Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Sunday @ Paris : Marche Bastille

As of now, I have settled down and lived in Paris for 2 weeks. Finally, I have some time to explore this beautiful city. While unlike in Australia or other Asian countries, on Sunday, most shops in Europe are closed except major tourist attractions such as the Louvre. Hence, it was quite a cultural shock when I first landed in Europe that even supermarkets are closed on Sunday.

However, in Paris, you have many other ways to spend your Sunday even if the shops are closed. There are many undercover and outdoor food markets open everyday in the different arrondissements and it has been on my bucket list to visit them. This weekend, I finally have the spare time to visit one of the biggest food markets in Paris located at Bastille.

Bastille Marche is one of the biggest Parisian markets located in the 11th arrondissement, they sell everything here fresh and cheap. Going to the market reminds me of the traditional outdoor markets in Hong Kong, it is a bit messy and nothing like a fancy supermarket but they sell everything fresh with many things that you just won't find in a supermarket. As a food lover, I have totally fallen in love with the Parisian market.

Bastille Marche is only open on Thursday and Sunday from 7am till 2:20pm, while I can assure you this is one of the best place to be on Sunday mornings for some grocery shopping or to feel the true Parisian food. The Marche located between Metro Breguet Sabin and Metro Bastille, it is very big and it took me about an hour just to walk around.

Basically, there are stalls that sell fresh food such as vegetable, fruits, meats, cheese to kitchen appliances, clothes, and hot food. While all stores sell different stocks and prices can vary for the same products, therefore it's worth shopping around before you start putting some money down. In general, there is a lot more variety than the supermarket and at a much cheaper price. Seasonal vegetables and fruits can probably be bought at half the price compared to the supermarket.

The market experience is fun and interesting, I figured the most popular stall is seafood and the variety of seafood is unbelievable. They have all different kinds of shellfish, oysters, lobsters and fish, they all look very fresh and most are not available at supermarkets.

Even if you're not up for grocery shopping, there are still many reasons for you to go to the market. There are plenty of food stalls inside which sell crepes, baguettes and also other ethnic foods. Since I went with an empty stomach, I had a marron (chestnut) crepe which is delicious and only cost 2.60 euro, and it's not always easy finding a crepe at such price yet so delicious in Paris.

Hopefully, I would have a chance to visit other markets during my stay and discover more Parisian styles.

A bientôt.

Marche Bastille
Transport: Metro Bastille Line 1, 5 and 8
Opening Time: Thursday and Sunday 7am until 2:30pm

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