Paris Flea Markets

Will be in Paris at end of month and would like to spend one day shopping at flea market that is not tourist trap. Les Puces de Saint-Ouen sounds fascinating but overwhelming for one day. Any suggestion?

Posted by Becca
Provo, UT
169 posts

I don't have any specific suggestions, but you might want to try and track down a copy of Markets of Paris by Dixon Long. There's a Look Inside feature on the Amazon page. I have a copy I bought in preparation for a future trip and it seems to have some great information on a variety of markets. I'm looking forward to putting it to good use!

Posted by Susan
Marin County/San Francisco
4031 posts

I like both, St. Ouen and Porte de Vanves, very much (and I'm not a flea market, garage sale person). They are different in that St. Ouen is huge, with lots and lots of good stuff (inside as Ed described). Porte de Vanves is very small, also with good stuff. Just depends on if you want huge, in a seedy area, or small, in a better area. It has not been my experience that Porte de Vanves has a larger variety. The opposite has been my experience.

Posted by Jane
672 posts

We really like the Porte des Vanves flea market on Saturday and Sunday mornings...metro is porte des Vanves There is something for everyone. I collect hand tinted French postcards and my husband looks for all kinds of photographica. You can find art work, old pitchers , jewelry, books, clothing, many old French items. Go early...we get there between 8 and 9... Usually closer to 8... It gets crowded. Also, across from the metro station there is a little is a nice little place to have a drink or snack . my husband spends longer than I do at the market and I meet him there....I get something to eat , sit outside , and look through my purchases..while I wait for him.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

I'm not sure why people post links that aren't personally validated ???? Saint Ouen is huge and has a lot of tacky junk on the south side where the stalls set up along the edge of the peripherique. If you get back in to the north a bit (where the permanent structures are that are open all week), you can do pretty well on large antiques, rare books, etc. The area gives some people the willies - - one of the hotels I use a good bit is a block away and my wife has no concerns about running out alone at night to pick up something. I've trotted a lot of people up there because they'd heard about it - - they were mostly disappointed. You're more likely to find a larger variety of interesting stuff (at least to look at) at Vanves.

Posted by Shelly
Charlotte, NC, USA
64 posts

I very much enjoy Puces de Vanves -- it's small and manageable, with a lot of small items, and affordable. I've found some wonderful treasures: enameled candle holders, small copper tray and vase, rings, and much more. An even less expensive flea market that I enjoy is at Marche Aligre (in the 12th) -- I found some wonderful vintage bracelets there last spring, all for around 5 euro apiece.

Posted by colleen
dallas, TX, USA
211 posts

I have been in the antique business (now retiring from it) for years. I visited both St. Ouen and Porte de Vanves for the last 4 years in a row (usually in October). Though I have purchased some smalls to bring back and sell (there is a wonderful, nice young lady who sells paper and smalls at Porte de Vanves and I have purchased a lot from her.....Missy), I, usually, just browse and purchase what I might want for myself. Overall, I enjoy Porte de Vanves the most. I go there on Saturday at about 7:30 am then I go to Puces St. Ouen on Sunday's. If you go to Puces St. Ouen on Sunday, don't go till around 11 am. as most of the dealers straggle in between 10-11. The first time I went to Puces St. Ouen I had on an old rain jacket with a Canadian Maple Leaf pin on it given to me by an aunt on a visit to Hamilton, Ontario (my dad was Canadian). No one at Porte de Vanves commented but several at St. Ouen did - several of the dealers said they never give American's a discount....pretty much made fun of us always wanting to haggle (in their opinion, we are sometimes rude about it). I received an average discount of 10-20%, without even asking, off the ticked price. But, very few of the items, I was interested in, were marked with the price tagged on it. After that, my husband always tells people we are Canadian, if they ask, just to see what response they might make. He always reminds me to bring my maple leaf pin.

Posted by jacqui
long beach, ca, usa
1 posts

From what I remember from a long time ago the Saint-Ouen flea market was pretty fun to visit. But I was not looking to purchase any antiques. What I was wondering is if it will be worthwhile to try to visit on a Monday? Supposedly it is open on Mondays too...

Posted by Jane
672 posts

St.Ouen is open on Mondays, but I would recommend Saturday and Sunday. On Monday I seem to remember not everyone was there.Porte des Vanves is also open only on Saturday and Sunday.

Posted by Jane
672 posts

St.Ouen is open on Mondays, but I would recommend Saturday and Sunday. On Monday I seem to remember not everyone was there.Porte des Vanves is also open only on Saturday and Sunday.

Posted by Jean
2 posts

Thanks for all the info on flea markets. Will help with trip itenitary.