Saint-Ouen market in Paris is said to be the biggest antiques market in the world! For lovers of vintage, Les Puces de Saint-Ouen as it is called, or rather just “Les Puces” by those in the know, in the northern suburbs of Paris, Saint-Denis, is a must. It’s a fun, fabulous shopping venue where you’ll discover all manner of goods to re-love from jewellery, clothes and hand bags to chandeliers, books, furniture, china and antique anything and everything!
Every weekend the market hums with visitors from all over the world and you might well bump into some well-known vintage fans, think Mick Jagger, Uma Thurman and Pharrell Williams who’ve all been spotted browsing here! You can spend a few Euros, a few hundred or a few thousand or more here.
History of Les Puces de Saint-Ouen
The French are a nation of recyclers and in Paris the art of collecting unwanted items and selling them on has been a part of life for centuries. Saint-Ouen was born when the Paris council decided to clean up the city in the 19th century. The rag-and-bone-men of the city were driven out and set up camp in the then village that was Saint-Ouen.
Gradually their site grew, cafés and dance halls were opened alongside the flea market stalls, it became a trendy place for Parisians to visit and the flea market was born. Nowadays Saint Ouen covers a mind-boggling seven hectares and hosts 14 markets with 2000 boutiques – enough to keep the most avid collector happy.
The markets of Saint-Ouen are:
Antica, Biron (think lighting, furniture and objets d’art), Cambo, Dauphine (good for ceramics and furniture), Django Reinhardt, Jules Vallès, le Passage, Malassis (vintage toys and various bits and pieces), Malik, l’Entrepôt, Paul Bert Serpette (once the property of the Duke of Westminster), Rue des Rosiers, L’Usine & Lécuyer (great for house clearance bargains) and Vernaison (books, kitchenalia, fashion and various).
If you’re seeking a feel of “real” Paris then this is a great place to visit. It’s artsy and has a great atmosphere. There are dozens of tiny cafés and brasseries and some more well-known such as Paul Bert.
The shops and stalls sprawl out over a cat’s-cradle of streets and passages offering an astounding array of goods. Some of the stalls that spill out on to surrounding streets certainly have a bit of junk and souvenir-style goods, but the flea markets of Saint-Ouen are a great place to wander, browse and with luck, spot something to treasure for ever.
How to get to Saint-Ouen Flea Market
By metro: Alight at Porte de Clignancourt (line 4) or Garibaldi (line 13) stations
By Bus: 56 – 60 – 85 – 95 – 137 – 166 – 255 – PC 3 – Alight at: Audonienne
Saint-Ouen market is open: Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays 10am to 6pm.
More great features on Paris and its antiques and vintage vibe!
Guide to Shopping for Vintage Paris
How to find flea and antiques market in Paris
Parlez vous flea market? French words to help you bargain hunt in France