Don't be fooled by the name ("low-budget" or "cheap") of this two-part Left Bank department store -- for about 20 years, it has worked hard to position itself in the luxury market, selling fashion for men, women, and children; furniture; upscale gifts; and housewares. Some visitors compare it with Bloomingdale's. This is the oldest department store in Paris, dating from 1852. Of course, it can't compete with the grands magasins (department stores) such as Galeries Lafayette, except in one category: Au Bon Marché has a superior rug department, which it has fine-tuned as its specialty since 1871. It also has one of the largest food halls in Paris. Open Monday to Wednesday and Friday 9:30am to 7pm; Thursday 10am to 9pm; Saturday 9:30am to 8pm.
- © Frommer's 2013