Flea and Antique Markets no.8 "Marché aux Puces de Clignancourt, Saint-Ouen, Paris"
There’s just no place like the marché aux puces, aka the Paris flea markets, especially at Clignancourt, the largest Paris market and one of the best shopping resources in the world.
Strolling the markets is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, cutting through little streets and alleys, admiring the curated collections dealers have laid out. But there’s another side to the market that most people don’t get to see, one that’s not as picture perfect but where dealers themselves shop and trade with each other.
The Paris flea markets and the vendors who manage them have long been a staple of the landscape in the city. For me they’re the heart and soul, the dealers quietly and reliably setting up whether rain or shine, every weekend for over 100 years.
In Paris the markets are a treasured tradition and being a vendor is a respected profession. Some believe that the markets have been poached, even pillaged! They’ll say that there are no bargains left, and that Clignancourt (aka St.-Ouen) is a tourist trap.
After decades of exploration and bargain hunting, I still find nothing to be further from the truth. These markets are filled with authentic, affordable, one-of-a-kind finds, but the fact is, you have to know the lay of the land. And if you’re willing to go off the beaten path, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. At a bon prix at that!