Skip to main content

Exploring the Back Roads of Paris and a French Market - Marché Pyrenees

Sally has been a prolific writer of wet felting tutorials for several years with the occasional foray into literature and much more...

Thirty Stallholders

At this Market you will find around thirty stalls selling a huge variety of fruit, vegetables. There is a butcher, several fishmongers, roasters and sellers of local products, also a bakery, a rotisserie, a cheese seller, a potato seller, a florist and a chocolate seller.

An Assault of all of the Senses!

Visiting a French market can seem very much like an assault on all the senses. The market is a riot of color with wonderful displays of fruit, flowers, vegetables, cheese, meat and fish. One can hear the sounds of market traders as they call out to one another. Cheeks are proffered for kisses when shoppers run into friends and family - while fruit and cheese are offered up for tasting. Live birds chatter unhappily in cages.

Live Crab

Live Crab

Local Produce

Much of the produce is grown locally. The bulk of which is fruit and vegetables, cheese, meat and fish. Much of the fish will have been sourced from local coastal areas, shellfish, sometimes so fresh that you might even find yourself looking eye-ball to eye-ball with a live crab. You will most certainly find bread, tarts, pasta, hand-made chocolates and even large dishes of paella being sold.

A Visit to a Paris Market

Specialist Markets

Shopping at the market is a way of life for the French. You will find specialist markets which may sell only one type of product at a time. It could be mushrooms, truffles or honey.

Never on a Monday!

The best time to get there is always early but never on a Monday. They are rarely open on Mondays. The stalls are quite often disbanded by midday. The popular produce can sell out very quickly. Getting there early allows you to view the items in a much more leisurely way. Leave it until much later and you could find the market is brimming with tourists.

Grabbing a Bargain

Like the car boot or English Market, there can be advantages to arriving late – just when everyone is thinking about of packing up, the stallholders will sell off their produce at reduced prices. This is the time to grab a bargain.

Bring your own Bags

It is always an idea to bring your own bags. Often you may be provided with flimsy plastic or paper bags. These are not always suitable for carrying heavy or delicate items. Bring a strong shoulder bag – so much easier to carry or better still, bring along one of those granny shopping bags on wheels which surprisingly have lost their granny image and are fast becoming a fashion statement in Paris. Parisian’s of all ages use them – even young ladies wearing high heels and tights can be seen pulling a trolley behind them.

Funky Shopping Trolley's

Funky Shopping Trolley

Funky Shopping Trolley

Trendy Shopping Trolley's

Several UK stores are now importing trendy shopping trolleys from France. They come in a wide range of colors and are used by housewives, pensioners, city professionals and don’t laugh, even men. They are very light to pull behind one. Why not do your thing for the environment and helping reduce both waste and your carbon footprint at the same time. Believe it or not, British shops hand out over thirteen billion plastic carrier bags every year.

Scroll to Continue

Sample the Goods First!

Don’t be afraid to ask to taste the produce before you buy. The French accept this as the norm. Stallholders will frequently hand out samples of their produce for you to taste. Most time you won’t even have to ask. This reverse psychology seems to work very well, for it is so much harder to decline a product once you have tasted it! Treat this as an opportunity to learn as much as you can about regional food. You will be expanding your own palate at the same time.

Don't Forget!

Handy Tips

  • Don’t forget to go armed with plenty of euro coins. Don’t take the risk of getting there early and risk having to pay a market trader with a note which he may find difficult to change.
  • Don’t let your lack of French vocabulary put you off going to the market. If your French is limited, point out the items which you would like to buy from the stallholders. You will soon find that a few simple gestures work very well. Don't forget to observe the basic courtesies - such as Bonjour, Madam or Bonjour, Monsieur. Once you have completed the transaction, remember to add a Merci and an au revoir before you go on your way.
  • Parisians regard grocery shopping as being a most pleasurable occupation and it is not difficult to see why when faced with the wonderful array of produce. You will want to forget buying that un-ripened fruit or vegetable from local supermarkets. The Parisian’s may use them as a convenience during the weekdays, but the markets are regarded as being the place to shop or to be seen during the weekend. Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for strolling around the market. Your shopping trip will, of course, have to be followed up by the obligatory drink in a local café or bar.
  • Popping off to Paris for the weekend for a trip to a market has become reality. If you live in the UK. It will take only a mere two-and-a-quarter hour on the Eurostar from St Pancras London to arrive at Gare du Nord in Paris. You may not want to do it every weekend but one can see how easy it would be to turn an ordinary weekend into a really special one. You could even arrive in Paris, just in time for breakfast and then go on to shop at the market later.
  • Another option might be to consider catching a coach from Victoria Station in London to Paris You could spend a weekend there! Try booking an apartment online with Wimdu as we did. You could have a short break in a home from home where you can take your product back to your own apartment and cook up a feast fit for a king.
  • If you want to get your food back home in good condition, you should seriously think about taking a few boxes with you when you go shopping. They are so much easier to pack your produce into and the produce will definitely arrive home in a much better condition. After all, who wants to arrive home with the taut Pomme flavored with goat’s cheese!
  • Paris has around 80 markets, so there will be no shortage of choice once you get there. Do your homework first and decide which markets you want to attend, before setting out. They are usually in full swing by 8.30 am.

