Best Markets in Paris

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Markets in Paris

Back in the 1950s-70s, a lot of cities around the world decided to ‘improve’ things and moved their street markets outside of town. Paris was foolish and decided to keep its markets alive and well in the city streets. It was a ‘mistake’ that many subsequent generations of Parisians and tourists alike have welcomed! The markets here are in many cases in exactly the same locations they occupied for centuries and they’re a part of life. Whether it’s foodstuffs, horticulture, clothes, antiques, bric-a-brac, shoes or just about anything else, you’ll find it here in the markets. Don’t expect rock-bottom prices because that’s not really what markets here are about. They’re about farmers and artisans bringing their fresh and unique products into the city to sell, so they don’t pretend they’re going to be able to undercut the supermarkets.

Shopping here is an experience that’s as much about leisure as it is procurement, as you’ll know when you’ve started and finished your market tour with some form of refreshment or other! Markets can be crowded and some are rather more aimed at tourists and expats than locals – but your Withlocals local expertise will help you to differentiate between them. Apart from antiques and flea markets, ‘the price is the price’ and haggling isn’t expected. You can frown and walk away and if the person offers you a discount then fine but don’t make below-ticket offers unless you’re invited to. Above all – enjoy!

Top shopping experiences in Paris

Top 10 French Markets in Paris

  • Marché Richard Lenoir. One of the city’s top markets with incredible food as well as other products. There’s even on-site entertainment through street musicians and a great ambiance.
  • Marché les Enfants Rouges. The city’s oldest covered market with origins going back 400 years. This is one of the relatively few places in Paris where street food is a ‘thing’.
  • Marché Mouffetard. True, parts of this are touristy but on the ancient cobbled street sections you’ll find a more authentic experience in incredible surroundings.
  • Puces de Saint Ouen. This is the best known of Paris’ flea markets. It’s a potential gold-mine for cheap antiques and bric-a-brac but there are also plenty of fakes and rip-offs on offer too. A local should be able to point out some of the better dealers.
  • Bastille and Popincourt. A sort of twinned market in which each takes turns in opening. Fantastic foodstuffs in a colourful location.
  • Monge Market. An odd name but it has a very village-like atmosphere. Great food and a touch of the exotic too with Indian and other Asian food stalls amidst the traditional French.
  • Saxe-Breteuil Market. Best known for its fantastic French country foodstuffs, its location is incredible – right alongside the Eiffel Tower! A visit there is definitely one of the best things to do in Paris!
  • Marché d’Aligre. A very authentic market which sells everything including a lot of food with a north African influence. It’s bustling, crowded (some pushing and shoving might be predicted) and not at all pretentious.
  • Saint Pierre. For a complete change, why not try this market that specialises in fabrics? Quite incredible and you may see some big-name designers there too.
  • Dejan. An African market in the heart of Paris! Colourful and exotic.

Top eating experiences in Paris

3 Great Markets in Paris

  • Les Puces de Montreuil. Not as pretty as some of Paris’ flea markets but it has ‘street-cred’ and a reputation of being the place where you’re most likely to find real gems and bargains.
  • Raspail organic market. It probably has to be admitted that Paris has dragged its heels a little in terms of organic and vegetarian cuisines but you’ll find some very good organic food in trendy surroundings in this location.
  • Fleurs et aux Oiseaux. Located on the Ile de la Cité in the heart of Paris, the flower market is open all the week and on Thursday it expands to include caged birds. Perhaps not for those who have very strong feelings about animal rights, it’s still an amazing experience.

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I cannot say enough great things about our experience with Zoltan. He did an exceptional job with our large group of 9! His knowledge of the delicacies we ate was top notch. His selections from the wines to the knowledge of the cheeses made the trip even more enjoyable. I had (5) boys with me who are going to school in Metz for the semester and they all commented that this was the highlight of our Paris visit. Would absolutely recommend Zoltan to friends visiting.