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Parisian Flea Markets - Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

Hello!

We are signed up for the Best of Paris tour at the end of March and it will be my first time in France. We have five days to ourselves before the tour starts and I have been looking into different things to do on our own. I have always enjoyed going to flea markets in Italy, and thought it might be fun to check one out in Paris! Has anyone been to the Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen? I read it was just outside Paris and was wondering if it was easy to reach via the metro or by train. Does anyone have any thoughts on the market and/or does anyone have any other suggestions for Parisian flea markets or even vintage shops to browse around in? I appreciate the advice!

Posted by
1686 posts

According to my online map, it’s a 13 minute walk from the Garibaldi metro stop (line 13). There’s a closer stop, but there’s a big highway between it and the market, so you probably wouldn’t want to use that one.

Posted by
23 posts

Hi -- Marche aux Puces de St Ouen would be worth a visit if you enjoy vintage markets. It's really a spread-out collection of several markets, so it'll take some time to get through it and a little planning upfront might provide some focus. I've only been there twice.

Usually I go to the weekend vintage market at Porte de Vanves (https://pucesdevanves.com/) -- the metro stop is just adjacent and there is usually a broad range of vintage goods (prints, books, furniture, advertising, etc).

Have fun,

Posted by
6604 posts

I am not a talented finder of treasure among trash so take this with a grain of salt but we have found Vanves much more manageable and have had better luck finding small treasure than Saint Ouen. I remember going bast just acres of trash at St. Ouen to find some shops tucked in the back with more interesting things. YMMV

Posted by
8763 posts

I’ve been to Vanves twice and enjoyed it. I’ve thought many times about going to the huge one in Saint-Ouen, but always concluded it would take up too much of our time. Maybe I’ll finally go for it when we spend a week in Paris in April.

I hope you enjoy Paris. It’s my favorite.

Posted by
48 posts

I used to go to that area back in my student days to take a class at the Sorbonne Clignancourt building, and occasionally wander through that market (although the last thing I could do financially then was shop for antiques). Porte de Clignancourt metro is the closest. Don't worry about the busy highway between it and the market. There is an underpass for pedestrians.

Posted by
83 posts

Take line 4 to the end: Porte de Clingnancourt. Cross the Boulevard des Maréchaux towards Saint-Ouen and go under the ring road to arrive at the Flea market via the rue des Rosiers - a short walk. The flea market entrance will be on your left. Any good Paris map will show details. Go on the weekend; avoid Monday as most places are closed.

Posted by
8269 posts

The Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen used to be fantastic in the 60s, 70s, 80s but I really dislike it now. It is huge, in permanent buildings, and very expensive. I didn’t see any “trash” there, it was all high end antiques, silver, porcelain, etc. I agree with janet, the Marché de Vanves is much better and way more enjoyable and satisfying.

Posted by
3794 posts

Lots of good advice already.
Just one addition: do mind your belongings and your surroundings on the way from Porte de Clignancourt métro to the flea market (it is not the best part of town and can be chaotic), and don't be put off by the very tatty shops you will see at first. The proper market is hidden right behind those.

Posted by
2889 posts

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll preface my post by saying that I am not a lover of flea markets. I have been to the Marché aux Puces de Paris Saint-Ouen a few times. The first time was in 2012 and the walk to the market from the metro station included an extremely unpleasant experience and I was so shaken up (as were my husband and children) that it took me a while to decide to go back. Even though I knew rationally that the experience of my first visit was a one-off experience, I was determined to find a better way into the market than the walk from the end of Line 4 and so I took the bus from Paris when I tried again in 2016. That was a game changer for me for getting to the market but I still did not find anything worth buying. I was semi-overwhelmed by the number of shops/stands. I would need weeks to properly explore it. In 2017, I went by metro followed by the long-dreaded walk with a designer who knows the market well and who was heading to several specific shops looking for items for clients -- finally, success. I think that at one point this market may have been a secret spot for bargains on antiques and vintage items but if that was ever the case, those days are long, long gone. It pains me to say this for many reasons but I I think this particular market is best done with someone who knows their way around the market -- either a paid guided tour or a free "tour" like the one I had with someone who knows the best shops and has a good sense of the "correct" prices.

Posted by
8269 posts

Exactly what JHK said.
I used to go there in the 60s, 70s and 80s, when it was wonderful. It was not massively, overwhelmingly huge, it was charming, and every shop had great stuff at very good prices. But as JHK said, those days are long, long gone.

Posted by
8269 posts

kerouac, do you know when the Porte de Montreuil flea market started? I lived there in the 70s and never saw it. If you Google, quite a few flea markets in/near Paris come up, doesn’t mean they’re worth going to though, lol.

Posted by
7573 posts

The Porte de Montreuil flea market is not exactly a flea market. More like a junk market.

I think what JHK said is right. Marché des Puces St-Ouen is more for the big time buyer who knows their stuff and is really looking for a dealer with a certain authenticated inventory. Vanves, to me, is more accessible and fun to stroll around.

Posted by
1154 posts

After one visit to Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen we've mostly visited Bastille Market and the offerings at Place d' Aligre, a few blocks from Bastille market. If I recall correctly, Bastille market is open weekends and the market at Place d' Aligre also has a flea market on weekends. All that was before the pandemic however. Both have lots food and produce items but plenty of inexpensive Paris souvenir items, leather goods, and clothing items like scarves, belts, and costume jewelry, etc. The world's best chocolate chip cookies can be found inside the pavilion at Aligre market and the nearby Le Baron Rouge wine bar is not to be missed. Oh, and adjacent to Bastille market is a McDonalds, not for the food or coffee, but for that all important restroom. Both are small markets, easy to get to via Bastille metro station, and easily navigated. Good luck.

Posted by
3794 posts

Aligre is a great food market (arguably Paris' best), but the flea market section is minimal, just a handfuls of stand. Not quite the same thing but still worthwhile if you are not too far.

Posted by
8269 posts

Thanks Kim for the Montreuil junk market distinction.

Posted by
8269 posts

But kerouac, tourists visiting Paris want to go to the most worthwhile “flea market,” usually not a junk market or a market so overwhelming and expensive that they won’t find anything affordable to bring home with them. This forum is really for tourists, so gearing info to that demographic is helpful. And why I think Vanves is the best one.

Posted by
8269 posts

George mentioned the Bastille Marché and the Marché d’Aligre, those are food markets. They, and several others, are great. Most food markets do have some vendors selling clothes, household goods, toys, and can be a lot of fun, but the market’s focus is food, they aren’t flea markets.