Paris is a city of history, culture, arts and also of hidden treasures if you know where to find them.
As shopping is one of the best things to do in Paris, here’s a list of the best places to bargain-hunt, finding the little gems that you didn’t know you needed. I enlisted insider Laurence, from Paris-Toujours, to share her tips on the markets in Paris with the best atmosphere and bargains for that special souvenir or gift.
1. Village Saint Paul
Village Saint Paul is located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, between the Seine and the “rue Saint-Antoine”. It is a kind of small village where the atmosphere is so quiet that you almost forget you are in the heart of Paris.
Village Saint Paul was formerly the parish of the kings of France and was renovated in 1979 to create a charming labyrinth around patios. Inside, you will find approximately 80 designers, artists, second-hand sellers and antique dealers. The choice is wide so there is something for everyone.
This is the perfect place to bargain-hunt, even if you’re not looking for anything in particular, as it brings you back to the atmosphere of a small Parisian village! And if you’re hungry after scavenging try out Le Métropolitain, one of the best bistros in Paris.
Village Saint Paul is open every day from 11am to 7pm.
2. The “Puces of Saint-Ouen”
The Puces of Saint-Ouen is the most famous Parisian flea market, welcoming 11 million visitors each year. Located just outside Paris, it is accessible from the metro station “Porte de Clignancourt”.
The Puces of Saint-Ouen was created in 1870, when second-hand goods and clothes dealers decided to move there because the zone was free from taxation and the legislation less strict than inside Paris. After a few years people became curious about all those dealers having their shops directly set up on the street and that’s how the Puces of Saint-Ouen was born!
Nowadays, you have 14 different markets with more than 2500 dealers. You will find artworks, furniture and clothes for everyone. For instance, you have the Dauphine market, specialising in upmarket furniture, the Paul Bert market, the biggest antiquity market in the world or the Biron market, specialising in art.
The flea market of Saint-Ouen is so big that’s it is difficult to cover it all, a guide could help you select the best things to see and the best spots to bargain hunt for what you really want. There are also very good restaurants such as Ma Cocotte designed by Philippe Starck.
The market is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5:30pm and Mondays from 11am to 5:30pm. Fridays are for professionals only.
3. The Swiss Village
Located on 78 Avenue de Suffren in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, the village Suisse is near the Eiffel Tower.
Created for the universal exhibition of 1900 in Paris, this top-of-the-range flea market welcomes collectors and lovers of classic and modern art. The atmosphere is very different from the other flea markets as it is more structured and higher end.
Inside you will find a wide variety of shops, some art galleries, decoration shops, antique shops, second-hands shops… but everything will be upmarket! Like the village Saint-Paul, the atmosphere it very quiet.
The Village Suisse is open every day from 10:30am to 7pm except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
4. Marché d’Aligre
The Aligre market is located between the “Place de la Nation” and the “Place de la Bastille”, in the 12th arrondissement of Paris.
The market is divided into two parts, one outside and another one under the “Halle Beauvau”, a classified historical monument with its upside down boat structure.
The atmosphere is very lively like in most popular markets. Inside, under the “Halle Beauvau”, you will mainly find food stalls, loudly pledging the price of their products, and outside you will find the flea market itself.
The flea market is similar to an open air rummage sale. You will find lots of things such as clothes, books, art objects, and silverware, making it a deserving detour for its special atmosphere.
It is open every day except Mondays from 7:30am to 1:30pm and from 4:30pm to 7:30pm.
5. Puces de Vanves
The ‘Puces de Vanves’ is located in the south of Paris, in the 14th arrondissement, on the “Avenue George Lafenestre”.
Set up directly on the street, the Vanves flea market has a special charm. Less famous than Saint-Ouen, it is more popular with locals and some say that it has a more authentic atmosphere.
You will find more than 350 stands that sell a bit of everything, such as furniture of all styles, jewelry, lamps, vinyls, books…
It is open every Saturday and Sunday from 7am to 2pm.
If you’d like to read more about France, check these posts…
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