In just a few months I’m celebrating my two years in Paris, and if I count the 6 months that I had already spent in the city of light in 2015, it’s even more. It those two years, plenty of friends and family have come to visit me for weekends or even full weeks, and I’m at the point where I don’t really know anymore where I should take them to. Most of them have now seen the Eiffel tower, Montmartre and the Louvre, and, even more important, I have already seen these monuments at least a 100 times. Paris never gets old but it is about time to discover some new corners and that’s why my friend Camille and I decided to go to the flea market of St. Ouen one sunny Saturday in April. We both had never been and it’s always good to try something new, isn’t it?
If you decide, like us, to walk from Porte de Clignancourt, you will cross one of the most shady parts of Paris. At the Périphérique you can truly buy everything – from fake Chanel bags to Shisha’s and imported cigarettes, name it and you will be able to find it. I must say that this is my least favourite area of Paris and the only one I feel kind of unsafe in, because of the many many people and the area almost screaming “poverty”. Also, don’t be surprised to see tents of the homeless popping up in the middle of the sidewalk…
Anyway, once you get to the flea market, you won’t even remember what you’ve seen just 10 minutes earlier: hundreds of stalls with expensive antique furniture, vases, prints and other accessories that can be classified as vintage are awaiting their buyers.
There are multiple markets: My favourite market was the Dauphine Market, a pavilion with collectors items, music and posters. It seemed like the market that was most accessible to the ‘general public’ like me, as most people will probably not be able to buy anything of the (very expensive) vintage furniture that’s widely available in the other markets. Fun fact: in the Dauphine Market you can also see an UFO stalled out, I’m not sure if it’s for sale or not… those interested might need to ask. 😉
Overall I think 4 hours would be enough to walk through the markets, at least if you’re not necessarily intending on buying something. Most of the markets are (partially) outside so I would recommend a dry day for you visit.
Or day was very nice and surprising, too. Les Puces de St. Ouen are a must-see for those that have seen Paris as we know it or that are into antiques or arts.