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A Nice Break from Cruising - French Markets | Cruising in France

Cruising in France

...Travel blog about river and canal cruise vacations on luxury barges and riverboats

 

French Markets - A Feast of Sights and Smells

Written by Carolyn on May 22, 2009
Summary:

A French river or canal cruise is an opportunity to just relax and let somebody else do the driving and the cooking. But visiting a local market in France is a feast for the senses not to be missed.

Most cruises in France include a visit to a local market. If you have never been to one of those marvelous collections of fresh produce, fresh flowers, fresh fish, freshly baked bread… Did I mention everything is fresh? Except the cheese and sausages, of course, which are aged to perfection.

Paris Rue Cler Bakery

Paris Street Market Aix-en-Provence Market 

There are all sorts of markets all over France, from small outdoor markets to large, permanent indoor installations called “Les Halles.” Don’t be confused by the ”Forum des Halles” in Paris, though. This ugly underground shopping center is on the site of the original wholesale market, but the market was moved in 1971 to Rungis, a suburb of Paris. The market in Rungis is huge, but you don’t have to go that far, as you can still find lots of great street markets in the central part of Paris.

Cheese at Aix Market Vegetables Les Halles Avignon

Most towns and villages have markets at least once a week. Whether you want to buy food for a picnic or just a local specialty to take home, you’ll find an amazing assortment of produce and other edibles. (If you’re from the US, make sure you know what you’re allowed to bring back. Those cute little beagles at the airport are very good at what they are trained to do, which is to sniff out contraband food items.)

Les Halles - Avignon Spices at French Market

French markets are primarily for the local people, not tourists, as French people love fresh food and are willing to take the time to shop for it. Take cash (small bills and coins) and preferably a shopping bag for all your purchases. Just remember that prices are in euros and weights are in grams and kilograms. Take a calculator or plan to work on those math skills.

Even if you don’t need or want to buy food, it’s worth going to the market for the sights and smells, from juicy red tomatoes to enormous mushrooms and truffles to fresh spices sold in bulk. Lavender honey in Provence, fish and seafood in Normandy, even used books and paintings in Paris - going to a local market will help you understand and appreciate France like nothing else!

1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oct
    23
    12:50
    AM
    Charlette Reaux

    Long time viewer / first time poster. Really enjoy reading the blog, keep up the good work. Will definitely start posting more in the future.

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