Marche aux Puces / Paris

Jul 27th, 2000, 09:46 AM
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Marche aux Puces / Paris

We are planning on spending a Saturday at the Marche aux Puces. Has anyone on this Forum been there? Does anyone know which street or areas would be best for French country? Would like to avoid hours spent walking past the styles/periods we are not interested in (the more formal Louis stuff). Thanks
Jul 27th, 2000, 10:47 AM
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Our experience at Paris' flea market (the one at Porte de Clignancourt) was one of acute disappointment. Just junk.
Lots of African stuff, nothing of quality, acres of grubby trash. If it were mine to do over, I would wander through antique shops. Anyone disagree?
Jul 27th, 2000, 01:27 PM
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Hi Marion, I don't think Al waded back far enough into the marche. This is a HUGE market and at the beginning you will walk by acres of trash. But if you keep going, you will encounter lots of good stuff. Only most of it is very high-end. If you have the energy, it is worth the search, for it is part of the Paris experience. Once you get to the the good markets, it will not take you long to assess the offerings and keep going until you find things you like. The Marche Vernaison (99 rue des Rosiers) has some charming collectibles that are more reasonably priced.
You might also (or instead of) consider going to the Vanves market.
Have fun!
Jul 27th, 2000, 08:49 PM
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There is a monthly magazine called "Antiquités et Brocante" (brocante is another word for flea market) that lists all flea markets in France, with a description of what is sold. Your hotel desk should be able to help you select the best place for your tastes.

Have fun

Jul 28th, 2000, 07:33 AM
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The no.1 mistake most people make is to go to Clignancourt, see the huge parking lot in front the highway overpass full of rock star tshirts and junky leather jackets and think that that's it. It's not! Keep going under the overpass and to the left where you will find many markets of fine stuff (mostly quite expensive--few bargains) surrounded by more trash here and there. Vernaisson, Serpette and Paul Bert are my favorites. Biron has the most high-end stuff. Also try Puces des Vanves--much smaller and less overwhelming over all with lots of nice furniture, too.
Jul 28th, 2000, 01:19 PM
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I wasn't that impressed with it, either, but not because I thought it was full of junk, just because it was not really a flea market, just an area with antique stores, mainly, and very expensive. There are a couple Web sites that might help you plan (, but I think is better) and if you really plan to spend that kind of money, you should get some kind of info in a guidebook. I know I read about it in some guidebook before going, which described the best stores for certain things, or at least described the stores. Even the Green Michelin guide has a layout and description of it, it might be the one I'm remembering. There are a couple books that specialize in shopping in Paris that might have some info. This place is huge so you really must have a guide in any case. If you don't, there is a guide available at an information booth at the beginning on rue des Rosiers. I'm not real sure, but I don't really think that is the best place to buy regional French furniture, I think you do better out in the provinces, say down in Provence. There is a store that specializes in this in my area (French Country Living in Virginia), they have a web site you might want to look at ( and you might try calling them to ask as I know they go to France fairly often to buy and probably know Saint-Ouen (can't hurt to try). I spoke with them when I was looking for a bedroom set and I believe they only import from Provence. This stuff costs a fortune so I ended up buying high quality stuff of the same style (Louis Philippe) and solid wood from French Canada, instead, at about 1/3 the cost. You must know your stuff very well to get a bargain at Saint-Ouen (whether furniture, art or jewelry)

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