Best Flea Markets in France

Flea Market: 20 best flea markets in France (2015 update)

Intro

A visit to a brocante (a french word for flea market) can be the highlight of a trip to France: a lively encounter with everyday French culture, an exciting way to spend a few hours, and a chance to pick up a unique souvenir or add to a collection.

Each year more than 15,000 flea markets and garage sales across the country, gathering crowds of fans and onlookers in search of a bargain, a rare item, a decorating idea or a souvenir.

We selected below 20 of our favorite flea markets, with a mind to diversity in location, price range and wares. But these are just a start. Enthusiasts may also wish to check out the top 7 largest periodic flea markets & antique fairs known as “vide-greniers” (basically, “emptying the attics”) that take place on a less frequent basis in communities across France.

Discover now our flea market listing and brocante directory of the best flea markets to visit in France! And don’t miss the chance afterwards to have a look at our ranking of the Top 15 Flea Markets in Europe You MUST Visit in 2015. Enjoy the reading!


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  • Rich

    Wow, this is cool. I never considered visiting a flea market on a trip but I can see how it would be a very memorable cultural experience. Thanks for sharing this great list. A little map showing them would also be awesome if you could.

    • http://www.fleamarketinsiders.com/ montcalm

      Hi Rich,
      Happy you find this review interesting! There are of course many other flea markets in France, but those you saw in the review are absolutely must do fleas. A map of France featuring all those flea markets is also available: http://www.fleamarketinsiders.com/flea-markets-in-france/
      And if you’re planning to travel somewhere, take a look at our “Best Flea Markets” tab: you will find a few maps (so far the US, France and Denmark) as well as tips and addresses of flea market in Canada, Japan, Dubai, Munich, Dublin, etc. Hope you will continue to enjoy the ride :)

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  • Andrea Kirkby

    Vanves is good, and while the prices are generally high I have found one or two real bargains there, as well as a couple of really lovely stallholders who are always ready with a joke and a smile. However Montreuil has come down in the world; there are only a few good antiques stalls among a sea of cheap clothing and mass produced cooking pots. A few bargains can be found along the rather seedy alleyway leading to a pedestrian bridge over the peripherique, but it’s pretty depressing.

    • http://www.fleamapket.com/ flea market insiders

      Hi Andrea! Thanks for sharing your experience of flea markets in Paris. You’re right: Montreuil isn’t anymore what it used to be and good stalls are scarce; If one had to choose between Clignancourt (St Ouen), Montreuil and Vanves, I’d totally recommend the latest: While Montreuil doesn’t have much to offer anymore (in comparison to the other two) and Clignancourt is a bit overpriced, Vanves remains the ideal place for great flea market hunting and bargaining. I can’t count the amount of great pieces of furniture (two Bertoia Wire chairs, one I. Nogushi table), deco item, paintings (even a Kisling!), jewelry I’ve found there. And i never went broke! ;)
      Any other flea market in France you’ve had the chance to do? Here’s another listing of great flea markets to do while in France: http://www.fleamapket.com/location/france/

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  • William Jeong

    Hello, I’m a Korean university student who want to explore, introduce flea markets in Paris to Korea. It won’t be a just simple introduction. I want to find the way to improve Korean flea market by experiencing flea markets in Paris. The most important thing is to find professionals, professors, some organizations. Take care. :)

    • http://www.fleamapket.com/ flea market insiders

      Hi William, thanks for your message! What are you looking for exactly? Some tips & advices on how to best experience flea markets in Paris or for someone who could actually take you around Paris to experience this live? Speak soon :)

  • LLL

    I would be interested to know what it would entail to open a stall myself in one the the smaller flea markets, what are the rules and regulations. Can anyone help? many thanks

    • http://www.fleamapket.com/ flea market insiders

      Hi LLL, thanks for asking this very practical question indeed! First, you will need to find the nearest garage sale to your location; in order to do so, you can visit http://www.vide-grenier.org, a site that lists all flea markets in France and in Paris. From here you will be able to book a place by filling a registration form, providing a photocopy of your ID, along with a deposit check, ranging generally from 7 to 15 euros per meter. Keep in mind that every flea market has its own regulations, particularly in Paris where opening a stall is generally limited to professional sellers. In St Ouen (Clignancourt) for instance, occasional sellers can apply directly to the Town Hall/City Council of Saint-Ouen (Theodora Louttelier, assistant market, which will guide you through the steps to follow: +33 149181455) for a shopping licence. First come, first served according to availability!

      Your application will then be subject to a vote led among a commission which will decide whether or not your items deserve to be exposed.

      Another practical resource is the SPAM (http://www.spam.fr/), which stands for “Société Parisienne d’Animation et de Manifestation” This company organizes professional flea markets and garage sales in Paris and outside of Paris.

      Good luck!

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  • Z Master

    Hi. Good review. Makes an interesting read. Just got me thinking if it would be worth visiting a French Market for luxury bags. My wife loves vintage Hermes, Chanel & LV bags. Would make a good little holiday and also buy a couple of bags for my wife. Are there any good Vintage Fashion Markets in France? any help, advice, guidance… welcome.

    • http://www.fleamapket.com/ flea market insiders

      Hi Z Master, I’m happy that you find this review useful! As per (vintage) luxury bags like Dior, YSL, Hermes, Chanel or LV, it’s true that the best place on earth to find them (I’m talking about original items), is in France. However there are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for vintage bags:

      #1. Whatever the flea market or vintage fair, real vintage luxury bags are hard to find. It’s somehow like going on a treasure hunt ;)

      #2. Beware of cheap copies of luxury bags: sorting real vs. fake requires a pretty good knowledge of a brand in particular.

