Parisians love their markets and for good reason: they’re pretty fantastic. Whether you are looking to fill a picnic basket, sample some French flavors or delve into antiques and books, the city’s markets have something for everyone. And with most arrondissements having a market, strolling through one of Paris’ many permanent or weekly markets should be on every travelers must-do list when visiting Paris. With more than 70 markets in the city, we decided to put together our top five for your next visit to the City of Light.
Word has it that Rue de Buci is where Pablo Picasso did his daily shopping. Fruit and vegetable stalls with high quality produce are hallmarks of this morning market in St. Germain. Better yet, Rue de Buci is also lined with specialty food shops (think cheese, wine, and pastries) as well as places to buy regional fare and prepared Italian dishes.
Metro: Odéon Hours: Stands are open Tuesday-Saturday, mornings are best.
Stretching along the tree-lined boulevard that separates the Bastille from the Marais, this Thursday and Sunday morning market is a local favorite. Sunday is considered the best day to visit since that’s the day that locals come to socialize and shop for bread, cheese, meat and fish. And speaking of fish, look for Jackie Lorenzo’s stand, he’s considered by many to be one of the best fishmongers in the city.
Metro: Bastille or Bréguet Sabin Hours: Thursday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This colorful flower market dates back to 1808 and can brighten even the grayest Paris day. Just blocks away from Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cité, the market is one of the sweetest smelling spots in the city and a source of inspiration for many Paris’ artists—past and present. The urban nursery is open daily and features a lot of flowers, plants and trees underneath the shade of metal pavilions. On Sundays, Marché aux Oiseaux (the bird market) joins up with the flower market, completing this idyllic scene and offering rare bird species, unique cages and accessories.
Metro: Cité Hours: Daily 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Venture out to this Marché aux Puces (flea market) in the 18th arrondissment and you’ll be treated to the world’s largest concentration of second-hand and antique dealers. Started in 1885, Saint-Ouen is actually comprised of several markets, including Marché Malik and Vernaison and was featured in Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris. Situated around Rue de Rosiers, visitors will find everything from bric-a-brak to posh antique furniture. For those that love antiques and vintage goods, then a trip to this indoor/outdoor flea market is a must.
Metro: Porte de Clignacourt or Garibaldi Hours: Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Set in Paris’ upscale 7th arrondissment, Rue Cler is home to one the city’s largest permanent outdoor markets. This is where Julia Child shopped when she lived in Paris and it is still considered by many to be the place to come for high quality produce, fish and meat. While not always the cheapest, the ingredients on Rue Cler are generally top quality and fresh, and its popularity with locals and tourists alike makes it a great place for people watching.
Metro: Ecole Militaire Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday mornings.