Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Going to Paris for the first time!! Need help with gift

Going to Paris for the first time!! Need help with gift

Mar 6th, 2011, 01:49 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 30
Going to Paris for the first time!! Need help with gift

I am so excited! My first time going to Paris by myself, but going with a tour. I will be going April 7th-13th. This is my dream vacation. I will be staying in the 7th near the Eiffel Tower. I want to find something special to bring back for my daughter. She's almost 13. Shes not a girly girl, and isn't much into clothes,(unlike her fashion obsessed mother) but she loves art. I'm looking for suggestions from those of you who have been there. I also do not want to bring my laptop along and was planning on just bringing my Ipod touch with a Skype app on. I will have WiFi at the hotel. Would this be enough?
lorilovestravel is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,605
Mini Eiffel Towers are fun gifts. You can buy them everywhere at all different price points and sizes.

Also, since she's interested in art, you might want to look out for artists selling their prints/paintings that you think she might like. You'll find these set up at many tourist sites/bridges etc. Prices and quality vary.

Museum guidebooks are also lovely gifts but they can often be found cheaper in the US (If that's where you reside) and you don't have to worry about the weight/shipping. However, museum gift shops often have unique items so they're definitely worth looking into. You might also want to send her some postcards from museums/sites that you visit noting your impressions (I'd probably like this gift the most).

Have a terrific time - Paris is wonderful!
mvor is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 02:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 30
Thanks for the reply mvor! I was told I will have ample free time to do things on my own, I haven't received an itinerary yet, but when it comes to shopping it takes me forever to find just the right thing.
lorilovestravel is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,345
I have bought a number of original lithographs at galleries on the rue de Seine. you can google it on google maps-right by the river close to the Beaux Arts (the main art college in Paris). I have brought a number of them to friends-rue de Seine has tons of places to just stroll in and look at small lithos in the $20 range and up, so not too bad for an original litho.

I also have found the little necklaces with the Eiffel tower charms to be popular. Also, if you look at museum stores and at some of the nicer tee shirt places, there are some really great art oriented tee shirts which have been popular with our friend's kids, very original, not just touristy type ones.
jpie is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,067
If she loves art, check the museum shops, for example at Louvre or Quai d'Orsay, for a book with an overview of their collection with good large reproductions. Or a book about impressionist paintings of Paris - the city seen through the eyes of painters.
quokka is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 05:58 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 153
Haven't been to Paris myself yet, but when my daughter (then 19 and very into art) went with a friend, she bought herself a couple of beautiful books from the the Louvre and Quai d'Orsay (as the others mentioned above), and a black beret! and for her little sister a truely lovely Monet cardboard picture book!
thomo7 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2011, 12:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 30
Great suggestions. I know she would love the book suggestions since she is sad that she cannot come along to see all the original art. I will be at the Louvre and am thinking about a side trip to the Orsay. I will look into the lithographs and paintings too!
lorilovestravel is offline  
Mar 7th, 2011, 01:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,260
I bought home two small water colours from one of the artists at Montmartre and had them framed when I got them home. A absolute adore them and they are the best gift I ever bought myself. They are fairly small and weren't terribly expensive.
cathies is online now  
Mar 7th, 2011, 01:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,260
Oops should have previewed - 'I' absolutely adore them...
cathies is online now  
Mar 7th, 2011, 01:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 41
definately along the seine...
there are soooooo many dealers selling all kinds of artistic stuff, from books, paintings, lithos, posters etc etc etc...
you just need to keep your eyes open and you will stumble over a pearl sooner or later...

or, go to Mont Martre and the places behind it... this is the actual artist-district... so you will find a lot of stuff there beeing painted etc. right on the streets or in one of the many little souvenir and gift shops...
travelzomg is offline  
Mar 7th, 2011, 02:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 30
The macaroons will be a must. That is if they can make it home!!LOL After reading all the suggestions I am even more excited! I've waited 47 years for this trip
Thanks Rachel, I always take my laptop along with me when I travel, but I wanted to save weight and space. I would feel better taking it. I was hoping to get a notebook instead, but that is not going to happen.
lorilovestravel is offline  
Mar 10th, 2011, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 16
I add a vote for checking out the little artist stands along the Seine and in Montmarte. A word of advice though check the quality of them before you buy. Many of the stands stay open during the extended spring rain storms leaving the drawings to get soaking wet and a bit funky.

