Where I live, if you want a pet, you go to a shelter. You may go to a pet store for a bird or other small critter. Much like how I fell in love with everything about the way they do everything, Paris wins for the ways to buy a bird. Six days a week, Place Louis-Lépine on L’île de la Cité (4e Arrondissement) is home to Paris’ Marché aux fleurs (flower market) but on Sundays, it becomes the Marché aux oiseaux (bird market), which is exactly what it sounds like. The bird market is a lovely, quick stop that feels very French and very local.

Deux oiseaux, s’il vous plaît!

I made note of the market before my first trip to Paris, but didn’t set my expectations very high. So wrong. The bird market was an unexpected delight. Every surface is covered with birds of every size and colour combination.

The bird market is the full bird ownership experience. You buy a bird, get the cage, and pore over a pretty wide selection of colourful birdseed and other bird accessories.

If birds aren’t your bag, there are plenty of non-bird pet options like rabbits, ferrets, or something that looked like a squirrel. French bunnies are très fancée, they eat baguette!

I call him Jérôme, he’s a fancy bunny.

The bird market was my first experience with a pet market and had me thinking about the merits of bird ownership, like contemplating how one might get a pair of purple birds into an overhead bin.  Needless to say, the bird market is on my return-to-Paris itinerary, even though, once again, I’ll have to leave empty-handed.