If you are travelling to Paris what better way to experience the culture than by shopping at one of its many markets? From fresh vegetables and fish to household products, antiques, books, clothing and more, there is a market to suit everyone.
As a local, I’ve been to my share of outdoor markets in Paris. I will confess it wasn’t easy to narrow things down as nearly every neighborhood of the city sets up its own little marché. But choices must be made, especially if you don’t have a lot of time while visiting! So with that, here are my top recommendations for open-air markets in Paris. Allons-y!
1. Marché Mouffetard
Address: Rue Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement
Marché Mouffetard in the heart of the Latin Quarter has to be one of the most charming. This street market along the centuries-old and narrow Rue Mouffetard is few yards away from the Jardin des Plantes and Place de la Monge.
The street has been pedestrianized and so regularly invites locals tourists from all over the world, even on days when the market is not on.
There is a bit of everything, from fruit and vegetable, cheeses, charcuterie, pâtés, seafood, pastries, cakes, and other sweets. If you are looking for organic products and souvenirs, you will easily find those here as well.
There are certain tips to visiting markets in France, such as not to touch the produce, and what to bring with you, which you can read here. The Marché Mouffetard is open everyday except Mondays, from 8am to 1pm.
2. Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux
Address: 37 Place Louis Lépine, 75004 Paris
Just steps from the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Conciergerie, the Marché aux Fleurs is a beautiful flower market. French people love to give flowers, so the market is quite popular. It opened in 1830 and has both outdoor stalls as well as indoor stalls housed in cast iron pavilion.
If you are looking for romantic things to do in Paris, this is it. You can buy all sorts of seasonal and exotic flowers here, so treat your Other Half to a romantic bouquet that says I love you.
Queen Elizabeth II is renowned have it on her list of favorite things to do in Paris, and so the market was renamed after her on her last visit to France. Every Sunday, this market transforms into a Bird Market as well, hence the name “oiseaux” which means birds.
3. Marché aux Puces de Saint Ouen (Paris flea market)
Address: Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen (just north of Paris), Metro Line 4 Porte de Clignancourt
Marché aux Puces literally translates to “flea market”, and in the neighborhood of Saint Ouen you have the biggest one in Paris. With over 2000 little shops and stands of mainly antiques and artwork, this is flea market is one of the most popular in France.
The market dates back to 1885 and is on the border of Paris, because at the time the government décret did not allow the merchants to set up shop within the city limits. So the market was set up just outside city limits, but is easily accessible on the Paris metro.
From tables to armchairs, chandelier lighting to old books and jewellery, all with that certain French je ne sais quoi, you will wish you had brought more luggage. (Not to worry, the Paris flea market has those as well.) There are also sometimes clothes, sneakers and garage sale items, but of rather questionable quality.
There are 5 main markets to explore, both indoors and outdoors:
- Marché Biron – antique furniture, paintings, tapestries, mirrors, etc.
- Marché Dauphine – classic knickknacks, old books, vintage photos and records.
- Marché Jules Vallès – postcards, posters, gadgets, old weapons, etc.
- Marché Vernaison – old furniture, toys, lamps, and glassware.
- Marché Malik – vintage clothes and accessories
It is estimated that the Marché aux Puces de Saint Ouen attracts 5 million shoppers per year.
4. Marché President Wilson
Address: Avenue du Président Wilson in the 16th arrondissement.
Named after the American President Woodrow Wilson who supported France during WWI, the Marché President Wilson is is footsteps away from the Eiffel tower and on the edge of the luxurious 7th and 16th arrondissements.
From varieties of foie gras and escargot, to seafood and champagnes, this gourmet market has a wonderful selection of artisanal and fine epicerie food products.
You can also get cooked dishes like boeuf bourguignon, quiches, and roasted chickens. The market is open Saturdays and Wednesdays from 7am – 1:30pm.
5. Rue Montorgueil
Address: Rue Montorgueil in the 1st arrondissement, near Chatelet-Les-Halles
Rue Montorgueil in the heart of Paris is not not exactly a market, but a street featuring several types of food shops and restaurants. The road is fully pedestrianized, allowing local shopkeepers to put their stands on the street, giving it that market-feel.
If you are looking for interesting cheeses and wines, varieties of seafood, foie gras, and other more uncommon varieties that are not so easy to find at regular outdoor markets, this is the place to be.
In addition, unlike the other outdoor markets that are temporarily set up in the mornings on market day, rue Montorgueil is open all day long, and you can visit when you wish. (Certain shops are likely closed on Sundays.)
6. Le Marché International de Rungis
Address: 1 Rue de la Tour in the town of Rungis (about 4 miles or 7 km outside of south-east Paris)
Now unlike the other outdoor markets on this list, the International market of Rungis is a wholesale market. It is the central market of Paris that supplies grocery retailers, restauranteurs and other professionals all over this part of the country. And it isn’t exactly outdoors, but it is the most important market in France, so I had to include it on the list.
