Grande Braderie de Lille 2015 © fleamarketinsiders.com 020

Save the date: Grande Braderie de Lille 2018

Each first weekend of September, Lille (in Northern France) becomes the worldwide capital of flea markets and bargain-hunting, while offering a unique opportunity to discover this colorful Flemish city with its exuberant architecture, witness of the rich commercial past of Lille. In keeping with its long tradition, the Grande Braderie de Lille 2018 will take place on 1st and 2nd September 2018.

The Lille flea market is the largest flea market in Europe and one of the most famous events in France and beyond its borders. The Grande Braderie de Lille fair is the place to find that hidden gem (the “perle rare” as French people would say), harvest nice vintage & retro items in large quantities and, especially, to immerse oneself in an atmosphere that reflects the city itself: warm, friendly, festive, and a foodie heaven – especially for those who enjoy the traditional “moules frites” (mussels with french fries).

In 2018, the city of Lille expects no less than two million visitors, who will walk the city center’s streets to the sound of music from Saturday 8.00am to Sunday 6.00pm on 1st and 2nd September 2018.

What’s new in 2018?

After the Braderie was canceled in 2016 due to fears of terrorist attacks, the event organizers decided to make some changes to the setup in 2017. For the Braderie de Lille 2018, most of these changes will be maintained, but the core area dedicated to the event will again include the neighbourhood of Wazemmes, and in particular the Rue Léon Gambetta. Further changes to improve the visitor flow at security checkpoints have been announced as well.

The 2017 re-vamp plans looked as follows:

Improved quality: One of the main complaints of flea market enthusiasts and antique dealers attending the Grande Braderie de Lille, was that this massive flea market had turned into a commercial event used by retail stores to sell their old stocks at a discount. But this was supposed to change in 2017: the overall Braderie was revamped in order to give more space to flea market vendors, antique dealers and local residents. In a statement, Lille’s city council said it wanted to “bring back the original spirit of the Braderie, by offering a larger mix of a yard sale, flea market, and antique fair.” Unfortunately, some seasoned visitors reported that the Braderie de Lille 2017 was slightly disappointing, as it was smaller and had less choice to offer than previous years, as some professional dealers decided to stay away. For 2018, hopes are high that the Braderie will return to its old glory, as the city has proven that the balancing act between security imperatives and pulling off a high-quality flea market event is possible.

More events & celebrations: New sub-events were set up, inspired by the “Lille reste en fête” celebration which replaced the Braderie in 2016. A special Braderie for comic books was organized again at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, while a special Braderie for kids was held at the Gare Saint-Sauveur. Last but not least, a special “Antiques & vintage shopping itinerary” was set up for professional antique dealers and flea market shoppers along the boulevards Louis XIV and the Boulevard de la Liberté. Be sure to check back here for the 2018 agenda of the Braderie. We’ll update the article once it is confirmed.

Increased security: Security has always been paramount to local authorities. This is the reason why, back in 2016, the Grande Braderie de Lille was canceled following the terror attack in Nice, which claimed the lives of 86 people. In 2017, security was reinforced with 29 access points placed under strict police surveillance and concrete roadblocks.

Official Map of the Grande Braderie de Lille 2018

The official map of the Braderie de Lille 2018, published by the town administration, provides a useful overview the zone that is part of this year’s Braderie t: Click here to download: Official Map – Grande Braderie de Lille 2018.

Just as last year, the layout of the Braderie de Lille 2018 again features areas specifically dedicated to professional antiques dealers. Flea market enthusiasts who flock to the Braderie de Lille 2018 to buy antiques and vintage should, therefore, focus their attention on the areas indicated in yellow on the map below. The brocante area mainly includes the Boulevard de la Liberté, Boulevard Louis XIV, the Esplanade, Rue Saint Sauveur and part of Rue G. de Chatillon.

The organisers tried to preserve 90% of the area that used to be part of the Braderie de Lille before the re-organisation in 2017. This year, the neighbourhood Wazemmes and rue Gambetta, which were not part of the Braderie area in 2017, are again part of the event. The Grande Braderie 2018 also includes the Center and Old-Lille neighbourhoods and will open designated spaces outside the core event area to residents who wish to take part in the Braderie.

