September 5, 2007

French Marché aux Puces

As I mentioned, I went to a great flea market this past weekend. It's sort of "curated" and the vendors have to be approved by the Load of Fun group before they're allowed to sell. Load of Fun wants to make sure that the monthly market doesn't get trashy. I got some great things, and would have gotten more if I could have found an ATM.

When I was travelling to Paris on a regular basis, I would always try and visit the amazing marché aux puces or flea markets. Some flea markets here in the US have a bad name as a place to get rid of stolen goods, or sell multiples of white tube socks. I have been to flea markets in London and Rome, as well as some of the really fun ones in Los Angeles but I love the French ones the most.
Clignancourt is the most well-known of the Paris markets, but there are two other large markets, as well as smaller brocante (second-hand) markets that pop up around the city on an irregular basis. Bargains at these markets are less frequent than in the past, but there are always a ton of interesting things that you won't find in the States.
Lile also has a huge annual sale, La Grande Braderie de Lille, which took place the first two days in September. This market is much older than Clingancourt, dating to medieval times. Any resident of Lile can find a spot and set up shop. You are always expected to bargain at these markets, but be polite about it. Now's not really the time to be looking for bargains, especially with the pitiful exchange rate for the US dollar.

Photos of the Lile Market: The Guardian UK


  1. Hi - just discovered your blog. I'm a former Baltimore resident now living in London.

    Another great recommendation for flea markets is Brussels. There's a high end market in the Place du Grand Sablon and a more rough-and-ready market in the Place du Jeu de Balle. A bit more manageable than the Paris markets and the prices are better too.

  2. I've always thought both the London markets and the French markets sounded wonderful. But in the meantime I need to check out Loads of Fun -- much closer to home!

  3. How wonderful. It looks like amazing shopping!

  4. Sigh...I have always wanted to go the Marche aux puces! Thanks for the pics!

  5. Hi. I am Belgian and currently living in Brooklyn, NY. I love flea markets and brocantes but have not yet been able to find any real/good one around here. Do you have any suggestions/recommendations of places around NY? Thanks


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