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gomiki Feb 23rd, 2012 07:14 AM

Paris flea markets, d'Aligre and Porte de Vanves. Have you been?
I have been to Saint Ouen several times but not to Porte de Vanves or Marche d'Aligre. Has anyone been to either of those recently? Best day and time to go? I am not looking for anything specific maybe a small treasure or two. What was your best find?

Southam Feb 23rd, 2012 07:40 AM

The flea market at d'Aligre occupies the small square on weekends; the adjacent food markets and stalls operate daily except Monday. My eye knows only what I have seen on Antiques Roadshow, but whatever "treasures" might be found must be well-hidden by the motley array, which looked more like thrift-shop leftovers to me. Good choices for a meal or drinks surround Place d'Aligre. Here is a second opinion:

gomiki Feb 23rd, 2012 09:27 AM

Southam, thank you. Looks like Le Baron Rouge makes the list!

Gretchen Feb 23rd, 2012 10:38 AM

We love the Porte vanves market and go every time we are in paris. C'mon, Southam. I'd guess you aren't an "antiquer" and "collector of stuff". If you want Antiques Roadshow stuff, then go to Saint Ouen and pay the price. And at least at Vanves, we have found "treasures" to us. Algire, don't know. Vanves is only Saturday and sunday, and with any "real" flea market, go early on the first day for the best choice. It stretches for several blocks.

PalenQ Feb 23rd, 2012 11:04 AM

Marche Aligre has been called, I read, Paris' only Marche aux forains (sp?) or street market with itinerant traders and yes this seems a down-scale market with a few exceptions to me - really cheap used clothes, etc. And vendors who did not to me at least seem as friendly as in other markets. The food market nearby has really cheap prices IME for veggies and fruits - avocados 5 for 1 euro last time I recall.

kerouac Feb 23rd, 2012 02:59 PM

Every time I have been to the Vanves market, I have been disappointed, but some of my friends love it. I just prefer Clignancourt because it is my "home" market so I know it like the back of my hand, and since it is by far the biggest, I can find everything that I am looking for and more. I think many people just give up in Clignancourt because it is so huge and they don't know where to go.

toupary6 Feb 23rd, 2012 09:34 PM

I agree, kerouac, that Porte de Vanves is disappointing, but it may be worth a trip once.

I love Clignancourt. As far as prices, there is a very wide range. There is always something of interest, and a good place to learn.

avalon Feb 23rd, 2012 11:54 PM

We too always go to Vanves and I always find a treasure ! I don't like St Ouen . IMO it is a lots of shops masquerading as flea market stalls. d'Aligre has mostly junk other than the food halls but as noted above Le Baron Rouge is nearby!!

kerouac Feb 24th, 2012 12:07 AM

I don't even look at the shops at the Clignancourt flea market. The real flea market is several streets away.

gomiki Feb 24th, 2012 06:12 AM

<The real flea market is several streets away.>

What streets are they?

CarolA Feb 24th, 2012 06:14 AM

Went to Varnes last year. Don't think I will bother to go back. I didn't find it worth the time....

Gretchen Feb 24th, 2012 07:58 AM

Kerouac may be splitting hairs a bit. There are a number of markets that converge. As you get off the Clignancourt metro you will go through some shops and stalls of junk--real "flea" market stuff like you'd see on a US interstate. Go past these a few blocks and then you are in the Paris flea market with a lot of antique stalls and shops. Many are "branches" of Paris shops.
Yes, maybe you can find something. That is the nature of "antiquing"--you never know what is going to catch your eye. Many of the shops are highly specialized--belle epoque mirrors, chandeliers, etc.
Vanves is a street market for antiques/junk and to me is lots of fun--for the hunt.

PalenQ Feb 24th, 2012 08:54 AM

the real flea market I think yes means a street market selling low-brow junk and clothing like spreads over many streets in and around the Peripherique if i recall - the upscale 'flea' market in the buildings is a flea market in name only.

the few times I went to P Vannes yes I too was way underwhelmed with the relatively few stalls there.

Gretchen Feb 24th, 2012 09:28 AM

Really--no stalls!! When we have gone (Saturday is THE day) it stretched from the intersection at the Metro for 3 blocks up the hill, both sides of the sidewalk, and then up into a little square at the top of the hill for many more stalls/tables. I like it for the "little" stuff--there's no furniture of any note for sure. I have picked up some nice little stuff. DD has a really "neat" silver fork mold. A good bit of "art"--you just have to see what it is. DD also bought a HUGE French flag for their antique shop. When they walked down the street with it over the shoulder, the guy at the top started playing the Marseillaise!!
The description of Clignancourt and the Peripherique is correct.
My parents lived in Paris in the 20's and went to it when it WAS a real March aux Puces!!

gomiki Feb 24th, 2012 09:42 AM

Gretchen, how I would have loved to see it then!

