We are off to the fabulous markets of Paris where shopping lists are taboo! There is always a perfect time of year to roam through the open-air markets sprinkled throughout Paris. The markets of Paris cater in delights for each and every season. Wonderful walnut shells set the stage for the fall season while plums, red cherries celebrate the freshness of Spring. The enticing aromas of roast chicken cover all seasons year round. Roam the markets while enjoying the joyous bellows of vendors offering up their finest goods.
Les Halles is the world’s oldest wholesale market and has been around for many centuries. Everyone goes to Les Halles to get fresh produce, meat, cheese and fish while haggling over the price tag. This is a place to mix and mingle with colorful people, rich aromas and the lively hustle and bustle of marketplaces.
Other Open-Air Markets
There are well over 60 open-air markets sprinkled throughout Paris’ municipal districts. Today, you can find just about everything you could possibly want in these markets that are literally everywhere! It is a fundamental part of local Parisians to stock their homes with baskets loaded with amazing treasures found at their local markets.
The 12th District
The Marché Barbès, farmers market sets up each Wednesday and Saturday, tucked beneath the metro overpass. You will think you have been transported to the Moroccan souk. Huge piles of fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs bring forth splashes of amazing colors along single aisles. Interspersed with burlap bags of scrumptious spices, buckets of olives and dates and North African khobz bread. You will not find a market anywhere that is always swimming with people from all over the city and offers the very lowest prices.
Marché Aligre, located in the 12th district is the only market that offers both open-air and covered structures along with a robust flea market. This market is open every day with the exception of Mondays. You should visit this market on Sundays if you want to enjoy the bistros that set up on the outskirts of the market with wooden wine barrels and shucked oysters. The Marché Aligre was first historically mentioned in 1643 when the local abbey originally owned it. The nuns would give out clothes to the needy in the area which started their famous flea market theme.
Flea Markets are where all happens!
If you choose to visit Paris in the Fall, flea markets selling second-hand goods spring up everywhere. They are communal garage sales and vendors present second-hand treasures for buyers to rummage through for that something special. There is never a lack of items to search through from furniture to designer clothing. Kitchenware, shoes, old books and vinyl records. It doesn’t stop there, and you may even run into a rare gramophone or great children’s toys. If you do not speak French, worry not, most vendors do have a good knowledge of English.
A visit to the Caulaincourt flea market turned up a frying pan redesigned as a clock, a dress mannequin that is now a lamp and a pair of earrings turned into the hands for a grandfather clock! Bargain hunting at the Caulaincourt can be very exhausting but also very rewarding.
Spend a good amount of time in Paris and take in as many of these delightful markets as possible. Submerge your senses in delicious aromas, delight over hidden treasures you have discovered and just enjoy the pure pleasures of these markets. That said, being the first on the scene does not necessarily make the one who gets the best of the pickings. Many times if you show up a little later, there might be some newly added goods just waiting for the picking.
Credits Images : Flick