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Sundays in Paris: Le Marais, Musées and Marchés

Paris, like most of Europe on Sundays, takes its foot off the gas. Time slows and the blistering (kidding) pace of Paris screeches to a halt. Artisans and shopkeepers close their doors to catch up on some much deserved R&R. Which is cool, but what’s open on Sundays?

How is the falafel shop across from L’as du Falafel still in business?

Le Marais: Spanning the 3rd and 4th districts of the right bank, 80%+ of the shops are open for business on Sundays. The trendy Marais brims with an eclectic mix of stylish shops, opticians, chocolatiers and restaurants. Some of my favourite menswear shops and L’as du Falafel are here.

Museums on the first Sunday

Musées: In addition to being open Sundays, every museum is free the first Sunday of month, which means madness. Avoid the “Big 3” – Louvre, d’Orsay, d l’Orangerie and opt for many of the smaller museums or else risk being herd like cattle. All museums have free or discounted tickets if you’re under 26 and/or a student, so no rush.

Porte de Vanves

Marchés: Some of Europe’s largest flea and farmers markets are scattered throughout the city and périphérique. Treasure hunters can go crazy at the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen and bulldoze through troves of antiquities and heirlooms. I’m a big fan of the farmers market on Richard Lenoir at Bastille for fresh produce, poultry, seafood and vegetables.

Other things open:

Parks – When are they not open? With many green spaces throughout the city, park life is a Paris staple. Parisiens are also masters of making public spaces their second home.

Chinatown – While most of the city is closed, the streets of Belleville Chinatown are bustling. Even more shocking is that box stores Monoprix and Franprix hold normal shopping hours. Un-French, but also quite awesome, especially when you run out of food.

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