“C’est un jardin extraordinaire !”, once sang Charles Trenet, a long-since departed French poet and singer. While he may not have been singing about this flower market, it is indeed an “extraordinary garden,” and one where you can take the plants and flowers home with you! Located just in front of the Préfecture de Police de Paris on the Place Louis-Lépine, the market first opened in 1809. Some 200 years later, in June 2014, the Marché aux fleurs et aux oiseaux Cité (the Cité Flower and Bird Market) was renamed The Queen Elizabeth II Flower Market to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied Forces landing in Normandy and to honor Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
But enough history, what an amazing place to go and visit if you’re fond of flowers and plants! When you first arrive, you’ll be caught in an incredible whirlpool of colors. After approaching closer, you’ll be charmed by the scents of dozens of different kinds of blossoming, vegetal marvels. Then, wander through the small metal bungalows bursting with bunches of hydrangeas, gardenias, hyacinths, roses, tulips, and more. So many other flowers are waiting for you… to pick them up!
Urbansider Tip: On Sundays, there’s also a bird market that proposes a vast assortment of birds (some are even rare species) along with cages and different accessories.