The Best Bookstores in Paris You Need To Visit

shopping in Paris

When you’ve seen all the tourist attractions in Paris you know you have to visit, shopping in Paris is probably going to be the next item on your “to do” list. You’ll find plenty of interesting boutiques and gorgeous department stores throughout the city, but there’s another type of shop you should keep on your radar: bookstores!
There are over 2,500 bookstores throughout France so we can’t possibly list them all, but here are a few of the best bookstores any bookworm will want to visit:
Shakespeare and Company

  • During the 1920s, this store served as a popular gathering spot for notable writers such as Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and T.S. Eliot.

  • The bookstore closed in 1941 during the German occupation of Paris. The original owner, Sylvia Beach, never opened the shop after the war, but George Whitman later reopened Shakespeare and Company in 1951.

  • The ambiance of the store is reason enough to visit! You can curl up on cushioned benches and listen to writers clicking away on old typewriters.

  • Location: 37 Rue de la Bûcherie; Hours of operation: open seven days a week, 10a.m. to 11p.m.

W.H. Smith

  • If you’re one of the 9.3 million visitors that the Louvre attracts each year, W.H. Smith is just a short walk away and is located in the Tuileries.

  • This is another well-known British bookshop, and it has three stories of books, magazines, and newspapers all in English.

  • Location: 248 rue de Rivoli; Hours of operation: Monday-Saturday from 9a.m. to 7p.m.

Librarie Le Bail-Weissert

  • Any history lovers will certainly want to stop at the Librairie la Bail Weissert — even if just to look at the collections!

  • As one of the best specialty bookstores in Paris, the Librarie Le Bail-Weissert sells many books, atlases, maps, and engravings that date from the 15th to 19th centuries. You can even find original maps of European cities and beautiful architectural engravings.

  • Location: 13 rue Frederic Sauton; Hours of operation: Monday-Friday from 10a.m. to 7p.m., and Saturday from 2p.m. to 6p.m.

If you’re taking a winter vacation in Paris, stopping into a local bookstore is a great way to warm up after hitting the ski slopes or visiting some of the 8,000 museums located throughout France. We’ll warn you, though — you might want to reserve more than the average €62 of daily spending money if you’re shopping in Paris bookstores!

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