-round.

Where to Buy: Monoprix, Franprix, La Grande Epicerie, and other grocery stores in Paris

When you go to Paris, the best souvenirs you will take away are your memories. But I also hope that you buy some things that will last and stay with you for years to come. Of all the souvenirs I’ve purchased (and there have been a lot), my favorite things are the ones I use regularly. So get lost in the city, soak it up, fall in love with the Seine, and buy something wonderful for yourself. If you are anything like me, Paris will steal your heart, and those little treasures will be happy reminders of your time there.

best souvenirs to buy in Paris - collage of photos

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *