The best stores and stores that you must visit when you are on holiday in France.

Discover the stores to take advantage of when you come on vacation in France

If you are planning a vacation in France, this article is for you. There is nothing like exploring a new destination and discovering its local charms, and what better way to do it than also visiting the stores and stores that we French love. Here I bring you a complete guide of the best brands and places you can’t miss during your stay in this beautiful country.

Know the secrets that only a local can tell you

In this article, I’m going to introduce you to those gems you can’t miss when visiting this beautiful country. From exclusive boutiques to traditional markets and iconic department stores, you will discover options for all tastes and budgets. So, get your bags and wallets ready, because we’re going shopping in France.
Join me on this tour and let’s discover together where to find those hidden treasures that will make your trip an even more memorable experience!


Store opening hours in France: Adapt your Watch

One of the key aspects to fully enjoy shopping in France is to know and adapt to local business hours. Unlike many other countries, shopping hours in France can vary quite a bit, and it is essential to plan our visits so as not to find the doors closed. Here is a general guide so that you can better organize your time and take advantage of every moment of your shopping.

Most stores in France open their doors between 8:30 and 9 am. This includes everything from small boutiques and local stores to department stores and supermarkets. However, it is important to note that many of these stores close around noon, usually between 12 and 2 p.m., for the lunch break, especially in smaller towns and cities.

In the evening, stores reopen their doors and usually remain open until 6 or 7 pm. In large cities such as Paris, Lyon or Marseille, it is possible to find stores that stay open later, especially in tourist and shopping areas.

Remember these time slots and use them as a reference:

  • Morning from 9 a.m. to 12 noon
  • Afternoon from 14 to 18/19h

In shopping malls or department stores, these hours can be extended by one hour and do not close at noon.

I recommend that you do as I did during my first visits to France, when I had to make up my mind to move my schedule to a couple of hours earlier, to take better advantage of the day and not find the stores closed in the afternoon.

Shopping parks in France

In France, department stores are grouped together in shopping parks located on the outskirts of cities. These large shopping parks, which will not go unnoticed by you from now on, not only facilitate the shopping experience by offering everything in one place, but also provide a relaxed and less congested environment than the center of large cities. Here, visitors can enjoy a full day of shopping, as these centers often include restaurants, cafes and entertainment areas for the whole family.

The next time you pass by, you’ll know that these shopping parks offer much more than just stores. They are complete destinations where you can find everything from fashion and sports to gourmet products and technology. Here are some of the most outstanding stores you can find in these parks, which you can’t miss on your tour and where you’re sure to find interesting purchases to take home: Get ready to discover a unique and satisfying shopping experience!

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When you see these brands on the road, now you’ll know what they offer.

Decathlon

The best stores and stores that you must visit when you are on holiday in France.

Many already know this brand, which is one of our favorite stores in France.
At Decathlon you will find equipment for all the sports you can imagine, all super well organized. And for me, it offers an unparalleled shopping experience for all sports and outdoor enthusiasts. What we also love about Decathlon is the customer service: there are always motivated young people ready to offer assistance and advice, which makes finding the perfect product an easy and pleasant task.

ℹ️ More than 325 stores in France

Grand Frais

The best stores and stores that you must visit when you are on holiday in France.

If you are passionate about good food, Grand Frais is a true paradise. This grocery store specializes in fresh, high quality produce. Here you will find an incredible selection of fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and dairy products, all fresh and often locally sourced. The layout of the store and the freshness of the products make shopping at Grand Frais a pleasurable experience for the senses. It is the ideal place to stock up on fresh and healthy ingredients for any meal.

ℹ️ More than 244 stores in France

Cultura

The best stores and stores that you must visit when you are on holiday in France.

Another one of our favorites is Cultura, a store that becomes a paradise for lovers of books, music, movies, candy, art, crafts of all kinds and games. We love this store because it offers an enriching and diverse shopping experience. Here you can find everything from the latest literary and musical novelties to a wide variety of art and craft supplies. Cultura is the perfect place to let your creativity run wild and discover new hobbies. The store also has sections dedicated to educational games and toys, making it an ideal destination for the whole family.
If you don’t know it yet, Cultura will surprise you!

ℹ️ More than 100 stores in France

Biocoop

The best stores and stores that you must visit when you are on holiday in France.

For those looking for organic and environmentally friendly products, Biocoop is a must. This store specializes in certified organic food and personal care products. From fresh fruits and vegetables to organic cleaning products, Biocoop offers a carefully curated selection that guarantees quality and sustainability. We love Biocoop because it allows you to shop responsibly without sacrificing quality or taste. In addition, the store’s ambiance and product layout make the shopping experience both enjoyable and educational.