On my trip there this past fall I noticed a lot of the cathedral gift shops (Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle etc) have stained glass replicas of the windows in the cathedrals that you would hang in your window at home. They come in a box and if packed safely in a carry on will safely survive the trip home.

On the smaller island in the Seine across from Notre Dame Ile St-Louis there are a bunch of botique shops with more unique gifts (aka not your usual tourist trap junk).

You also couldn't go wrong with finding some sort of unique tin at one of the many flea markets and filling it with the above suggested hand written postcards of the places you visited. Almost all of the museum gift shops also have postcard replicas of the paintings and works they house there. Getting a collection of your favorite works to bring home to her wrapped up nicely as well would make a good gift.

The gallery of shops underground attached to the Louvre might be a good place to look for something a little more unique as well. The 2 floor Louvre gift shop is mostly books and posters downstairs but upstairs (while a bit more pricy) has replicas of many of the statues in the museum plus a ton of other nick knacks that are inspired by the works of art.

Oh and regarding the iPod touch/hotel WiFi thing...not sure what country you are coming from but my US based iPhone refused to connect to the free WiFi at the hotel this past trip while my laptop was fine. Could have been an isolated incident but be prepared that it may not work. Most hotels do have a computer in the lobby though for guest use if your iPod won't connect. Depending on the hotel it can be free or pay per minute.

Have a great trip!
TweedyXC is offline  
Mar 11th, 2011, 04:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 30
Thanks everyone for your great ideas! I will probably post the ipod question in a separate post to get more feedback.
lorilovestravel is offline  
Mar 11th, 2011, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,452
She might enjoy a fun fountain pen (and ink). They have so many choices that are VERY reasonable - in department stores and papeteries. I collect "student" fountain pens when I travel to Europe. I have enough that I bring them in for my students to use on occasion (during small group work). They love to use them and so do I. I actually have one that is a true Paris souvenir, but I certainly think of my travels when I use them.

Enjoy your trip to the city that restores my soul. I hope you have the best time ever.
parisonmymind2 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2011, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 308
Why don't you take a picture of your daughter along and have an artist in the Montmartre area provide an original sketch?
And watch out for pickpockets if you are alone...
Travelforbeer is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 02:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 30
Very cool suggestions parisonmymind and travelforbeer! I love the sketch of her idea!
lorilovestravel is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 77
Everyone had great suggestions regarding the artwork. And, no trip to Paris would be complete without a little Tour Eiffle.
For my teenage nieces I have brought back French berets, and chocolates. I also have purchased calendars and computer desk mousepads from the little stationery shops abundant throughout the city. In that way, not a day goes by without a sweet little reminder of a trip to Paris.
Bon Voyage
GoodLuckGirl is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,553
The shops in the underground "mall" at the Louvre are kind of divided into two areas, with those closer to the museum entrance being more arty - even a Met Museum store! One of the shops along there is geared towards kids with really wonderful objects like paint sets and Little Prince items.

My favorite thing to bring back - for myself and friends of any age - is of course French food! Since even the store brands are of such good quality, you could browse your local supermarket for chocolate, mustard, jars of herbs, etc. Champion is one supermarket chain. And the Monoprix department stores often have a supermarket in the basement: look for the sign alimentation au sous sol. (Monoprix is also a great place for inexpensive French fashions; I always end up grabbing some cute French stockings or socks to bring home!)
ggreen is offline  
Mar 12th, 2011, 04:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,821
She's 13.Buy her a silk scarf at one of the museums--it won't be cheap. Take care of it, until she is really ready to appreciate it--or let her wear it out.
Go to the MOnoprix and buy her something funky to wear also. It will be here next year.
Gretchen is online now  
Apr 18th, 2011, 02:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 30
Thanks everyone. My trip was last week and I ended up bringing her home those museum books from the Louvre and Orsay, but the thing she loved the most was the sketch I had done of her in Montmarte. We had it matted and framed and will be a keepsake for her always. I loved Paris and cannot wait to go back!
lorilovestravel is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:45 AM.