I last visited the Marché aux Puces at Saint-Ouen in 2001 so was keen to revisit it again this visit. It was much as I remembered it. It is easy for the unsuspecting tourist to think that there is nothing more there than the stalls of counterfeit sportswear, shoes and bags. Trust me you don't get a real Louis Vuitton bag for 20€. The best strategy is not to make any eye contact or to hesitate even for a second as you pass these stalls and sidewalk touters. The real goodies are further on. There are antiques, vintage clothing and records, posters, furniture, books etc. Apart from the antiques I particularly enjoyed looking at the clothing some of which looked like it dated from the 1800s. The waists were tiny and the shoes very narrow. Unfortunately photos were not permitted.
The market is open Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 am to 6.00pm and Monday from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm. Although open all year round there is reduced activity from 1 - 15 August as vendors take their holidays. If you are taking the metro to the markets make sure you take either Line 4 to Porte de Clignancourt Line 13 to Garibaldi. JeF and I made the mistake of going off at the metro stop Saint-Ouen. Given the name, it was an easy mistake to make.
A bilingual brochure includes plans and practical information. Suggested walks are available on the French part of the Saint-Ouen Tourist Office site.
|Some of the magnificent antiques available at the market.|
|Not what you expect to see in a 'flea market'. There were some serious antiques.|
|Not everything is antique. Check out the pizza boxes on the stand on the right.|