The Paris Flea Market or Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is legendary. This famous Paris flea market is one not to miss. In fact, since 2001, this Paris antique market has been classified as a heritage zone for its specific ambience.
A trip to this best Paris Flea Market is an experience not to be forgotten. Vintage pieces. Antiques galore. Quirky bric-a-brac. It’s like a trip down memory lane (does anyone else remember dinky toy cars?) while at the same time an opportunity to find endless unique treasures. It’s a browser’s paradise at Saint Ouen Paris.
The gorgeous antiques, quirky bric-a-brac and vintage stands are a browser’s paradise. Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is turning me into a flea market gal!
What Will I Find At The Paris Flea Market?
The Paris Flea Market is huge at seventeen hectares and fourteen different markets.
Yes, there are 14 MARKETS at the Saint Ouen market Paris
With the largest concentration of antique dealers in the world and this many stands, you can count on finding anything your heart desires, it might just take some searching around. Old vinyl, gleaming silverware, thousands of empty frames and mirrors of every shape are on display for the buyer. Paintings, antique furniture, trinkets, pinball machines and astonishing delights that would be perfect for movie sets can be found at this flea market in Paris.
How Should I Tackle The Saint Ouen Flea Market?
- Get into your “flâneur/ flâneuse” mode. If you are not sure how to flâner, read my tips here.
- Wander. Explore. Embrace your curious spirit. Ramble. Don’t even consider going to the Paris Flea Market if you are in a hurry.
- Start your exploration at these markets:
- Marché Vernaison: It is full of stands carrying jewellery, clothing, silver, furniture and glassware. A browser’s paradise since 1920.
- Marché Dauphine: This market is full of ancient Parisian postcards, prints, books, furniture, and vintage clothing. It’s here that I found a unique evening purse that had been used in Paris Fashion Week. Chatting to the vendor was in itself memorable, with her bright round red glasses and rabbit fur adorning her jacket.
- Paul Bert Serpette: This market is huge in itself and full of antique dealers and some cool modern furniture shops as well.
I barely made a dent in exploring this giant market of second-hand treasures but it was enough to intrigue me for further visits!
Why Is Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen So Well Known?
On doing a little research before heading out to the Paris Flea Market in Saint-Ouen, this is what I came to understand.
Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is a big deal.
- With fourteen markets and approximately 1700 vendors, it is the largest flea market in Europe.
- This Paris Antique Market is one of the most visited attractions in France and millions of people meander the allées every year.
- There have been second-hand goods exchanging hands in this area of Saint-Ouen since about 1870. Many developments and changes have taken place over the years but there have always been second-hand dealers and a flea market in Saint-Ouen. Read the full history here.
What Should I Bring With Me To The Paris Flea Market?
This amazing antique market is full of surprises. You may think you are going to buy silverware and end up with a chair from the times of Louis XIV! Or possibly a china trinket from the Tetley tea boxes of the 1960s!
Bring cash, although some merchants do take credit cards. The only bank machine I saw was outside of Marché Dauphine and there was a long lineup.
Also, throw in a measuring tape if you are looking for furniture.
How Do I Get To Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen?
The two routes by metro outlined below will have you entering the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen from opposite sides. Both entrances work well for an outing at this Paris antique market.
My Preferred Route to Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen:
Take the Métro Line #13 (light blue colour on the Métro map) and get off at Garibaldi. When you exit at Garibaldi, there are signs marking the way to the Paris flea market. It is a 15-minute walk.
Paris Antique Market Tip:
- From Garibaldi, you will cut through a park called Square Marmottan and end up on rue des Rosiers. Note that this park as with all Paris parks closes at sundown. Therefore in the winter, if you leave the market at closing time the park is closed and it is necessary to walk around it to get to the station.
- The reason this is my preferred route is that I don’t like walking through the market described below.
Another Route to Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen:
Take the Métro to Porte de Clignacourt on Line #4 (magenta colour on the Métro map). From the station platform, take the Sortie (Exit) 1 or 2. When you leave the station, pay attention as you are on a very busy corner that is known for pickpockets.
Look for the signs for the Paris Flea Market – Puces de Saint-Ouen – Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen. I had trouble seeing the signs right away. The Paris Flea Market is about a ten-minute walk from the Métro stop in the direction of the Periphique, Paris’s ring road. Head towards the highway and walk under the overpass.
Be prepared to pass a busy weekend market with lots of tents set up and the vendors’ vans lining the road. Keep walking, unless something catches your eye! This is not Le Marché aux Puces.
The Paris Flea Market is on your left on rue des Rosiers. The same name but, of course, this is not the rue des Rosiers found in le Marais.
Perhaps the simplest way to get to the Paris Flea Market is by spaceship!
What Are The Paris Flea Market Hours?
Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is open:
- Saturdays 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Sundays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Mondays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Friday mornings some vendors are open for visitors.
- All holidays except Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and May 1.
The first two weeks of August sees many stands at the Paris Flea Market closed for holidays. On one visit I was there at the end of the third week of August and it was very quiet.
September might be a wonderful time to visit as vendors return from their summer break. My guess is that they have been scouring other parts of France and places further afield to expand their inventory.
Here is the official site of Les Puces de Paris: Saint-Ouen.
Should I Haggle With The Vendors?
Definitely negotiate prices with the vendors at the St. Ouen Market.
