One of the things many people like best about a trip to France is a visit to a local market. Each market has its own flavor, reflecting the style of the region or the neighborhood. The markets give an authentic taste of everyday French life, as well as a snapshot of French culture.
(market at Palaiseau)
(fun-fair atmosphere at Rambouillet in summer)
Paris and its suburbs boast more than 60 roving markets and 20,000 vendors, plus many open-air and covered fixed markets and street markets. This explains why Paris ranks as one of the best food-supplied cities in the world.
(market street in St Germain des Pres in Paris)
Many people say that “Paris is always served first”, which explains why you can eat fresher seafood in Paris than on the coast, or why prices are often lower at food markets in Paris than in the provinces. So, where do the vendors, chefs, restaurateurs, and other food professionals of Paris and Ile-de-France shop? At Rungis. Situated close to Orly airport, Rungis (which was built to replace the once-famous Les Halles wholesale market in central Paris) is considered the largest wholesale market in the world for fresh products.
(on Ile de la Cité near Notre Dame, the Flower Market is next to the Metro entrance. On Sundays it becomes a Bird Market, below)
But, it’s not only about food—many markets reserve some space for non-perishable items, such as arts and crafts. And of course there are flowers, at every market in every season. As much as the French people love good fresh food they love flowers. One of the oldest and most famous markets in Paris is the Marché aux Fleurs on Ile de la Cité, not far from Notre Dame. Besides flowers, they also sell plants and gardening stuff. On Sundays, this becomes the Bird Market, also fun to browse.
(which one shall I choose?)
Coming Next: 2. Market Streets 3. Our Local Market