How to Shop like a Local:  What you need to know about French shopping protocol, along with tips for the uninitiated. Sales, returns and exchanges, how to get your VAT tax back, customs limits, how to ship your treasures home, and links to size conversion tables and currency cheat sheets.



Outdoor Markets  From flowers to fish, arts to crafts, antiques and flea markets, old books and antique postcards.  Morning and night markets, daily and weekly, and of course the famous markets in nearby Italy.


The dates of the ‘Soldes,’ the massive Annual French Sales… when the whole country goes on sale!



Caprice mannequin holding 'open' sign


Vintage, Second Hand and Thrift Store Shopping

If vintage shopping, discount designer labels, and second-hand chic is your thing, you’ve come to the right place!



Antiques in Nice  Between the Port Antique District with over 100 antique shops, and the weekly and monthly open-air Antique Fairs/Brocantes, you can’t go wrong.


vide-grenier 2


French Flea Markets: the Vide Grenier   The neighborhood equivalent of a local swap meet in the US or a car boot sale in the UK, here’s how to find the village Vide-Grenier nearest you, and what to expect when you get there!


 Food finds in the Old Town

  • The best shops for wine
  • best bakeries
  • ice cream, chocolate
  • olives, cheeses, fresh pasta
  • meat and fish

grocery bag


Grocery Store tips  Here’s what you need to know to avoid the steely stares of the cashier and the waiting line…



shipping box Colissimo from French post office

Getting your VAT back is like getting a 20% discount… here’s how to do it.   Bought too much?  Here’s how to get it home…

Getting your VAT tax back, Customs limits for merchandise, and the best way to ship stuff home from France.


Photo credits:  Hermes Kelly Bag from Hermes France, Flower Man by Mary Payne, Shopping bags by  Photostock/freedigitalphotos.netAntique Clocks by Ekabhishek licensed under Creative Commons, and Poulet Roti and Vintage by Best of Nice Blog.

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