As most of you know, I am an avid and somewhat obsessive collector. I even wrote a book about my collections in 2010. So as you can imagine, I love a good flea market, and lucky for me, Paris is full of them. On the weekend, you will often see smaller, open air “brocantes” pop up in various places in the city, and we went to one the first weekend we were there. But there is also a large and permanent flea market in Paris called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen Market (Les Puces literally means Flea Market). It’s one of the largest flea markets in the world, and definitely worth a visit if you like vintage stuff. Much of what’s there is pretty expensive (I only bought a couple of little things), but its beautiful to look at and a slice of Parisian life that you will not see anywhere else. My friend Jordan posted wonderful directions to get there via the 4 Metro line on her blog, which we used. It’s a bit confusing when you get off the metro, so these directions are a great resource.
Les Puces takes up several city blocks and is divided into several different sections. Some are mostly furniture and some have more bric-a-brac and smaller items. The swamp meet is nearby, and parts of that sell vintage as well, so one could easily spend an entire day trolling the area.
What makes this flea market different from many (at least in the US), is that vendors have permanent stalls, which they open on the weekends (and limited hours on Monday) each week. Vendors store their wares while the flea market is closed and go off to look for new treasures to sell.
There are restaurants intermingled in the winding alleys of Les Puces, so food for the weary shopper is never far! Here we are waiting for our lunch at Tarte Kluger.
We also found there were ample restrooms (most of which were very clean!), which was not the case in the rest of our Paris adventures. This is a photo I took in the mirrors of one of the fancier restrooms at Les Puces, right across the way from Tarte Kluger.
I don’t speak French at all (except for a few words and phrases) but most of the vendors I encountered were very willing to work with me on purchases and some were even open to a little bargaining!
It’s hard to walk the entire flea market in one day, unless you have boundless energy. There is a lot to look at! It was pretty hot the day we went, so we were extra pooped by mid-afternoon. The good news is that the flea market is open both Saturday and Sunday and for some hours on Monday, so there is plenty of opportunity to stroll.
I am missing Paris something awful this week. This happens to me every time I travel and come home. I am like a love-sick girl pining to get back to her crush. I am still dreaming of Paris at night when I go to sleep.
Happy Tuesday. More Paris posts coming over the next couple of weeks!