Theophile Bader and cousin Alphonse Kahn opened their store in 1895 and it quickly became a sensation both for its design and fashion sense. Galeries Lafayette continues to be a heartbeat of Paris retail with its emphasis on quality and the latest fashions, cosmetics, accessories, jewelry and housewares. Naturally there’s a gourmet food hall as well: Lafayette Gourmet. And if all that shopping has built up an appetite, there’s a restaurant and terrace on the top floor that offer fabulous views over the Parisian rooftops and the Paris Opera.
If you want some true French fashion guidance there is a free weekly fashion show on Friday afternoons (you need to book ahead). But it’s that dome which just continues to give the whole place a sense of luxury and opulence; this could well be the most elegant department store in the world.