Here are the best markets in Paris:
Marché Raspail. Rue Cherche Midi/Rue de Rennes in the 6th. Rennes or Babylone métro station. It’s an organic food market on Sunday from 9 to 3. On Tuesday and Fridays from 7 to 2:30 it offers a wider variety of products. It’s easy to get to, the vendors are friendly and I have found items other than foods such as wicker baskets and flowers. Consider filling up at an ATM and taking the short walk to La Grande Épicerie at Bon Marché, part of the famous department store (not open Sunday), a gourmand’s paradise.
Marché Montorgeuil. Rue Montorgeuil in the 2nd. Located near the Les Halles métro, this one is from the good old days. I like to go here to taste, touch and smell, then sit down at one of the many restaurants serving fresh dishes with market ingredients. Open Tuesday and Sunday until 6 p.m.
Marché Mouffetard. Some people like this enchanting market best of all, located in one of the most charming sections of the city. It is crowded with cafés and bars. Some people think Marché Mouffetard is everything Paris should be. Merchants offer local products and items from all over the world. Even when the market is not open “rue Mouff” is busy with interesting boutiques, restaurants, and shops. It’s open all week except Sunday afternoons and Monday. Métro: Place Monge or Censier-Daubenton.
Marché Bastille. The diversity of this market at one of the crossroads of the city makes it so interesting. I’ve sampled Lebanese, African, Mid Eastern, and Asian alongside a bounty of local offerings. Open Thursdays and Sunday until about 2 p.m. Métro: République.
Marché President Wilson. This is a terrific market to go on a Saturday morning. Plenty of food to eat on-the-spot. Souvenirs for the tourists. Nice clothes like hats and scarfs to take home. It is easy to get to and it is a short walk from the Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower. Métro: Alma-Marceau.
Flower and Bird Market.The flower market is Monday through Saturday while Sunday is for the birds. It’s probably not practical to take home bulbs, bonsai trees, or bird seed, but I have always found uniquely French garden and pet knick-knacks to be perfect souvenirs for friends back home. It’s hard not to find the market – it’s right on Île de la Cité between Notre Dame and St. Chapelle/Conciergerie at the Cite métro stop.
Les Bouquinistes (Booksellers). When the tourists come out, so do the booksellers. From their green boxes lining the stone walls of the Seine River, the main trade is old books, magazines, posters, and prints. Most of the 250 or so vendors have expanded their inventory to include large picture books, postcards, mini-Eiffel Towers and other remembrances of Paris.
Brocantes. Second-hand markets pop up randomly all over the place, usually on weekends. It’s nearly impossible to tell when and where they will be held far in advance, but banners and posters along the streets announce an upcoming sale. The merchandise quality and the merchandise itself varies wildly, but I enjoy browsing and bargaining with the vendors. I found one near the Arsenal Marina near the Bastille and there is one held on a regular basis outside of St. Sulpice church.
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