Paris Flea Markets?

Old Sep 1st, 2003, 10:51 PM
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Paris Flea Markets?

Hi, do you have any advice of which markets are best, days of the week and offerings?

Any to avoid or not bother with?

Not looking at any large purchases, mostly browsers and people watching.

Thanks.

PS: What about Food markets?
rippowam is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 02:00 AM
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The best-known (and busiest) flea market in Paris is the Marché aux Puces de St Ouen, just north of the city limit. Apparently it's the biggest antique market in the world (or so it says on its Web site - http://www.les-puces.com/index.html). It's open on
saturdays, sundays and mondays
from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm. To get there, take metro line 4 to the Porte de Clignancourt.
This market has a number of outdoor stalls selling vintage clothing, records, etc, and a rabbit warren of indoor stalls where the more expensive antiques are sold. Don't expect to find any real bargains though.
It can get very crowded - watch out for con-artists and keep your wallet safe from pickpockets.

There is also a flea market in the southern suburb of Vanves, on avenue Georges-Lafenestre and avenue Marc-Sangnier. I've never been there so can't really comment.

As for food markets, you have a wide choice in Paris. My favourite is at Bastille, on Sundays (possibly other days of the week too, but not sure). Wide range of fruit and vegetable sellers, also meats, cheeses, wines, mushrooms, patés, and some speciality foods.
Another option is the Marché d'Aligre on and around the Place d'Aligre in the 12th arrondissement (near Bastille). Much less genteel and definitely cheaper than the Bastille market. Organised chaos, but fun. See this link for a nice article: http://www.waitrose.com/food_drink/w...ce/0004036.asp

Other markets include the organic food markets on Bouvelard Raspail and Bouvelard des Batignolles, both held on Saturday mornings.

There are also a number of streets that play host to food markets - some of the stalls are simply extensions of the shops behind. Rue Mouffetard in the 5th has a good one, as does the rue Lepic in Montmartre (18th).

For more info on markets, here's quite a good link: http://www.parisby.com/tourist/tour3.htm

HTH!!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 02:53 AM
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I actually prefer Vanves to St Ouen..for "street" merchandise ..but if you want to have lots of options for inside stores St Ouen winns!

on Thursday and saturdays there is a true food market at Saxe Breteuil..not just shops putting merechandise on storefront street...this one has purveyors coming in from the countryside with all sorts of goodies! Saturdays are best but Thus isn't bad either.Metro duroc..then walk down Ave de Saxe toward Place de Breteuil
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 04:21 AM
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The Vanves market is the most fun for "browsers" and much more like our "flea markets"--Saturday and Sunday morning. Go to the Porte du Vanves Metro, exit and walk up the hill. The Marche aux Puces is actually a huge area of permanent shops, many of them "branches" of city shops. There are several equivalents of our antique malls. If you go, bypass QUICKLY the stalls of T shirts, etc. and go a couple of blocks further for the real Marche. And in my opinion, it is severely overpriced--or you need to know what you are looking for and be willing to pay the price. It is not terribly browser friendly.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 09:33 AM
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I don't really care for flea markets that much, at least none of the ones I've been to in France. They just don't seem to have anything very special (the more casual ones) and Ouen is just shopping in antique shops to me, which I don't much enjoy. I have been to Vanves and wasn't impressed so I would say don't bother, but no one agrees on that as I think some people have liked it. At least Ouen has a lot of shops and more stuff, so I think it would be better if you are mainly interested in browsing and people-watching, anyway.

All I know is they always recommend you get there early, and I'd agree with that, at least by 9.

For a regular roving market, I like the one on bd Grenelle very much, it has both "stuff" (clothing, etc) and lots of good food, also. This is in the center of the streets--you can't miss it if you get off at La Motte Picquet metro stop. It's not a flea market, however, as it isn't used stuff.

For a permanent market street for food, I like rue Mouffetard and Montorgueil best. I also like the permanent market street in Passy (rue de l'Annonciation) which has everything (food, cafes and other types of small shops).

The only market I was really strongly disappointed in was the Marche des Creations on bd Edgar Quinet in MOntparnasse -- I had high hopes for this as it is supposed to be an artisans' market, but I thought it was simply dreadful. The selection was bad and most of it was the kind of stuff you'll find in cheap discount stores or motel/hotel "art shows" the world over. I saw no French handicrafts from the country or involving out artisan skiills as I had hoped.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 11:27 AM
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Hi rippowam

Off the subject for a second, the town I grew up in had a high school named Rippowam! Did you happen to go there or live there now?? Just wondering since I've never seen that name come up anywhere else!

My vote goes to Marche aux Puces.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 11:56 AM
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For a really nice food market try Pl. Monge on Sunday mornings. There are markets every day of the week except Monday in various places in Paris.
Also for "flea markets" don't forget the possibility of a week-end brocante. They will be listed in the Pariscope and somethimes you will see huge banners advertising them. These are really good for shopping.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 12:11 PM
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Thank you for all of your responses.

Yes, Rippowam = Go Warriors!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 12:42 PM
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I love the flea market at St. Ouen and have been there several times. There are several different markets gathered together in one area. The ones I have visited are the Marche Paul Bert and the Marche Vernaison. Both have outdoor alleyways but the stalls are permanent. To get there, leave the Porte de Clignancourt metro station and walk under the Peripherique highway, then turn left on rue des Rosiers. The Marche Vernaison will be on your right, the Marche Paul Bert is a bit farther down and on the left.

These two markets do not have the high end antiques that some of the other markets have. There are many tiny shops, each specializing in one type of item. I have some of the most colorful pictures of my trip taken there, of the shops selling beads and tassles, country primitive pottery and kitchen ware, one shop with nothing but key chains, others with shelves and shelves of enamelware.

The flea market is open Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but the one time I went on Monday I found many stands were closed.

I have also been to the flea market at Port de Vanves, which is open Saturday and Sunday. I did find two things to buy (an old copper pot and an old wooden coffee grinder which was later stolen from my luggage, but that's another story). It was much more hit-or-miss, however, since there were individual vendors setting up tables, so there was not nearly the selection you would find at St. Ouen. A fun way to spend the morning, however, if you enjoy flea markets. For the Port de Vanves market it probably is advantageous to get there early, while I did not see any reason to do that at St. Ouen, where the collections were larger and the selection greater.

I also went to the Marche des Createurs on the Blvd. Edgar Quinet, but my experience was very different from Christina's. I bought a beautiful vase from the potter who made it, a woman who lives and works in Paris and with whom I had a long conversation about French-American relations.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 03:30 PM
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Hey Ripp

SHS here, class of 71. What year were you??

Rip Ripp-Go Black Knights!!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 03:48 PM
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I love flea markets usually but Marche des Puces de St Ouen was a disappointment - mostly shops with teenage type clothing and running shoes The antique markets like Marche Vernaison are charming but very expensive for the merchandise they are selling. I wouldn't recommend going at all.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 07:49 PM
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Lewis-

'83, "last of the best". That's when they closed the school as a HS.

Now it's a magnet school I think.
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