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Paris Flea Market -

Need help - suggestions and directions!

My wife wants to visit Paris Flea Market (located off of Rur des Rosier Saint-Quen area). So, here are the questions.....
1. Is this a "safe" area for my wife & sister to be shopping by themselves on a Saturday morning 4/14/2018.

  1. Safest way to travel there from (bus/train) or taxi- traveling from Rue Cler street? Maybe some suggestion??

  2. What are the operating hours of the Post Office located at 56 Rue Cler/Motte-Picquet Ave. for that Saturday 4/14? Tried looking on-line, no help there. They need to mail their "treasures" via USPS, plus what ever there bought that week, they will be prepared with boxes/tape!

Any suggestion will be helpful.... I need to have a flawless experience from "flea market shopping to post office" on in a Saturday!

Thanks guys!

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
6656 posts

Instead of the huge flea market at Clignancourt (Saint-Ouen) I would recommend the Porte de Vanves flea market located in the 14th arrondissement. It is smaller and more manageable, not to mention closer to where you are staying. I've been there twice. The neighborhood is safe and reachable by metro. From the Rue Cler area go from Ecole Militaire (line 8) go in the direction of Créteil - Pointe du Lac to Invalides. From Invalides take line 13 towards Chatillon - Montrouge, arriving at Porte de Vanves.

If you will have smart phones with you I would recommend getting a Paris Metro app. It will make easy work of telling you how to get from one place to another.

I can't help you with post office information. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by Kim
Paris
3184 posts

Just to back up what Dave's saying, he's right, 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays for that post office (I checked against La Poste's official website for that bureau de poste).

I too think it's possible that they may enjoy Vanves more, and it's certainly easier to get to and closer.

You should know, however, that mailing packages from France to the U.S. is rather expensive. I avoid it as much as possible because it's so outrageous. It's much better value for volume to pay to check a second bag if it comes to that (that's not cheap either, but at least you get a bigger volume of space to fill up for your money). Don't know if that's an option for you given your other plans.

Posted by Dave
Ventura, CA
1971 posts

^^^ Yup, we bought an inexpensive roller bag in Paris and it came home filled with treasures from the Vanves market-my favorite being a WW2 French mess kit with the soldier's name scratched into the top.

Posted by JHK
Palo Alto, California, United States
1670 posts

The issues around "safety" on the way to St Ouen flea market is the unpleasant, 7-10 minute walk from the last stop on Metro Line 4 (Porte de Clignancourt) to the entrance to the market. Many people, including, for example, my husband find that walk off-putting. I was raised in the Caribbean and then spent my teen years in a rough area in the US and so I know how to ignore people who approach me selling cheap or knock off merchandise as well as touts calling out me to stop in their shop. My husband finds that sort of thing very off-putting and then he gets in "husband keeping his wife and children safe mode" which is hysterical to me but whatever. Anyway, I think that the touts etc. turn the walk into a gauntlet that many people interpret as unsafe for whatever reason though I think it is fine. I think that flea market is so big and varied that it is a good experience and well worth a visit -- it did not become the biggest and best known of the Parisian flea markets for no reason and I would not avoid it because of the walk from the train station. That is a different thing from avoiding it because it is just too big and confusing. Anyway, I go to that flea market to the antique poster dealer, and to humor hubby I avoid the walk to and from the metro station by taking the bus that stops right in front of the entrance. The bus route starts over near Jardins Luxembourg. You wife could walk or taxi over to the stop for bus 85 in Saint Germain or she could take bus 80 to Mairie du 18E Jules Joffrin bus stop and change there for bus 85.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
6854 posts

Get to the Vanves market by mid morning for enough time to really browse. Not knowing better, we arrived shortly after the noon hour and some vendors were already packing up for the day.

Posted by Diana
Michigan, United States
654 posts

Thank you so much for this info. We will be in Paris this weekend for my birthday and if the weather looks good, we'll check this out.

Posted by chexbres
Paris
2459 posts

It will cost you a fortune, if you want to mail anything substantive.
I would pack whatever you have in a bag, and use the $50 baggage allowance.
That way, you'll have your stuff.

