Last Updated on January 2, 2024 by April Verge
You might consider heading to a flea market in search of a unique or vintage piece if you’re looking for a thrifty, chic, and somewhat sustainable souvenir from your time in Paris, whether you’re visiting for the first time or the fifth or fifth hundredth time. A guide to Paris’s best flea markets (and what to buy at each).
Despite there being slight differences between flea markets, vide-greniers, and markets aux puces, they are essential parts of French culture. This article will focus primarily on flea markets since they are the most common in Paris.
What days are the flea market days in Paris?
Permanent flea markets are typically open on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as on Fridays and Mondays (depending on the market you visit!). Pop up markets are more varied, but are usually open on the weekends as well.
Best flea markets in Paris
Vanves Flea Market/ Marché aux Puces de la porte de Vanves
Vanves Flea Market (Marché aux Puces de Porte de Vanves), which is located in the 14th arrondissement, is a great place to go on a Saturday morning (because this is when you’ll find the best treasures before they sell out as the weekend progresses).
The Vanves flea market is the largest in the Paris area after the Marché aux Puces de Saint Ouen. It is also the only brocante flea market within the Paris arrondissements.
Every weekend, up to 400 market stalls display their wares, offering everything from art pieces to vintage costume jewelry to second-hand clothing to iron sculptures.
Saint Ouen Flea Market/ Marché aux Puces de Saint Ouen
One of the best flea markets in Paris is the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, which is often abbreviated to St-Ouen. It is the largest flea market in the World. (well, technically, the market is actually just outside the Paris Periphérique)
The Saint Ouen market, like many of the other markets on this list, is only open on the weekends. Because this is the only permanent market in Paris, the prices are higher.
Village Saint Paul
There is no flea market per se in the Village Saint Paul (the items for sale are too expensive and the stores too permanent for it to be called one), but it is conveniently located between the Seine and Place des Vosges.
There are a number of vintage and antique shops in the area, many of which spill over onto the pavements in front of them. Due to the fact that the stores are permanent and the area is quite touristic, the wares sold at the Village Saint Paul are typically more expensive.
A little French village hidden away in Le Marais, the 4th arrondissement of Paris. All vintage stores and cobbled lanes, this is Village St Paul, Paris’ very own antique market…
Old and Used Book Market Georges Brassens
One vintage pop-up market worth checking out is the Old and Used Book Market Georges Brassens, which is located on the fringes of the 15th arrondissement.
In French, the book market is known as the Marché du Livre Ancien et d’Occasion Georges Brassens, and it has been operating since 1987. During the book market, 60 vendors sell everything from comic books to vintage maps and prints on Saturdays and Sundays.
Montreuil Flea Market/ Marché aux Puces de Montreuil
Located in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, near Père Lachaise Cemetery, Montreuil Flea Market is the smallest of the three official Paris flea markets. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going out of your way to visit this location because it is a bit off the beaten path for treasure hunting.
In this smaller space, you are less likely to find a bargain, as there are fewer items to choose from. The vendors here will expect you to bargain, so be prepared to negotiate.
Pop-up Brocantes in Paris
Spring through autumn, there are a number of open-air brocantes that pop up throughout the city. These usually take place over the weekend and are organized by particular organizations, such as SPAM.fr.
The streets are lined with shelves of books, antique chairs, trinkets, chic designer clothing, jewellery, and the like. A corner contains a crate full of doll heads.
A few of my favourite locations for these pop-up brocantes (when they occur) are Place des Vosges and rue de Bretagne, which usually happens a few times a year, including at Christmas.