Click to download the map of Braderie de Lille 2018 in full-size (pdf).

map grande braderie de lille 2018

 

Quick Facts & Travel Information about Lille

Even when the Grande Braderie is not taking over Lille, the city is an excellent destination for a day trip or short break, as Lille is just a couple of hours train journey away from London. And, although it may be French, is also the old capital of Flanders. Indeed, the city’s turbulent history has seen Lille as Flemish, Burgundian, Spanish, Dutch, French, German, French, German and French again. Yet, Lille retains an intrinsic Flemish flavour both in the city’s cuisine, architecture and even in the Ch’ti accent of the locals.

Accommodation in Lille
As two million visitors flock to Lille, it is essential to plan your stay in Lille as much in advance as possible, in order to find a hotel near Braderie de Lille. From classy hotels, apartments to canal side boats, Lille offers a diverse choice of hotels. Make a reservation today and take advantage of free cancellation on most rooms with booking.com – the city fills up fast and it is better to be safe than sorry.

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Do & See
Lille’s old town is quite simply gorgeous. Walk its streets, take time to look at its architecture and to walk along its cobbled streets. Start at Grand’ Place – the main market square, and take it from there taking it as many of the sights we have suggested here.

Dining
Flemish culture plays a strong role in the cuisine available in Lille. Take a look at the menus and any items with tongue-twisting names will be of Flemish origin. There are brasseries and gastronomic restaurants as well as tea rooms, but be sure not to leave Lille without having tried an estaminet.

Shopping
Lille is a university town and as such the 200,000 population is mostly under the age of 30. The shopping here reflects that. There are several funky shops that sell gifts ideally suited for weddings and housewarming parties, as well as gorgeous boutiques selling beautiful and sometimes quirky homewares. Artisans sell their wares and an eclectic mix of fashion outlets range from designer names to tiny boutiques. When it comes to shopping, Lille does it with style.

Bars & Nightlife
Be sure to stay up late as Lille is a young city and as a result, there is ample nocturnal entertainment to suit everyone. Funky bars galore, nightclubs, saucy shows and cabarets all jostle for your attention.

If you want to know more about sight-seeing in Lille, have a look at lille-guide.co.uk or www.lille.fr/Braderie-de-Lille (official website; content in French only).

Parking and Transport at Grande Braderie de Lille 2018

When planning a trip to Braderie de Lille, many visitors are facing a dilemma. Is it better to go by car, to be able to take home flea market finds easily, or should Braderie visitors come by bus or train, to avoid getting stuck in traffic? We can tell you this: No cars are allowed into the zone dedicated to the Braderie, which will be accessible only on foot, via one of 29 access points. Public transport connections will be reinforced during the event, to make sure you will still be able to get around Lille safely and easily.

If you decide to go by car to the Braderie de Lille, then it is recommended to park it at one of the park & ride facilities in and around Lille. The map below gives you an overview of the facilities available in the entire agglomeration of Lille that are well-connected by train and/or metro to the city-center. Be aware that these facilities are free of charge, but only available to those who buy a local train (TER) or metro ticket (Transpole network) to go into town. Keep in mind that you will need to show your ticket when you leave the P&R facility, and go there before midnight, as they close afterwards (some remain open until 1am). Also note that these facilities are not accessible to bigger vehicles, such as camping cars or vans.

Park & Rider Braderie de Lille 2018

In addition, there are garage operators that rent parking facilities in and around Lille that may be reserved in advance.

Whether you choose to go by car or by public transport to the Braderie de Lille: don’t forget to bring good walking shoes – you will need them when you explore Europe’s biggest flea market.

The Grande Braderie de Lille in Numbers

Infographic - Grande Braderie de Lille in numbers

2

the number of days during which the Grande Braderie runs (in 2018: Saturday 1st September – Sunday 2nd September | in 2019: Saturday 7th September – Sunday 8th September | in 2020: Saturday 5th September – Sunday 6th September | in 2021: Saturday 4th September – Sunday 5th September| in 2022: Saturday 3rd September – Sunday 4th September)

40

the number of hours it would take to walk down all the streets of Lille where the Grande Braderie takes place.

100

the number of kilometers of stands spread all over Lille during the Grande Braderie.

500

the number of tons of mussels consumed during the 2015 Grande Braderie de Lille (together with 30 tons of french fries!). “Moules frites” are a traditional dish of the Grande Braderie de Lille; every year, restaurants in the city embark on a challenge during the whole event: to stack the biggest pile of empty mussel shells outside of the restaurant!

1127

the year the Grande Braderie de Lille was first mentioned in a written record! What a lasting tradition.

10 000

the number of vendors selling at the Grande Braderie de Lille.

22 172

the number of counterfeit items seized by customs in 2010 during the event.

