One of the things that helps me feel like a local in any city or town I visit is going to the local markets. Sometimes the markets are called Le Halles. Most towns have a Le Halles. Usually these markets are indoors and open every day.
The other type of market is an outdoor market. These take place all over town and usually one or two days a week. In Paris these markets are usually from 7am till 1pm or 2pm. A lot of vendors go from market to market. In the Provence region the towns are small and there are markets in different towns or villages on different days.
In Paris there is at least one market open every day of the week. Neighborhoods have their own local market. These markets are filled with vegetables, fruits, sea food, flowers, meat and cheese. You can also find small souvenirs like dish towels, salt, lavender and key chains.
One of the biggest in Paris is the Bastille Market. It is located at the Bastille on the border of the 3rd arr. and the 11th arr. This market has some of the best crepes. It’s a great place to have lunch like a local. You can also find a coffee bar and fresh made to order churros. The Bastille market is held on Thursdays and Sundays from 7am-2:30pm but sometimes they like to start wrapping up around 1:30pm
Another one of the biggest markets in the Aligre. This is in the 12th arr. It is open all week except Monday from 7:30am-2:30.
President Wilson Market is located in the 16th arr around the corner from the Trocadero Gardens which is across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. Many of the Bastille Market vendors sell here as well. You can walk over to the gardens and eat your fresh fruit and fresh squeezed juice and people watch with a view of the Eiffel Tower. The market is open Wednesday 7am-2:30pm and Saturday 7am-3pm.
Located in the 5th arr. is Monge Market. Its open Wednesday and Friday 7am-2:30pm and Sunday 7am-3pm
One market on Ile de Cite, in the 4th arr, is filled with birds. They sell birds and bird food and foliage. It borders a flower market which is filled with foliage, flowers and garden supplies. It smells amazing. The bird market is open Sundays from 8am to 7pm.
In Nimes, Le Halles has restaurants set up inside. They serve local dishes. The indoor market is open every day from 7am till 1pm and on Saturdays till 7pm.
Along the Mediteranian in the town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer the market is outside city hall. Here you can find lavender, beach dresses and fresh local olive oil. Markets are on Monday and Friday mornings.