A special time is in store when you visit a local street market during your travels. With the weather warming up, it’s a great time to head outdoors and mix with the residents of a city. Here are reasons to seek out a street market, along with photos of some of those I’ve especially enjoyed.
Bayeux, Normandy, France
The small town of Bayeux near the coast of France dates back to medieval times. Cobblestone streets and buildings that have stood for centuries make a picturesque setting for a market. We happened to be here on a summer weekend when the town came out in droves to enjoy the sunny morning.
The first reason to visit a street market is that it provides a place to blend with residents. With people out shopping for their groceries and goods, you can wander and feel part of the culture. And buy a scarf . . . or several.
A second reason to visit a street market is for the food. Street markets revolve around food, of course. Normandy is farm country, so growing edibles is a way of life here. Plenty of produce shows up in the market.
We happened on to this street market when we were wandering here. It offered the fresh food you expect, and an adorable pup played hide and seek under a tablecloth. In some ways, this market gave a distinct feeling of Amsterdam.
The Marias, Paris
Thinking the deserted lanes we walked on were probably not leading us to the heart of the district, we turned around, went a few blocks, saw lots of trucks, and knew something was happening. So we entered the market from the back, but that’s not a problem. We did seem to be the only (lost) tourists here, which is how I love to explore a place.
And Versailles is renowned for its street market. We just happened to be there on the day of the market. The shops around the market square are open for business, too, so you can put together quite a picnic. Choose ingredients one by one or order a sandwich from the bakery. Add fresh blackberries and a bag of Normandy caramels. Plenty of wine choices are available in the market on the corner.
In Bayeux we found a bakery across the street from the market. We picked up a loaf of just-baked bread, carried our cheese (Camembert is my favorite), added a bottle of wine and dessert. We enjoyed one of the best lunches that day. Street markets can be delightful!