Now that France has come out of full lockdown, we’re able to dip back into public life and into our favorite English bookshops in Paris, which have mercifully reopened their doors. While it’s true that Kindles and other electronic readers are becoming increasingly popular, there’s nothing quite like cozying up with an old-fashioned paper book and exercising that newfound freedom by walking over to one of these wonderful local English bookstores.
A Parisian literary institution since 1919, although found at its current location since 1951, this legendary shop is a must for book lovers. Get lost wandering its maze of rooms (be sure to have a look upstairs!), track down a copy of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, and poke around stacks of other good reads—all of which you can get stamped with the shop’s seal at checkout. You can immediately dig into your finds by heading next door to their more recently added hip coffee shop.
A short walk from Shakespeare’s and hidden in the heart of the Latin Quarter, this favorite English bookshop in Paris, has played a vital role in the city’s English book world since its opening in the 1990s. Run by Canadian Brian Spence, you can find a wide variety of new and used books on the shop’s overflowing shelves. Visitors can also enjoy a free cup of “Canadian” coffee, made with a healthy dose of maple syrup.
Now located across from the Luxembourg Gardens, Penelope Fletcher’s first shop was found over on the Right Bank from 2001-2012. She reopened at this picturesque location in 2018, where she sells a carefully chosen selection of books ranging from children’s stories to latest releases, which you can take to read in the park across the street or a few doors down to the great contemporary café Treize au Jardin. Her little store is now one of our favorite English bookshops in Paris!
One of the oldest existing bookstores in all of Paris, this elegant shop on rue de Rivoli was originally opened in 1801 a few streets away on rue Vivienne. It has large windows, soaring ceilings, and neatly arranged shelves of fiction and nonfiction books in English and French, including an excellent collection of art books.
A few blocks down on rue de Rivoli is the Paris branch of this popular British bookstore chain. In addition to a vast array of books in English, they also have a large selection of international newspapers and magazines, British gift and food items, and a charming tea room on the second floor.
Shakespeare & Company – 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris
The Abbey Bookshop – 29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris
The Red Wheelbarrow – 9 Rue de Médicis, 75006 Paris
Galignani – 224 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
WHSmith Paris – 248 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
- Check out our favorite made-in-France face masks
- If you aren’t in Paris to visit these bookstores, see three books on Paris you can read from anywhere!
- Check out a list of (free!) online courses from Paris, including cooking and art courses
Written by Lily Heise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.