Where better to find chic hidden treasures than in a Parisian flea market! You'll soon find yourself carefully sieving through the heaps of antiques and kitchenware – often on your hands and knees! Here is a guide to all the famous flea markets in Paris that you should definitely patronize on one of your trips to Paris. Afterall, one man's junk is another man's treasure.
Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen (Clignancourt)
Marche Aux Puces de St-Ouen, otherwise known as Porte de Clignancourt, is one of the largest antique markets in the world covering 7 hectares, it is also the most famous flea market in Paris. Open only on the weekends, this flea market welcomes 180,000 visitors each weekend.
It consists of a total of 14 markets. Tiny, cramped shops are positioned face-to-face and line the whole street. They offer a wide range of items from antiques (of course) to real Chanel jewellery and Birkins at upwards of 6000 euros. Clignancourt is not the place to go to if you are looking for very cheap deals! However, it is a beautiful place and there are cafes along the streets for you to sit, enjoy the cool breeze and sip on some coffee. Definitely come to experience the life here at Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen.
Things to take note of:
1. It would be best to start your day early at the markets as by lunch it tends to get very crowded.
2. Or you can visit on a Monday morning or when it is wet or snowy. You will be more likely to pick up a bargain then.
3. Do not be afraid to bargain
4. Bargaining is a skill and is something that needs to be cultivated. If you like something, do not touch it or do not pick it up. Showing signs that you are interested, the seller will be less willing to cut down the prices for you. If you really want it, also be prepared to walk away and hope that they will call you back to close the deal.
5. This is where irony sets in, I would also advise you, if you really like the item, to get it because if you do not get it now and after walking down the blocks and coming back later, the item could have already been bought by another customer.
6. Bring cash with you but in small change. If you were to haggle down a particular
7. Always think about logistics before buying something big and hard to handle
8. Try to whip out your best French accent when haggling with the store owners
Marché aux puces de la Porte de Vanves
This next Flea market, la Porte de Vanves, is a world away form Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen. The flea market is a lot smaller, more friendly, more open to bargains and slightly cheaper than at Saint-Ouen. Walking through this serene market you will chance upon vendors selling stuff such as dresses, perfume bottles, vintage toys (my personal favourite), vinyls of the best classics, gorgeous French Linens and much more. Make sure you get there early so that you will be able to pick out the best buys from the vendors!
Les Puces de Montreuil
Founded in 1860s, Les Puces de Montreuil is less famous and charismatic as St-Ouen or Vanves. Despite that, everything that you could possibly need can be found at Montreuil from spices, books, sporting goods, hardware to vintage leather jackets and sixties shirts (also another one of my personal favourites). Montreuil is a gold mine that I can afford!
If looking at antiques all day hasn’t tired you out yet, I recommend trying out Florences food for dinner on our social dining platform to complete the day perfectly. Florence’s home, located in the heart of Paris, is decorated with 19th century woodworks, paintings and furniture that complement one another perfectly, making you feel as though you have just stepped into a historical museum but with a slight touch of home.
Any other tips to recommend and flea markets I missed out? Leave a comment below!