I just returned from several days in Paris. Besides the excitement of being there during the book’s launch (not to mention François Hollande’s), this trip gave me the opportunity to return to some of my favorite markets and remember why I enjoy them so much. It’s not that I had forgotten. But it was a good refresher for how to make the most of enjoying markets during a short stay.
I’m frequently asked what tips I can give about the markets of Paris. And so, starting now, I’m going to share tips & tools that I have found particularly helpful. I’ll continue offering practical tips on a regular basis, so keep checking back for more.
The first tip is about navigating your way to the markets. I strongly recommend buying a copy of Paris Pratique Par Arrondissement published by L’Indispensable, which you can find at many street kiosks. It’s much better than those large unwieldy fold-out maps that never seem to go back to their original compact size. This map book is easy to carry, organized by arrondissement, and has an alphabetical listing of all Paris street names. Dixon Long first turned me on to this pocket map guide. It lives up the name L’Indispensable. I wouldn’t even think of heading off to the markets without it.
Using the Markets of Paris, 2nd ed as my guide for which markets are open that day, and what kind are fitting my mood, I then check out the RATP websitefor figuring out the best way of getting there. Many tourists consider Métro trains their only option for getting around, but in fact it’s easy to take buses too. The RATP site calculates the best routes for train, bus, or foot. The #63 bus, a.k.a the “magic bus” because it seems to go practically everywhere, became a reliable (well, mostly) friend.
In my next tip, I’ll offer additional suggestions for navigating one’s way to the markets. Getting there is part of the fun, but it always helps to know where you’re going.