Flea markets in Paris are great places to find bargains and to shop without breaking the bank. Historically, Paris’ flea markets, also known in French as “Puces” or “Brocantes, find their origins in the Middle Ages. They were places where villagers would barter and sell old items, farmers’ products, and all kinds of bric-a-brac. The concept of flea markets in Paris has, however, slightly evolved since the Middle Ages.
Most flea markets nowadays still sell a majority of antiques and vintage merchandise. But some flea markets
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Paris has 4 major flea markets located on the edge of the ring road known as Boulevard Périphérique, and one located closer to the center of the city.
Here is our list of the 5 best flea markets in Paris, to shop for bargains without breaking the bank.
1. Paris Saint Ouen Flea Market (Puces de Saint-Ouen) at Porte de Clignancourt, Paris
Paris Saint-Ouen flea market (or Puces de Saint Ouen) is certainly the largest and most famous antique market in Paris. It is also the oldest flea market in Paris as it was established back in the early 19th century. The flea market located occupies an area of more than 70,000 square meters (753,000 square feet). Because of its gigantic proportions, Les Puces de St-Ouen can sometimes be a little intimidating to first-timers. Composed of 12 distinct markets, Saint-Ouen Flea Market is located in the 18th district of Paris and the suburban city of Saint-Ouen. Close to the Porte the Clignancourt station, it is often simply referred to as Puces de Clignancourt or Clignancourt Flea Market and offers a glimpse of the “melting pot” atmosphere in Paris
The Puces de Clignancourt
How to go to the Saint-Ouen flea market: Metro station Porte de Clignancourt (Subway line 4)
Days and opening hours of the Saint-Ouen flea market: Friday: 8 am to 12 pm | Saturday:
2. Paris Porte de Vanves Flea Market (Puces de Porte de Vanves) at Porte de Vanves
Porte de Vanves Flea Market is less famous than Saint-Ouen Flea Market, but a more upmarket place compared to Montreuil and Aligre markets. Comparatively modest in size (it only occupies two streets), les Puces de la Porte de Vanves market however offers quality products at more than attractive prices. It is certainly the flea market in Paris that has best kept its “Puces” and “Brocante” spirit.
Approximately 350 stalls dot the Avenue Marc Sangnier and Avenue Georges Lafenestre. Shoppers may find various items at this outdoor market located near the eponymous Porte de Vanves: antique and design furniture, Art Déco, French flea market decor from the 1900s to the 1970s, vintage clothing and ancient textiles, table art and linen, old paintings, bronze sculptures, ancient books, tribal art, china, silverware, crystal chandeliers, jewelry, and more. American and Japanese tourists are frequent visitors to this flea market.
How to go to the Porte de Vanves flea market: Metro Porte de Vanves (Subway line 13)
Days and opening times of the Porte de Vanves flea market: Saturday and Sunday: 7 am to 1 pm.
3. Paris Montreuil flea market (Puces de Montreuil) at Porte de Montreuil
Certainly less charming and prestigious than the Puces de Vanves and Saint Ouen flea markets, the Marché aux Puces de Montreuil is an entirely open-air flea market with around 500 stalls. It looks more like a huge garage sale or swap meet filled with second-hand items and a lot of knick-knacks. However, because Montreuil Flea Market is not located in the prettiest part of Paris, it attracts fewer tourists and therefore is a better place to score a bargain. Founded in 1860, Montreuil Flea Market is one of the oldest flea markets in Paris, as well as one of the few flea markets which kept its original brocante feeling.
Most aisles at the Puces de Montreuil are dedicated to selling second-hand clothes, old furniture, spare parts, hardware, tools, dicey designer knock-offs, and t-shirts at very attractive prices. But occasionally, real treasures surface from under the makeshift tables of this flea market. The Montreuil flea market is a good place to find vintage and second-hand items. However, if you are looking for high-end antiques and french flea market decor, then you might be better of spending the day at the Puces de Clignancourt and Vanves flea market.
