Spending time mooching through stalls of authentic foods, local bric-a-brac and memorabilia, or chic vintage clothing should be a must-do feature of all visits to Paris. Whilst markets have become an ever-increasingly popular tourist attraction they remain free of charge, an Instagrammer’s dream, a true immersion in local life, and the ideal opportunity to bring home a souvenir or gift that are a step beyond an Eiffel miniature.
Once described by Ernest Hemmingway as “that wonderful narrow crowded market street”, the Marche du Mouffetard is both a street market and a market street. Mouffetard can be found in the 5ieme arrondisement to the South of the Seine, walking distance from the Censier Daubeton Metro station on the 7 line.
Open Tues – Sat all day it’s easy to plan for and comfortably combined with lunch in the local mosque or visits to the Pantheon or Jardin des Plantes.
Marches aux Puces de Saint Ouen
This wondrous and other-worldly flea market, the biggest of its kind in the world, is the fourth most visited tourist attraction in Paris and dates back to 1870. Set over seven hectares with more than 2000 stalls, and surely visited by many budding restauranteurs looking to give their new establishment an authentic feel, this is the place for vintage, antiques and clothing.
Open Friday late evening and then Saturday to Monday from 10h00 to 18h00. There are three Metro stops within proximity (Garibaldi, Saint-Ouen and Porte de Saint-Ouen) , reached using lines 13 and 14 or RER line C.
Marche du Livre Paris (Parc Georges Brassens)
Open only at the weekend (09h00 – 18h00), this is a speciality market comprising of around 50 booksellers offering rare and out-of-print editions of both vintage and contemporary works. One of the most photogenic markets in Paris, be sure to bring the camera!
Metro stops Plaisance (line 12) and Porte de Versailles (line 13) are a relatively equidistant walk away.
Marche aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II
With a great central location on the Ile de la Cite (also home to Notre Dame), this is the perfect market to recalibrate away from the hustle and bustle. Of interest to all levels of green-fingered enthusiasts, this market has been in existence since 1830 and boasts of still offering plants from as little as €1!
Walking over to the island on the Seine is quick and easy from ant of the nearby Metro stations, Chatelet (lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14 ) and Hotel de Ville (lines 1 & 11), or via RER lines B & C at Saint-Michel Notre-Dame. For the quickest route, take Metro line 4 and descend at Cite. Open every day from 09h30 to 19h00, however some stalls do close on Sunday and Mondays.
Literally, the ‘Market of the Red Children’, takes it’s name from the nearby Orphanage where red costumes where given to and worn by it’s children. Small and atmospheric in the hip Marais quarter, this is the ideal market to sample delicious street food.
The easiest route is via the Saint-Sebastien – Froissart Metro station (line 8) from where it is straight along the Rue de Bretagne. Open Tuesday – Sunday from 08h30 – 20h30.
JacTravel can organise your touring itinerary to feature any of these markets – please get in touch via [email protected] for more information.