The largest flea market in Paris (and possibly the world.) Think of it like a museum where all the objects is for sale!
Les Puces de St Ouen is to other flea markets what a Michelin-starred restaurant is to McDo's.
This is not just a collection of random junk from your neighbours' yard sale. This is some of the poshest and fanciest bric-à-brac around. If you're looking for some furniture to liven up your recently acquired French chateau, you've come to the right place.
And of course there are smaller and less expensive items too- most importantly, everything is for sale, even if you might have to take out a personal loan to afford some of it!
Just north of the Périphérique ring road in the suburb of St Ouen. Map.
THERE'S SOMETHING FOR everybody at the Marché aux Puces, generally known as the Puces de St Ouen.
There's cheap clothing and random household knickknacks of the kind collecting dust in your granny's attic. There's tonnes of weird but interesting tchotchkes. And then there is a large collection of high-quality antiques, of the kind that would not be out of place in a museum of decorative arts.
But all have one thing in common: it's all for sale, and even if you can't afford the fancy stuff, it's still fun to look around and scour the wares for something that does fit within your budget (and perhaps your luggage allowance.)
|What period is this from? An antiquaire's cheat sheet.|
Let's start gently: there are many shops that sell old stocks of items that would be fun to buy if you were redoing a house. Like '50s light switches. Or old-fashioned lamps. These items tend to be affordable and available in sometimes surprisingly large quantities.
|Flip a switch...|
|Mirror, mirror on the wall...|
|Looking for something with a bit of irrational exuberance?|
|We've got you framed.|
You won't find anything like this on any other flea market around the world- and that alone makes the Puces worth a visit.
Like at any antique market, bargaining is OK and pricing can be flexible (but don't expect Egyptian tourist bazaar-style discounts.) If you can't haul back one of the fancy mirrors in your checked luggage, have a look at things like glasses and cutlery- they're portable, can be used at home, and make a great souvenir of your trip to Paris.
|Minor Sights' loot included some affordable silver Art Deco cutlery.|
|This shop specializes in naughty art- which apparently includes some sleazy Gauls.|
Metro line 4 goes to Port de Clignancourt, from where it's a 5 minute walk. You'll pass some real flea markets first- rough and ready, where dodgy characters may be offering iPhones for sale that they 'found' on the street. Keep walking, and like at any crowded market, make sure your wallet is safely tucked away.
Alternatively, bus 85 will take you straight to the market and can be caught at either Metro Porte de Clignancourt or near Jules Joffrin or Barbès-Rochechouart. Alight at Rue de Rosiers at Marché aux Puces.
The Puces occupy a large area and comprise 15 different markets- pick up a paper map or download an electronic copy beforehand.