If you want to mail a chandelier, or furniture, or something - beware that the wait time will probably be 2 - 3 months, and a lot of paperwork.

Posted by chexbres
Paris
2459 posts

Bus 95 will get you to rue des Rosiers safely, and will take you back safely.
I would not use any ATM machines in the vicinity. Most vendors take only cash.
La Motte-Picquet Poste is open from 8:00 to 8:00 PM

Posted by chexbres
Paris
2459 posts

I would be all prepared with the boxes and tape already made up, so as not to offend the Poste Office workers. Use packing tape.

Posted by christa
alameda, ca, usa
1486 posts

I was starting to catch a cold on my much-anticipated flea market day in Paris and decided since it was also my last day there I didn't want to exhaust myself at St Ouen so opted instead for just Porte des Vanves. It was a wonderful flea market experience--easy to get to, just around the corner from the metro exit and a little coffee shop right there for a snack, nice variety of interesting vintage items and no new stuff, just big enough to feel I was getting plenty of options but not overwhelming. I spent perhaps 2-3 hours there (I peruse quite thoroughly) and the dealers were open to offers. I bought a sterling ring, 1940s buttons for a sweater I was knitting, some small crèche figures and a 1910 carved wooden watch stand that was a souvenir from Fontainebleu.

Posted by janettravels44
Chicago
4090 posts

Agree that it is hard to find treasures at Clingencourt for all the trash and certainly no bargains. I have bought great things at Vides Grenier i.e. little one off street markets like garage sales. I have a watch I got for 10 Euro that is about 50 years old, has a sort of art deco design and has run perfectly now for about 10 years. I got a cool bakelight necklace for 10 Euro that is certainly one of a kind in any circles I am likely to find myself. Some sort of metal leaves and pea pods and white bakelight fruit.

For regular markets, Vanves is also my favorite. I got a heavy gold colored chocker in an interesting design that is my go-to jewelry for a turtleneck I am trying to dress up a bit in winter. It was 50 Euro and worth every penny. The woman had quite a few pieces of interesting costume jewelry from the 50s and 60s.

The regular flea markets are no bargain; to get things really dirt cheap the vides grenier are better -- look for signs announcing these type sales.

Posted by 75020
Paris
397 posts

Another who recommends avoiding vide-grenier events. Junk, crowds, impossible to get around and depending upon the neighborhood, a good place to get pick-pocketed.

Posted by janettravels44
Chicago
4090 posts

LOL and here I sit with my watch and jewelry and not pickpocketed. You don't get pickpocketed because of the event; you get pickpocketed if you make yourself a walking buffet. The best place to get pickpocketed if you don't make yourself pickpocket proof is the Louvre or d'Orsay; next best place is the metro. Whether the Vide Grenier is trash or not will depend on your luck. Like any yard sale most of it will be junk to you. Some people are better at rooting out treasures than others from garbage dumps like the St. Ouen markets or the typical street sale. I have a friend who always comes back with treasure wherever she goes; I am less talented but have a few good experiences with street sales in Paris.

Posted by 75020
Paris
397 posts

Well we have two interesting views here.. .resident's and visitor's. I have watched the thievery in my local vide-grenier events for years. Considering that most visitors have a limited amount of time in Paris, I wonder if that time is well spent searching for a vide-grenier treasure instead of searching out Paris treasures.

Probably the poster asked about the Saint-Ouen market because it is "famous" and frequently mentioned in Paris guidebooks and special in its own way if one wants that experience. Vanves is good and less well known. I buy my Le Creuset items at the flea market in Montreuil.

Posted by chexbres
Paris
2459 posts

Seems to me, janet, that your husband was pickpocketed awhile ago on the escalator. So, don't call me foolish.

I have never been pickpocketed at any brocante. I am not a "walking buffet", but keep my money hidden, it's easy to do - zippered pockets and a "dodoune".

And I refuse to go to vides-greniers, because they are filled with cast-off clothes and broken toys, for the most part. But each to his own junk...

I don't bother with going to Saint-Ouen, either, because the place has changed so very much that I can't afford anything. The last thing I bought was a really stunning chandelier for 250 EU, in 1998.