How to go to the Montreuil flea market: Metro Porte de Montreuil (Subway line 9 or Tramway line T3B)
Days and opening hours of Montreuil flea market: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday: 7 am to 7.30 pm
4. Brocante de la place d’Aligre at Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Paris
Not as big as the Puces de Vanves flea market or Puces de Clignancourt, Brocante de la place d’Aligre is more promising than Montreuil. It offers a lively mix of items from around 40 small-scale professional exhibitors selling typical French flea market decor and other random items, in a quiet and poetic square of Paris. This quaint little flea market with a provincial touch is located in the heart of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine and a stone’s throw from one of the most delightful and delicious food markets in Paris.
As with all smaller flea markets, we recommend you to get your hands dirty and rummage through dusty boxes, and not limit yourself to what is in plain sight. Most vendors at Brocante de la place d’Aligre are eager to do business. And patrons often
How to go to the Marché d’Aligre: Metro Ledru-Rollin (Subway line 8)
Days and opening hours of the Marché d’Aligre: Tuesday to Sunday:
5. Les Bouquinistes (booksellers) in central Paris
The tradition of Paris’ second-hand booksellers Les Bouquinistes dates back to the 16th century.
The Bouquinistes mainly sell old books, as well as a large number of old newspapers, antique posters (reissued or genuine), stamps, and trading cards. Les Bouquinistes is the longest open-air library in the world. It operates several days a week, depending on weather conditions, from 11:30 am until sunset.
Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon Flea Market
Where to find the Bouquinistes in Paris: on the right bank from the Pont Marie to the Quai du Louvre, and on the left bank from the Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire.
Days and opening hours of the Bouquinistes: Monday – Saturday: 9.30 am to 7 pm and Sunday: 1 pm to 6 pm
Tips: What to do before going to a Flea Market in Paris
Flea markets in Paris tend to get quite busy on the weekend between
- Visit the market as early as possible in the morning. As the saying goes, “the early bird catches the worm”! The best stuff tends to go before sunrise
- Dress down and comfortably
- Get ready to walk: put on comfortable walking shoes
- Remember to bring enough cash! Most vendors at the flea market do not accept credit cards (except at Puces de Saint Ouen)
- Access the Paris’ flea markets by public transport (it is very difficult to find parking spaces around the flea markets)
- Keep an eye on your belongings at all times as pickpockets are known to roam around flea markets.
Flea Markets in Paris: a place where haggling is required
When strolling a flea market in Paris, one thing you might rarely see are price tags. In fact, merchants often spontaneously make up prices. Their pricing is sometimes based on their perception of specific customers, their appearance, and their probable origin. It is not uncommon at a flea market in Paris to see groups of overdressed and loud foreign shoppers paying the full price for something they could have bargained down by at least 25% – if only they had dressed down, known a few words of French, basic French etiquette, and a few haggling tricks.
Flea markets in Paris are famous for being authentic places of contact and exchange. It is therefore customary to discuss prices before making a purchase. If you want to get a fair price, avoid dressing like a tourist or strolling the flea market aisles with backpacks.
How to haggle at a flea market in Paris
When it comes to shopping smart at a French flea market, one important tip is to determine the maximum price you are willing to pay for a specific item before you even ask the vendor, and then negotiate with a smile. Pauses and silences are also part of the negotiation. It helps to pretend you are losing interest in the item in question. You will be surprised to learn that most flea market vendors in Paris will gladly give a discount that can sometimes amount up to 30% of the original price. And remember that when you offer a price and the vendor accepts it, you are almost committed to buying it.
One golden rule of haggling is to remain courteous and friendly at all times and to be considerate of other visitors. In the end, flea market shopping in Paris is also about having a good time. And not only about finding a hidden gem at all cost!
Last but not least, get acquainted with basic French habits and cultural norms before your trip to Paris. It is also helpful to learn a few useful phrases in French. It will increase your haggling power and reduce the likelihood of getting ripped off! We recommend you start with these 10 idioms you will likely hear at French flea markets.
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View the best flea markets in Paris on a map
You can now discover the best flea markets and antique fairs in Paris on a map! The interactive map also features some of the city’s famous antique districts and antique fairs.