Some of the things you are likely to find at this market:-

Fromage – cheese – there are hundreds of varieties.

Fruit and vegetables – the most amazing range, some of which you may never have seen or tasted before. I saw artichokes as large as melons.

Chocolate – hand-made – some of which are flavored with chili.

Patisserie – pains au chocolat and tarte aux pommes and delicious crusty bread and rolls, also pastries, pasta and baguettes.

Duck Confit – Don’t forget to bring back a few tins to the UK with you. Roast the duck legs in hot fat for around twenty minutes. They make the perfect quick meal.

Honey – There are so many types. The taste is usually reflected by the flowers on which the bees gather pollen.

Wild mushrooms - all at astonishingly good prices. These are especially good – ask for advice on how best to cook them.

Fish, frogs legs, crabs, mussels, rabbit, veal, chicken, mussels, snails, oysters, pig, Pate and much more.

A lasting Memory

The memory of a French market is such a memorable one. It is likely to linger long after you have returned home. It deserves to be savored and enjoyed, just like a good wine. I do hope you enjoy your visit to Marché Pyrenees

Where is Marché Pyrenees Situated?

Marché Pyrenees Rue des Pyrénées, between Rue de l’ Ermitage and Rue de Ménilmontant. Open Thursday from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm and Sunday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm


Metro: Pyrénées

Metro travel is an interesting experience on its own. The trains are incredibly efficient and always on time.

Map View

A visit to Marché Pyrenees

Exploring the Back Roads

Authors Note

“Exploring the Back Roads.” is part of a series of travel Hubs which were started by 2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Other writers are encouraged to link their own articles to the Back Road Series using the same four words, Exploring the Back Roads, in the title and change it to the name of their own state or country. I chose Paris - France for this Hub.

This is my first contribution to the series.

Explore More Back Roads

© 2013 Sally Gulbrandsen


Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on April 28, 2015:


Definitely worth a visit. I have not visited the one in Annecy but will check it out. I love Paris. I think it is one of the most feminine and beautiful cities in the world. I love the markets and the wonderful cultural mix of people you find in them.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 28, 2015:

I have to remember this the next time we're in Paris. We have done this is other cities in France. Love the one in Annecy.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 25, 2014:


You are very welcome and I am glad I was able to make you feel from my images that I was able to take you to Marché Pyrenees.

Best wishes


RTalloni on March 25, 2014:

Thanks for sharing this info and tips for visiting Marché Pyrenees and the back roads of Paris. Your photos take us there!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 05, 2014:

old albion

So glad you enjoyed your visit to the back streets of Paris and a French Market - Marché Pyrenees. I very much appreciate your very kind comments and the vote up Thank you.

Have a wonderful day.


Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on March 05, 2014:

Hi Sally. Wonderful, I was there with you. Your text and photos /video were excellent. Nothing more to say.

Voted up and all.


Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on February 25, 2014:


I always think of Paris as being one of the most feminine cities I know. It really does have a lot of charm - that is apart from the dog poop which is too frequently present on the pavements. I loved riding on the Metro - it really makes one feel a lot more local and connected to the city and the people.

I am glad you enjoyed the article. Thank you very much for your comment.


John Goodwin White from Scotland on February 25, 2014:

The first time I visited Paris we stayed at La Villette which by the looks of things is not too far from Marché Pyrenees. Paris is a wonderful city to visit and so easy to get around thanks to the Metro. Thank you for a very interesting article Sally.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 21, 2014:

Hi susi10

Nice to hear from you. I love Paris, such a beautiful feminine City, filled with so many interesting things to do, including this market and also some very large Antique Markets. I like to do things that the locals like to do, not necessarily the tourist spots. I can thoroughly recommend a visit to March Pyrenees, definitely a feast for the eyes. The marketeers were also very friendly. Thanks for your visit and your comments Suzi.

Susan W from The British Isles, Europe on January 21, 2014:

Nice hub Sally! The markets of Paris have a unique air to them and your hub captured that wonderful atmosphere. I loved the pictures! I have been to Paris before but have never visited Marche Pyrenees. Next time I go to Paris again, I will visit there, it seems like a beautiful place. Very informative hub, well done. Thanks for sharing this Sally.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 01, 2014:

cmoneyspinner1tf - thank you so much! I appreciate your comments and visit and comments.

