Paris, the capital of France – a country with a long history of gastronomy – has a lot to offer when it comes to markets. You’ll find markets selling organic fruit and vegetables, local produce and ethnic cuisine, and others dedicated to antiques, second-hand clothing and bric-a-brac.
Traditional Parisian markets are full of life and contribute to the city’s lively atmosphere. There are dozens of markets in the capital and each one is unique, so you can be sure you’ll always discover something new. Our local ambassador for Paris, Hélène, shares 10 of her absolute favourites.
1. For organic produce: Le marché biologique des Batignolles
Located in the famous micro-neighbourhood of Les Batignolles in the 17th district, this well-known organic market has a lot to offer. Only open on Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, it’s definitely one you shouldn’t skip.
With stalls selling all-organic produce, fruit and vegetables, baked goods and flowers, you’ll certainly find what you’re looking for. It can sometimes be a bit expensive, but hey, you’re paying for organic!
Photo credit: Sam Nabi
2. For green thumbs: Le marché aux fleurs et aux oiseaux
You’ll think you’re in paradise. This astonishing market is dedicated to nature, gardening and birds. You’ll find flowers, plants, birds, bird accessories such as birdcages, and even gardening books.
Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it’s really nice just to wander around and enjoy the sweet scents and fresh air.
3. For ethnic cuisine lovers: Le marché Bourse
Open two afternoons during the week, this market might be small, but it’s certainly not insignificant. I stumbled across it when walking through Paris, lured in by the delightful aromas wafting from its stalls. It was a wonderful discovery. With a few food stalls cooking up ethnic cuisine right in front of your eyes, it’s pretty hard to resist.
Photo credit: ParisSharing
4. For second-hand sharks: Le marché aux puces de Montreuil
Le marché aux puces is the most famous flea market in the city. While the one in Saint-Ouen is, in my opinion, a bit too expensive and much more crowded, this one is a real gem for lovers of second-hand clothes.
If you’re patient enough to rummage through the stalls, you can find amazing pieces for a pittance. With famous luxury brands through to small, unknown designers, this place will definitely surprise you.
5. The oldest food market in Paris: Le marché des enfants rouges
Although this market is a great place to buy fresh produce, it has more than one trick up its sleeve. It also offers mouthwatering, freshly cooked meals that you can eat on the spot or take away. You’ll find Japanese food, African dishes and much more on the counters!
Photo credit: Guirec Lefort
6. For creative types: Le marché Saint-Pierre
This is the best place to buy all sorts of textiles and upholstery. If you’ve come up with a brilliant idea and need the tools and materials to execute it, be it a sewing project or redecorating your home with some new curtains, this is the place to visit.
Photo credit: Julie Kertesz
7. Something for everyone: Le marché d’Aligre
This eclectic market is quite unique as it features several different sections: there’s a second-hand clothing and flea market, a covered market and an open-air section reserved for fruit and vegetables. Located in the 12th district, this picturesque market is one of the capital’s cheapest. The ambiance is like that of a village square.
8. A lively food market: Le marché de Belleville
The multicultural neighbourhood of Belleville has many gems at its heart, including this open-air food market. Every Tuesday and Friday the lively Boulevard de Belleville becomes even livelier with vendors selling local produce. Affordably priced quality products and a warm atmosphere – what could be better?
Photo credit: Carsten aus Bonn
9. As authentic as it gets: Le marché de la place des Fêtes
I grew up in this neighbourhood and will always remember my father bringing home fresh langoustines for festive Sunday lunches. This market has a home-grown feel, which is becoming more and more rare these days. Offering mostly seasonal products from local gardeners and producers, it gives you a glimpse at what it’s like to live in the French countryside.
Photo credit: Meg Zimbeck
10. A stone’s throw from Paris: Le marché Henri-Barbusse
Located in the suburbs of Paris just a stone’s throw from the 17th district, this lovely food market has become a social gathering spot for locals. It’s welcoming and diverse, and is a pleasant place to kill two birds with one stone. If you have an overwhelming desire to enjoy fresh oysters and a glass of wine before doing your weekly shopping, this market is made for you!
Opening photo credit: Juan Antonio F. Segal
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Hélène is a native Parisian who studies Tourism Management at La Sorbonne. Currently based in London, she’s convinced that travelling is the key to understanding people and being open-minded. An explorer at heart and passionate about cooking, she believes that travel and food go hand in hand. When travelling, she tries to learn about different cultures and what makes them unique.