Paris’s wholesale market actually dates back to the 5th century as the Marché Palu sur l’Ile de la Cité. In 1181 the covered market moved to Les Halles on the Right Bank, just a couple of miles away from the old location, to make access easier for boats coming along the Seine River. The Fortress Louvre was built to protect that trade route.
In 1969, with the proliferation of airplanes and supply trucks, a historic decision was made to move the wholesale market from Les Halles de Paris to the town of Rungis.
Today, it is considered the largest market for agricultural products in the world. And indeed, it is a tourist attraction, welcoming thousands of tourists every year. There are tours that you can reserve online exploring its 5 sections: fish, meat, fruits & vegetables, dairy products and flowers.
Visiting hours vary depending on the section you are interested in, so please check online before heading over.
7. Marché Bastille
Address: At the corner of Place de la Bastille and Boulevard Richard Lenoir in the 11th arrondissement.
Located at Place de la Bastille on the edge of the Marais, this food market may never have existed, had it not been for some clever ingeniosity in the 19th century.
And that is because it was originally the path of the Canal Saint Martin, which today is running underneath it.
The canal was authorized by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to supply Paris with fresh water and prevent disease. By the time his nephew Emperor Napoleon III came to the throne in the 1850-1860s, his engineer Baron Haussmann had other ideas.
The area was of historical significance, having been the site of the uprising at the prison of Bastille where the French Revolution started, eventually bringing the Bonapartes to power. Haussmann was redesigning Paris, and decided to enclose the portion of the canal right before it feeds into the river Seine.
Today the market at Bastille stands right on top of the enclosed portion of the Canal Saint Martin (which you can visit on a boat tour). The market has a variety of food stalls and is heavily frequented by the locals living in the area. Marché Bastille runs on Thursdays and Sundays between 7am to 1:30pm.
8. Marché d’Aligre
Address: Rue d’Aligre in the 12th arrondissement
Sometimes called Marché Beauvau, the Marché d’Aligre is a charming farmers’ market located between Place de la Bastille and Place de la Nation. If you are looking for an authentic market where local long-time residents go, this is it.
Unlike the markets at Marché Mouffetard and Marché President Wilson which are in the most expensive parts of Paris, Marché d’Aligre is in more of a middle-class neighborhood.
The market here is divided into two sections, with a large covered market, inside 3 halls, and an uncovered portion that runs down the rue d’Aligre. Along with foods from all across France, it also includes other items like antique, household good, fabrics, old books, furniture, etc.
The market is open everyday except Monday from 7:30am-1:30pm on weekdays and up to 2:30pm on weekends. You can book a guided tour to Marché d’Aligre here.
9. Bouquinistes along the Seine river
Beyond food and flowers, the bouquinistes stalls along the Seine river are wonderful to visit, if you are looking to buy a few antique books, paintings, or postcards.
Everything is 2nd hand, a tradition dating back to the 16th century. The word bouquiniste comes from the French word bouquin, a familiar form of the word livre for “book”. It comes from the Flemish word “boeckin” meaning small book, itself derived from the medieval Middle Dutch “boek”.
These little stalls are considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, and there are over 240 stalls installed along 3 kilometres of the Seine. There is everything from old books, historic journals, stamps and trading cards. The Bouquinistes de Paris are usually open every day from morning to sunset.
10. Marché Saint Eustache-Les Halles
Address: 1 Rue Montmartre, 1st arrondissement of Paris
Until the late 20th century, this was location of the biggest food market in Paris, called Les Halles. After the city’s wholesale market was moved to Rungis, a lot of the locals felt that the area had lost its soul.
Opened in 2005, the Marché Saint Eustache-Les Halles looks to recapture some of that old spirit. A small street market, it has between 20-30 stalls selling everything from food and wine, to local specialties and souvenirs.
The market is open every Thursday from 12:30pm – 8pm and Sundays from 7am – 2:30pm. You can book a guided food tour to visit this part of the Marais here.
10. Village Saint-Paul
Address: Rue Saint-Paul, in the 4th arrondissement
Located in the Marais, the Village of St-Paul is is a small market located between Rue St. Antoine and the Seine, next to Metro Line 1 Saint Paul station and near the Place de la Bastille.
There are several shops and street vendors set up on pedestrianized cobblestone streets, mainly selling clothing, antiques, second-hand toys, arts and crafts. It is open everyday except Tuesdays, from 11am-7pm.
11. Marché Popincourt
Address: 111 Boulevard Richard-Lenoir in the 11th arrondissement
Located a few yards away from Place de la République, Marché Popincourt is a traditional farmers’ market selling everything from fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and flowers.
Other stalls offer souvenirs like perfumed soaps, plants, or jams. It is a lively area, so if you are looking for some hustle and bustle, this is a great place to visit
Marché Popincourt is quite large with over 50 vendors and is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7am to 1pm.
So have you decided which of these outdoor markets in Paris you plan on visiting? If you enjoyed that article, you may like to read more about things to do in Paris. A bientôt!