ℹ️ More than 700 stores in France

Fnac

The best stores and stores that you must visit when you are on holiday in France.

These stores are a technology and entertainment lover’s paradise. This store offers a wide range of products ranging from the latest electronic gadgets to an impressive selection of books, music, and video games. We love Fnac because we can always find the latest in technology, as well as a wide variety of cultural products that allow us to keep up with the latest news and trends. In addition, Fnac regularly organizes events, such as book signings and concerts, which make the visit even more interesting. Customer service is excellent, with knowledgeable staff ready to help and advise at all times, ensuring that we always find exactly what we are looking for.

ℹ️ More than 800 stores in France

Sephora

The best stores and stores that you must visit when you are on holiday in France.

Sephora is the perfect store for makeup and personal care lovers. This store offers a vast selection of beauty products, from luxury brands to more affordable options, catering to all tastes and needs. The store’s layout and the ability to sample products make the shopping experience fun and exciting. Plus, the staff is always available to provide personalized advice and recommendations, ensuring you find exactly what you’re looking for.

ℹ️ More than 300 stores in France

Les Parapharmacies

When you travel with your family, especially with small children, there are always unforeseen events. Parapharmacies in France are those magical places where you can find everything you need to solve any inconvenience that may arise during your trip. If you are not familiar with the concept, let me tell you a little more about this hidden treasure.

Unlike traditional pharmacies, parapharmacies specialize in personal care, beauty, wellness and health products that do not require a prescription. Here you can find everything from moisturizing creams and hair care products to vitamin supplements and natural remedies, generally at very good prices.

Variety and Quality

Unlike traditional pharmacies, parapharmacies specialize in personal care, beauty, wellness and health products that do not require a prescription. Here you can find everything from moisturizers and hair care products to vitamin supplements and natural remedies.

A Cultural Experience

Visiting a parapharmacie is also a way to immerse yourself in the local culture. You can learn about the products that the French use in their daily lives and discover new brands and products that you may have never seen before. In addition, the employees are often very knowledgeable and can give you helpful advice on which products are best for your needs.

In short, parapharmacies in France are a must-stop for any traveler, especially those traveling with family. They are much more than just health stores; they are an invaluable resource to make sure your trip goes smoothly and comfortably. So the next time you’re exploring a small French town, don’t forget to stop by a parapharmacie – you won’t regret it!

More options also within the villages

Les Brocantes

The best stores and stores that you must visit when you are on holiday in France.

In the villages of France, there is a unique shopping experience you won’t want to miss: les brocantes.
Brocantes are stores where second-hand items, antiques and curiosities are sold. They are places full of charm and nostalgia, ideal for lovers of vintage and hidden treasures. In them you can find an incredible variety of items. From antique furniture and decorative pieces to books, vinyl records, vintage clothing, jewelry, kitchen utensils and much more. Each stall is a little treasure waiting to be discovered, and you never know what unique gem you might find. Brocantes is perfect for those looking for unique pieces with history and character.

Brocantes are an endearing part of French culture, offering a window into the past and the opportunity to take home a piece of history. Whether you’re looking for a specific piece or simply want to enjoy a different shopping experience, brocantes offer an unforgettable adventure. So, next time you’re in France, be sure to visit a brocante and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of flea markets. Good hunting!

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Les Epiceries

Within the villages, you will come across this store frequently and entering it is super interesting, fun and I strongly recommend you do so.

An épicerie is essentially a grocery store, but with a very special touch. These stores are a staple of everyday life in France and are often run by local merchants. What makes them really special is the quality and selection of products they offer, often focusing on fresh, local and high quality foods.

you will find a variety of products ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and sausages, to dry goods such as pasta, rice, spices and preserves. Many of these products are carefully selected, often from local producers, guaranteeing freshness and quality. It is also common to find a selection of French cheeses, local wines and artisan breads that will delight any lover of good food.

In addition to basic products, épiceries often offer gourmet and delicatessen products, such as high-quality olive oils, artisanal jams, fine chocolates and a wide range of organic and specialty products. This is the ideal place to discover unique ingredients and take a little piece of French gastronomy home with you.

Les Braderies

If you are visiting France and love the thrill of finding great deals, you can’t miss a braderie. But what exactly is a braderie? A braderie is a street market or sales fair, where merchants sell products at discounted prices. These events are a real buying and selling party, ideal for those looking for good deals and a lively atmosphere.

What can you find in a Braderie?

In a braderie, you can find a wide variety of items. Merchants sell everything from clothing and footwear to accessories, household items, books, toys and local products. In addition, many times residents also participate, selling second-hand items, which adds a dimension of hidden treasures for you to discover.

The products in a braderie are known for their reduced prices. You can find everything from deep discounts on seasonal products to real bargains on unique and curious items. Braderies are perfect for those who enjoy bargain hunting and discovering new and unexpected things.

