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Rue du Commerce: A Hidden Shopping Treasure in Paris

Story by Laura Thayer

When you’re looking for the best hidden shopping streets in Paris, one of the places you’re unlikely to start your search is just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower. Yet, just across the Champ de Mars gardens on the border of the 7th and 15th arrondissement, is a charming neighborhood where you’ll find the narrow rue du Commerce. The street is chock full of boutiques for a truly Parisian shopping experience—sans the traffic and tourists.

If you’re staying in the heart of Paris in the 7th arrondissement, it’s only a pleasant stroll across the Champ de Mars gardens, or you can easily take the Métro to the La Motte-Picquet-Grenelle stop and cross the street to find the rue du Commerce. There are some delightful Paris rental apartments nearby, so you can live like a Parisian in this charming neighborhood.

On the corner you’ll spot the large Monoprix, which was one of my greatest discoveries when I first came to Paris. Much like a Target in America, this store is a wonderful spot for affordable fashions, house wares, beauty products, and also includes a large grocery store on the upper level. It’s a wonderful spot for finding that perfect gift, with excellent spices and food items often costing significantly less than at gourmet shops in Paris.

Just outside, rue du Commerce starts with some familiar names, such as H&M and Zara. But as you wander down this charming street, you’ll discover an enormous mix of stores like Princesse Tam Tam, Promod, Etam and Sephora along with charming small boutiques selling one of kind finds. This is the street where Parisians head to first, whether they’re looking for the latest fashions, the perfect pair of boots or something special for a big event.

With a quiet village-like feel to the neighborhood, shopping along rue du Commerce is a real pleasure. The large sidewalks and limited traffic along the narrow one-way street make it easy to pop back and forth across the street when a window display on the opposite side lures you over.

Surrounded by a quiet residential area of Paris, rue du Commerce is also home to a fine selection of high quality food shops, bakeries, cafés and restaurants catering to the locals in the neighborhood. And you can’t miss the Grenelle open air farmer’s market next to the Motte Piquet metro station on Blvd de Grenelle.  This is undoubtedly one of the best markets in Paris, with vendors coming from all over France to sell their quality food.  Prices are excellent, for local Parisians keep a close eye on value!

This is a neighborhood where Parisians come to shop, and I love spending the day feeling very Parisian myself while making my way down one of the most enjoyable shopping streets in Paris. At the end of the afternoon, I stroll across the Champs de Mars Gardens and have dinner with friends serving the delicious treats I’ve bought at the market.

 

Story by Laura Thayer, correspondent for the Paris Perfect Blog, where she writes about savoring the pleasures of the authentic Parisian lifestyle. Top photo ©2011 Paris Perfect Apartment Rentals.

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