One of my favourite parts of Paris was, unsurprisingly, Le Puces Marches aka the Paris Flea Markets. Based in the North of the city this sprawl of several hectares is home to hundreds of flea market stalls selling antiques and vintage items. It is huge and you can easily lose several hours just meandering through the numerous alleyways. I recommend comfortable shoes for this trip and have some spare change for the obligatory Nutella crepe’s, you will need the energy boost for all that rummaging.
Le Puces Marches is based at Porte de Clignancourt which you can get to on the Metro line number 4. The markets are a 5 minute walk from the station and I recommend using the visual guide on this blog for help as the signs leading the way are sporadic. But otherwise, head towards the underpass ignoring the mini market just before and then take a left. Most of the markets are in this area.
As this is the largest antiques market in the world it can be get very busy with visitors so we got there very early. The market is open Saturday to Monday from 9am but the weekend days are best. Be wary of your valuables though, the area is a little on the unsavoury side and it can get crowded. Same as most markets around the world really.
You really can find all sorts of antiques and vintage here, whatever your tastes may be. Maybe you like your French Regency furniture? Or maybe you fancy an original Chesterfield sofa? Or maybe you want mid-century seating from French trains? Or maybe you want to collect trinkets, photographs and old Time magazines? There really is so much to take in that it can be quite overwhelming.
If you do end up coveting a large piece of furniture there are several courier companies based in the market area who can arrange for it to be shipped back to you. Unless you plan ahead and make the trip across the channel in your own transport, in which case just load it up! (I am totally planning on doing this when I have loads of money and a big house).
Le Puces Marches is a collection of smaller markets that were established at different points over the 200 year history of the market. Each market has it’s own personality and style which is fascinating. This website has a great summary of each of the markets if you’re interested.
To see more of my photographs from the Paris Flea Markets check out my Flickr set.
If you are heading to Paris in the future I highly recommend you set aside a few hours to take a wander around the Flea Markets. It’s a marvel, even if you don’t end up parting with your cash.