Tips for Visitors

  • Arrive Early: The best deals and unique items are usually the first to sell, so it is advisable to arrive early.
  • Carry Cash: Although more and more vendors are accepting card payments, having cash on hand is always a good idea.
  • Explore and Enjoy: Take your time to browse all the stalls and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
  • Bargain with Respect: Negotiating is part of the experience, but always do it with respect and good humor.

The braderies are a charming and exciting part of French culture. They offer a unique mix of new and used products at incredible prices, in a lively and friendly environment. Participating in a braderie is not only an excellent opportunity to find great bargains, but also a fun way to immerse yourself in local life and enjoy a different kind of shopping day.
So, next time you’re in France, look for a braderie and get ready for an unforgettable shopping experience. Good luck and happy shopping!

ℹ️ Braderies are usually advertised in the calendars of activities on the websites of the municipalities (Mairies) as well as on posters posted in the streets or inside the stores.
Don’t hesitate to ask for more information!

Les Fromageries

Finally, I strongly recommend exploring the cheese dairies in French villages. In each of them you will find a delicious variety of cheeses and dairy products, all made locally with a characteristic French dedication and passion.

What can you find in a Cheese Factory?

In a cheese dairy, in addition to dozens of varieties of cheeses, you will discover a wide range of dairy products, such as creams, butters, yogurts of all kinds, ice creams and fresh milk, all products that highlight the richness and diversity of local production. The cheese dairies are true temples of taste, where each product is a small work of culinary art.

The Variety of Cheeses

The range of cheeses on offer in a cheese shop is truly impressive. From mild and creamy cheeses to stronger and cured varieties; there is always something for every palate. The most fascinating thing is that the flavors change from village to village. In every region and in every dairy, you’ll find unique cheeses that reflect the local terroir – that set of geographical, climatic and cultural conditions that influence the taste and quality of the products.

Derivative Dairy Products

In addition to cheeses, cheese dairies offer an incredible variety of dairy products. The creams, butters and yogurts, often handmade, are rich and tasty, perfect to enjoy on their own or as an accompaniment to a meal. Ice creams and desserts, made with fresh, natural ingredients, are a real treat for the palate. Even the milk, often fresh and unprocessed, has a unique and authentic flavor that you will hardly find in supermarkets.

Tips for Visitors

  • Taste and Discover: Don’t hesitate to try cheeses before you buy. Tastings are common in cheese shops and are a great way to discover new favorites.
  • Ask and Learn: Take the opportunity to learn from the experts. Ask about the production methods and characteristics of each cheese. Interacting with the locals enriches your visit!
  • Buy Local: Support local producers by buying their products. Not only will you take home something delicious, but you will also be contributing to the local economy.

Exploring cheese dairies in France is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the local culture and discover the incredible diversity of French dairy products. So, the next time you are in a small French village, don’t hesitate to visit a cheese dairy. I promise it will be an unforgettable experience that will delight your senses and allow you to take home a little piece of authentic French flavor. Bon appétit!

The Magic of Shopping in France: An Unforgettable Experience

The best stores and stores that you must visit when you are on holiday in France.

Traveling in France is an experience full of charm, and part of that magic lies in discovering the wonderful stores and stores that the country has to offer. From the shopping malls located on the outskirts of the cities, where department stores such as Decathlon, Grand Frais, Sephora, Cultura and Biocop are concentrated, to the small épiceries and vibrant brocantes, every corner of France is full of unique opportunities to buy high quality products and enjoy unforgettable experiences.

Let’s not forget the cheese shops, where the richness of local flavors unfolds in an impressive variety of cheeses and dairy products. These stores not only allow us to take home exceptional products, but also give us a deeper insight into French culture and tradition.

Next time you travel to France, I encourage you to take the time to explore these places. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gear for your outdoor adventures at Decathlon, the freshest ingredients at Grand Frais, beauty products at Sephora, books and games at Cultura, organic foods at Biocoop, or the most delicious cheeses at a local cheese shop, each of these experiences will enrich your trip and allow you to take a little piece of France with you.

Remember that the essence of traveling is not only in the monuments and landscapes, but also in the small everyday moments, such as discovering a hidden gem in a braderie or enjoying a chat with the owner of an épicerie. Immerse yourself in these experiences, let your senses guide you and enjoy all that France has to offer.

Happy shopping and bon voyage!


Diego en France

Dear reader,
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and, above all, that it has been useful for planning your getaway or family holiday in France.
I would love to hear your thoughts, questions, and experiences related to the content you’ve just read. Comments are an opportunity for us all to share ideas and learn from each other.
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Thank you for being part of this community and I look forward to seeing your comments soon!
Warm regards


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