Sometimes vendors will immediately offer you a price lower than the ticket price. Other times, you need to offer what you think is a good reduction.
I am the world’s worst haggler. But even I tried bargaining at The Paris Flea Market. I’m never sure when they say, “Well Madam, it was €40 but I will sell it to you for €30” if I am supposed to keep bargaining. I tried and was told the designer silk scarf I was buying for my mother was ancient silk. The vendor looked up the designer on her phone to show me that her price was fair.
I loved watching all the vendors interact with each other. Some sat and shared lunch together and a glass of rosé, while others chatted amongst each other. A real sense of community can be felt at this Paris Flea Market.
Where Can I Eat at the Paris Flea Market?
Chez Louisette: is tucked away in Marché Vernaison. I had heard of this legendary place that opened in the 1930s several times and imagined eating a home-cooked lunch listening to Edith Piaf! But it is closed every time that I go!
I asked a vendor recently why Chez Louisette was still closed. Apparently, the owner died and the grandchildren want to continue its operation. Something is holding it up in the courts. Fingers crossed it will reopen soon.
Ma Cocotte: Another long-standing restaurant at the Paris Flea Market
Le Petit Navire: (116 rue des Rosiers) Had a fabulous pot of mussels at here. Also had a drink at Le Paul Bert (20 rue Paul Bert).
Café Le Voltaire: On rue de Rosiers is a good choice too.
High on my list and highly recommended for my next visit is the jazz club, La Chope des Puces (122 rue des Rosiers).
Paris Antique Market Tips
- Go earlier in the day rather than later for fewer crowds
- If there is a marvellous something that you have your eye on and think you will return for another look later, take note of the number of the allée and the number of the stand or better yet get the vendor’s business card.
- Visiting the Saint Ouen Flea Market with friends? If you decide to separate be sure to pick a central and easily found meeting spot for later.
- This famous Paris flea market definitely attracts pickpockets. Wear a cross-body purse and/or zip wallets in inside pockets. Read further for other Paris scams.
Other Paris Flea Markets
- The Vanves Flea Market or Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves is in the 14th arrondissement. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am to 2 pm. The Vanves Flea Market is much smaller than the les puces de Saint Ouen. Take métro line 13 to Porte de Vanves.
- Marché aux Puces de Montreuil or the Montreuil Flea Market is in the 20th arrondissment. This Paris flea market is open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm
- The Aligre Market in the 12th arrondissement has a section of antique and brocante dealers. It’s quite small but there are definitely treasures to be found. You can combine a visit here with one of my favourite fromageries in Le Marché Couvert Beauvau.
- In the Village Saint-Paul in le Marais is a delightful antique market. Browse here for vintage items and beautiful antiques.
- Foire de Chatou – The largest antique fair and brocante in the Paris area happens just twice a year in March and September. In 2023, the dates are: March 10 to 19, 2023 and September 22 to October 1. Find out more information here
Difference Between Les Puces And A Brocante?
If you spend any amount of time in Paris and France, you will hear the words “les puces” and “brocante” tossed around. The French LOVE their second-hand markets.
Les Puces literally translates to the fleas. So definitely the right word for a flea market.
But what is a brocante? From the spring well into the fall, little white pointed tents pop up here and there in Paris. Under the tents? Vintage goods. Antiques. Bric-a-brac. A browser’s delight. And, a bargain hunters thrill. Maybe. These sellers under the white tents are professional dealers. Looking to browse a brocante in Paris? Check out this site that organize the professional brocantes in Paris.
Whether you are a flea market kind of shopper or not, an afternoon spent at the Paris Flea Market, le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, is an experience you won’t forget! I’ve barely made a dent in exploring this giant Paris antique market. I can’t wait for my next visit!
Until next time,
More Travel Info…
This guide to the arrondissements of Paris will help you plan the best trip ever! It’s full of ideas of things to do in each area of Paris.
Best Areas For Exploring:
- Ile de la Cité
- Montmartre, much like Ile Saint- Louis, feels like a small village. This post on Montmartre leads you to the most popular sites as well as some lesser-known places on the hill.
- La Butte aux Cailles, tucked away in the 13th arrondissement, is another place in Paris that has retained its village-like charm. My article on La Butte aux Cailles will lead you to discover some of the area and its visually enticing street art.
- Canal Saint-Martin is another place full of small restaurants, boutiques and plenty of character. Stroll the bridges of the canal under the chestnut trees and feel like a true Parisian. All the details on this “bobo” district are in this article on Canal Saint-Martin.
- Le Marais is one of the oldest areas of Paris. Once marshland, it is hopping with boutiques, cafés, gorgeous old mansions and museums. Read my full guide to le Marais and also insider Marais tips from a local.
If you are looking for food suggestions, read about where to find the best croissants in Paris. There are also plenty of café suggestions for the Marais area in this post: Tips from a Local. And if you are exploring the area around Canal Saint-Martin, here are the best places to stop for a bite or to find the fixings for a picnic.
Travelling to Paris alone? This article on navigating Paris alone is full of tips and tricks for the solo traveller.
This page has all my articles on Paris that will help you plan out your trip, including day trips from Paris. I hope you subscribed to my newsletter to get my free download – An Amazing 2-day Itinerary in Paris.
If you are going further afield in France, make sure to check out my page on France.