Paris is gray and rainy in winter and the lines in the museums can be overwhelming. Try something different. Try finding shelter from the inclement weather and feeding your shopaholic addiction at the same time. You have a great excuse for spending those Euros. The Winter Sales are ON here in Paris and every kind of store is a potential source of a tremendous bargain (or two).
Sales (called “Les Soldes” in French) are regulated by the government and are only allowed twice a year. They last for a six-week period in the winter and in the summer. The Winter Sales began on January 10th and will end on February 20th. The discounts get bigger as time goes on. They usually start at 20% but can go all the way to 70%. And, everything, literally everything, is on sale.
You can refresh your wardrobe, buy those anti-wrinkle miracle creams and perfumes or get your mother-in-law a Hermès scarf. For once, step into a Versace, Armani, Chanel or Dior boutique and don’t leave empty-handed. Where are the best places to shop? The classic department stores such as Galeries Lafayette, Le Printemps, Le Bon Marché or BHV are beautiful buildings to visit and offer an incredible assortment of products, ranging from luxury items to affordable Parisian souvenirs. Near the Apartments du Louvre, you can walk to "Le Forum des Halles" where a multitude of boutiques await you. Or you could mosey down rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré if you like smaller, more intimate shops.
Wherever you choose to take advantage of the French Winter Sales, try and get an early start to avoid the crowds. Also, dress lightly to make trying on clothes easier and wear comfortable shoes. Enjoy “Les Soldes” and stay out of the rain at the same time. (You might even buy yourself a new chic French trench coat while you’re at it!)