What do you think of, when you think of France? Probably not markets in Paris, but le marché is actually one of the country’s proudest traditions. And it won’t be dying out anytime soon. There about 10,000 across the country and some are over 100 years old!

Market shopping in Paris is different from your modern-day supermarket experience. Friendly conversation and competitive banter turn markets into a social event, complete with music, dancing and drinking. You’ll see pensioners gossiping together on street corners, the same street corners they’ve stood on for the past 40 years. They buy their camembert from the same fromagier – a person they’ve known all their adult life.

Food, glorious food

The food in a French market is the freshest you’ll find. Whether you’re looking for the universal tomato (there are more than 10,000 varieties) or an obscure regional delicacy, you’ll find it in markets in Paris (and France). Farmers, chefs, butchers, bakers and cake makers go to market, ready to sell produce that was probably selected or made that same day.

4 Markets in Paris You Have to Visit ASAP

1. Marché aux Enfants Rouges

We’ll start with the most famous one. Once an orphanage (in the 16th century), this indoor area was converted into a food market in 2000. The Marché des Enfants Rouges may be a little touristy for some, but its multicultural vibe keeps it popular. If you’re looking for best markets in Paris, this should be your go-to.

Scallops at the market. Love these! #paris #markets #lifeinfrance

Una publicación compartida por Jennifer (@chezlouloufrance) el 18 de Feb de 2017 a las 6:58 PST

Where? 39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003

When? Tuesday – Friday (8.30 am – 1 pm, 4 pm – 7.30 pm), Saturday (4 pm – 8 pm), Sunday (8.30 am – 2 pm)

2. Marché Biologique des Batignolles

Located in the 17th arrondissement, the Marché Biologique des Batignolles was the first organic market in Paris. It’s a little bit tiny, that’s what makes it special – you can meet the local producers here – pretty rare for Paris!

Когда даже на рынке так красиво всё расставлено! Более того, это не единственная фотография из него. В Париже очень сложно не фотографировать всё вокруг! Ну и я решил не усложнять себе жизнь, и вас ждёт много фото впереди!

Una publicación compartida por Irakli | ირაკლი (@irakli_) el 23 de Mar de 2016 a las 4:13 PDT

Where? 34 Boulevard des Batignolles 75008

When? Saturday (9 am – 3 pm)

3. Marché d’Aligre

One of the oldest markets in Paris. Lively. Fun. Vegetables and fruits to please anyone.

ALIGRE ????#marché #legumes #vegetables #paris #miam #yummy #aligre

Una publicación compartida por Oriane Laporte ☀️ (@orianelap) el 19 de Feb de 2017 a las 5:30 PST

Where? Place d’Aligre, 75012

When? Tuesday – Saturday (8 am – 5 pm), Sunday (8 am – 1 pm)

4. Marché Bastille

Paris’s biggest open-air food market. Top quality. Twice per week. Go.

Where? Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011

When? Thursday (7 am – 2.30 pm) – Sunday (7 am – 3 pm)

How to master markets in Paris

Do arrive late if you want the best deals. Vendors will be keen to sell their food – if they have to reduce the price at the last minute, that’s what they’ll do!

Don’t pick your own vegetables – leave it to the expert, who can differentiate between the tomato you can eat today and the tomato you can eat tomorrow.

Do remember that shops are normally closed on Sundays. This is why you should know where your local Sunday market is!

Don’t be afraid to practice your language skills. Markets are great places to learn new words. Try and learn some obscure vocabulary for French vegetables! Des radis, anyone?

Do bring your own shopping bag or basket.

Don’t forget to try before you buy. Most market sellers offer free food samples. You never know if the cheese is too strong unless you try it first!

DO remember to go to markets in smaller towns. The vibe is completely different – something you have to see whilst living in France. Live music, wine tasting, and community games bring a completely different vibe to the small-town market.