What to do on Saturdays in Paris
As someone that lives and works in Paris, I often can’t wait for the weekend to be a tourist again and visit all the magical places that the city has to offer. However, in a place so big, it can be difficult for one to choose how to spend this special day.
Parisians often do their groceries on the Saturday morning to prepare for the coming week, and students may be recovering from a boozy Friday night out. But what should visitors get up to ?
Unlike Sunday, shops remain open, so if you like shopping and markets, read on to discover some of my best recommendations for tourists and locals alike.
Disclaimer: This article excludes museums because these visits can be done pretty much any day in Paris. If you want to add one to your itinerary, check out our list here.
Get up early to be able to start with a market and have a choice of all the fresh and finest produce. There are markets for everything on Saturdays, but I am going to break them down based on location and what they sell.
Right bank :
Marché Aligre : open 9am to 1pm then 3.30pm-7.30pm, this market has some very respected stalls such as Aouba coffee and La Boucherie Végétarienne. You can also find second hands stalls here, and many books.
Marché Barbés : open 7am to 3pm, this is an extremely multicultural market where you will find produce representing all parts of the Middle East and Northern Africa, and also notably a lot of fruit and vegetable vendors. There are also several stalls for clothing items and knick-knacks.
Marché Charonne : open 7am to 3pm, this market offers a lot of traditional French produce with several boulangers and fromagers. Come here to buy flowers, too !
Marché Président Wilson : open 7am to 3pm, this market sells a lot of local and regional produce.
Marché Batignolles : open 9am to 3pm, this is a Bio produce market for meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and patisserie.
Left Bank :
Marché Alimentaire Saint Germain : open 8am to 8pm, this is a permanent market whose stores remain as shops, staying open till the evening. Here you can find Thai food, seafood, cheeses and more. Be prepared to pay more than usual.
Marché Mouffetard : open 10am to 1pm, you will find great produce here and also many small cafés and restaurants where you can eat street food – sandwiches, crêpes. There are a lot of craft beer bars that offer a nice change from all the French wine !
Visit a Boulangerie
If you want a more relaxed morning, do what I do and go for your pastry run. At around 8am whatever you buy will still be warm, and you will be welcomed into the boulangerie by wafting aromas of caramel and bread. I recommend trying an “almond chocolate croissant”, a “chausson aux pommes”, or a “pain aux raisins” . Very heavy and very sweet, you should get a coffee without sugar to balance it out.
If you wake up late and feel like combining breakfast and lunch, there are plenty of restaurants that will satisfy your hungry, scattered all around Paris. Below is a map of my favourites.
Holy Belly 5: open 9am to 5pm
Breakfast in America: open 8.30am to 11pm
Eggs&Co: open 10am to 6pm
Another recommendation, high on my list, is for you to take a Discover Walks Tour. Despite my slight bias, it really is the best thing to do if you are unsure of what lays ahead for your Saturday.
Spending an hour with a guide will inspire you to visit places and do things that you didn’t even realise were an option, and you will end up with stories of adventure like a real Paris insider.
You can reserve last minute, or even just rock up unannounced – it’s free! (tips only).
For what I am about to suggest next, it would be best to choose the Marais tour… Not only will you learn some crazy facts about the city, but you will be perfectly placed to meander on to the shops.
Yes, Saturdays in Paris are for shopping ! If you live here, you just spent the whole week working, so now it’s time to enjoy some of the money. Of course there is Galeries Lafayette, but if you want to mix with locals, visit these places :
Free’P’Star : open 11am to 9pm
61 rue de la Verrerie
Then hop right next door to…
Kilo Shop : open 11am to 7.30pm
69 rue de la Verrerie
Aux Comptoirs du Chineur : open 2pm to 8.30pm
49 rue Saint Paul
Tilt Vintage : open 11am to 8pm
8 Rue de Rivoli
Also head to…
Forum des Halles : open 10am to 9pm
Clothing-wise you can find big brands like Zara, H&M, and some of my European favourites like Oysho and Bershka. I can’t even begin to detail all the shops in Les Halles, there are so many. Everything you ever needed and won’t ever need can be found here.