The most famous flea market in Paris is the one at Porte de Clignancourt, officially called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, but known to everyone as Les Puces (The Fleas). It covers seven hectares and is the largest antique market in the world, receiving between 120,000 to 180,000 visitors each weekend.Is it worth going to the Paris Flea Market? ›
Yes. It's fun to roam the aisles, see some remarkable antiques and some touristy trinkets. It's just to visit this area for a few hours. You might find something worth buying but a lot of the items are expensive.How many flea markets are there in Paris? ›
The Paris flea market is the largest antique market in the world. It comprises some 2,500 stores, spread across 15 markets.What is Paris most famous shopping street? ›
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
One of the most famous avenues in Paris, the Champs-Élysées historically housed big luxury fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Guerlain.
Rue Cler - The Most Famous Market Street in Paris!Is Paris Flea Market safe? ›
The Paris flea market can be said to be no less safe than Paris or than any other big city in general. Getting to the market from metro Porte de Clignancourt can be a bit tricky, as you need to walk 10 minutes and get yourself past the knock-off stands and – sometimes – the pickpockets.How much money should I bring to a flea market? ›
How much cash should you carry? You'll need to have cash around to help make change. But how much should you carry? Generally around $50–100 a day in various small bills and a variety of coins for change.What is the most famous flea market in the world? ›
Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen (The Puces) – Paris, France. The Puces started in 1920 and is lovingly known as the mother of all antique fairs. It is by far the biggest and most prestigious in the world boasting over 1,700 vendors at a time.What does one buy at the flea market in France? ›
Pretty similar in style to Brocantes, Marché aux Puces (or flea markets) are typically where professional sellers will vend their wares such as vintage clothing/ accessories, furniture, books and historic maps, artwork (though the quality of this is often questionable!), ceramics, and the like.What months are sale in France? ›
When are les soldes, or the Winter Sales and Summer Sales, on? The dates differ a little each year, but the sales are usually around the same time every year. This year (2023) the sales run from Wednesday, 11 January to Tuesday, 7 February.
This market once gathered 110 stalls selling secondhand clothes and old uniforms. It has today specialized in sportswear clothing brands and attracts trendy young designers.
The Rungis International Market (French: Marché International de Rungis) is the principal market of Paris, mainly for food and horticultural products, located in the commune of Rungis, in the southern suburbs.What is the biggest flea market in Europe? ›
The IJ-Hallen is the biggest and most unique flea market in Europe and is located in the most densely populated area of The Netherlands. Because of the size of the market, supply and demand are perfectly balanced and you will have a great chance of finding what you are looking for.What are French flea markets called? ›
In Quebec and France, they are often called Marché aux puces (literally "flea market"), while in French-speaking areas of Belgium, the name brocante or vide-grenier is normally used.What is cheaper to buy in Paris? ›
Some of the most popular brands that will be cheaper in Paris include, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Balmain, Christian Louboutin, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), Roger Vivier, Thierry Mugler, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Hermès, Lanvin, Chloé, Rochas, and Céline.What is the most beautiful street in the world Paris? ›
Rue de l'Abreuvoir in 18th arrondissement
This Paris street is known as the prettiest street in Paris. Start your stroll at the famous La Maison Rose and continue down the cobbled road towards the Statue of Dalida. This offers the best view of the Sacre Coeur in the distance.
- Paris Bastille Market. ...
- Left Bank Paris Maubert – Mutualité Market. ...
- Aligre Market. ...
- Marché President Wilson. ...
- Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest covered market in Paris and is located in the heart of the Marais.
Avenue Montaigne, perhaps the most opulent and exclusive of them all, is a haven for high-end shoppers. The Avenue Montaigne is a short distance from the Champs-Elysées and is lined with just about every fashionable boutique imaginable.What are 3 famous streets in Paris? ›
You've probably heard of Avenue des Champs-Elysées, the most famous Parisian street of all! There's also Rue des Roisiers, Boulevard Saint-Germain, and Rue de Rivoli, among many others.How to get to Saint-Ouen flea market Paris? ›
- Subway to get to the flea markets: line 4 or line 13.
- Line 4: Porte de Clignancourt station. ...
- Line 13: Garibaldi station. ...
- Line 14 : Mairie de Saint-Ouen station. ...
- Buses 60, 95 and 137: Porte de Montmartre station.