flea markets in France

Apr 20th, 2014, 05:20 PM
  #1  
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flea markets in France

I have traveled to Europe many times, but never had the time to visit a flea market. Not sure why they are a popular topic for tourists.

Wondering if anyone wants to tell me if it is really worthwhile to visit some flea markets near my hotels while in France. Don't really want to travel by metro or bus to some far away special one, but something that will be easy to reach just to see what is the big attraction.

Are the locals having some sort of a garage sale of used items or are there real vendors selling something unique to France.

Sorry if this topic sounds dumb, but would love to learn from the experienced Fodorites.
What great items did you buy there.

I would like to go to enjoy it for a short while, thus appreciate your time. Have a great weekend.
ileen is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 05:43 PM
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This isn't a dumb topic but France is a large country. Perhaps you could say what towns/cities you'll be visiting. If you're in Lyon a recommendation for a flea market in Sarlat isn't going to be very helpful to you.

And if you want flea markets near your hotels you'll also need to give the hotel name, address, and a link to help people answer your question.
adrienne is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 06:09 PM
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Not in France but Spain and Italy flea markets. Mostly cheap junk from China. Occasionally I have seen some stuff that might have been local crafts but it is buried with a bunch of other marginal stuff.
fmpden is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 06:10 PM
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"Are the locals having some sort of a garage sale of used items or are there real vendors selling something unique to France."

Both types of flea markets exist. I have bought vintage kitchen items, a couple of interesting fishing nets, old tins, coffee grinders, copper pots, books.

The large flea markets outside Paris at Clignancourt carry everything from high end antiques to key chains.
Nikki is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 09:16 PM
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Thanks for your replies.
I just wanted to know what is sold in the flea markets.
I will be in Paris for just a couple of days. Not even sure if I will have time.
Later I will be in Nantes.
But I can ask the hotel staff if there is a flea market nearby.
Probably you all had fun exploring and finding some treasures.
ileen is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 09:50 PM
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Just Google "marché aux puces à [whatever city you choose]" and see what you get as answers.

https://www.google.com/#q=march%C3%A...+%C3%A0+Nantes
Michael is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 10:24 PM
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Thanks for your idea, Michael.
ileen is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:05 AM
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Temporary sales might be set up in different neighborhoods and are more likely to be called brocantes.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 04:35 AM
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Flea markets in France are much like those in the US, except maybe for the original "flea Market"--the Marche aux Puces in St. Ouen, which is now truly a high end antique market, but began long ago as a flea market in a field.
I would say if you don't "do" flea markets/antique malls in the US, you won't really enjoy much in France.
Near your hotel?--maybe and a big maybe, a brocante as Nikki suggested you look for.
Gretchen is online now  
Apr 21st, 2014, 04:37 AM
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I will add that the Porte Vanves market on Saturdays is the closest to a flea market--it's a temporary antique market.
Gretchen is online now  
Apr 21st, 2014, 11:30 AM
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France holds thousands and thousands of marchés antiquaires,marché aux puces, foires aux brocantes, vide-greneiers, marchés nocturnes, and other similar events, all over the country, mostly late spring to early fall. It would be impossible to characterize the goods - there's everything. I furnished a good bit of my house in France from brocantes, everything from large furniture to lamps to bedspreads to rugs to ceramics to vintage clothing.

You can use google.fr and type in brocantes to get a list of the major ones held in France each summer. There's probably one for just Paris, too. I agree if you don't do or enjoy this at home, you may not in France.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 21st, 2014, 07:57 PM
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I have to disagree that if one doesn't enjoy flea markets in the States, they won't enjoy them in France. Of course, it depends on the market, but I find the offerings in France so much more interesting. It's really a whole different ball game.

You don't say when you'll be there. There are certain markets that take place every year, such as the Marché Antiquités-Brocante at Place de la Bastille in May and again in November.

Some of the street brocantes are great -- Sèvres-Lecourbe is a good one, as is the one at Alésia. There is often something going on at Place Saint-Sulpice, such as an antiquarian book market.

There will be signs in the streets, as well as ads in Pariscope.
toupary6 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 09:28 PM
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Once again thanks for all the information and tips.
I will be in Paris and Nantes in May. Thus I am now getting ready with some new ideas to explore if I have some free time.

I want to just browse and experience the French style of flea markets, thus looking forward to seeing what all they sell. I am sure some items will be true junk while others eye-catching and unique.

Will Google and search or will seek advice from hotel staff or others I meet around.

Thanks for all the help with all the various names and the inspiration to enjoy something beyond the museums, cafes and people watching.

I have really learned a lot on this thread and appreciate all the time and effort each one of you have put in to help me.

Have a wonderful week.
ileen is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 07:37 AM
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OH, I totally agree that the markets in France are light years different from ours--it was so hard for me to resist things, thinking of how on earth to get them home. However smalls abound--DD has a wonderful plaster fork mold, I have picked up little things. My parents lived in Paris when St. Ouen was really a field, and I have things of theirs.
However, the day of the week, as others have pointed out, will matter--and I am not so sure a hotel staff member will be a great source. Pariscope, as mentioned will have brocantes listed--we stumbled across one in the 16th that was a goldmine. Say again--Porte Vanves early Saturday morning will be a wonderful window on a flea market, French style.
Gretchen is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 07:40 AM
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And if you've never strolled the stalls along the Seine, that is not a bad place to spend a bit of time.
Gretchen is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 07:43 AM
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Gretchen--Thanks for your input, advice and encouragement. Keeping notes and hoping to experience the flea markets first hand.
Have a pleasant day.
ileen is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 04:42 PM
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Second the idea of small purchases. The first antique I ever bought in Paris is sugar tongs. For some reason, I had it in my head I had to have sugar tongs, and one day, on my way home, I saw them in a window.

Something else that came to mind -- not really flea markets, but very interesting in any case, are the antiques "villages" such as Village Saint-Paul and Village Suisse.
toupary6 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 06:06 PM
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Here are links to a couple of sites that list Brocantes and Vide Greniers:

http://vide-greniers.org/ http://www.linternaute.com/agenda/categorie/brocantes/
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