Discover the culture of La Reunion through its various markets
To be immersed in the local culture, nothing better than a market!
Why do we love so much traditional markets?
Everyone, or at least, most of everyone like local markets. People from Reunion go there to shop fresh products at the best price. But also tourists who love to discover a country’s culture through one of the most typical event they can easily find, the traditional market. That’s why it was obvious for us to speak about markets in our travel blog.
Indeed, in a market, you can find mostly everything:
First of all: People.
Here, locals represent the diversity of our origins, Madagascar, India, France, China… You can meet easily, even if it’s about business, and helping the local economy!
Seasonal fruits and vegetables, local products as: chouchou (chayote), brèdes (green herbs), combavas, letchis (litchis), bringelles (eggplant), Coeur de boeuf (typical tomato), vanilla (vanilla), grains (beans)… Understand what do we eat here and what are the traditional dishes. To taste, for a very affordable price, the unavoidable food from La Reunion.
For example, trying for breakfast: samoussas and sarcives (meat smoked with honey) with a piece of sweet potato cake, basics! Or even discover unusual things you are not use to see or eat, like: wasps’larvea sold per gram, honeycomb with its wax, thin slices of “ti-jacques” (vegetable) and litchi terrine…
Colors and shapes, you’ll be amazed. Ant it’s often the best time to find some gift for your family and friends. Home made “Kayamb” (Reunion Island musical instrument) or “bertel” (a kind of bag pack made of wicker woven). Sarongs with Reunion Island’s drawings, tablecloths inspired from Malagasy arts… You’ll find what what your are looking for.
A local traditional market is a concentration of culture gathered into one single day. It reflets a country or a town’s origins…
Reunion Island’s local markets
Indeed, with its numerous riches, La Reunion offers many beautiful markets. And, of course, we say that with complete objectivity.
The most touristic markets in Reunion
The most famous markets are those of Saint-Paul and Saint-Pierre:
- Saint-Paul: Friday from 7am to 4pm (food and local crafts) and Saturday morning (only food). It takes place on Saint-Paul’s seafront, on 2 big paths. It’s an institution, there is even a free shuttle network called “Ti’Navettes”. You can take these shuttles in the “Grotte des 1ers français”’s parking, in front of the seaside cemetery.
- Saint-Pierre: Saturday morning (food and local crafts, often the same exhibitors than in Saint-Paul). Also organized in 2 big paths, this market takes place on the Ravine Blanche’seafront in Saint-Pierre.
But there are many other traditional markets h4
Of course, we should not avoid speaking about the other Reunion Island’s markets. It would be a shame. So, you’ll find in our travel blog a non exhaustive list of other markets we know:
West Zone (french link)
- Saint-Leu: Saturday morning (food and local crafts). It’s smaller than the 2 first one but very nice. There is only 1 street on the seafront, behind the city hall place. Perfect if you want to enjoy a good fruits juice in front of the waves of the mythical Saint-Leu surf spot.
- L’Ermitage: Sunday morning (food and local crafts). It’s on the « Mail de Rodrigues », close to a « Score » supermarket. It’s more touristic but not less pleasant. You can take your time and come to enjoy your coffee outside at the local café. And watch people during their Sunday shopping.
- Eperon’s Flowers market: Saturday all day and Sunday morning. On the Saint-Gilles outdoor theatre’s parking. You’ll find flowers, of courses, but also various plants from Reunion.
South Zone (french link)
- Etang-Salé’s Flowers market:
Every 1st Saturday of the month. It’s on the Gilbert Delgard stadium place in Etang Salé les hauts. As the name suggests, this market offers cut flowers, bouquets, orchids…
- Saint-Pierre (covered market):
Everyday except Sunday afternoon (specially local crafts). It takes place in the center, in the Victor le Vigoureux’s street. Under this round covered market, you’ll find local crafts from Reunion Island but also from Madagascar and some art exhibit…
Sunday morning (food and local crafts). It’s on the Ecoles street, in the center. Not very big but you it really worth it. Especially for products locally produced on Cilaos, as:
- Traditional wine. This wine is produced from Isabella grape variety also called Vitis Labrusca. It is said to make people becoming crazy. We have already tasted, and can guarantee that it’s OK.
- Lentils from Cilaos (best of La Reunion). And of course:
- Their famous embroidery.
North Zone (french link)
- Small Market (covered market): Everyday except Sunday (food and everyday objects). It is down in the Maréchal-Leclerc street, close to the sea and the bus station. You’ll find fruits and vegetables, but also woven baskets, pots, pestle (to crush spices).
- Big Market (covered market): Everyday except Sunday (especially arts from Madagascar). It takes place at the west end of the Maréchal-Leclerc street (with parkings), half pedestrian street, set up in beautiful covered building (listed historical monument).You’ll find local crafts from the Indian Ocean: tablecloths, statues, pestles , local bags…
- La Plaine-des-Palmistes: Sunday from 6am to 12am (food and local crafts). It is on the Market Place and Commerce street.
- Saint-Benoît: Saturday from 5am to 12am. It is on Savane’s parking, Ilet Stadium.
- Bras-Panon: Every 3rd Thursday of the month from 8am to 6pm. It is located, as the name suggests, on the Marché Forain Place (Traditional Market place). Between 2 stands, you’ll be able to enjoy the brass orchestra’s music.
- Saint-André: Friday from 5am to 12am on the “Salle des Fêtes” place.
You’ll find a more exhaustive Reunion Island markets list on: flaner bouger (french link).