Paris is world famous for its exclusive shopping districts, most notably around the Champs-Elysées, home to a plethora of designer stores. Yet for those looking to get a glimpse into the life of a true Parisian, stock up on presents and even acquire some vintage finds, Paris’s eclectic markets are the place to go.
An absolute must for foodies and those looking to source great local ingredients, this open-air food market is arguably one of the best in the city, spreading out under the shadow of the July column. Open Thursday and Sunday from 7am to 2.30pm, the stalls offer everything from local cheeses to fresh fish to mounds of fruit and vegetables, as well as a great range of ethnic food.
Marché Bastille, boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris
Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen
For the ultimate flea-market experience venture to the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, the largest and most famous flea market in Paris. Though incredibly busy – with 120,000 to 180,000 visitors every weekend – the alleys full of collectible kitchenware, books, jewellery and furniture make it an incredibly rewarding experience.
Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, 138 rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen
Follow in the footsteps of Fitzgerald and Hemingway and browse the lines of used books at the Bouquinistes market. It’s less crowded than other markets, so you can take your time as you make your way along this 3km stretch of the Seine lined with displays of books, magazines, stamps and souvenirs.
Bouquinistes, quai de Montebello et quai Saint-Michel, 75004 Paris
Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves
Located in the 14th arrondissement, the Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves is a more manageable size than the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, yet it is no less full of hidden surprises. Hunt through rails of vintage clothes, browse through wonderful bric-a-brac and explore the crates of beautiful French linen.
Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves, avenue Georges Lafenestre, 75014 Paris
Marché des Enfants Rouges
The Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest covered market in Paris. Tuck into delicious delicacies and the freshest of fruits all under one roof. While it has the usual French cuisines on hand, it also has an impressive range of Italian, Lebanese, Moroccan and Japanese food.
Marché des Enfants Rouges, 39 rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
The market in cobbled, pedestrianised rue Montorgueil is a must for food and fashion lovers alike. Numerous stalls are laden with everything from flowers to fruit to fish, while the smells from the rows of boulangeries, fromageries and pastry shops will do their best to tempt you in. There are a number of cafés along this stretch for welcome pit stops, perfect for people watching.
Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris
Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux
Located along the banks of the Seine, this market has been in operation since 1808, making it the oldest and last surviving floral market in Paris. Everything from shrubs to seasonal blooms and exotic flowers line the area, and on Sundays bird traders gather around the Île de la Cité with rare species of birds.
Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux, place Louis-Lépin, 75004 Paris