First opened in 1895 by Theophile Bader, Galeries Lafayette is a department store in Paris that houses luxury fashion brands including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Christian Dior. In addition to a stained glass dome ceiling and rooftop terrace with views of the Eiffel Tower, Galeries Lafayette features weekly fashion shows on Friday afternoons.
Galeries Lafayette is split into three buildings: La Coupole, which houses women’s couture and accessories; L’Homme, the men’s branch; and La Maison & Le Gourmet, a 4-story dining court. The Galeries often hosts specialty tours and classes, including wine tastings, baking seminars, and makeup masterclasses.
Themed walking tours of the area—including art, architecture, history, and Christmas tours— often stop in to the Coupole building for views of the stained glass dome, and typically include a visit to the adjacent Opera House. While walking tours are often limited to small groups, private tours of the Galeries afford visitors with the full attention of a guide and a more in-depth look at the area’s history.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Galeries Lafayette is a must for fashion lovers and architecture buffs.
- A cafeteria with plenty of food options is located on the seventh floor.
- Bathrooms are located in the basement and on floors four, five, and six.
- Wi-Fi is available free of charge.
How to Get There
Located in the 9th Arrondissement just steps from St. Lazare train station and Palais Garnier Opera House, Galeries Lafayette is easily accessible using the city’s comprehensive public transit system. The nearest Metro stops are Chausee d’Antin La Fayette on lines 7 and 9 and Havre-Caumartin on lines 3 and 9.
When to Get There
Since the cafeteria is often busiest around lunchtime on weekends, go in the late morning on a weekday for a quieter experience. Tickets for weekly fashion shows held on Friday afternoons are available to the public for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, the Galeries Christmas decorations are a top destination during the holiday season.
Head to the seventh floor of the Coupole building for some of the best panoramic views in Paris. The rooftop’s cafeteria and seating area are touted by visitors and locals as one of the 7th Arrondissement’s hidden gems. Don’t forget your camera: Views include the Eiffel Tower, Opera House, and a sea of classic Parisian rooftops.