Department Stores

Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, two mythical department stores on the Grands Boulevards.

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Coupole des Galeries Lafayette à Paris

Close by the Hôtel Mansart, you can visit Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, two big department stores on the Grands Boulevards not far from Opéra Garnier.


With their impressive façades, their shop windows and roof terraces, the department stores on Boulevard Haussmann are admired for their architecture and for the range of articles on offer. Here elegance and fashion are the watchwords.


Temples to shopping

The development of department stores in the 19th century overtook the smaller shops situated in the covered passages of Paris. With their wide aisles and their division into departments filled with a wide range of articles, they revolutionised traditional retailing. Whereas small shops sold one-off, made-to-measure goods, the department stores had, on the contrary, a wide range of choices, regularly renewed collections and more attractive prices.

During the 20th century, department stores became world famous and began to target a wealthier clientele, especially from abroad. Today the customer experience is still being enriched to continue to attract visitors to the stores. Printemps and Galeries Lafayette have broadened their product ranges: from fashion to cosmetics via household decorations, leisure activities and tableware. For tourists visiting Paris, personalised services have been introduced, such as bilingual shopping guides, delivery to hotels in the capital or to countries all over the world.

Marvels of architecture

Millions of visitors are attracted each year by the department stores' architecture. The storefronts of Galeries Lafayette and Printemps were built in the style of the Art Nouveau period. The architecture of Galeries Lafayette was designed by Georges Chedanne, and Printemps by Jules Jaluzot. Since 1975, the Printemps building has been listed as an Historic Monument. 

Inside, the Art Déco glass ceilings of the two department stores always fascinate visitors. Ferdinant Chanut designed Galeries Lafayette's dome with its metal frame, while its stained glass was made by the master glass-maker Jacques Gruber. The glass roof in Printemps was made by the architect René Binet in 1911. Work on the staircase banister rail in Galeries Lafayette was carried out by Louis Majorelle, a major Art Nouveau artist.

At the Hôtel Mansart we recommend taking in the magnificent view from the roofs of the two buildings. The elaborate staging represented by the exterior windows is well worth a visit and helps to enhance the Art Nouveau façades.

Team's best picks

Colette
"This boutique, where trends are discovered and set in motion, has become a destination not to be missed during a visit to Paris. A selection of books, fashion and out-of-the-ordinary articles. The window dressing, which is renewed each week, is worth a visit alone."
213 rue Saint-Honoré - 75001 Paris
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Lucas Carton
"An historic restaurant at Place de la Madeleine, which has gone from preparing traditional cuisine to a more contemporary feel while maintaining high standards and a love for cooking and perfect matches."
93 rue du Bac - 75007 Paris
Tuesday to Saturday, 12 noon to 2.15 p.m. and 7.30 to 10.15 p.m.
Visit the website