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Shopping at La Rochelle's markets
Shopping at La Rochelle's markets | © Grégory Cassiau / Flickr
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The Best Markets in La Rochelle, France

Picture of Zoe Smith
Updated: 27 April 2018
Whether you want to browse for bargains at a flea market, sample fresh-from-the-ocean oysters at the local farmers’ market or get in the festive spirit, La Rochelle’s markets offer an atmospheric introduction to local life in the city. Here are our picks of the best.

Central Market

Market
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LaRochelleMarket
Fresh fish and seafood at La Rochelle's Central Market | © Grégory Cassiau / Flickr
La Rochelle’s Central Market (Marché Central) is held in a 19th-century market hall in the Vieux Port with a daily food market and a general market taking over the surrounding streets each Wednesday and Saturday. The around 60 stalls are heaped with seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh fish and seafood as well as a vast array of bread, cheese, foie gras and saucisson. Look out for regional specialties like Chabichou du Poitou (a creamy goat cheese), Marans red eggs, cognac and a wide selection of seafood including mussels, oysters, clams and squid. Then, stop by one of the many pâtisseries to pick up a traditional tourteau fromagé (burned crust cheesecake) to enjoy at one of the waterfront cafes.
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Sun - Mon:
10:00 am - 12:59 am
Mon - Tue:
10:00 am - 12:59 am
Tue - Wed:
10:00 am - 12:59 am
Wed - Thu:
10:00 am - 12:59 am
Thu - Fri:
10:00 am - 12:59 am
Fri - Sat:
10:00 am - 12:59 am
Sat - Sun:
10:00 am - 12:59 am

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Indoors, Touristy, Outdoors

Artisans Craft Market

Market
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Crafts Market
La Rochelle hosts an artisans market each summer in the Vieux Port | © Garry Knight / Flickr
Each summer, from mid-June to mid-September, La Rochelle unveils its creative side with a series of artisan markets stretching along the waterfront. The Artisan’s Craft Market (Le Marché de la Création Artisanale) takes place daily on Place de la Chaîne, Cours des Dames and Quai des Sardiniers in the Vieux Port and with stalls only available to registered local artisans, the standard of goods is always high. Finely painted ceramics, carved wooden ornaments and hand-blown glass make for some distinctive souvenirs and there are also a number of local artists, jewellery makers and clothing designers selling their creations. Visit during the evening hours, when live musicians, street entertainers and artists add to the atmosphere and you can browse the stalls before adjourning to one of the harbour-side bars or restaurants.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Crowded, Touristy

Flea Market

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FleaMarket
Browse for antiques at La Rochelle's flea market | © Kotomi_ / Flickr
If you’re looking for bargains, the Marché aux Puces (Flea Market) is the place to go in La Rochelle, with dozens of stalls taking over Place de la Motte Rouge twice a week. There are prize antiques and vintage treasures to be found for those with time to browse and a huge selection of jewellery, art, furniture, ornaments and antiques on sale. Put your haggling skills to the test if you want to secure a good price.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Local, Outdoors

Christmas Market

Market
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ChristmasMarket
Get in the festive mood at the Marché de Noël | © mangMangW / Flickr
The highlight of La Rochelle’s festive season is its Christmas Market (Marché de Noël) and stalls are split between Place du Commandant de la Motte Rouge, Place de Verdun and Cours des Dames. Stalls offer a wide selection of tree ornaments, gifts and handicrafts, with many of the region’s top artisans taking over the traditional wooden chalets, while the scent of mulled wine and roasting chestnuts fills the air. Get in the festive spirit with a horse-drawn carriage ride along the waterfront (leaving from outside the Church of Saint-Sauveur), admire the city’s glittering illuminations and fill up on delicious street food, including fresh oysters, crêpes, gaufres (waffles) and gingerbread cookies.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly, Kid Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Instagrammable, Crowded

Minimes Market

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PortdesMinimes
Summer is market time along La Rochelle's Port des Minimes | © Thierry llansades / Flickr
During the summer season, the small Minimes Market (Marché des Minimes) is one of the city’s liveliest markets, held in the Minimes quarter each Friday morning. Stalls are scattered along the waterfront, affording magnificent views across the marina, and sell fruits and vegetables, souvenirs and local products including regional cheeses, saucisson filled with fruits and nuts, homemade aperitifs and freshly baked pastries that you can tuck into as you stroll along the waterfront. The beach is just a short stroll away, so pick up some picnic goods and follow the locals down to the shore.
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Sun - Sat:
12:00 am

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Crowded, Touristy

Place de Verdun Market

Market
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Café de la paix
After shopping at the market, enjoy a coffee break at the renowned Café de la Paix | © Frédérique Voisin-Demery / Flickr
La Rochelle’s Friday market takes place on Place de Verdun and runs throughout the afternoon. A popular — and sometimes cheaper — alternative to the Central Market (Marché Central), the emphasis is on edibles and there is plenty of choice for fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses. Top buys include local honey, sweet brioche loaves, homemade yogurt and cognac, while the huge selection of seafood makes for some impressive photos, even if you’re not buying. At the north-eastern corner of the square, the Belle Époque Café de la Paix is a popular pre- or post-shopping destination and the perfect spot for your mid-afternoon coffee and goûter (snack).
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Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Local

La Pallice Market

Market
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LA PALLICE
La Rochelle's markets are the place to pick up regional specialties | © Grégory Cassiau / Flickr
Home to La Rochelle’s cruise port and the gateway to the Île de Ré, La Pallice is one of the city’s most varied neighbourhoods and its weekly market follows suit. An eclectic array of stalls stretch throughout the quarter each Sunday morning, with a large section of the market devoted to clothing, shoes and accessories as well as an equally well-stocked fresh produce market. The market’s unique selling point is its variety of international foods and among the usual fruits, vegetables and meats, you’ll find Chinese, Spanish, Indian and Caribbean stalls selling traditional sauces, exotic spices and delicious street food.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Outdoors