What does the Paris Flea Market have to offer? How about Time Travel. Recycled Memories. A Theater of the Past. And of course, a Treasure Hunt! What’s not to love?
Les Puces: My Favorite Paris Flea Market
The most famous flea market in Paris is located at Porte de Clignancourt. The official name: Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, but better and less formally known as Les Puces (The Fleas). It is also the largest antique market in the world, receiving between 120,000 to 180,000 visitors each weekend, and showcasing over 1,700 dealers in 14 separate markets. It’s big y’all!
Y’all know that my husband and I are big antique and flea market fans! We have scored many awesome finds over the years, and I shared some of my favorite finds in this post. Of all the Antique Shows and Flea Markets we have enjoyed around the world, my favorite is Les Puces. This Paris Flea Market has a little (or a lot) of everything.
Furniture, jewelry, vintage clothes, books, decorative items. Les Puces has it all! And, even if you aren’t a big collector, I still recommend visiting Paris’ Flea Market, simply because it has such a fun history….and you truly never know what you are going to see.
A Little History of Les Puces
The history of the Les Puces dates back over two centuries, when enterprising men picked through the garbage of Paris at night to find valuable junk to sell. They were called ‘crocheteurs’ or pickers. Many set up temporary stalls within the Paris walls, but because the locations they chose were full of pickpockets and thieves, they moved out beyond the city walls to smaller towns on the outskirts of Paris, like Clignancourt, Montreuil, Vanves, etc.
The largest of these flea markets is the one at Clignancourt, but the other two flea markets also continue to this day.
In 1885, authorities in the town of Saint Ouen made a significant move to pave the streets and clean up the area, marking the “official” first year of Les Puces. Several locations were designated as officially designated market areas and a fee had to be paid to set up a stall there.
The Curious Cowgirl’s Guide to the Paris Flea Market
For a very complete Guide to the Paris Flea Market, click here for my downloadable PDF Guide, with over ten pages of information for your visit to Les Puces. If you are planning to visit, Les Puces is only open on Saturday and Sunday…and a FEW dealers are open on Monday, but only a half day, if they are open at all.
Days and Times:
- Every Saturday from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
- Every Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Every Monday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, however many stalls close around lunch time, or may not be open at all.
It’s easiest to reach Les Puces by taking the Metro to the Porte de Clingnancourt Metro Stop, and walking a short two blocks to the Rue des Rossiers, which cuts through the middle of this Paris Flea Market.
Of course, taxi or ride-share cars like Uber can take you as well.
Like anything, safety and situational awareness are always important. My Paris Flea Market Guide gives you very detailed information about the neighborhood, safety precautions everyone should take before spending time in this neighborhood, etc. Click here to get your copy of my Paris Flea Market Guide.
It’s possible to ship large items back to the US from Les Puces, and there are a number of shipping companies that have an office inside Les Puces. And while cash is always the best bargaining tool, in this 21st Century, most of the dealers also take credit cards.
How Many Markets Are There?
There are several different and distinct markets, or marches, inside Les Puces. Some feature large ornate French antiques. Some feature mid-century furniture and decor. Another market might have several book vendors, or Vintage clothing vendors.
What’s my favorite part of Les Puces? Vernaison is my favorite market at Les Puces…but I like to dig. It is a wonderful, winding market, where dealers are set up in what I would compare to storage units, but decked out like shops. In this market you can find anything from furniture to beads, to missing parts from antique bureaus, textiles, paintings, antique buttons, etc. It feels enormous and you can get lost (in a wonderful way) wandering down the alleyways. I ALWAYS find treasures here!
I always recommend having a plan before you arrive at Les Puces, simply because it’s so large. My Paris Flea Market Guide will provide all the information you will need to have a plan…work your plan…and score some amazing finds!
Finally….if you need help planning your trip to Paris….or Europe in general, I have a FREE Travel Planning Guide and Checklist that will absolutely take a lot of the guess work out of getting organized for the trip of a lifetime! Simply click on the image below to get your FREE Travel Planning Guide and Checklist!
If I am in Paris on a Saturday or a Sunday, you can rest assured I will be spending a full day or two at Les Puces! If you find yourself in Paris, and are a collector, this is an experience you should not miss!
Happy treasure hunting, y’all!
Tags: Antique Furniture | Antiques | Flea Market | French Antiques | Paris | Paris Guide | Paris History | Paris Shopping | Paris Tips