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French pharmacies become latest TikTok travel trend among American tourists

The hashtag #Frenchpharmacy has hit a staggering 130 million views on the video sharing website.
The hashtag #Frenchpharmacy has hit a staggering 130 million views on the video sharing website. Copyright Sophie Augustin
Copyright Sophie Augustin
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
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The hashtag #Frenchpharmacy has hit a staggering 130 million views on the video sharing website.

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Move over Eiffel Tower, France has a new world famous tourist attraction.

Taking a trip to a French pharmacy is the newest travel trend on TikTok, particularly among American visitors.

The hashtag #Frenchpharmacy has hit a staggering 130 million views on the video sharing website.

So what’s so special about drugstores in France?

Why are French pharmacies trending on TikTok?

Pharmacies have become the ‘must-see’ attraction in France after tourists have been taking to TikTok to sing their praises.

Travel and beauty influencers - mostly Americans - have been sharing the different products and services you can find in French chemist’s and giving advice on the best items to buy.

Influencer @glowwithava, who has a million followers on TikTok, tells viewers how she always visits the pharmacy as soon as she arrives in France. “I’m back in Paris, you guys know the drill,” she says in one video.

Glowwithava’s videos highlight the best products available, particularly those not on sale in the US or which cost a lot less in Europe.

@glowwithava Replying to @the.nail.tripper first stop always! stocking up on my favs 🇫🇷🇫🇷 i may go back for more… #frenchpharmacy#frenchpharmacyhaul#frenchpharmacymusthaves#frenchskincare#frenchbeauty#avainparis#europeansunscreen#pharmacyhaul♬ original sound - AVA

Alongside medicines and health treatments, French pharmacies often stock upmarket beauty brands and wellness products.

She picks out Caudalie and La Roche Posay sunscreens which she says are not available in America.

Another TikToker Emilie Kiser said she made a list of products using previous #Frenchpharmacy videos of other users.

In one of her clips from June, she shares the list, which consists of mainly French beauty brands like Nuxe, Embryolisse, La Roche Posay and Caudalie.

“I’m in heaven,” she says after finding “the biggest drug store ever.”

User Elizabeth Victoria Clark takes viewers to CityPharma located on Rue de Four in Paris, calling it “the most important landmark in the city.”

Alongside high end French skincare products, she points out the selection of herbal teas, supplements and probiotic tampons on sale.

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@elizabethvictoriaclark come to the iconic french pharmacy CityPharma in Paris with me - aka heaven on earth. Will do a haul next. #frenchpharmacy#a313#biafine#frenchbeauty♬ Shooting Stars - Bag Raiders

She acknowledges one user’s comment that the pharmacy has become famous and is now overcrowded. “I literally go right when it opens because otherwise it’s way too crazy in there,” she writes.

She says she chooses CityPharma for its competitive pricing but notes that “you can get most of this anywhere in Paris.”

TikTokker Anastazia also highlights the prices of products in one video, which are considerably lower than in America.

“Wait WHY is Caudalie so cheap? Booking my ticket now,” comments one user.

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“Omgg I have been looking for that La Roche Posay spray everywhere - off to Cannes next month they better have it!” writes another.

Some visitors to France have also been amused by the glowing green cross outside pharmacies and its animations.

Users have taken videos of the psychedelic signs and added dance music soundtracks.

“Pharmacies truly going harder than clubs in the south of France,” reads one on screen caption.

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There are some 21,000 pharmacies in France and, alongside dispensing prescriptions and medicines, they offer services including COVID vaccines, seasonal flu shots and checking whether foraged mushrooms are edible.

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