Christina Feb 24th, 2012 09:43 AM

I don't consider that a flea market (people selling stuff on the street regularly at Clignancourt), but I guess it depends what that word means to you.

I didn't care for Vanves the one time I was there, nothing much of interest and not very big. There weren't "stalls" there, people come in and set up their area/table whatever you call it, they don't have elaborate stalls or permanent ones like at Clignancourt. It's a temporary street flea market.

Aligre is downscale and is junk.

PalenQ Feb 24th, 2012 11:01 AM

Really--no stalls!! When we have gone (Saturday is THE day) it stretched from the intersection at the Metro for 3 blocks up the hill, both sides of the sidewalk, and then up into a little square at the top of the hill for many more stalls/tables>

I guess me and Christina have a different view of what stalls are - rather permanent stalls as opposed to folks with a little table or on pavement. And certain days may be slower than others - I actually went last one August and that could be a down time for such Parisian things.

Gretchen Feb 24th, 2012 12:16 PM

Well, gee. It IS a real street in Paris that once a week is a market. Might be hard to have 'stalls'. No, just tables, like a lot of flea markets in the US. We have fun, and do find things for some things I like.

toupary6 Feb 24th, 2012 01:13 PM

gomiki, while you're in Paris, keep an eye out for posters/signs advertising brocantes or vide-greniers. They take place on streets all over Paris on weekends through the year.

There may be something going on while you're there>

gomiki Feb 24th, 2012 01:16 PM

Thanks for the tip!

amamax2 Feb 24th, 2012 04:18 PM

What is the etiquette at the flea markets? Can you touch things/pick up them up? Haggle?

Gretchen, is it pretty cleaned out by Sunday? We get in too late to make it on Saturday, but had hoped to go for a look first thing on a Sunday.


cigalechanta Feb 24th, 2012 04:27 PM

thanks toupary6, you always have great advice.
are any of them about vintage clothes or are they just rags

toupary6 Feb 24th, 2012 05:57 PM

Mimi, darling, because you are a precious friend, I am about to share a secret. Check your hotmail.

toupary6 Feb 24th, 2012 07:30 PM

Mimi, sent to your hotmail and your gmail, but gmail failed. Let me know if you receive it.

avalon Feb 25th, 2012 12:12 AM

Mimi, check with phread on OPF she has a vintage clothing business in Paris and can be a help. I know she goes to Vanves

Gretchen Feb 25th, 2012 05:03 AM

Toupary, that is great advice. They are often listed in the weekly little newspaper available at Tabacs--what's going on this week or something like that. We went to a wonderful one at Auteuil one time, and I sort of have the impression there is one maybe monthly at Pere Lachaise area.
Yes, you can pick things up and bargain. My French isn't great but it seemed if I looked disappointed at the price, it might come down!! Or if I offered less--it's going to be in French however.
We haven't really gone on Sunday but that would be my impression--but as we have been saying, you never know what someone is looking for. It's certainly worth a try.

toupary6 Feb 25th, 2012 07:33 AM

Thanks, Gretchen. The one at Sevres-Lecorbe and that at Alesia (near the mairie of the 14th) often have interesting things, although the latter gets more and more expensive, and the quality is mediocre. But I don't get the impression anyone is buying furniture. You can pick up some interesting ephemera. Also, most of the open air markets are selling a lot more than food.

There is often a market of some sort or a fair (antiquarian books, for example) going on at place St-Sulpice.

amamax2 Feb 25th, 2012 08:35 AM

Thanks for the information, Gretchen!

kerouac Feb 25th, 2012 08:47 AM

I might as well drag out my old Clignancourt report which should certainly help neophytes visualise what the damned place looks like -- stalls, permanent vendor shops, displays of junk, etc. It's all there:

toupary6 Feb 25th, 2012 09:07 AM

Thanks for the link, kerouac. What is your favorite of the marchés?

And I don't believe you can compare any of the others to Clignancourt, a village. I miss being able to spend a Saturday or Sunday there anytime I want.

kerouac Feb 25th, 2012 09:17 AM

I need to write down some day the names of the streets that interest me the most. I know that one of them is the street to which the Marché Malik has a side exit, and basically a number of the streets west of there. I don't think that most tourists even get that far.

gomiki Feb 25th, 2012 09:17 AM

kerouac, Wonderful photos as usual. Thank you.

CYESQ Feb 26th, 2012 05:06 AM

Can you please tell me how to pronounce Clignancourt. My friend pronounces it cling an court and I don't think that's correct. Thanks

Gretchen Feb 26th, 2012 05:23 AM


kerouac Feb 26th, 2012 11:40 AM

I would say clean-yan-coor.

Gretchen Feb 26th, 2012 12:15 PM

Yes, I struggled with the coor too. That is what I say.

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