When in Paris, do what the French do and head to Galeries Lafayette to shop. Here you’ll find ten floors full of designer fashion, plus accessories, shoes, perfumes and nearly a whole floor of lingerie. Well, what did you expect? This is Paris. And all of it enclosed under a 1900s Belle Epoque dome. Riding the escalators through the middle of that glass and steel glowing-golden dome, you feel special. As you will climbing the Art Nouveau staircases. This is not just shopping, this is an experience.
Theophile Bader and cousin Alphonse Kahn opened their store in 1895 and it quickly became a sensation both for its design and fashion sense. Galeries Lafayette continues to be a heartbeat of Paris retail with its emphasis on quality and the latest fashions, cosmetics, accessories, jewelry and housewares. Naturally there’s a gourmet food hall as well: Lafayette Gourmet. And if all that shopping has built up an appetite, there’s a restaurant and terrace on the top floor that offer fabulous views over the Parisian rooftops and the Paris Opera.
If you want some true French fashion guidance there is a free weekly fashion show on Friday afternoons (you need to book ahead). But it’s that dome which just continues to give the whole place a sense of luxury and opulence; this could well be the most elegant department store in the world.