Show Notes for Episode 332: The Paris Saint-Ouen Flea Market

Category: Paris

There Are Several Parts to the Paris Saint-Ouen Flea Market

This flea market is so big that it actually comprises several distinct markets. It is situated just north of the périphérique or Paris belt road. You can easily spend a whole day exploring this flea market, just make sure you go on a day when it’s open!

Each one of these markets is different. Some vendors have shops in a building, they arranged others along narrow “streets”. Many areas sell high ticket items, some are more affordable.

Eva’s Favorite: Marché Paul Bert

The Paul Bert market is the most famous one because it is picturesque. Each vendor has a booth that can be decorated and has more permanence to it. It feels like you’re walking through a street with stores on both sides. Each booth has its own specialty.

In the Paul Bert market, they sell mostly higher price items like furniture or more expensive art. Many of the booths are artistically decorated, and it is the most picturesque area of the Paris Saint-Ouen Flea Markets.

A great place to get lunch is at the Le Café Paul Bert. There is an ATM right across from the café which is convenient.

Marché Serpette

The Serpette market is inside a building within the Paul Bert market. Some people refer to it as Paul Bert – Serpette. This is where you’d go for genuine Louis XIV chairs and vintage Hermès scarves or bags. They also have paintings, mirrors, and a million other things. But some little decorative trinkets too, vintage jewelry, old silverware, etc.

If you only have a couple of hours to dedicate to your visit of the Paris Saint-Ouen Flea Market, you should definitely spend it there.

Eva’s Second Favorite: Marché Vernaison

Marché Vernaison is the oldest flea market in this area, and this is where it all got started. This market feels a bit like a maze and something that’s been there for a long time. It feels very atmospheric, like you could get lost in these little isles.

Long ago there were people who looked through trash to find whatever they could salvage and sell. They were called the rag men (chiffoniers in French). Once the city of Paris told them there were no longer welcome, they went and setup shop just outside of Paris in Saint-Ouen. At first, they had temporary displays just for the day, but then they got permission to build shacks or chalets to store their goods.

You will find a lot of variety at this market. It is the least fancy of all the places we’ve mentioned. You will be able to find postcards and little trinkets such as the ceramic fèves from the Galettes des Rois that you could take home with you.

The Cambon Market

This market specializes in high-end antique furniture, so mostly not things you can take home in your suitcase, but it’s still fun to see.

Marché Biron

A fun little tidbit about this part of the Paris Saint-Ouen Flea Market: in the Netflix series hit Lupin, he goes to this market a few times because that’s where his best friend has his shop.

This market is smaller with only two alleyways. Some of it is covered. The prices of paintings are a little bit lower in this part of the market.

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Category: Paris