Where to find the best Paris markets

It’s the city of romance, but the shopping’s not bad either. Paris is a city where the locals have a keen eye for a bargain. Why not join them for some genial jostling at the street markets? Here is our pick of some of the best Paris markets to pick up a great souvenir or two...

1. Les Puces (the flea market) at the Porte De Clignancourt is as much a Parisian institution as Notre-Dame. Head there early on a Saturday or Sunday to wander its 15 separate sections. Serious collectors are here for period furniture and antique jewelry, but there are bargains to be found at tiny stalls selling family heirlooms and junk. Many Paris markets are dominated by food, so it's worth visiting Les Puces for souvenir shopping.

2. The Marché D’Aligre opens Tuesdays to Sundays with fresh fruit and vegetables sold together with weird and wonderful fashion, hats, rugs and kitsch bric-a-brac. It’s where Paris’s immigrant population comes in search of bargains, and with a bit of rummaging and bargaining you could make some great finds.

3. The Sunday-only Marché Richard Lenoir, along the boulevard of the same name, is the place to go in search of gourmet French meats, fish and cheeses and the fine wines to accompany them. Elegant Parisian ladies seem to dress up in their finery to shop here.

4. If you are hungry, head for the Marais quarter and the Marché les Enfants Rouges, where you can graze at the wide range of ethnic and traditional food stalls.

5. The Marché Biologique is a Sunday morning organic produce market on the Boulevard Raspail. This is where ecologically-sensitive Parisians shop, or at least the wealthier ones, because the prices for those delicious sourdough loaves or hand-knitted scarves tend to be slightly alarming. Still, it's got a calmer atmosphere than most Paris markets and is perfect for people-watching.

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