As outsiders, we only know Bastille as the French prison whose destruction sparked the French Revolution. France even has a national holiday – le quatorze juillet commemorating the Storming of Bastille. Unfortunately the prison was completely destroyed so there’s nothing for us to see…. Now, Place de la Bastille is a square, with Colonne de Juillet standing in the middle, and home to Bastille Opera.
However, for all the locals, Bastille actually host to a lively open-air market that sells an incredible amount of fresh produce, cheese, artisanal breads, wine, fish…you name it, it’s probably there! It also has already made Italien, Mexican and Lebanese food! All of them smelled super good, but I went on a full stomach =/ And of course, a market is never complete without people selling some handmade trinkets (jewelry, notebooks, baskets …etc).
The French really respect their fresh ingredients, and actually make Sunday marketing shopping a whole day event. It can also be a family event where they just take their time and pick out their groceries for the entire week. I’ve never really enjoyed grocery shopping until I came here, where every district has its own farmers market. There’s just something about shopping for your own food and knowing it’s très frais!
Don’t be shy if they allow you to try their fruits or cheese (uh how fast can you say s’il vous plaît?) There was a nice seafood degustation that served really fresh oysters!
Marche Bastille is actually one of the bigger markets, so there are certainly some things you probably won’t see at your own local market…It’s definitely worth the trip, even if you just wanna pick up a couple of things! Have lunch there, or snack your way through the market as you shop!