Treathyl FOX from Austin, Texas on January 01, 2014:

This HUB is fabulous! Voted Up! Found via the Google+ Hubpages community. FYI.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on November 21, 2013:

btrbell, you are so very welcome. I very much appreciate the follow and the link. I am glad you enjoyed your visit to the Back Roads of Paris and a French Market - Marché Pyrenees.

Thank you


Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on November 21, 2013:

tillsontitan - not only the head but claws and all - it really does take one down to basics - perhaps it is intended to teach us to respect the animals that we eat and to give thanks to them for giving up their lives so that we can eat meat. Packages of meat in a supermarket are so far removed from the reality.

I appreciate the link, the vote up, useful, awesome and interesting comments and I am always so pleased to receive feedback on my images,

Thank you.


Mary Craig from New York on November 21, 2013:

Oh Sally what beautifully colorful pictures. You certainly did the market more than justice. It was fun to read this hub and learn more about your market.

I must admit I've never seen a chicken sold with its head! I have to go add a link to my hub so everyone can read about the French Market.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on November 21, 2013:

Wow, Sally! This was great, interesting, beautiful, a true "assault" on the senses! Thank you so much for finding me and linking this! I will do the same!

Ann Carr from SW England on November 19, 2013:

Thank you. You too!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on November 19, 2013:

annart - So glad lad you enjoy French Markets as much I do.

Thanks you for linking to this Hub - I will check out your own in the series and to do the same - Have a great evening.

Ann Carr from SW England on November 19, 2013:

Those initial vegetable & fruit photos made me feel really hungry; I could almost smell them! I love French markets and we go often.

Great contribution to the Exploring the Back Roads series; I've linked this to mine. Up, useful and interesting.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on November 19, 2013:

Disney Robb - welcome to a French Market and also to one of my pages. A French market is such a visual experience, something which can in one's mind can be savored and enjoyed for a long while afterwards.

How lucky I am, for I still see it clearly in my mind. I can still hear the voices of the market traders and I can see their smiles. The quantity and the quality of their produce is something you never forget.

Thank you for the compliment re- my photography. It is something I love to do. I appreciate your visit and I do hope you have a lovely day.

Rob Hower from Lebanon, PA on November 19, 2013:

Outstanding hub ... loved learning about a French market experience and it made me pine for fresh produce (amazing pictures). Love the phrase "riot of color" ... brilliant!!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on November 14, 2013:

jhamann - Oh I do hope so Jamie. I have been to France many times, but this was the first time in Paris that I truly felt at home. I do think it was because we stayed in an apartment where locals reside. Don't forget to do some of the things which regular French people do. Visiting Paris is not just about seeing the more popular sights. Sit alongside a canal with a picnic supper and a bottle of wine - visit a market too. Blend with the locals. It is just so much fun! When you find yourself sitting alongside the canal, please raise a glass to me!


Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on November 14, 2013:

One day I will be able to bring my family to see the wonder that you describe so well in your hub. jamie

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on November 10, 2013:

In view of what I know now, I would not take a car next time. Think I would use the buses and Metro which we really good. I very much enjoy the way it puts you with the locals - which is what we like very much. Can't imagine doing it without my trusty Tom Tom though. Thanks for your comment electronician.

Dean Walsh from Birmingham, England on November 10, 2013:

You did the right thing. Last time I was in France I was driving, and it was a nightmare in Paris. This was in the days before GPS as well...

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on November 10, 2013:

Glad you enjoyed the picture of the cheese. I love cheese but I have to confess I don't think anyone makes a better strong Cheddar than the English, but then I may be biased! I definitely think a visit to France is well worth it - so easy to get there and it can really be done on a budget. Check out my links. We used Wimdu to find our lovely but reasonably price apartment to stay in. Four people for less than £100. We traveled on the Metro when we were in Paris. We did see things on the Metro which are a story in themselves. We did have a car which we left in a very cheap parking garage nearby. It gave us plenty of freedom without having to worry about driving too much in Paris. Can definitely recommend another visit. Thanks for stopping by.

Dean Walsh from Birmingham, England on November 09, 2013:

That cheese picture really made me salivate. I haven't been to France for years, but I loved it when I was there. I'm very jealous.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on November 09, 2013:

Pamela99 - and I would recommend that you do exactly that. It is a visual scene you never forget. I hope you visit Paris soon.

Thanks for your comment.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 09, 2013:

Shopping at that market in Paris sounds delightful. I would love to visit France and do just that. Very interesting hub.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on November 08, 2013:

rebeccamealey - it really is - definitely high on my list of things to do whilst in Paris or anywhere in France. It is not something to be missed. Thank you so much for you visit and comment.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 08, 2013: