In Paris, flea markets charm Parisians as much as they do to tourists. Flea markets situated in the French capital are particularly popular around the world. A traveler can have a good buy from any of the markets if they play smart.
And while looking for a good purchase, first decide how much you intend to pay out on product prior to asking for the rate. It could be pleasantly surprising as well, but there is a possibility that you will haggle with the seller. There are a lot of flea markets that have just what visitors and locals demand.
The European city is well known for its style booths and its rich fashion culture. French or Parisian flea markets, or “brocantes”, as the Parisians call them, are worthy stores full of beautiful items.
In Paris, Flea markets first became a thing during the 1700s. Back then, shabby traders would rack the leftovers of the privileged class, in the hope that they would scrap some ornaments to sell. The traders would not open markets inside the city walls, as they would incur too many charges and taxes.
The traders would sell their items just outside the gates of the French capital.
Here are the Best Flea Markets in Paris to Visit:
Les Puces de Clignancourt (Paris’ largest and most popular Flea market)
Les Puces de Clignancourt claims to be the biggest market of its kind globally. The St. Ouen Flea Market records over 11 million visitors every year. It also hosts over 2,500 shops spanning from antique pieces to fashion.
Recently, it has been cleaned up, and now there are lots of pretty small spots to stay and catch your breath. All at the same time you enjoy your coffee and see all the hagglers bargaining.
It is highly recommended to visit the Puces on Saturdays or Sundays. Most of the shop keepers do not open on Monday. If you only want to shop on Monday, try to reach there in the morning when there is a better opportunity to seize good deals, and might consider taking a local with you! You can also ask for a personal guide for your valuable shopping there.
- Saturdays from 9:00 to 18:00
- Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00
- Mondays from 11:00 to 17:00
Aside from the popular “puces” flea market, Paris also has few other beautiful markets to flick through and dip into. The likelihood for unconventional discoveries is almost never-ending: you might come across old, dainty ornaments, records, garments, books, offbeat quills, or traditional items.
Vanves Flea Market
Vanves flea market is perfect for tourists because most of the items present there for sale are tiny and in high demand. As such, they can fit into a traveler bag easily. Not to forget that the Vanves flea market is more pocket-friendly than Clignancourt. This friendly brocante welcomes around 350 dealers, who sell their products for fair and reasonable prices.
The traveler should always remember that vendors in at Vanves flea market take only cash, therefore ensure you withdraw money and rely less on cards. If you have your eye on items that are out of your budget, then you will need to out your amazing negotiation skills. Dealers often go down to around 10-15 percent of their first asked price.
Location: Ave Marc Sangnier & Ave Georges Lafenestre, 14th Paris (Metro Porte de Vanves)
Hours: Open Saturday & Sunday 7.00 am to 1.00 pm
Location: Between Impasse Vandal & Boulevard Brune, 14th (Metro Porte de Vanves)
Hours: Thursday & Sunday 7.00 am – 2.30 pm
Rue des Rosiers from the Right Side
With Rue des Rosiers, there are few interesting shops, specializing in decoration pieces, furniture, chimneys, mirrors, and local decorative households. The dealers selling mirrors and some furniture are clustered at the right side of the market, putting forward great options at very reasonable prices. Much lower down on the left, before Serpette, is a shop that has artistic decorative pieces, paintings, garden pieces, etc. and is worth checking out.
140 Rue des Rosiers is on the left, and it is new, in fact, the newest market in the area. Here, you will see all kinds of things from fewer antiques, to beautiful furniture products, to books, prints, spunky art and old school clothing, to carpets and park pots.
This brilliant Paris flea market consists of two vendors on the far right passage, as you see the Marché Dauphine. These shops have some quality antique pieces and some beautiful decorative pieces you might not get elsewhere.
Les Puces de Montreuil
Less popular than St-Ouen, its brother up north, Montreuil’s flea market is where antique lovers visit. Visitors will also find a wide range of stuff, from vintage clothes and toys to 1940s light-fittings, old cutlery, and antique glassware. When you visit, exercise patience as you will walk past stalls selling different items before you reach the little square where the best dealers are just at the alley’s end close to the periphérique.
Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen
This market welcomes 3,000 dealers and about 180,000 travelers on Sunday and Saturday. The Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is often said to be the largest ‘flea market’ in the world.
If that appears up pictures of a stretched outfield loaded with crushed bed furniture and couch with the fabric coming out, you are going to get a lot of surprises. The major fleas left the area a long time ago, now the market is supervised by new traders and dealers who sell out a lot of antique and valuable stuff.
Rue d’Aligre Flea Market
This market spans across an end of Place d’Aligre, struggling for space with a gaping air street market selling mostly items and the popular Marche d’Aligre covered market cluttered up with pates, meats, gourmet cheeses, and different kinds of specialty foods.
This flea market has all that your typical flea market boasts of, filled with a mish-mash of both used and new household goods, shoes, clothing, household appliances, and books. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to see tables covered with collectibles of different sorts and brocades.
On weekends, crowds can be a tad overwhelming, and you will come up against dealers who are also searching for obscured treasures for their stalls. Therefore if you see an item you like, lay hold of it and do not place it down, admiring from afar, except you are certain you do not want it. Prices can be decent as products are often priced to sell on the day they are exhibited.
You can celebrate your buys with good lunch at any of the numerous small restaurants close to the market area: a couscous is often a good option here- and then spend the afternoon navigating the rest of the market and the numerous small specialty stalls lines in this well-known market street.
Aligre flea market is located at Place d’Aligre, Rue d’Aligre between Rue de Charenton and Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 12 arr. The market opens every day, except on Mondays.
Parc Georges Brassens Weekly Book Market
About 100 sellers of old, rare, and used books come together under two semi-covered market pavilions in the 15h arrondissement in Parc Georges Brassens between 9 am-6 pm every Saturday and Sunday; to offer all from vintage magazines to comic books, along with a dabbling of photograph records, posters, and prints.
Prices differ from downright affordable to what visitors might expect for unique, rare books. Even though most are written in French, one can usually get many in English.
Upon visit, spend some time to check out this impressive and less popular park in this mostly residential side of the French capital. Search for the statue of a butcher handling an animal carcass- a gentle reminder that a horse auction facility and a slaughterhouse used to be in the area- along with beehives, a puppet theater, a small vineyard, many flowering gardens, pony rides for children, and a pond.
Many small restaurants along Rue des Morillons and Rue Brancion offer delicious meal options, or you can walk into Max Poilane (87 Rue Brancion) bakery for some tasty pastries and sandwiches. You will locate the market in Parc Georges Brassens on the 15th arrondissement close to Rue Brancion and Rues Morillons intersection.
Paris Brocantes – Pop-Ups
Stroll around Paris, and at any time of the year, except January and February, visitors will see signs with brocantes: pop-up sales of old books, art, toys, cookware, collectibles, used clothing, and almost anything else imaginable.
Some of the signs are for petit second-hand shops, while others are for pop-up markets that last for a few hours to several days and spanning from specialized and small to inclusive and large.
Carraeau du Temple (located at 4 Rue Eugene Spuller in the 3rd arrondissement) and Halle des Blancs Manteaux (located in 48 Rue Vieille du Temple in the 4th arrondissement) do host pop-up brocantes regularly, especially during holidays.
Marche aux Puces de Montreuil (Montreuil Flea Market)
Among the three Paris Marches des Puces, this is the smallest. If you are on the lookout for something old, antique, or vintage, Marches des Puces can be hit or miss. But if you do not mind searching through piles of dreck to discover something special for an affordable price, this is the place to visit.
In the case that you will be in the city for a longer period and do have enough time to spare, Marches des Puces is a place to be. When you come, look forward to seeing old china, toys, silver, vintage clothing, vintage leather jackets, household items, and car ornaments.
The market is located at Avenue du Professeur Andre Lemierre on the 20th arrondissement, close to Pere Lachaise Cemetry.
Other Flea Markets
If you are still confused about where you want to go for a budget-friendly purchase and you are in sight of the perfect flea market to spend your days and night meandering.
Here is a List of the Most Famous Food Markets in Paris:
- Paris Flea Market
- Vanves brocante flea market
- Marché du livre ancien et d’occasion
- Paul Bert Serpette
- Marché Malassis – Marché au Puces de St-Ouen
- Brocante Hétéroclite
- Marché VERNAISON
You might also like: Best Street Food in Paris
Tips for Your Flea Market Trip
- Choose a time and a place that is central as a meeting point. This will be particularly helpful so that members of your group can wander off in various directions, depending on their preferences. Then everyone can meet each other and share their buys and discoveries.
- The best time to visit the flea market is in the morning because it gets overwhelming crowded in the afternoon.
- Conceal your wallets. You are at a flea market, so you do not need to carry a lot of cash. Many dealers accept credit cards as well.
- Try not to bring your important documents like your passport to the market as you will not be needing them.
- Do not be tempted to don your best clothes or any other thing that can heavily suggest that you are a tourist. Blend in quietly.
- Be prepared to sort through dirty and dusty boxes. The best of the pack might just be beneath the pile.
- Prices are negotiable especially at the smaller flea markets
- When negotiating, tone down your voice so that only the vendor can hear you. Someone who is close and interested in the same item might start a bidding war.
- In the case that you want the item at a lower price, be ready to walk away. Conversely, if you think the item is too precious to be missed, you might want to dole out the price.
- There is a good chance that you will be getting a good deal if you are buying more than one good.
- Do not be rude in your transactions and/or negotiations. A simple Bonjour and Merci will do even if you cannot speak the language.
Best Flea Markets In Paris – Summary
Most of the featured flea markets function only on weekends and holidays and very rarely on Mondays. Therefore, ensure you plan time for a turn at any of these beautiful markets. Strolling around the old flea markets is usually exciting. But make sure you are careful to avoid unpalatable experiences like getting scammed and more seriously, finding yourself short on cash exactly when you find that perfect masterpiece!