Paris’ second district (arrondissement) is full of so called passages: shopping streets with a roof. A friend of mine made me discover Passage du Grand Cerf and it is my favorite of the many I have seen so far, although there are many others that are worth a visit, too.
Le Passage du Grand Cerf is particularly impressive because of its architecture: a ceiling of glass and cast-iron illuminates the indoor street. And with its 12 meter height it is actually the highest passage in Paris. Apparently the passage had been abandoned for a century, but nowadays no such thing can be said about this passage and literally all of the shops are worth a look.
My favorite shop is L’Illustre Boutique, a shop that sells illustrations from various French artists. In an ideal world I would have become an illustrator myself, but as this is not the case this shop can at least make me dream about it. The illustrations are all original in their way and are relatively affordable, so perfect home decoration gifts.
Other than that you will find antique shops that sell oil lamps, letters cut out in wood and other interesting objects. Also, there are several design shops that are a bit more pricey but definitely worth a look for inspirational purposes. To nicely end a visit you can have a coffee in a café at the rue Saint Denis exit. It’s called Le Pas Sage, which is a word game, something that the French love.