2 500 000

the number of visitors at the Grande Braderie de Lille in 2015. In comparison, the Braderie de Rennes, the second largest fair of France welcomes about 400,000 visitors each year (last Wednesday of June).

10 Useful French Phrases to Bargain at the Braderie de Lille

“C’est combien?” – How much is that?

“Quel est votre meilleur prix?” – What is your best price?

“Désolé, c’est trop cher pour moi” – Sorry, it’s too expensive for me

“Pouvez-vous baisser encore le prix?” – Can you go a little lower?

“Vous me faites un prix si j’en prends plusieurs / si je prends tout?” – Is there a discount if I buy more than one / all of them?

“Coupons la poire en deux” – Let’s meet each other in the middle / strike a bargain

“Je n’ai que 20 euros. Est-ce que ça va?” – I only have 20 euros. Is that enough?

“Je peux payer en liquide?” – May I pay in cash?

“Je le prends” – I take it

“Marché conclu!” – Deal!

How to make the most of the Braderie de Lille 2018

This article should serve you as a guide to plan your trip to Lille and help you spend an unforgettable weekend at Lille’s Braderie. To conclude, we have summed up our top advice:

  • Plan your accommodation well ahead! Even if you are not yet 100% sure to attend, book a hotel with free cancellation – you have nothing to lose! Lille is booked out well in advance of the event.
  • Leave your car at home and bring good walking shoes and stamina – the flea market zone is huge!
  • Don’t forget your umbrella! Lille is in the North, where it rains quite a bit, and the weather changes quickly.
  • Bring cash if you plan to buy a lot, but be aware of pickpockets that take advantage of the bustling crowds.
  • If you plan to buy large items, consider using shipping services to get your flea market finds home.
  • In case accommodation in Lille is booked out, book your accommodation in another town in the area, or even in Paris or Brussels, which are well connected by train. But don’t forget to book your train ticket at least a few days in advance!
  • If you are still wondering whether it is worth going to the Braderie de Lille 2018: just do it! Otherwise you’ll never know. At the very least, afterwards, you’ll be able to say that you have been to Europe’s biggest flea market event.

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29 comments

  1. Tony Downing

    Booked early last year paid thirty percent more for the hotel than we had to pay when we normally go in August then at the last minute it was cancelled. Left with nothing to do for six nights and everyone was in a very bad mood. never again.

    • Hi Tony, sorry to hear that you were affected by the cancellation of the Grande Braderie de Lille last year. The decision of the city’s mayor to cancel the event was based on strong security concerns (due to fears it would be a terrorist target, just like Nice 2 months before the Braderie 2016). However, the Grande Braderie is back in 2017! I hope you’ll be back to Lille some day :)
      Btw, last year we published an article about the 5 top flea markets to visit in Northern France: https://www.fleamarketinsiders.com/alternatives-braderie-de-lille/

  2. Gayle Hoshstrasser

    I was lucky to find your post! Was going to be in Brussels and now planning a trip around this event!! Thanks for the great information. More research on the net has left me a little confused. Will some vendors start selling at 8am on Saturday? Also, I am only interested in french flea time small wares – there is mention to the smaller streets but if I was getting a hotel would that be north, south, east or west of the city center?

    • Hi Gayle, glad to hear that our post was informative! The booths organization of the Grande Braderie changes from one year to the other. Back in 2015, antiques dealers were located along the canal de la Deule, north west of the city. You can see it on the plan we added to the article (yellow area).
      As soon as the city of Lille will make the new plan of the Braderie available, we will post it here.
      Since you will be in Brussels, make sure to visit the following flea markets: https://www.fleamapket.com/listings/?search_keywords=brussels&submit=
      Enjoy your upcoming trip to Lille!

  3. Luc

    In fact a lot of people start selling already the Friday night. The problem, compared to many other more ad-hoc flea markets, is that there is an amazing amout of professional sellers. Which lead -unlike garage and car booth sales- to rather high prices and unwillingness to negotiate.

    Parking is hell, even if you book a hotel; only on Friday afternoon you stand a chance in the parking garages. They always say the police will take action, but in reality everybody parks on the walkways and they never get fined.

    And be very careful in ‘exploring’ the city; we took a shortcut from one area to another and the iPhone got stolen from my front jeans pocket. Something like that destroys your whole weekend.

  4. Tina Parker

    Hi – We are planning our visit visit this September. What time does it close on the Saturday..Thank you

    • Hi Tina! There is no exact end time on Saturday, as it is a two-day event and the vendors stay on for Sunday. It depends very much on the weather and when the natural light will be gone. In any case, it’s safe to say that it goes on until 18:00 on Saturday. On the second day, Sunday, the Braderie ends at 18:00h. Hope that helps!

