Customers and an antiques dealer at flea market the Marcheé aux Puces de St-Ouen
Photograph: Paris-Sharing / Flickr

The best flea markets in Paris

From vintage gems to clothes and endless bric-à-brac, find bargains galore at the very best flea markets in Paris

Ella DoyleHuw Oliver
Written by: Huw Oliver
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Yes, there’s a hell of a lot of famous sights to see in Paris. Your bucket list for the City of Light could probably make up a short novel. But if you’re making the journey, you must book in some time to grab a delicious coffee from somewhere and simply wander, taking in the joys of the city at the slowest pace you can possibly conjure. 

And there’s no better place to take in the city than at a flea market. And Paris has one for every mood, from bric-à-brac and trinkets to vintage bargains and furniture. Here, you can stroll through endless market stools, admire candles and jewellery laid out on the ground, and buy a very French looking scarf that you may come to regret. Here’s our guide to the best flea markets in Paris. 

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Best flea markets in Paris

  • Shopping
  • Second-hand shops
  • 20e arrondissement

Less famous than its older brother up north in St-Ouen, Montreuil’s flea market is where real folk riffle for antiques nowadays, mostly because it’s off the beaten tourist track (so you can still find the occasional treasure). You’ll find pretty much everything, from vintage clothes and toys to old cutlery, 1940s light-fittings, furniture and antique glassware. Just be patient: you have to walk past stands selling arrays of junk before you get to the little square where the best dealers are (at the end of the alley alongside the periphérique).

  • Shopping
  • Home decor
  • 18e arrondissement

Welcoming 3,000 traders and up to 180,000 visitors each weekend, the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is generally thought to be the biggest ‘flea market’ in the world. If that conjures up images of a sprawling field filled with broken bed frames and sofas with the stuffing coming out, you’re in for a surprise. The fleas left long ago, and since 1885 what started as a rag-and-bone shantytown outside the city limits has been organised into a series of enclosed villages, some entirely covered and others with open-air streets and covered boutiques for the antiques dealers.

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  • Shopping
  • Plaisance

Smaller and arguably more friendly than St-Ouen, the market at Vanves is appreciated for its more manageable size. Some dealers swear by the mish-mash of stands at this weekend market, spread out over two avenues. It might not be the best place for furniture or antiques, but there’s much to please the casual browser, especially if you’re after a wacky souvenir (or three). Comb through the racks of Hermès scarves and flapper dresses, scour the boxes of perfume bottles and vintage toys, and explore crates of vinyls and gorgeous French linens. There are chocolate moulds here, 1950s sewing accessories there – just make sure you arrive early for the best finds.

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