Paris flea markets are a treasure trove of old and new, junk and jewels, chic and kitsch. Grab a bargain, haggle a deal or spend a mint – either way, it will be hard to leave without finding something that catches your eye.
Paris flea markets are perfect if you’re looking to find unique one-off pieces, are into the vintage (or french!) style or love antiques.
What you can find at these markets is astounding – anything from clothes, mirrors, paintings and furniture, to rare books, photography, and even car parts!
The markets are popular with decorators, celebrities (Sharon Stone and Catherine Deneuve are regulars), locals and tourists; so it’s a real mix.
Most of the markets are in the outskirts of the city, but are easily reached by metro. The markets are not open every day of the week – normally they run from Saturday through to Monday. The markets tend to become crowded by lunchtime; so try and get there in the morning if possible (on the other hand, you might find the rock-bottom prices at the end of the day or on Monday).
The most well known Paris flea market is at Clignancourt (known as Les Puces de Saint-Ouen), the largest antiques market in the world (to give you an idea of how may people it attracts – the Saint-Ouen can see up to 180,000 visitors in one weekend!). The market is in the north of the city (metro stop Porte de Clignancourt or Porte de St-Ouen).
The Clignancourt market is made up of a collection of markets – different stalls ranging from elegant to tacky. The main street is Rue des Rosiers; some of the best markets at Saint-Ouen include:
- Marché Dauphine – period furniture, paintings and tapestries – genuine antiques
- Marché Paul Bert – furniture and art; a favourite with decorators;
- Marché Vernaison – paintings, toys, furniture; popular with bargain hunters
- Marché Antica – paintings, chinese furniture
- Marché Biron – wood furniture, including expensive Louis XV pieces; one of the more chic and expensive markets
- Marché Serpette – mirrors, vintage clothing, furniture; popular with tourists
Another fantastic market is the Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves, on the south side of Paris. It’s smaller and closer to the city than the Clignancourt market. Open on Saturdays and Sundays (7am-7.30pm), you’ll find all kinds of second-hand furniture, jewellery, music, books, glassware and more besides. Market streets are located on Avenue Georges-Lafenestre and Avenue Marc Sangnier (Metro: Porte de Vanves.)
If you enjoy the paris flea markets, you might like to visit some of the street markets scattered throughout the city selling fruit, veg and other goodies.