Place des Lices

Watch the artists, florists and food sellers in this busy square that has been hosting market sellers since the late 15th century.

Place des Lices is a charming plaza with timbered houses and an old-fashioned market selling fruit, vegetables and all sorts of trinkets and gems. Visit the covered stalls at its center to purchase fish and fresh produce.

The first traces of the market date back to 1483, although it has resembled its current form since 1965. Peruse some of the 290 vendors that are competing to sell their products. Enjoy the artists and performers, who give the square an air of Montmartre in Paris. Buy fresh produce in the food section, where you will find fish, meat, fruits and vegetables.

Try one of the many specialties from Rennes or Brittany. The petit-gris de Rennes is a type of melon from the region. Savor the coucou de Rennes, a local species of chicken. You will also see many galette-saucisses, which consist of grilled sausages rolled in buckwheat crepes.

Make your way to the covered hall at the plaza’s center, which protects the stalls from rain and creates an intimate environment for haggling over produce. Purchase meat from one of more than 40 permanent butcher stalls. Most of the non-food vendors are florists and artists, so you will not find clothes or furniture.

Look for events, such as musical performances, bachelor parties and political rallies, that occur here frequently. Games and executions were historically held in this square in the 17th century, around the time of the plague.

Come to the market on Saturday mornings. It is free to enter and opens early in the morning. Be aware that stalls start to pack up just after lunchtime. Some stalls and crêperies continue throughout the week.

The Place des Lices is a large plaza in Rennes’ center near the Rennes Cathedral, Place Sainte-Anne and the Palais du Parlement. Ride the metro to either Sainte Anne or République in the heart of the city and walk for about 2 minutes to reach the square. The market overruns into the nearby Place de la Trinité and Place Saint-Michel.

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