Paris is a spectacular shopping town and in our short trip we limited our scope to two main areas: the Marais and Saint Germaine. After a dreamy and hazy and cold walk over the famed Le Pont Alexander III bridge we came to the neighborhood of Saint Germain and the inspiring Bon Marche. Filled with the latest in clothes and accessories in beautiful colors, it's a must stop for fashion minded visitors. There were also many great children's shops in the area like the elegant Bonpoint and the much more affordable Du Pareil au meme.
For fashion forward adults, I highly recommend the concept store Colette, where the latest and most avant garde pieces are on display. Much like Dover Street Market in London, it's more like a museum of the latest style than a store. Here you can also find some wild and fun gray nail polish from Uslu airlines brand.
La Marais was my most favorite neighborhood we visited with quaint winding streets, beautiful architecture and laid back atmosphere. It's is the center of the gay city presence (and you know they always live in the city's best neighborhoods) and historically been the center of the Jewish community in Paris. We found some exceptional (and pricey) children's boutiques including Fifi de Vem, Baby Beluga and Bon Ton which are both within walking distance to the world's most beautiful square Place des Vosges.
For adults with a penchant for the avant garde, the Tsumori Chisato shop is wort a visit and I took advantage of a major sale at Surface to Air where I purchased an awesome full skirt that has had people asking me (for the first time and likely the last) if I happen to be wearing Balenciaga, ha!
Our Hotel Monna Lisa was nice enough with little in way of frills except for an amazing shower with six shower heads. It was dreamy and made the five euro cost of water a bit easier to bear. Located near the Arche de Triomphe, it wasn't perfectly centrally located for our purposes, but would not be a terrible place to stay in general. The subway system is flawless, though make sure you keep your stub as enforcers periodically ask for them to insure you've paid to ride (one local girl did not and was brought to tears when issued a ticket). I also learned that you have to press a button for some of the train doors to open which will help you from looking like a fool like I did.
Other good tips are to bring a phone card – we had to call via a service using our credit cards and the cost was phenomenal and bring a watch because no one in Paris will be as concerned with the time like an uptight New Yorker on holiday.
Overall, Paris is exactly as you've heard – every corner offers more beauty but unlike you may have heard, I found everyone to be exceptionally nice and accommodating. Here are more photos.
But what do you think?