When we think of Paris, our mind conjures up visions of exquisite art, delicious wines, phenomenal perfumes, and fresh baked breads and pastries. The best part is that all of these wonderful things can be had by shopping in the open markets of Paris. Ooh la la!
If you have not had the pleasure of visiting the markets of Paris, you certainly must put this on your list of things to do the next time you visit the City of Love. Just about every district in Paris has their own open market and it is truly a fun and cultural experience that you do not want to miss out on.
Each Paris market offers something unique and gives customers a variety of different merchants to shop at that not only offer excellent deals on everything they sell, they offer a different neighborhood ambiance that gives you a peek into the daily lives of the Paris locals as well.
Heres a little history lesson on these fascinating and flavor filled Paris markets. They can actually be traced all the way back to the 5th century when the city was named Lutetia. The first open market, called "Palu" was centrally located in the Île de la Cité district and it provided locals with a place to sell their goods and exchange their ideas. Current day Paris is home to more than 90 open markets that are filled with different specialties and merchants that offer some of the best shopping around!
So what exactly can you get at an open market in Paris? Just about anything you want! Besides the true Parisian experience and a fun day of people watching, your shopping bags will be filled with everything from gourmet food gifts, pashima scarves and shawls, and hand- made scented soaps to regional wine, Provencal linens, Bourjois cosmetics, and some of the best freshly prepared food Paris has to offer.
The best part of visiting an open market in Paris is that you dont only get great deals on shopping; you get a chance to get up close and personal with the local artisans who love what they do as much as they love chatting with tourists about it. There are no cars on the streets so shoppers are welcome to just meander through the markets and leisurely enjoy the village like shopping experience.
If you now find yourself daydreaming of shopping in Paris and experiencing the culture and attractions for yourself, consider exploring France on a unique canal barge vacation. The Barge Connection specializes in one of a kind barge vacations which provide on board accommodations that are similar to a villa, boutique hotel, or floating Bed and Breakfast. Once on board, the crew will be available for everything you need from preparing your gourmet meals to acting as your personal tour guide, showing you all of the popular destinations, including local open markets, on daily exploration excursions.
When it comes to the open markets of Paris, there are few things you must know to make the most of your shopping spree. The first thing you should know is that there are two types of markets: temporary and permanent. A marché volant is a temporary Paris market that sets up to sell goods on a designated street location several days each week. The rule of thumb is that the markets are never open on Mondays, so be sure to plan accordingly. The marché volant vary in sizes and can be as simple as one city block or can spread out over several blocks filled with vendors.
The Market Street is what they call the permanent markets of merchants in Paris. The permanent shops include more essential merchants such as clothes tailors, cleaners, and food shops that locals depend on for their daily needs. Many of the Market Street shops will set up stalls outside of their shops to attract passersby to their merchandise and add a cultural flair for shoppers.
A word of advice for savvy shoppers: bring plenty of cash and a big bag to stash all of your goodies in, because it is almost certain you will leave with way more than you expected to! In fact, if your trip to Paris happens to be during the beginning of January or July, be on the look out for major discounts from market merchants because this is the main sale time of the year and you can expect to save from 30-50% off of clothes, accessories, shoes, and fabrics. Here is a list of open markets in Paris. The Paris tourist bureau also has a great list of markets in Paris to visit.
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