Flea markets are fun to explore and search for a special treasure from Paris. Expect to bargain amicably as most dealers are flexible with prices, even if an item is marked. Don’t expect a huge discount, but you may get the price lowered a bit. Make sure to get a receipt and if you are purchasing a large item, ask if delivery is included in the price.
- Le Marche aux Puces de St-Ouen, 154 rue des Rosiers 93400 St-Ouen (metro – Porte de Clignancourt), http://www.marcheauxpuces-saintouen.com; This is the largest outdoor market of its kind with over 2,000 stalls selling mostly antique furniture, but also paintings, jewelery, and other items.
- Le Marche aux Puces de Vanves, av Georges-Lafenestre and av Marc Sangnier 75014 (metro – Porte de Vanves, http://www.pucesdevanves.typepad.com; Another venue for art, furniture and other interesting objects.
- Les Puces de Montreuil, place de la Porte de Montreuil 75020 ( metro – Porte de Montreuil); Similar to the other flea markets, but also open for special exhibitions. They do not have a website, but you can get information on the Paris.fr website: http://equipement.paris.fr/marche-aux-puces-de-la-porte-de-montreuil-4517
- Hotel des Ventes Drouot, 9, rue Drouot 75009, 01.48.00.20.20, http://www.gazette-drouot.com; Not a flea market, but a state-run auction house that contains everything from junk to fine art. Many antique dealers in the city buy their merchandise here. You can browse the stock in the morning and then return in the afternoon for the auction. Merchandise changes daily. You can visit the English version of their website for tips on bidding.
In addition to these ‘fixed’ markets, there are also rotating markets which spring up from time to time in different arrondissements – often referred to as ‘brocantes’ or ‘vide-greneirs’ (attic clearing), and usually in the spring and autumn. Occasionally, you may find a brocante specific for children or toys. There are usually banners announcing the applicable weekends in each neighborhood, or you may also check the easily navigable French-language site: http://vide-greniers.org.