      #3. Don’t be afraid to buy a damaged Chanel bag if you know for sure it’s authentic. You will be able to take your bag to the “Chanel Spa” and they will do everything from re-dyeing your bag to restitching or even adding new hardware. Just go to any Chanel boutique, and they will send it off for you to get fixed. Of course it’s going to cost you but they do an amazing job. It’s a long process (it can take up to 3 months to get your bag back from the spa) so if you just have a loose stitch or maybe a small mark on the leather, a lot of shoe repair shops also do handbag repairs and they can take care of the smaller less Chanel specific fixes (like dyeing the bag or adding new hardware).

      #4. Fake bags do have hologram stickers and authenticity cards but one trick is to google the serial number that is given (all good sellers will have a picture of the serial number within the bag). A lot of the counterfeit bags use the same number and the search results will pretty much tell you it’s fake as there are many well known fake serial numbers that are being used. If even just one other bag shows up in your search with that same number, you will know it’s fake. (just do a google search of “Chanel bag 7244764″ and see what pops up.)

      Vintagefashionclub.com put together a detailed review on how to identify a real luxury bag vs. a fake one “How to Buy Vintage Designer Handbags and Be Sure that it’s Authentic…”): http://www.vintagefashionclub.com/vintage-designer-handbags.html

      I hope this information will be helpful :) Happy thrifting time in France!

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  • Marianne

    How does one arrange for shipping once you find a good bargain?

    • http://www.fleamapket.com/ flea market insiders

      Hi Marianne,

      That’s a very good question! Once you found a good bargain, and if you don’t want to bother carrying it around with you during the rest of your trip, there are different solutions available. Of course, picking the right shipping company will depend on the size of the item you want to ship. While FedEx, UPS and TNT have offices all over Europe, they are usually pretty expensive when it comes to shipping bulky items overseas. In case you bought a piece of furniture or voluminous decorative objects you want to ship back to your home, companies like uship.com are good options. uShip is an online marketplace where you can list anything you need shipped or moved, and receive bids from thousands of feedback-rated carriers – many of whom are using extra cargo space. The procedure is pretty straight forward:
      1. List Your Shipment
      2. Choose a carrier based on feedback and bids
      3. Contact the carrier & complete transaction
      uShip is one options. And if you browse the web, you will be able to find other services just as good and cheap, like http://hedleyshumpers.co.uk, http://www.chudleyinternational.com or http://www.shipsms.co.uk/antiques-fairs.
      Don’t hesitate to share your shipping experience with us. Other people might benefit from it too :)

  • David

    Can any one suggest me a flea market that’s open today. .that’s Friday…please

    • http://www.fleamapket.com/ flea market insiders

      Hi David,
      Well, it depends where you are located. Also, most flea markets operate on Saturday and/or Sunday. Are you based in France?

  • Amit

    Seems you have copied the image from our website, I would appreciate if you can give us the due credit – http://www.printawallpaper.com/detail/cityscapes/eiffel-with-red-leaves

    • http://www.fleamapket.com/ flea market insiders

      Hi Amit,
      Could you provide the name of the author of the picture and I’ll feature it with a © sign. This very image is available as “creative commons” on hundreds of wallpaper sites like yours; so I’d rather give the author’s name, than any random wallpaper website. This would just be unfair to mention your website, and not the 999 others ;) Thx!

  • Duane

    Thank you for this! What would you recommend for silverware and flatware?

    • http://www.fleamapket.com/ flea market insiders

      Hi Duane! Well, generally speaking, silverware and flatware can be found at Porte de Vanves Flea Market or Clignancourt/St Ouen. Since Clignancourt harbors high level antiques merchants, you might end-up paying a pretty fee for things you could also find at Vanves. So I’d try with Vanves first, and then head to Clignancourt to check for more.

  • Aled

    Hi

    Planning a trip to Toulouse and Montpelier on the first weekend in May, is the Montpelier Saturday flea market any good? Also ant recommendations for between these two places ?

    Thanks

    Aled

    • http://www.fleamapket.com/ flea market insiders

      Hi Aled! If you’re going to Montpellier, we’d recommend you to stop by the Place Royale du Peyrou which hosts a flea market every Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (40 to 80merchants selling antiques and vintage). Here is a video (in french, but I’m sure you’ll get the spirit nonetheless) which was made on the Peyrou flea market: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x23nkck_dimanches-du-peyrou-vintage_webcam

      The Marché aux Puces de la Paillade (Espace Mosson), the oldest and the biggest fleamarket of Montpellier, welcomes once a week up to 400 merchants (6 am to 1 pm). This market however has lost some of its shine: today it merely sells second hand clothes, shoes & bikes. Nevertheless it is possible to find something, but you must be dogged fan and look hard. Worth to tick it in your list, but do not hope to dig a hidden gem in this trash.

      I’d recommend instead the “Brocante des Allées” located in the Allées François Verdier in Toulouse: yes it’s a bit pricey compared to the Place Royale du Peyrou, but you’ll find a lot of variety as well as items of quality (120 antique dealers & flea merchants). The only drawback is that this flea market only runs once a month (first friday, saturday and sunday of the month, from 7 am till 6 pm). So if you’re planning to go there on the first weekend of May, that’d be perfect!

      In Toulouse, the “Marché aux puces Saint-Sernin” runs all year long on Saturday and Sundays (7 am – 1.30 pm): 200 to 300 stalls. Worth a look if you’re already in Toulouse :)

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  • Nicola

    Where is a good flea market for lights and mirrors ?
    Thanks