Marché Bastille, Places des Vosges and Le Marais

July 2, 2015 (Thursday) – This Thursday was our last full day in Paris. There were no planned visits to monuments or sights today. Today was foot-based exploration starting with a weekly market at Bastille.

Bastille monument

Bastille is most famous for it giant copper monument in the middle of a roundabout. It’s the site of the old prison in French Revolution times. Today, though, we were visiting the Marché Bastille set up here on Thursdays and Sundays.

The Marché Bastille

The market is set up in the space in the middle of Boulevard Richard Lenoir. Stalls line up the sides selling everything from trinkets and clothing to crêpes and fish. I really wanted to hit up one of these classic French outdoor markets. So I had planned specifically to come here this Thursday morning.

My nutella crêpe being made

What’s more French than having a crêpe in the morning in Paris. Yum. I really couldn’t think of what kind of crêpe to have. So I went with a Nutella one. Unfortunately, I missed that my wife told me to get something savoury. Oops. This is also where I discovered chantilly is basically whipped cream. Aucun chantily, s’il vous plaît.

Buying foie gras

We continued to walk the entire length of the market. We didn’t buy much else in the market, but it’s fun to get a feel for what a typical Parisian market feels like. We’d be leaving the next day. So there wasn’t any sense of buying something that we might not be able to finish right there and then.

Busy Thursday morning market
fruit stall at the Marché Bastille

After the market, we headed west of the Boulevard Richard Lenoir and sought out the Place Des Vosges. Place Des Vosges is Paris’ oldest square. It is an exact 140m x 140m. A garden/park lies in the middle and is surrounded by 17th Century residences that all sit above the walking arcades with its archways.

the architecture of Place Des Vosges

Victor Hugo is probably the most famous resident in the Place Des Vosges. The home of Victor Hugo is, in fact, a little museum that one can visit. (Although the Paris Museums website says the home is closed until further notice)

one of the arched arcades that line Place Des Vosges

One could definitely consider having a picnic here in the middle of Place Des Vosges. You’d be surrounded by the lush green linden trees and the fountains that dominate the dusty garden in the middle.

fountain at Place Des Vosges
park bench in Place Des Vosges

We didn’t linger long in the Place Des Vosges nor did we visit the Victor Hugo home (we probably had our fill of museums and such after 4 Days with the Paris Museum Pass). So we ventured out into Le Marais.

L’as du Fallafel

We walked west from Place Des Vosges to a little street called Rue Des Rosiers. On this tiny street is a collection of food places. Our goal was to try some of the falafels in Paris. So we came upon L’As Du Fallafels. It’s highly recommended on many travel sites and I really wanted to try. My wife ordered one to share. Good thing we only ordered one. It was pretty big and saucy.

the signs at L’As Du Fallafel
falafel goodness

As we ate our falafel with fork in hand, we explored the area around Rue Des Rosiers. There were a few more food spots and another well known falafel place, but our hands were already full with food.

Rue Des Rosiers
grafitti in Le Marais

From Le Marais, we continued westward. For the next half hour, we’d be looking for a “golden snail.”

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