If you love markets, especially for vintage and antique goods, visit Marche aux Puces; an extraordinary market with an interesting origin.
The flea markets, as the name translates was started in the late 19th century by rag and bone men, who scoured the Paris streets and bins for items to sell to the public. Hygiene and petty crime forced their business to settle in the north of Paris, and St Ouen become the famous area in Paris for the Marche aux puces.
By 1920, the vendors sold their goods from enclosed stalls and by 1945, the markets become more upmarket, as bric a brac dealers were replaced by second hand clothing and furniture dealers.
Nowadays, the markets sprawls over 2,500 stalls of new to vintage clothes, antique to modern furniture, catering for low end to high end shoppers; the market has something for everyone. Window shopping here is an inspiration. Can you imagine looking through old collections of Coco Chanel’s jewellery, to art deco furniture that you get up close and inspect to lace lingerie and hats from a bygone era…?!
Don’t deny yourself this experience, put the Marche aux Puces on your list for a leisurely Saturday afternoon.
Be prepared to bargain a bit, the dealers will appreciate some French for a good negotiation, some show respect for the goods by talking time to talk to the dealers. Be careful with your personal items as the markets are normally crowded areas.
Closest metro is Porte de Clignancourt, line 4