Whether you are a tourist on a budget or a tourist with enough cash to spend for souvenirs and a little Parisian shopping, Paris’ flea markets should definitely be in your itinerary. Paris is not just about fancy dining and shopping; there are also flea markets, or les puces, located in the outskirts of Paris where you can find unique items and unusual merchandise at low prices.
Merchants from all over Europe set-up shop in these flea market locations right outside Paris to sell their unique items. The variety of items sold in these flea markets are very surprising since you could find antiques and vintage pieces sold for low prices. If you are a collector of fancy French china or perhaps, dolls and toys that are old, you should definitely start your search for more of these items in the les puces.
If you can’t find what you were looking for in one flea market, don’t fret– there are two other large flea markets for you to check out. These flea markets are also located on the outskirts of Paris.
The largest of these three flea markets can be found in Puces de Saint Ouen, a sprawling 7-hectare area full of merchants and wares. It is believed that over 3000 vendors are found in this flea market while over 180,000 visitors are known to visit it every weekend. Puces de Saint Ouen has also been recognized as the world’s largest antique market.
Puces de Saint Ouen is only open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays of every month; however, minor sales may occur during the weekdays. To reach Puces de Saint Ouen, simply take the metro at Porte de Clignancourt, Line 4.
Another smaller yet popular flea market in Paris is the flea market in Porte de Vanves. Antiques are rarely sold here; however, if you are looking for unusual modern items like paintings, clocks, picture frames, lamps and everything else in between, Porte de Vanves is the place to be. Only 50 vendors are found in this area but the merchandise they sell are very unique and varied. You could chance upon art pieces and wood structures in this flea market, as well as other common items like mirrors and garden pieces.
To reach Porte de Vanves, simply take the Metro at Line 13. Make sure to schedule all your trips to this flea market on Saturday and Sunday mornings only since the area is a ghost town, especially in the evening.
Whether you’re a shopaholic or a mere collector of antiques and rare finds, the flea markets in Paris are the best places to find special souvenirs.