James and I tend to spend most of January recovering from the Christmas rush at work and hiding from the world. We normally feel ready to rejoin humanity around mid February and always try and book a few days away. We both love France and neither of us had ever been to Paris so we booked the Eurostar for Valentine’s weekend (I know, I know…).
As well as seeing all the normal sights I had my heart set on visiting a good few brocantes and vide greniers. We booked a teeny tiny birds nest of an apartment on Airbnb on Rue Tiquetonne and our nearest Metro station was Étienne Marcel, so we were nice and central.
We arrived on a Thursday evening and settled in then went straight out for dinner. On Friday morning we constructed a plan over breakfast of where we were going to visit. We used our old favourite website Brocobrac to see where the markets were each day and then used the Metro map to see which ones we could get to fairly easily. There are so many throughout the week and weekends so you’re certain to find some you can make no matter when you visit.
We found the best ones we visited were in the East of the city. I can’t remember the road names unfortunately but around the stations Nation and Belleville were two we really liked. They were typical long rows of slightly bedraggled fabric awnings with crates and tables laden with treasure underneath.
We visited four markets in total over three days and I was genuinely surprised at the prices. Having bought in rural France I thought that Paris would be expensive by comparison. However, we did take a peek around some of the shops in the Village Saint-Paul but I was a bit horrified at the prices. The shops and collections are beautiful though so they are still worth a visit. If you’re after a bargain and are happy to search for it, I would definitely recommend vintage markets ahead of vintage shops in Paris though. Same as the UK really!
We were travelling fairly light so couldn’t bring anything huge home so had to buy carefully. Here’s some of our treasure…
To give you an idea of prices, here’s what we paid for some of the above
- Vintage tins | €1 each
- Collection of mini pasty tins | €8
- Trio of enamel storage jars (no lids, sadly) | €2
- Green storage jar | €6
- Enamel salt pot | €3
These were bargains because we really had to search for them. For me, that’s part of the fun but if you’re not in to that then you might want to head for the undercover markets and shops. You’ll likely have to pay more but the searching will be easier.
We just about managed to squeeze everything in to our bags and here’s how we’ve used some of these finds since we’ve had them home…
If you’ve got any questions about Paris flea markets please let me know and I’d love to see your finds too! You can find me on Instagram (@__apothecary__).