Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Three of the best department store Christmas displays in Paris

One of the things I love doing during the Christmas period in Paris is taking a day out to leisurely stroll through my favourite Christmas themed department stores. Parisian department stores also offer free Christmas gift wrapping which is a bonus when working through the Christmas present shopping list! By the time evening falls, which in Winter is around 5pm, it's time to pop outside and hit the window displays. They look extra magical and twinkly at night. 

First cab off the rank this year was Le Bon Marché to see this giant centrepiece suspended in the middle of the store.

You know Dasher and Dancer..

Founded in 1838 as a small shop, Le Bon Marché officially became a 'department store' in 1852 when Aristide Boucicaut and his wife Marguerite decided to create a new type of store that would revolutionise the customer shopping experience.

My Love for Paris tip: Be sure to check out the window displays as well as La Grande Epicerie de Paris, the famous Parisian food hall..!

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche
24 rue de Sèvres
Métro Sèvres Babylone

Open 10am to 8pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
Open 10am to 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays

Galeries Lafayette is without a doubt the most famous of all department stores in Paris. Relatively new compared to Le Bon Marché, cousins Théophile Bader and Alphonse Kahn started up this current Parisian shopping icon by opening up a small fashion store in 1895. 

Galeries Lafayette never disappoints at Christmas time. This year's centrepiece was a 25 metre upside down Christmas tree, suspended from the famous stained glass dome built in 1912.   

Oh la la!

The upside down roots of the 25 metre Christmas tree

Blue lights

Not so blue lights
My Love for Paris tips: 
1. Be sure to check out the newly renovated Food Hall which is across the road at Lafayette Maison and not with Menswear as before.
2. Menswear is a good place to use the restrooms as lines will be considerably shorter ;)
3. If visiting between May and November, be sure to head up to see the free rooftop views on the top floor.

Galeries Lafayette
40 boulevard Haussmann 
Métro Chaussée d'Antin LaFayette

Click here for opening hours

Another department store not to be missed is Printemps, which was founded by Jules Jaluzot and Jean-Alfred Duclos in 1865. Interestingly enough it was one of the first department stores be connected to the metro almost 40 years later in 1904. I probably enjoyed their window displays the most this year. Lafayette had some monster theme going on which just didn't do it for me.  

Mesmerised by the twinkling lights and marionettes dancing around, I clamoured my way to the very front to get some snaps. Don't worry, no children were harmed in the process.

Their window displays (although blatantly sponsored by Burberry this year) were cute if you mentally blocked out all the merchandising and product placement to just focus on the more traditional elements of Christmas.

I watched this train over and over again..

Up up and away!

Upside down Eiffel Tower to match Galeries Lafayette's upside down Christmas tree?
My Love for Paris tips:
1. Head to the House and Beauty building, straight up to the 8th floor for my favourite rooftop view of Paris by day, and my favourite rooftop view of Paris by night (time it on the hour for an Eiffel Tower light show!)
2. Beware of using the restrooms here, they cost a whopping 1.50€ when it is free just next door at Galeries Lafayette!
3. Check out the Brasserie Printemps for another pretty dome.

40 boulevard Haussmann 
Métro Havre Caumartin

Open Monday to Saturday from 9:35am to 8pm
Open Thursday from 9:35am to 8:45pm

Merry Christmas from Paris everyone!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Cassandre! Paris is very photogenic this time of the year..!