After just a few hours of gallivanting across Paris, you’ll quickly realise that markets are part of the quintessential Parisian experience. Markets aren’t just for tourists — locals frequent markets as they are often the best places to get fresh produce and specialty or rare ingredients. With so many markets to choose from, and with so little time (and money!) to spend, we’ve rounded up the best markets to hit up whenever you’re in town.
Marché des enfants rouges
The oldest market in Paris, the Marché des Enfants Rouges (Market of the Red Children) dates back to the early 1600s and was founded to supply the newly created Marais area. The name was taken from a neighbouring orphanage where the children wore red coats. Nestled behind gates and tucked under a hall, the market boasts fresh products and ready-to-eat food from all over the world. The tagine is certainly one of the most famous in Paris. On weekends, be ready for a long wait, though!
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 8am to 8.30pm (5pm on Sundays), 39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Marché aux puces de Saint-Ouen
Yes, yes, it’s in ALL the Paris guidebooks, but it truly is a great flea market, we promise! It’s jam-packed with odds and ends and bits and bobs — everything you never knew you needed. Although some of the stalls are a bit overpriced (how can you blame them with the number of visitors…), you can still have a lot of fun hunting around for a bargain on that 1960s thingamijig or 19th century doo-dad.
If you want the full, crazy experience, the best day to visit is Sunday. The new Phillipe Starcks-designed canteen, and the much-lauded and trendy Ma Cocotte greatly add to the previously slim pickings of restaurants within the market.
Open Saturdays to Mondays from 8am to 6pm, rue des Rosiers (and the streets around), 93400 Saint-Ouen
Certainly one of the cutest traditional Parisian markets, the Marché d’Aligre is a one of lesser known markets, only visited by locals and tourists who are in-the-know. This paradise boasts freshly sourced products from all the French regions. The setting is particularly pleasant as this market is hidden inside halls dating back to the late 1700s. Located in a quiet and cute residential square, this market offers numerous terraces to enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine after you’re done all your shopping!
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 7.30am to 1.30pm and 4.30pm to 7.30pm, Place d’Aligre, 75012 Paris
This beautiful, local street is in the heart of Paris just off the former central market of les Halles. La rue Montorgueil (the ‘Mount of Pride’ Street) boasts some of the most famous and iconic food stores in the city. Walking around this trendy pedestrian street is almost like a French gourmet walking tour! Here you’ll discover the oldest bakery in Paris where rhum babas were invented, and a bit further up the street you’ll find a fantastic cheese shop offering over 300 cheeses from all over the country! This street is also home to an iconic chocolate store, cosy café terraces, and some excellent restaurants that are definitely worth your time.
Open every day (some stores might be closed on Mondays), Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris
Every neighbourhood in Paris has a local market that sets up shop on at least two or three days a week. These markets offer locals living in the neighbourhood fresh, locally-sourced fruits and vegetables, iconic French cheeses, delicious charcuterie, and other specialties from all over the world. The Bastille market is one of the largest ones in Paris and stretches along the Boulevard Richard Lenoir. It’s a fabulous opportunity to discover the gourmet French culture: grab a baguette, some cheese and wine, and enjoy a picnic in one of the neighbouring parks!
Open Thursdays and Sundays from 8am to 2pm, 8 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris
From the back streets to the bakeries, there is something to delight the senses around every corner in Paris. Jump on a Paris tour with Urban Adventures to discover the most visited city in the world from a different angle. Once you see the city from a local eye, you’ll leave Paris with lifelong memories (and, more importantly, memories that are different from the other 27 million people who visit Paris each year!).