Visiting flea markets
One of my earlier posts was about fleamarkets in Paris. Since I wrote that one in Swedish, I thought that I could translate it to English now and add some recent photos from my latest visits in Paris and Marrakech.
During all the years I have been living in Paris, I have always enjoyed visiting the markets which are spread out in a circle on the outer bounds of Paris. There are three major ones: Porte de Clignancourt, Porte de Vanves och Porte de Montreuil. On top of that there are always interesting yard sales going on in the city every week-end. You can get updated information from this site for instance: https://vide-greniers.org/75-Paris
Back to the flea markets. Porte de Montreuil used to be my favorite one during many years. I’ve always lived in the neighborhood and I’ve been visiting it a lot. Unfortunately it has turned out to sell mostly new, cheap, imported stuff. There are very few old things left. When I think about the things I used to find there……Today there are only a few interesting booths left where some sell vintage cloths which sometimes can be quite expensive, but much less so than in trendy second hand shops like Killiwatch in the 2nd arrondisement.
Porte de Clignancourt, which is by far the biggest and most famous one, has also gone through some changes during the last years. One part of the market, the one you first will step into when coming from the metro station, has turned into a market for trendy clothes, but probably a lot of fake products. The interesting part, where they still sell old stuff, is huge and divided into several sections. There are 14 different small markets actually, each with its own character and atmosphere. The most interesting ones in my opinion are: Vernaison, Biron and Paul Bert Serpette.
You can find information, also in English, on: http://www.marcheauxpuces-saintouen.com/1.aspx
It’s still very pleasant to stroll around and visit Porte the Clignancourt. However, if you wish to buy something here you have to be prepared to pay quite a lot. Some years ago it was still possible to find real treasures here for not that much money, but it seems that the grooving interest from professional buyers from abroad has put an end to that.
Porte de Vanves finally, has probably become my favorite market. It’s not at all that big as Clignancourt, but it has stayed a real flea market. Prices have gone up even here but you can still do interesting bargains if you are lucky. If you want to visit Porte de Vanves, you must remember that it closes quite early. It’s only open from 7 a.m to 2 p.m. every week-end. Here are two sites with information about Porte de Vanves: http://pucesdevanves.typepad.com/ and
Every time my sister comes to Paris, visiting at least one of the flea markets is compulsory! If we go to Clignancourt, we always try to find some time to have lunch in one of the restaurants situated on the market area. Some of them are obvious tourist traps, but some are really nice with good food.
When you visit a flea market, it’s important that the persons you bring are fond of old stuff. Otherwise it becomes a very unpleasant experience. I have visited flea markets with persons who see no point and no interest in old chairs with a lovely patina or heavy old mantle clocks in marble…..That’s why it is perfect with my sister. We can walk flea markets until we drop!