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the best flea market in paris | marche aux puces – saint ouen paris

"march aux puces de saint ouen"

No trip to Paris is complete without spending a day at one of the many flea markets around town. At first, I debated whether or not I thought the kids would enjoy walking around all day looking at antiques and cool stuff. But what better spot to take kids? Lots of interesting stuff to look, a sure crowd pleaser. So off we went to Marche aux Puces – Saint Ouen – the largest flea market in the world.

We took Metro Line #4 to Porte de Clignancourt (last stop on the line). When you exit the Metro – there is a sign that points in the direction of LES PUCES. Don’t be fooled by the throngs of people trying to sell you knock off designer watches and sunglasses right as you step off the train. This is not the beginning of the flea market. You might think so, because you actually pass through a block of what is a not so nice version of a flea market, but not the one you came for. You have to walk about 3 blocks before you will get to Rue des Rossiers and see the entrance to the different markets that comprise this Paris flea market.

There are several markets within the market. Check out the official website above if you are looking for something particular – the guide can help. But if you are like us, with two small kids in tow, we had no real objective except to look at cool stuff. And that’s what we found. Gabby loved looking at the animals in every stall – from a taxidermist specials of deer heads, stuffed rabbits, dogs to little porcelain figurines, if it was in animal form it was capturing her eye. She loved the place. Isabella was looking at the china (especially the tea cups) and the little details like jewelry, beads, buttons. There were some amazing antique kids toys, dolls and clothing – dating back nearly 200 years in some cases. Just beautiful.

The sights and sounds of the market from Chez Lousette with live singing (accordion player singing French songs) to the shop keepers haggling with clients to viewing history right before our eyes with fabric, clothing and furniture which could be in museums. A true feast for the senses.

We only strolled through a section of the market, it would take days to get through the whole place. But if you love antiques and enjoy a good stroll – this is a great way to spend a leisurely day in Paris. And don’t forget the kids – they will LOVE it!

The flea market is only open Saturday, Sunday and Monday – I’ve seen mentioned that upwards of 200,000 people visit each weekend, we went on Monday – it was nice and quiet!

{We ate lunch at a little spot called Au Petit Pierrot, 142 Rue des Rosiers – a delicious 3 Fromage Panini – Delicious!}

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