Paris is home to dozens of covered and outdoor marchés (markets)—antique flea markets, gourmet food markets, arts & crafts markets, bird markets (yes, bird markets), et. al.
These markets are a great way to stock up for a picnic in a jardin (garden) or along the Seine; or to gift shop unique keepsakes for yourself and your loved ones.
Here are a few tips that will have you marché-ing like a local during your time in Paris.
- Bring cash (Euros) in small denominations if you plan to purchase inexpensive items. And a re-usable bag to carry your goodies in.
- Arrive early for the best selection.
- Be nice, engaging and respectful as you examine the merchandise and negotiate on price. You may be able to shave 10-20% off the initial price.
- When shopping at an open-air food market, refrain from touching the produce. Instead, point to what you’d like and the vendor will bag it for you or suggest an alternate that’s the best of the bunch.
- If you purchase an expensive antique, be sure to ask the vendor for a detailed invoice that will serve as your certificate of authenticity.
- If you’d like to take a photo, ask the vendor if it’s okay. The most basic way to do so is to point at your camera and say, “D’accord?” Pronounced da-core, it means “Okay?”