Flea Markets

When I think of a flea market, I think of the kind where you have rows of people selling cheap sweatshirts, t-shirts, and second hand DVD’s. The true flea markets of Paris are NOT like that- well, for the record, they do have some rows of that stuff BEFORE you enter the REAL thing. You will have to walk through that part, but THEN, you get to the real stuff. I don’t know why the flea markets are set up the way they are- my experience is with the Marche Aux Puces at the Clignancourt metro (at one end of the “pink” line). One of my husband’s grandmother’s friends had a “stall” there for years selling old records. A “stall” is actually like a small room with three walls and an opening on the alleyway. These alleyways meander around and crisscross each other so it’s easy to get turned around. My advice is that if you see something you REALLY like, then go and negotiate for it right then and take it with you– you may never find your way back again! I bought a beautiful chandelier there- I’m told it’s Vintage 1930’s alabaster from Finland. It was NOT cheap, but it is really beautiful and unique (see below). That’s my other point about these flea markets- many are legitimate antique dealers and what they sell are not cheap knock-offs. There are, of course, a variety of prices and a variety of items, but it’s great fun wandering through and seeing all the old jewelry, buttons, hatpins, clothing, dishes, silver flatware, etc, etc,. When you get off the metro at Clignancourt and emerge into the street, it’s a noisy, bustling crowd, so just make your way through it toward the raised highway (that’s the Peripherique- the road around Paris) and just beyond it is the real Marche Aux Puces. There are several sections and tons of “stalls” so plan to stay for hours and eat up there at one of the cafes. We ended up calling a taxi, when we bought the chandelier, and that’s an easy thing to do if you buy something big. ENJOY!

2 thoughts on “Flea Markets

  1. While there are several good books about the regular flea markets in Paris, I also recommend Brocabrac (at http://brocabrac.fr), which has an updated list of markets of all kinds. This Saturday, for example, there are more than a dozen, including the AAWE Bazaar (“Toute la tradition d’une braderie à l’Américaine!”) in the 7th, a craft fair and a kid’s clothing market in the 11th, a comic books market in the 13th, Christmas markets in the 16th and 18th, and “The Wonder Vintage Market” in the 19th. Almost any market is a great way to spend a morning in Paris, and Brocabrac makes it easy to find the most interesting. There’s also a brocabrac app for the iPhone, iPad, and iTouch.

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