Insider’s Guide to the Annecy Old Town street market
Nothing says ‘holiday in France’ like a stroll through a local street market. Rows of stalls packed with seasonal vegetables, delicious meats and cheeses, French markets are a great way to sample the French lifestyle at its best.
The Annecy street market in the Old Town (La Vieille Ville) takes place every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday morning. The stall holders are normally trading by 8.00am and packing up just after midday (slightly later on a Sunday).
Here are our top tips to help you make the most of your visit. Enjoy!
1. If you intend to visit by car, think ahead…
Street parking is often difficult on Annecy street market days! There is a small open car park at the Château, but the underground parking just before the Chateau is often a better bet. Don’t miss the fabulous views over the city rooftops on your way up and down to the market. The Sainte Claire car park is always busy, spaces are narrow and roof height low. The Bonlieu and Hotel de Ville car parks are good options, within a stones throw of Lake Annecy, the green space of Le Paquier and two of the most famous bridges in Annecy: the Pont des Amours and the Pont Perriere. Both are just a few minutes walk from the market.
For more information on parking visit the Annecy website (please note that this page currently only exists in French).
2. Arrive early to avoid the crowds!
The market starts to get busy from 10.30am. Arrive early to be able to peruse the stalls without being jostled! The tall buildings in the Old Town mean that at certain times of year the sun doesn’t quite make it down to street level first thing, so come prepared with a few extra layers!
3. Make sure you’re going on the right day for you!
If you’re looking for plants or flowers, Friday is the day to visit. The Sunday market is the largest and busiest and sells clothing, furniture and household goods, as well as food. The Tuesday market is mainly food.
4. Don’t bring your bike to the Annecy street market!
Although not too far from the lakeside cycle path, the market gets busy. It’s manageable on foot, but at peak times cyclists would struggle to push a bike through the crowds, let alone cycle through.
5. Fancy a try before you buy?
The stall holders arrange their produce beautifully, and are really friendly and helpful. They often offer samples, but do wait to be asked, or ask politely.
6. How to choose which stall to go to?
Follow the ladies of a certain age – no French woman worth her salt would buy inferior or over priced goods off the market.
7. Bring a recyclable shopping bag
There’s a good chance you’ll come away with lots of goodies so remember to bring a couple of good strong bags. Plus this will save on using single use plastic bags.
8. Fed up of supermarket fruit and veg all the same size and shape?
There are lots of small local producers to be found selling organic produce. Many stalls sell only one product, freshly picked, no matter what shape or size.
9. Try new things!
Never cooked an artichoke? Never tasted a Kaki (Persimmon)? Never eaten a rotisserie chicken with potatoes cooked in the juices? Just ask! Most of the stall holders at the Annecy street market are only too pleased to offer friendly advice on how to prepare and use their produce.
10. Feeling peckish?
As well as food to take home and cook there are all sorts of stalls selling street food. Fancy a raclette sandwich? We’re not joking! Half a baguette stuffed with ham and melted raclette cheese heated by the traditional grill suspended over half a raclette! Pick up a picnic, there are lots of places to sit and eat close by.
11. Ready for a drink?
The market is surrounded by cafes and bars, and there are some cool coffee stands and juice stalls on the market. More and more of the old town is being pedestrianised, so you can find quieter cafes in adjacent streets, as well as parks if the kids need to let off steam.
12. And finally… don’t hang around!
Be aware that once the vans have pulled away the street cleaners come out with a vengeance. The teams do an amazing job, and as soon as they have cleaned up, the tables are set up again for drinks and food. However, the transition period is a bit noisy and wet so best avoided if you can…
Et voila! All you need to know about the Annecy street market If you prefer wandering around a “Brocante” (flea market) head down to the same part of town on the last Saturday of each month, for the combined Brocante and Artists’ market. These monthly markets are open from 8am until 5pm-ish.
Keep an eye out for more insider’s tips on the LOVOVO blog!
If you’re looking to spend your whole holiday in Annecy, visit our Annecy apartments page.