When it comes to flea or antique markets in Paris, the large Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen at Porte de Clignancourt is well-known. Compared to that market, where proper shops take over the entire quartier, the street market at Porte de Vanves is tiny.
But here the stalls are just that: merchants set up tables and place boxes on the ground, filling up the pavement alongside two streets under the trees, and that’s it. There’s one food truck and one old man playing a street organ.
Yet, the atmosphere is fabulous. People come out and search through the varied offerings ranging from mugs portraying royalty to legs of mannequins, from old books and vinyl records to jewelry and silver cutlery. There are glass wares, African masks, paintings, vintage clothes, toys, home décor, and everything in between.
What makes this worthwhile is that you can barter, and you stand a chance of finding a unique bargain, rather than being taken for a tourist and taken for a ride. It’s a great way to start a weekend and to pick up some truly unexpected, original souvenirs from your time in Paris.
Come with cash in hand and eyes peeled for those hidden gems. But do keep your purse or wallet tucked away as markets are hotspots for pickpockets.
Urbansider Tip: You’ll get the best deals here the last week of July when all the vendors will be trying to de-stock before Parisians go on holiday in August.
Searching for food markets instead? These are the 5 Best Open-Air Food Markets in Paris.