Flea market fun in Paris: le Marché aux Puces at Porte de Vanves

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I went to a friend’s wedding in Paris. I’d been looking forward to the weekend for ages, not only because I was excited about the wedding (which was a lovely day full of laughter, dancing and lots of delicious food and champagne!) but I was eager to visit another Parisian flea market!

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Last summer, I visited the famous Marché aux Puces St Ouen in north Paris (you can read about my visit here). I enjoyed wandering around the vast alleys of vintage and antiques goods but the market was quite overwhelming. This time, I was hoping that we could visit a market that was small enough to see in a few hours rather than a whole day!

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Fortunately, I found Flea Market Insiders, a fab resource containing reviews of flea markets and vintage fairs around Europe. The review for Porte de Vanves flea market suggested that it was just what I was looking for plus it was only a few stops on the metro from where we were staying.

On Sunday morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed and headed down to Porte de Vanves metro station a few minutes away from the market. We arrived at around 10.30, not as early as I’d hoped (we’d been dancing at the wedding party until late!), but there was still a lot of activity with stalls stretching along the pavement for three or four blocks.

Vanves flea market2

While my boyfriend went in search of a much-needed morning coffee and croissant, I headed off into the market. Some stalls were extremely well-presented with antique china, linen and other curios carefully displayed across the tables. Other stalls were more akin to those at a jumble sale with piles of items, often in different states of repair, some in bargain boxes on the floor. I saw quite a lot of things I liked although many were either way out of my price range or too large to carry on the Eurostar! However, I was pleased with my two purchases: a slightly worn vintage biscuit tin with a picture of a courting couple on it, and seven large vintage wooden cotton spools. I’ll share some pictures of these once I’ve had a chance to photograph them. In the meantime, all of these photos are of items that caught my eye while wandering though the market.

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I’m always up for visiting a flea market or two while I’m visiting different places, so I’d love to hear your recommendations of a favourite vintage or flea market or even car boot sale!

Rach x

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2 responses to “Flea market fun in Paris: le Marché aux Puces at Porte de Vanves

  1. Hi Rachel,
    I’ve had luck in Paris on Rue Mouffetard, at the bottom of the hill near St. Medard Church, where there is a smaller but nice weekend flea market, another one in June set up near St. Sulpice Church in the 6th arr., and the twice weekly market (Wednesday & Saturday) at the Maubert Mutualite metro entrance. I so enjoy this interesting local market and they have had some flea market-type merchandise at times when I’ve been there. As for England, at some rural Women’s Institute rummage sales and “fairs” in the north I’ve seen some flea market items as well as handmade things made from recycled bits & pieces.
    Happy Flea Marketing,
    Sue Goodman

    • Thanks so much for these helpful suggestions, Sue. I hadn’t heard of any of the Parisian markets so I’ll definitely check them out when I next go back. We were staying really near St Sulpice church so I know where to go for that one! The Women’s Institute fairs are a good idea too, there should be more of these in the summer and I’m hoping to go up north at some point. x

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