Flea Markets. The Paris Flea Market

Miles of clutter or land of opportunity? Flea markets have always been a place to find literally everything: from food products from local producers, to live animals or the latest LP by that band from the 80s you thought would never exist again, what madness isn’t?

What is a flea market?

Flea markets are specially designed to acquire or even sell all kinds of objects (furniture, decorative objects, clothes, etc.) of collection, second hand and vintage.

Why is it called a flea market?

To understand the concept of flea markets, we must go back to Paris in the 1970s, when, after the war, the first rag-pickers of Saint-Ouen (of dubious legality) resold old objects that they had found in the city during the night, thrown away in the rubbish bins, at flea markets.

The term “flea” (puces in French) comes from the traders or “puciers” who sold their wares in the markets. The official origin of the flea market in Paris came about when the residents of Saint-Ouen in 1885 wanted to make the neighbourhood safer and cleaner by making traders need a legalised licence to do business.

The Paris Flea Market and Why do we love it?

At Smile Vintage we have a passion for antiques, we are all nostalgic romantics; so, it was more than obvious that we love Paris and the concept of getting lost in its streets, either in search of unique objects for our personal collection or simply to stroll with a distracted gaze here and there browsing through books, touching all the textures and soaking up the aroma of the boulangeries with their freshly baked bread.

The Marché aux Puces (in French) in Paris is all this and more. The French city in The Belle Époque, it was home to the world’s first antiques market, and today, one of the top tourist attractions in Île-de-France.

How to get to the Paris Flea Market

If you’ve got your teeth set on going, your friends at Smile Vintage will show you how to get to the flea market.  You should know that if you go looking for the flea market, you won’t find it in the centre of Paris; in fact, it’s quite far away and it will take you a morning to explore it at your leisure, but we assure you that it’s definitely worth it.

Before you decide to go, it is important to check the opening hours:

  • Mondays from 11:00-17:00
  • Saturdays from 09:00-18:00 hours
  • Sundays from 10:00-18:00 hours.

To find it, take the metro to the Porte de Clignancourt station: when you leave, you will pass under the Boulevard Peripherique of Paris, and you will find some “imitation” stalls that are a tourist trap; don’t be fooled, keep walking and when you pass all those stalls you will find the real flea market, we assure you that you will know how to recognise it 😉.

Have you ever wanted to go to Paris and get lost in these stalls? We can bring you the flea market vibes if you wander through our sections. See you soon vintage lover!

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