The 10 Best Bookstores in Paris

Shakespeare and Company, a shop with a long history
Shakespeare and Company, a shop with a long history | © Niall McNulty / Flickr
Emilie Elmquist

Paris is a city with a lot to offer. From beautiful scenery to historic landmarks to delicious restaurants and cafés, there’s so much to explore—and though all these places may be great for conventional Parisian getaways, we promise the city only really finds itself in its amazing selection of bookstores!

1. La Hune

Art Gallery

La Hune has a large selection of French literature
© Roman Boed / Flickr
La Hune is located in a quiet corner of the city at 16–18 Rue de l’Abbaye in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement. Initially, this bookshop had a more bohemian flair, but these days it is quite refined and sophisticated. You’ll find a large selection of French literature and books on the humanities located on the ground floor, as well as an outstanding selection of fine arts and cinema books on the upper floor.

2. Librairie Galignani


Librarie Galignani was the first English bookshop established on the continent in 1801. Galignani is located on Rue de Rivoli, close to Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement, and it has a good selection of both English and French literature, and history. You can also find a range of books about fashion, design, travel, and interior design written, again in both languages.

3. Violette & Co.


This interesting bookshop is located in the 11th arrondissement near the Place de La Bastille. With more than 800m (2,600 ft.) of floor space, Violette and Co. offers a great selection of books for both leisure and education. The owners strive to feature books that will educate and inform the public on issues such as women’s rights and homosexuality. The book selection includes works about rape, homophobia, adoption, religion, gender, relationships, and even deportation. You can find poetry and a section for younger readers. Readings, lectures, debates and exhibitions take place here regularly.

5. WHSmith


This well known English bookstore is located on Rue de Rivoli in the 1st arrondissement. They’re is open seven days a week, so don’t hesitate to check them out whenever you have the time. The sections range from fiction & non-fiction to an English language-teaching department, and the store also offers a children’s department. Furthermore, the store cover a wide selection of international press titles, with over 500 titles.

6. Taschen


The famous publisher Taschen operates a bookstore in the 6th arrondissement in Paris and offers a wide selection of their own books. With a choice of books covering a wide variety of topics (including photography, pop culture, style, travel, architecture, fashion, design, cinema, and music), there is something here for everyone. The books are on the expensive side, but they are beautifully done and work nicely as coffee table books.

7. Librairie du Marais


The Librarie du Marais is located in the 3rd arrondissement in Paris. Le Marais is known for its interesting concept stores, boutiques, and cafés, and this bookstore fits right in. The Librarie du Marais is perfect for finding books for your home. The genres vary from photography, interior design and cooking to architecture and art. You can find books in both English and French, making it impossible not to find something you may enjoy!

8. Le Gai Rossignol


This bookshop is located between Centre Pompidou and Rue de Rivoli
© Anyul Rivas / Flickr
This bookshop is located between Centre Pompidou and Rue de Rivoli in the 3rd arrondissement in Paris. The store focuses on books about photography, fashion design, interior design, and architecture. If you are interested in cookbooks, there is a huge selection here as well. The books are beautifully made, making this another perfect place to find coffee table books.

9. Comme un Roman


The bookstore Comme un Roman (‘Like a Novel,’ for us English speakers) offers selections in French literature, science and history, travel, art, culture, and design. The selection is mainly in French, but it also stocks some English books. The store is located in the 3rd arrondissement on the street Rue de Bretagne and is just across the street from the famous Café Charlot which also is worth a visit while you’re in the area.

10. La Manoeuvre


It offers a wide selection that includes a large range of French literature
© Phil Roeder / Flickr
This bookstore is located at Rue de la Roquette in the 11th arrondissement near the Place de La Bastille.It offers a wide selection of French literature as well as a smaller range of books in English. La Manoeuvre also arranges a lot of events in the shop, so be sure to inquire about their next one.
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