5.10.2011

Travel Tuesdays {Paris Flea Markets}...




My favorite day in Paris we spent at Les Puces {direct translation- the fleas}.  There is nothing like a Parisian flea market.  There is no junk- only treasures can be found.  Come prepared for sticker shock- remember this stuff is a lot older then American antiques and collectibles.  The dealers aren't kidding around-  be careful when touching things, there are very valuable things around and some of the vendors can be touchy about it. 

There is a real spirit of community among the vendors.  A lot of them congregate together in little groups, drinking a wine or watching a show together.  They are a hard to read bunch and not ones to be messed with!  There was a great article about Paris in National Geographic {the travel one} about Paris and there were pictures of some of the vendors and I saw those ladies when we were there!  I bet they have been there for years!  Ryan snapped this pic below- I am prowling for good finds...










There are a couple of flea markets in Paris.  We haven't seen the others {yet!} but we spent a full day almost at Les Puces de Saint-Owen at the Porte de Clignancourt.  We took Metro line 4 to Porte de Clignancourt.  Follow the crowds, it's not hard to miss at all.  If you  head towards McDonalds then you know you are going the wrong way.  And do not have coffee at McDonalds...it is not good.










The neighborhood outside the market is not the best, so hug your purses a little closer and tell your men to watch their wallets.  We didn't have any problems except for me needing to buy breakfast for little homeless children outside of McDonalds while Ryan was getting money from the ATM.  They will be looking for you Americans, so remember what I told you about maybe trying to dress a little more European- it will help!  I promise. Or just pretend you don't speak English - another great tip.  They know Americans are suckers.  I am sorry but you know it's true!  Put some sad images in front of us and play a little Sarah Mclachlan and we are putty in your hands!










The market is open Saturday and Sunday from 9-6.  It gets really busy in the afternoon but there are no early bird deals.  These are old, expensive things so don't come hoping to find the steal of the century, come early to beat the crowds {and at certain times of the year- heat}.  These dealers know their stuff and what it is worth so it's hard to haggle.  I did pick up some odds and ends.  Like vintage French postcards for one euro a piece.







The stalls, which are more like little tiny shops, are full to the brim of interesting things and fabulous displays.  Everything from furniture to old science equipment.  There is something here for everyone but perhaps my most favorite part was the market to your left as you are making your way to the antique markets.  It is full of new clothing, shoes, and handbags.  It was pure heaven.  I could have brought back an entire suitcase full of shoes {I brought back 4 pairs! bring an empty suitcase with you for souviners}.  You could get two pairs of flats for twenty euros!  The style of the clothing is very european so it is a great place to get a little Parisian chicness on the cheap.  People ask me all the time where I got my boots...Paris baby!

So here is what you need to remember about Les Puces:


*dress comfy there will be lots of walking


*eat here: Le Soleil, 109 av. Michelet, St-Ouen tel. 01-40-10-08-08-


*bring cash- watch your purses and wallets!


*you don't have to get there early to get deals, just to beat the crowds


It was the best day of our honeymoon.  I could have easily come back the next day and stayed for 7 more hours!  It was crowded but we were lucky and had amazing weather!  So we were happy just to stroll slowly along just taking it all in.  

There are little flea markets all over Paris and I would love to see more.  The next time we go, we will buy a big piece for our house.  There was just too much to decide from and we didn't plan on spending a whole lot of money that day so we were unprepared!  But in case you are worried that you are going to find an amazing piece but have no way to get it back home- don't worry the vendors deal with that all the time.  They will help you ship it and get it through customs.  

Next Tuesday will be our final Parisian Travel Tuesday. Look for a recap on all of my best French tips {i love puns!} and maybe a little giveaway {French vintage postcards anyone???} 






4 comments:

  1. Gorgeous photos! I'm a flea market haunter from Dublin, Ireland, on the way to Paris for a few days in a few weeks. Won't make the St Ouen puces, but will be looking out for other ones!

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  2. Thanks! Have fun in Paris! I cannot wait to go back. Next time I go to the puces it will be without my husband so I can spend some serious money : )

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  3. Great blog and great post with great pic's...

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