Are you ready to take the plunge?
Try the total immersion experience of Paris’ open-air markets, life, culture, sounds, colors and smells included. Art, fabric, food or antiques, there’s a market for each and every one whether you’re shopping for picnic-food, great gifts or just to listen to a canary sing. We’ve selected a few of our favorites.
Art Market Bastille
Combine two great things: Art and the outdoors; and you’ve got the Art Market at Bastille.
This open-air market which takes place every Saturday beginning at place de la Bastille and continuing along boulevard Richard Lenoir is a showplace for 200 artists: Take a stroll amidst calligraphic artists, jewelers, potters, decorative crafts, watercolor, abstract artists, engravers, photographers, sculptors and stain glass artisans, to name a few. The prices here are better than in the galleries and you get the added benefit of meeting the artists themselves.
Where: 11th District – Boulevard Richard Lenoir
When: Open every Saturday from 10 am to 7pm, free access.
Marché Enfants Rouge
Foodies feel frustrated no longer: This is where it’s at.
Embedded in the heart of the Marais, the Marché des Enfants Rouges was created in the early 1600’s on what was once the site of an orphanage. “Red Children” referring to the color of the orphans’ clothing, the market place was originally designated to supply all of Paris with specialties from each region of France, thus certain street names like Bretagne, Poitou, Saintonge, Perche, which persist. Today the market, which was renovated and re-opened in 2000, has evolved with the neighborhood and the times to offer a large array of fresh produce but also an impressive selection of ready-made food to eat in stands and small tables or to take out. Moroccan, Japanese or Italian to name a few, and has become a very lively, trendy place to be, in keeping with the Marais itself.
Where : 3rd District – 39 rue de Bretagne (Haut Marais).
When: Closed Monday – Tuesday to Saturday 8am to 8:30 pm – Sunday 8:30am to 5pm
Metro: Filles du Calvaire
Fancy Fabric? Let your creativity be your guide.
A real institution for fabrics in the Sacré-Coeur Montmartre neighborhood. Even if you’re not into sewing, it’s worth it for a session of color therapy. This is not an open air market, of course but a street with fabric stores which spill out onto the sidewalks. Fabrics of all kinds, with prices ranging from cheap (go to the “coupon” store for end of the bolt bargains) to pricey. This is THE address for interior decorators and costume designers, as well as normal folks who like to sew, knit, or customize.
Marché Saint Pierre is the name for the huge three-story fabric store otherwise known as Dreyfus, they specialize in variety. Reine, on the other side of the street is more expensive and select. The metal and glass building opposite Dreyfus is called Halle St Pierre and hosts a naïve art collection with a book shop and café. Check before visiting as opening hours vary considerably during the year and the expositions change frequently. Rue d’Orsel boasts smaller shops featuring fabrics for home decoration, buttons, costume makings; feathers, sequins, feathers and strass.
Where and When: 18th District.
Dreyfus – 2 rue Charles Nodier – 01.46.06.92.25? Open Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 6:30 pm – Saturday 10:00 am to 7:00pm
Tissues Reine – 3-5 place Saint-Pierre – 01.46.06.02.31? Open Monday 2:00pm to 6:30 pm – Tuesday to Friday 9:30am to 6:30 pm – Saturday 9:45am to 7pm
Halle Saint Pierre – 2 rue Ronsard – 01.42.58.72.89 ?Open Monday through Friday 11am to 8pm – Saturday 11am to 6pm
On the edge of the Latin quartier, under a canopy of shady trees, the place Monge market offers a bit of everything, clothes, fresh produce, organic products and flowers.
Lively and delightful, especially on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, market days. Organic and farmers market produce as well as the more traditional faire all excellent quality. Great place to spend some time with a friend in one of the cafes, restaurants or simply grab a crepe and soak up small, friendly, village-like atmosphere. Narrow atmospheric rue Mouffetard beckons nearby with its cheerful demeanor and colorful restaurants and shops. Away from the typical tourist bustle, discover the charm of a very authentic neighborhood, you’ll forget that you are only minutes away from Notre Dame and Saint Michel.
Where: 5th District – Place Monge
Metro: Place Monge
When: Open Wednesday and Friday 7am to 2:30pm – Sunday 7am to 3pm.
Marché aux Fleurs et Oiseaux
Picture-perfect flora and fauna.
For all those bird lovers and green-thumbs out there: The Flower and Bird Market which is serenely perched on the ile de la Cité, is your ticket to paradise. The stands offering lush varieties of plants and flowers, are open every day but the birds make their appearance on Sundays only. All sorts of cages and equipment for birds are on sale here. Besides the rare birds you will also find ducks and chickens and the like. The knowledgeable bird sellers can inform you on anything you’d want to know about bird-life. The flowers are so perfect that you might not believe they are real. This is also a great starting (or ending point) to a day of touring the city as it is located close to most of Paris’ major monuments and sights.
Where: 4th District – Pont Saint Louis
Puces Marché St Ouen
The legend lives on.
Edith Piaf’s nostalgic voice seems to hover in the air over this world famous flea market in the north of Paris. With it’s 14 markets united in one place, the M.A.P. (French abbreviation for the St Ouen flea market) is a fascinating journey through art and culture. A vast array of antiques, tribal, fine, contemporary art, clothing, vintage, jewelry, musical instruments, old weapons and military clothing the list goes on… If you are planning a visit, the official web site, translated into English, (http://www.marcheauxpuces-saintouen.com/) offers an excellent way to get your bearing and lists upcoming events. A showcase of history befitting a museum, without the stuffiness, nor the queues.
Where: 18th District
Metro: Porte de Clignancourt
When: Open Saturday 9am to 6pm – Sunday 10am to 6pm – Monday 11am to 6pm.