  5. Yelli

    I and Friend Booked early last year paid 30% for the hotel we had to pay last minute it was canceled.
    Do not know if this year will be canceled again Or not?
    And let me know where can park my big van safely ..

    • Hi Yelli, you’re absolutely right to be concerned: last year the Braderie de Lille was cancelled due to security reasons, following the terrorist attack on Nice. The city of Lille did not have enough time back then – within 2 month between July and September – to make the necessary adjustments its security system. However, the city of Lille has been working on its security for more than a year, in order to ensure the Braderie could take place in 2017. So I’m pretty confident (99%) that the Braderie won’t be cancelled this year.
      Alternatively, some hotels on booking.com offer a 100% refund policy (for an additional fee during the booking process). I would recommend you to pick a hotel which offers this policy.
      Last but not least, if you’re coming with a large van, we’d recommend you to park it anywhere outside of the Braderie area – last year we parked in Roubaix, and took the train to Lille (15 mn). You can find a list of all available Lille car parks here: https://www.parkopedia.fr/parking/lille/?arriving=201708041100&leaving=201708041300

  6. AR AA

    Hello,
    Can you please let know where the Arms and Armour antiques section is located in Lillie Market on coming Sep. 17.

    • Gregory R.

      This year 2018, it is €4.90 for 2 days from Transpole. You can buy it (the Pass Pass ticket) at the subway station Gare Lille Flandres. Hope it helps…

  7. Natalie

    Hi Ashley,

    Could you please let me know if there are any van delivery services to UK from Lille Antique Market and how to find/contact them.

    I am keen to buy a few chairs, table and a couple of chest of drawers.

    Your tips would be much appreciated.

    Best,
    Natalia

    • Hi Nathalie, I’ve researched the official website of the Grande Braderie de Lille, but couldn’t find anything about shipping. Nonetheless, if you’re considering a van delivery to the UK, I would strongly recommend you to try https://www.shiply.com/ . Shiply is a Consolidated Shipping company (also known as “Groupage“, consolidated shipping is the consolidation of many compatible shipments into a truck load of cargo going to one country or even one regional area of a country). More about transporting flea market finds: https://www.fleamarketinsiders.com/flea-market-shipping/
      I’ve worked with Shiply quite a few times between Belgium and the UK, and transporters are efficient and rather affordable. You can create a free quote.

  8. Daniel Garwe

    I’m bringing 50 shoppers from he U.K. In a coach can I have the address for drop off and any guidance to where I can park a coach for the day on Saturday

  9. Ellen Betesta

    My first visit to this market but was disappointed. Too many car boot type ware and not enough antique stalls and prices on some stalls were ridiculously high. Spoke to some well seasoned Flea market traveller,s who had come to this market year after year and said they were disappointed and would not be back. All I can say is it is another thing I have ticked of my bucket list.

  10. colin

    This year’s Lille Braderie was very poor, similar to a UK car boot sale with predominantly locals selling children clothes and toys.
    No atmosphere, few dealers.
    Will not be going next year – which is a shame as we have been every year for the past 8 years, never mind it was good, maybe will be again.

  11. colin

    Not sure about your comments regarding the 2017 Braderie being slightly smaller, the reality was the Braderie was significantly smaller with roads being empty of the normal traders with some pockets of locals only.
    Before going back I need more certainty than your comments regarding hopes are high that it will return to old glories.
    Also your comments regarding last years added security is misleading -we walked thru all the checkpoints without being challenged or searched apart from Sunday morning when walking into the main shopping area we were confronted with a security checkpoint and actually had our bags searched.

  12. Rudy Barnett

    Hi, how can a U.K. Antiques an collectibles trader hire a pitch. We see many French/German/Dutch et al traders at U.K. Fairs so can British traders setup a stall? Where do we apply? Thanks

  13. bob CAPPAERT

    in the week and weekend before and after the september lille antique market do the paris flea markets mostly close or are empty of antiques , and not really at full capacity , as vendors and their antiques all leave paris to show and sell in lille ?

    • I haven’t noticed that there were much less antique dealers in Paris in the week and weekend preceding and following the Grande Braderie de Lille. However, it is highly probable that many of them travel to Lille to sell and shop on the first weekend of September. Therefore I would recommend anyone interested in visiting flea markets in Paris, to try and not do it on the same date as the Grande Braderie de Lille.

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