If you’re travelling to France, you may want to find the best French markets. There are so many to choose from. However, here is guide to get you started.
First of all, it’s good to understand that there are few different styles of markets in France.
The second hand markets are either flea market style “vide-greniers” (which means empty attics) or the more upmarket “brocante” or antique markets. Many are a combination of the two.
Then there are artisan markets with specialties of the region such as pottery, tablecloths or crafts.
Even the smallest of villages often have a regular produce market overflowing with gourmet delights.
Markets are an integral part of French life. France is renowned for its gastronomy. As a result, the French are always looking for the freshest products: fruit and vegetables, local produce and flowers.
Furthermore, it is as much a social outing as a shopping trip. Enjoy!
Marché aux Puces de Clignancourt – St-Ouen Flea Market
140 rue des rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen (North of Paris)
Open Saturday – Sunday – Monday (but some stalls close on Mondays)
Quirky, eclectic, huge! Just a few words to describe this famous market.
Head to the northern edge of Paris to find Les Puces, one of the largest flea markets in the world. It is divided into 14 smaller markets, each having its own specialty. You’ll find antiques, clothes, jewellry, books, records and more.
With literally thousands of stalls over seven hectares, you’ll need a full day to do it justice. Get yourself a map as it’s very easy to get lost among the winding alleyways. And, be careful of pickpockets. Shopping or just looking, it’s a fascinating adventure.
Marché aux Fleurs de Nice – Flower Market in Nice
Cours Saleya, 06300 Nice
Every day except Monday
One of the best attractions of Nice. Sunday is the perfect day to experience this authentic market and discover the enormous range of flowers and fresh produce.
Sheltered by colourful tents, you’ll be carried away by floral fragrances: multi-coloured geraniums, roses, camellias and gardenias. Discover hundreds of varieties of flowers from Provence and the French Riviera while exploring the heart of the city.
Marché de Carpentras – Vaucluse
Allées Jean Jaures, 84200 Carpentras
Every Friday Morning
This is a typical Provencal market where the fragrances and colours of Provence meet. Interested in local products called “produits du terroir”, fresh produce and local crafts? Then, this is the market for you.
From November to March, the black diamonds from this region appear. Truffles! Be sure to ask the sellers for their best recipe ideas.
Marché des Halles à Sète – Hérault
Rue Gambetta, 34200 Sète
Discover all the flavours and delicacies of the Mediterranean Sea. 75 local producers will amaze you with delicious, fresh local produce. Well-known for its fish, people come from Montpellier and even Marseille to place orders at the Halls of Sète.
Magnificent produce can be found every morning. It’s easy to get caught up in the lively market atmosphere.
Marché d’Apt – Vaucluse
City Center, 84400 Apt
This is one of the oldest and most animated markets of Provence and has been delighting visitors since the 12th century. In 1996, the market received the title of “marché d’exception français” (Exceptional French market) thanks to its ambiance, longevity and originality.
Capital of candied fruit, stroll along the numerous stalls gathered for this Provencal market.
BONUS – La Braderie de Lille
A list of the best French markets wouldn’t be complete with La Braderie de Lille. It’s the largest market of it’s kind in Europe (probably the world!). However, it’s only held once a year.
Find out more about this incredible event.