Top 5 flea markets in France

For antiquarians, collectors of antiquities or people who like old things better than new ones, France is a genuine treasure trove. Flea markets, or marchés aux puces, are widespread throughout the country, and it’s more difficult to find a town that doesn’t regularly host one than a town which does. Some flea markets are weekly affairs, where locals and visitors gather usually on weekends to display their wares or browse through everything from forgotten treasures to ordinary junk. Whether you just want to browse around and see if you find anything, or if you have something specific in mind, chances are that you’ll go home with something if you visit one of the top 5 flea markets in France.

Porte de Vanves, Paris

photo by Sharon Mollerus

The weekly flea market near Porte de Vanves metro station is held on Saturday and Sunday with over 300 vendors gathered with their wares. The market is open until 1 PM, so if you want to get dibs on the good stuff, you have to be there early. Seeing as Paris is such a multicultural city, the things on display come from many different countries and cultures, and while much of what you find is simply second hand stuff, there are vast quantities of valuable objects to be found as well.

Cours Saleya, Nice

The cours Saleya alley in Nice fills with vendors and customers every Monday, with over 200 stalls filled with quality antiques. Most of the things at this market are quite valuable, so they will cost a pretty penny, but if you are looking for bargains you can take a look at the nearby Place Pierre Gaulthier, where used objects are piled on the ground and where you can rummage to your heart’s content.

Villeurbanne, Lyon

photo by Sharon Mollerus

One of Lyon’s suburbs, Villeurbanne, hosts one of the largest flea markets in France every Sunday. There are more than 400 vendors at the Villeurbanne flea market, so you can spend quite a few hours browsing. You can find anything here, from pretty glassware to agricultural items, but most interestingly all sorts of local and traditional objects, like wine-making intruments, spindles or chocolate molds.

Allées Jules Guesde, Toulouse

The Toulouse flea market is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each month except October, on the Allées Jules Guesde in the city center. This market is great for collectibles and other sorts of valuable items that are not cheap, but are in good condition and quite rare.

Boulevard des Lices, Arles

photo by Anna Pickard

The Arles flea market, held on the first Wednesday of each month, is not the biggest in the country but it is definitely one of the most interesting ones and one of the top 5 flea markets in France. Some of the unique things you can find here are clothing items, especially traditional wear from Arles and from Provence.

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