paris musings – the flea markets


Visiting friends always expect me to know where they should go…. of course that depends on what rocks their boat…and didn’t they notice that my activities are some what dictated by the whims and fancies of a certain five year old! So my passion for roaming flea markets has been reduced to roaming websites for flea markets that my friends will enjoy roaming, however, the promise of “oooh what if we find a vintage power ranger” has mysterious powers… 

Village Saint Paul: The block in between rue de Rivoli and quai des Céléstins as well as rue Saint Paul and rue de Fourcy. This area is filled with shops and ateliers. The best time to go is the weekend, as there are many places tucked away that are closed during the week.

Au Petit Bonheur de Chance: a tiny shop where you can find old notebooks, kitchenware, toys, and almost every other random trinket you could ever imagine.

All local markets in Paris on any given day are listed at this (french language only) site. Neighbourhood markets are usually on weekends.

The Viaduc des Arts has cabinetmakers, musical-instrument makers, fashion designers, textile restorers, and other businesses related to the arts. It runs from the Opéra Bastille to the Jardin de Reuilly, and right by it is the Promenade Plantée which is a lovely walk – it’s not as inspired as the Highline in NYC, but it’s still a nice stroll!

Rue Daguerre is a food lover’s paradise. Market-fresh seafood, meat, vegetables, fruit, cheese and bread

Le Marché Barbès in the 18th has multiple nationalities and cultures converging at stalls underneath a train trestle.

Clignancourt. This is the big old market that most hard core flea marketers’ want to check out. The market has two entrances, both off the rue des Rosiers, one at each end. Most people use the No. 4 line and get out at Porte de Clignancourt. This will take you in through all the new items. The alternative is to use the No. 13 line and get off at Garibaldi, walking a few quiet blocks until you get to the rue des Rosiers from the other end.

Clignancourt is open for a half day in the morning on Fridays (dealer’s day) with a lot of trading and selling at L’Usine. On Saturdays and Sundays, most stalls are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Mondays, dealers come once again, and shoppers can meet vendors with an appointment. Many of the dealers come in for a half day, from about 11 to 4.