Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Thu May 28 2015

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  • A Cruising Couple | May 28, 2015 1:00 AM ET

    5 Must-Visit Markets In Paris

    5 Must-Visit Markets In Paris

    No visit to Paris is complete without a stop at one of the city’s many eclectic markets. Featuring everything from vintage treasures to fun bric-a-brac to local cheeses and produce, there’s something for everyone at one of the dozens of markets throughout the city. One of the best ways to experience an off-the-beaten track market experience is to ask a friendly looking Parisian for their marché of choice. But because many of the markets are only open on specific days of the week, we also recommend coming into the city with a few ideas in tow. Here are our five favorite Parisian markets to get you started. Bon shopping!

    1. St. Ouen Flea Market

    If you enjoy rummaging for collectables and vintage antiques, then you can’t go wrong with a visit to one of Europe’s largest flea markets. The St-Ouen Market has over 2,500 stalls divided up into 14 specialty groups — and receives an average of 150,000 visitors each weekend! You’ll need plenty of time and patience, but you never know what treasure you might find hidden among the bric-a-brac. Just remember to haggle; the prices start high, but depending upon how many sales the vendors have had, you can often negotiate quite a bit.

    2. Saxe-Breteuil Market

    Visit this large-scale, open-air market on Thursdays and Saturdays between 7:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for a great variety of food and hors d’oeuvres. The high-quality fishmongers as well as the great selection of meats, cheeses, and produce are all part of the draw. There’s also clothing, jewelry, linen, and a few other odds and ends for sale at various stalls. Pick up supplies for a romantic picnic, or just enjoy the bustling local market with views of the Eiffel Tower.

    3. Bastille Market

    This marché is also known as the Richard Lenoir Market. It’s open on Thursdays and Sundays, and features excellent fish, cheese, and meat vendors. You’ll find a large variety of ethnic cuisine as well, including Middle Eastern and Spanish. Come for the copious amounts of free samples and the fantastic energy. Just remember to arrive early — shops close down around 1:00 p.m.

    4. Marche d’Aligre

    Located behind the Bastille, this market is always a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Outdoors you’ll find market vendors selling colorful produce, fresh bouquets of flowers, and random odds and ends. Once you’ve fully explored the outdoor stalls, don’t forget to head inside to the adjacent covered market at the Marche Beauveau. The historic building houses additional meat, cheese, and fish stalls, and is a romantic place to search for the perfect dinnertime ingredients. The vendors have fascinating stories and historical knowledge related to the building; so don’t be afraid to start up a bit of small talk if it’s not too busy.

    5. Marche Enfants Rouge

    The Marche Enfants Rouge is the oldest covered market in the city. Its name a testament to the 16th century orphanage that once occupied the stalls. (The children wore red clothing, which indicated that they were donated from a Christian charity.) Today you won’t find any children here, but instead a large assortment of delicious ethnic cuisine. Choose from Moroccan, Japanese, or a traditional charcuterie, and then wash it all down with a bottle of local wine. You won’t be disappointed!

    These are just a few of the many markets you’ll find while wandering through the streets of Paris. Have you been to any markets in Paris? Which ones are your favorites?

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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