Even in the smallest villages, in the remotest parts of Brittany, you’ll find food and produce, flowers stalls and general markets. They’re how the locals shop; they’re a way of life. These are our picks of the best markets in Brittany, plucked from all over the region.
Brittany’s administrative capital, the university city of Rennes, is our top pick. Covered market places are synonymous with France, and Rennes’ Halles Centrales is one of the best in the region. Its large size allows for an array of choices that smaller ones can’t and being right in the heart of Rennes old town means there is a constant buzz, even if visiting off season. If you are self-catering in the area, this market is a must to stock up on local delights. Lunchtime is the best time of day to come, like the locals do, for a lazy lunch and a glass of wine.
A bustling Monday morning market for such a small place. Even in winter, when some towns in Brittany have lost their sparkle a bit without the sun, Auray exudes winter charm. Mondays in France can also sometimes be a quieter day, so make a note of this market if your visiting days allow for it. You’ll find everything from bread and pastries, to vegetables and vintage finds.
Brittany is known for its incredible seafood. Of course, with so much coastline come the freshest picks. Seafood auctions are commonplace in a lot of the harbour towns around Brittany, Audierne being one of them, along with Lorient and Concarneau. Here, where fishing continues as it has for centuries, you can buy your fish straight from the fishing boats when they return from their early-morning sessions. Otherwise, Saturday mornings are the time to come to Audierne, for their harbour-side market stalls – surely one of the prettiest market mornings in Brittany.
France does a mean flower market. All over the country, when it’s market day, towns and cities turn into a colourful, fragrant scene. For locals, this might be the day they choose to come into town to do other shopping, as the flowers provide a lovely backdrop to a normal day. Since 2009, each year there is a Marché aux Fleurs held in Saint-Malo that is particularly delightful. It has grown in popularity so much that the once-central location has been moved just a little outside town – but, happily, entry is still free of charge. This year it will takes place on April 14 and 15, 2018.
Quiberon is a very picturesque part of Brittany, lying right on the tip of the Quiberon Peninsula on the Côte Sauvage (Wild Coast). You’ll find markets in every village in this area, on every day of the week. However, the truly special ones are in the summer months: the night markets. In Quiberon, they take place every day in summer starting at 8pm, and in Erdeven, each Monday there is a semi-nocturnal marché. Summer days on the coast of Brittany are punctuated by buzzing summer evenings with these night markets; the cafés are full, families wander the stalls picking up local produce for dinner, or gifts are picked up to return home with.
Dinard is a popular seaside resort in Brittany just a hop over the water from Saint-Malo. Its covered market lies just outside the old town, in a large square, while there are also external stalls accompany it, creating a large marketplace to discover. Browse endless seafood, pastries, local delicacies and more. It’s a vibrant space in the summer months and a more local affair in low season, but all year round it is a must-visit if you are exploring the nearby area.