Rungis, the world’s largest fresh market

  • © All rights reserved

    © All rights reserved

  • © Wikimedia Commons

    © Wikimedia Commons

Rungis, the world’s largest fresh market

In March 1969, Les Halles, or the “belly of Paris” as it was nicknamed by Emile Zola, was moved out to Rungis, some ten kilometres south of the capital, after having been located downtown for 800 years. The new Les Halles central marketplace, along with the La Villette slaughterhouse, then joined forces to become the MIN, Marché d’intérêt national de Rungis, or National Interest Market. After seven years of planning and preparation, the MIN moved in to its new site, inaugurated on March 3rd, 1969 by General de Gaulle, president of the Republic at the time. 

Today, “Rungis” has become a landmark as well as the world’s largest fresh food market for the industry.  Fish, meats, fruits, vegetables and flowers arrive to the 232-hectare market daily by some 26,000 vehicles.  Access to the market is reserved to professionals, with more than 20,000 regular buyers and traders. For the Parisian area, the Rungis market provides: 

  • 50% of sea and fresh water products 
  • 45% fruits and vegetables 
  • 35% meat products 
  • 50% flowers and potted plants

Visitors can take in a guided tour of the market on the second Friday of each month.  Departure for these visits is at 5am from Place Denfert Rochereau in Paris, where a bus awaits to take participants to the Rungis market and back.
The visit includes the discovery of five of the largest halls: fresh fish, meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, as well as the wonderful flower market. The visit ends at 8:30am with a savoury full “Rungis” breakfast: deli meats, cheeses, pastries and bread offered in one of the best restaurants of the market.

The cost of the tour - 75 €- includes :

  • Return bus transfers from Paris to Rungis  
  • The services of a professional tour guide 
  • The use of overalls and a cap
  • The market breakfast, served from 8am to 9am
  • Insurance

French markets

In France, going to the market is a real thrill. It is the occasion to purchase local products directly from the producers, with a guarantee of quality and freshness: fruits, vegetables, aromatic plants, cheeses and other local specialties fill up the market stalls. Markets can take place daily, twice a week or every month, and wherever you may be there is always a market close-by. Besides getting fresh supplies, markets are lively meeting places, convivial and filled with colours and aromas – an authentic element of the French art de vivre.

Check with the village or city’s tourist office for market schedules.