Looking for unique and truly authentic French souvenirs? Read this guide on the best souvenirs from France for some much-needed inspiration!
Visiting any new destination, country, or place can be incredibly exciting. The thrill of exploring new sights, cultures, and sampling new cuisines is the reason why so many of us have been bitten hard by the wanderlust travel bug!
Throughout our travels, we’ve always made a point of looking for a special souvenir or memento to remember a new city or destination by.
Of course, on our visit to beautiful Paris, it was no different. So, this inspired us to come up with a list of the 7 best souvenirs from France that you can consider buying for yourself, or as French gift ideas for family and friends back home.
Whether you’re exploring the sights of Paris, heading to the beaches of southern France, or even planning a French glamping trip, we’ll hopefully inspire you to explore the various souvenirs in France and bag your very own keepsake!
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What to Buy in France – Souvenirs from Paris & More
France has many unique souvenirs to buy on your vacation so it can be challenging to find the perfect one. To ensure you’re not spending all your time looking for the perfect gift or keepsake, here are some of the best souvenirs from France.
Whether it’s an Eiffel Tower replica from a street vendor or a designer béret from a French boutique, you’ll be able to reminisce about your trip.
Visiting anywhere else in Europe? Check out these ‘best souvenir’ articles:
Here then, is our list of the best France souvenirs to buy on your next visit!
French is globally recognised as the language of love and what better souvenir than a book. Through French literature and famous quotes about France, you’ll be able to learn more about the country’s culture and beautiful language. You might even pick up on a few romantic expressions.
France is home to a number of old book shops. Here, choose a book from a famous French author such as Victor Hugo, Molier, Charles Baudelaire and Marcel Proust. A favourite among tourists is The Petit Prince, one of the most charming and popular books in the world. The country was also home to René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, the authors of the world-famous Adventures of Asterix comic book series, the perfect French souvenir for old and young alike!
For something truly special, visit the Bouquinistes of Paris. These are french booksellers of used and antiquarian books who conduct their trade on the banks of the Seine, along the Quai Voltaire. At this now-registered UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will find an array of vintage, second-hand books, postcards and posters. Moreover, the books are fairly cheap and are among the best Parisian souvenirs.
A top souvenir from just about any country is chocolate, and the same goes for France. While it might sound like a basic gift item, French chocolate has its own unique flare. Traditionally, it is darker and more heavily roasted than Swiss or Belgian chocolates, which tend to be milkier and lighter. Nowadays, you’ll find an array of mouth-watering chocolates to best suit your palate, certainly one for the more delectable French souvenirs you can buy!
With world-famous chocolatiers like Jean-Paul Hevin, Pierre Herme and Pierre Marcolini, France has no shortage of high-quality chocolate products. For something truly tasteful, try out one of Jean-Paul Hevin’s chocolate products. Among these is a broad range of assorted chocolate and gift boxes. Each box is beautifully packaged and filled with the renowned chocolatier’s remarkable creations. These can be found at a number of locations throughout Paris but the most popular store is the one situated at 231 Rue Saint-Honoré.
Macarons are widely recognised as one of France’s most renowned dessert. The popular dessert comprises two light-as-air, crispy shells made from almond powder, egg whites and sugar.
Encompassed by the two shells is a rich, creamy centre, usually made of ganache, buttercream or jam. Savouring one of these colourful delicacies should most certainly be on anyone’s French trip to-do list, especially if you’re visiting Paris.
For those wanting to learn the art of making their very own macarons at home, try out a hands-on macaron baking class in Paris!
For the best macarons and the perfect France souvenir, visit the dazzling Laduree, the birthplace of these mouthwatering treats. In 1930, they invented the now-popular double-decker macaron and today, sell over fifteen thousand units a day.
Prices for a box range from 25 Euros for a box of eight macarons, to 75 Euros for a box of thirty-five. Each box is beautifully packed and makes for a lovely gift. Note that if you plan on buying these as a gift, it’s best to have them eaten within 2 days after buying them.
The Laduree has 4 locations in Paris but the largest store is found at 75 Avenue des Champs-Elysées.
A Bottle of Wine/Champagne
Being the country’s most consumed alcohol, wine is a cultural pillar of France and a great French souvenir to bring home. In recent years, wine tourism in France has become very popular.
Visitors are able to visit an array of vineyards for wine tasting, accompanied by some spectacular views. If you’re interested in tasting some of France’s finest wines, check out this Alsace Half-day Wine Tour from Strasbourg.
If you are not into wine tourism, you can easily find exclusive bottles of high-quality wines at various grocery stores and speciality shops throughout the city. For a budget-friendly option, pick up a bottle of the award-winning Chateau la Vaisinerre wine for about 12 Euros.
Located around the French cities are a number of speciality shops where you can find high-quality and aged wines. While these might be more on the expensive side, they are much cheaper in France than anywhere else in Europe.
Moreover, with so many great options to choose from, you are sure to find something with a flavour that will best suit you and your loved ones.
While you’re in France, be sure to try out these popular French drinks and beverages.
French Parfum – French Gifts for Her
Regardless of whether or not you’re a lover of perfumes, you’ve most certainly heard of Chanel, Christian Dior and Estee Lauder. France, widely considered as the epicentre for perfume-making, is where these world-famous brands are manufactured. In addition to these, the country has produced some of the most divine fragrances for centuries.
Around France, you can find a variety of high-quality fragrances made by some of the greatest Parisian perfumers. If you have a bit more to spend, a great option is the Chanel No. 5, the brand’s first perfume and one of the most famous French products.
While there are many high-end brands sold in France, why not spice things up by creating your own perfume? To do so, visit the Fragonard Parfumerie in Grasse on a French Riviera day tour. Take part in one of the workshops when touring the beautiful factory and create a special French perfume – a truly one-of-kind French souvenir.
French Béret – Souvenirs from France
A common stereotype among foreigners is that all Parisians wear bérets. While this is not entirely true, the iconic knitted wool hat remains a strong symbol as the first mass production of the fashion item began in France. To this day, the béret remains a classic and stylish fashion piece and a popular French product.
Cheap ‘made in China’ bérets can be found at pretty much any gift shop and street vendor throughout France. For a truly unique piece, visit the Laulhére store. Founded in 1840, the brand is committed to modernizing the béret to bring it to the forefront of fashion, year on year.
At the Laulhére store, the designer hats are fairly expensive with the cheapest option being 89 Euros. For a more cost-friendly option, visit one of the Héritage by Laulhére stores and pick a high-quality, classic French béret for around 39 Euros.
Eiffel Tower Replica – Paris Souvenirs
Probably the most cliché French souvenir is one that simply cannot be overlooked. Le Tour Eiffel is perhaps the most iconic monument in all of France. No trip to the country is complete without at least a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, and even more so when visiting Paris at night with the dazzling Eiffel Tower light show.
Moreover, you cannot leave without a tiny replica of Paris’s most visited attraction.
Replicas of the Eiffel tower come in different shapes and sizes and are one of the best things to buy in France as a souvenir. The popular item can be found at pretty much every gift shop and street vendor throughout the city.
Whether you pick up a smaller keychain or fridge magnet, or a slightly larger paperweight, bring a small piece of France home with this classic souvenir.