Paris: Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

If you’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, walked down the Champs-Élysées, nibbled on a croissant in Montmarte and have a few hours left to spare in Paris, jump on the metro and head to the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen.

Created in 1920, Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen has since grown from one small market to one of the largest flea markets in the world. From designer fashion and iconic furniture pieces to smaller items like old books and antique doorknobs, the marché (market) is a second-hand shopper’s heaven. And while it must be said that it’s not the best place to score a budget-friendly find, the hours spent rummaging through boxes or viewing the grandeur in the pricier showrooms will be worth their weight in macarons.

Open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, we recommend starting at Marché Vernaison–the original, and some would say the best market. It’s here that you’ll get caught in banter with a friendly artisan and wander past ramshackle stalls overflowing unapologetically with bric-a-brac. All the markets are connected, so from Vernaison walk along Rue des Rosiers and weave down the laneways to explore what else is on offer.

Whether you want to test your French and barter with the keepers or just soak in the laidback atmosphere, Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is a place where history, art and shopping are effortlessly intertwined. Well worth a visit when next in Paris!