By Expedia Team, on February 14, 2020

The Complete Guide to Paris’s Flea Markets

“If you have a love for antiques, art and all sorts of bric-a-brac, the untold treasures of Paris’ flea markets, some of the biggest and best in the world, will not disappoint. Here’s our guide to the best flea markets in Paris.


The History of Paris’s Flea Markets

Paris has a long history of bargain hunting. In fact, the term flea market comes from the French “les marchés des puces” – literally, “the flea markets” – a name used for many of the city’s famous bazaars.

Since the middle ages, Parisiennes have visited flea markets to find all sorts of strange and wonderful goods. These unofficial markets were held by the roadside by local rag and bone men – colloquially called “crocheteurs” because of the hooks they used to scour fly tipping sites and roadside dustbins for fabric scraps and trinkets that could be sold on.

In the early 1800s more permanent marketplaces were set up and, by the 1920s, the markets had become a solid part of Paris life. Now, Paris’s flea markets are sprawling, well-run marketplaces that are popular with locals – and vibrant tourist destinations in their own right.

Marché Porte de Clignancourt/Les Puces de St-Ouen

It’s known throughout Paris that Clignancourt flea market is the largest in the world. It’s actually 14 smaller markets in one, and together they form the oldest flea market in France’s capital, selling anything from books, furniture, art and ceramics to clothing and textiles.

Trading here on this site officially dates back to the early 1800s when rag and bone men set up a ramshackle town of treasures made from Paris’s never-ending supply of rubbish.

Best time to go: 18,000 visitors head to Porte de Clignancourt every weekend during high season. Get there from 9am on Saturdays and 10am on Sundays, or visit midweek for the best bargains and smaller crowds.

Nearest Metro: Porte de Saint-Ouen

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Montreuil Flea Market

Find Montreuil and you’ll find some real treasures. A local favourite and something of a hidden gem, if you know even un petit peu of French, it’ll serve you well here.

This flea market is one of the best for vintage clothing, and if you like antique lighting and homewares, this is the place to find a real bargain. Browse the 500 or so stalls at a leisurely pace, and don’t overlook the junk stands on the outer reaches of the market. Even if they aren’t selling genuine antiques, you could find something really special.

Best time to go: Visit Montreuil in the evening for a quieter, more laid-back experience – it’s open until 7:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. If you prefer getting a head start on the bargains, the market opens at 7am.

Nearest Metro: Port de Montreuil or Robespierre

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Marché Puces de Vanves

The Puces de Vanves is a more casual affair, with many of the stallholders being Parisiennes taking advantage of the flea market tradition to offload some of the bric-a-brac they no longer want.

Stop for a chat every now and again and get to know the locals – this is probably Paris’s most friendly market and you’ll find out the best places to eat and drink nearby this way. While you may not find priceless antiques here, it’s a great flea market for souvenirs, oddities and vintage baking and cookery ephemera.

Best time to go: Early is best. Stallholders are out by 7am every weekend, and Parisiennes don’t wait around when it comes to bargain hunting. Being open air, you may prefer to go earlier to avoid the midday sun too.

Nearest Metro: Jean Moulin

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Planning a trip to see Paris’s flea markets? Browse our Paris hotels and find the ideal base for your visit to the world’s biggest and best flea markets.”