Paris is a city where every traveler coming to with a special purpose. Someone wants to visit the main sights like Arc de Triomphe and Etoile (Square of de Gaulle), Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees, others prefer places as Louvre and Versailles, filled with the spirit of history, the thirds dream of seeing an unique Montmartre and Moulin Rouge, and someone just decides to visit Paris in order to buy in Paris presents for their loved ones or simply to loaf at the markets. Exactly for this last category of tourists we dedicate this article and sincerely believe that a little guide of shopping places in the French capital will be useful when you find yourself in Paris.
We are not going to tell you about rich and famous boutiques of Paris, supermarkets and car showrooms, just dwell on such interesting places as Paris markets.
Markets in Paris have a very rich history, the first of them began to appear in the city in a distant fifth century after Christ, when Paris was a village and had a little-known today name – Lutetium. The first known market was called Palud.
As years, decades and centuries passed, the city of Paris had grown. People could see more and more markets, and in the middle of the nineteenth century more than fifty markets existed. Today the capital of France has around a hundred of such places, each of them has its own distinctive features in goods and of course in the target audience. In principle, everyone who visits the Paris markets will find something that has interest for, you just have to choose the right market. Generally, the markets of Paris – these are the places where you can find everything if you want it… from the hessian boots of Napoleon to a parrot from a Mayan homeland. So, let’s detail some of them.
Marché Richard Lenoir. All districts of Paris have their own markets, which locals call the “flying” markets, because they appear spontaneously on the streets several times a week (and then disappear to reappear again) and are an accumulation of hundreds of stalls and tents offering customers a wide assortment of edibles, from the fresh fish, ending with the excellent sorts of French wine. Visit this market in the morning of Thursdays and Sundays. Its address: Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, 75011.
Marché aux puces de Saint-Ouen – market located at Porte de Clignancourt, and it is open from Friday to Sunday. The length of its shopping malls is striking and not less than seventeen miles. This is the biggest “flea” market in Paris, and for those shoppers for whom a fashionable word “vintage” is not an empty phrase – this is a true paradise. The local merchants offer the old newspapers and books, jewelry, “reclaimed” from the aristocracy during the numerous revolutions furniture, clothes and all sorts of other ancient “gadgets”. Do not be surprised if you’ll find standing near the counter a couturier from the fashion house of Versace (well, or any other) – now there is a tendency to find an inspiration in antiquity. The only disadvantage of the market is its extremely high prices, the status of a tourist sight helps much.
Marché les Enfants Rouges (address: Rue de Bretagne, 75003). The market with a long history, besides the first covered market in Paris. It was opened (even shudder to think) in 1628. Now it is interesting because here you can buy ready-made meals and ingredients of any cuisine of the world. The market does not work on Monday.
Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux (located at Place Louis-Lepine, 75004). The market has over two hundred years of activity and its direction is the trade of birds and flowers. Here even the most fastidious customer will find everything that associated with this topic. This is one of the last Parisian markets of this kind. We recommend you visit it because the famous Notre Dame Cathedral (also known as Notre-Dame de Paris) is very close, so you’ll “kill two birds.” In addition, the market works during all the week.
Marché Saint-Pierre (location: Rue Charles Nodier, 75,018) has more than sixty years history and is notable with its textiles. Here you can meet different customers like simple housewives, choosing the material for the dress of their daughters the graduation prom or already mentioned above “cool” couturiers (whatever one may say, Paris is the capital of world fashion). And if you can’t find a suitable textile in the shops of your city, believe, here you will find it. Recommended!
To compile a complete list with descriptions of places such as Paris markets we probably need to write a whole book and even then something will be forgotten. But we hope that this short article will help you to navigate a little in Paris markets.