Garage Sales: For something a bit different, check out this site for all the scheduled garage sales happening in Paris on Saturdays. These can be fun, and also a great place to practice your bargaining skills in French !
People watching from a café
Along the Rue Saint Antoine, which connects to Rue de Rivoli, there are many cafés where you can watch the people go buy. The Marais, being one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the city, will not bore you.
My top pics for outdoor brasseries are the following…
La Favorite : open 7am to 2am, the good-looking waiters are worth a trip.
6 Rue de Rivoli
Café L’Arsenal : open 7am to 11pm, this one is good for hearty home cooked meals if you need something more than coffee.
2 Rue de Birague
Both of these are packed to the brims almost every night of the week .
Another great place to people watch is the famous Montmartre. To this day there are street artists and musicians that make this special suburb reminiscent of Van Gogh and Monet.
L’Été en Pente Douce: open every day from 12pm to midnight, perfect if you are looking for somewhere to sit down and enjoy the view while savouring a rich, juicy bœuf bourguignon.
It is siutated right on the corner of two busy streets in Montmartre which lead to the stairs ascending to the Sacre Coeur. It is a lively place due to this crossroads.
Le Terrass Hotel: open from 3.30pm to 1am (and for Saturday brunches on reservation) this rooftop bar is where you should go for more privacy, and elevation… You will find refined cocktails priced between 11€ and 20€.
If you would rather spend your Saturday doing cultural visits and rushing around, have a look at this site to give you all the details on the season exhibitions that take place in and around Paris.
I have personally really enjoyed the Chocolate Expo, an expo on Ancient Egypt, and the Sushi Fair. There is a huge range.
If you are a French food lover like myself, you could look into taking a cooking class. We have an article about all the best ones to do in Paris here, but Airbnb Experiences usually has some useful suggestions too.
The evening should take you over the river to Saint-Michel. Here, you must go and eat truffle pizza at Pizza Rustica. It is oily, garlicy, crispy heaven. Each slice is about 4€.
La Felicita: open from 12pm to 11pm, this is for hardcore lovers of Italian cuisine. It is a huge undercover, permanent food market of Italian restaurants and stalls, some even in the form of caravans and mezzanine libraries.
This is where you need to come as a big group, ideal for those that all have cravings for slightly different things. I’ll go get myself a pizza and tartufo, and we will reconvene along one of the grandiose wooden banquet tables once you have your carbonara and tiramisu.
If you want a more luxurious dinner experience, head to Le Pied de Cochon near Les Halles. This is for traditional pigs trotter and oysters, if you like such fine cuisine. Plus, it is open 24 /7. Dishes range from 15€ to 50€.
According to the World Cities Culture Forum, in a study conducted in 2018, there were 4,316 bars in Paris. Although I could continue to list them for you, I prefer to give you the tools to choose your favourites yourself.
In order to find your ideal evening activity, here are 3 places you need to look…
Look at Eventbrite
Assuming that you are reading this article either on Saturday or just before Saturday, you probably wont have time to book concerts or big events last minute. Despite this, Eventbrite will show you a list of all conferences and workshops that you can participate in by reserving your places (mostly for free) with only a moments notice.
You will find events, in English and French, ranging from meditation with chocolate, workshops on cryptocurrency, free comedy nights on a Parisian peniche, to even seminars on ecology and climate change.
Look at Facebook Events
Bands will often post details to their free concerts in bars, and you will find lots of soirées organised if you feel like some dancing.
Look at Soonnight.com
Here you will find all the club and bar events of the weekend, along with free passes and drink cards! This is how Parisians do it…
For the nighttime Paris has a lot to offer. If you want more information on bars and clubbing, click here. If you want to take a boat cruise with your loved one, click here. If you are a family looking for some bowling fun, find all the best alleys here.
What we have just read are my recommendations based on my own habits. So if you choose to experience this beautiful city like I do on Saturdays, I’m sure I will see you around ;)