Bargain hunters, treasure hunters and overall enamored couples on the hunt for a romantic activity all head to Les Puces de Saint Ouen, one of the largest flea markets in the world.
Be it retro furniture, antique jewelry, vintage books, creepy old dolls, preloved clothes, grandiose tapestries, dismantled carousel horses, pretty leather voyage trunks, or even a statue of a dwarf killing a stag: there is no shortage of unique treasures to be scored here!
Parisians have always been hoarders and since ages so-called “rag-and-bone men” have been scavenging its streets for waste that could one day turn out to be useful or profitable. In the late 19th century, they were banned from the city in an attempt to clean the old lady up, so they set up camp on her outskirts, in the rural village of Saint Ouen. Open-air cafés, dance halls and little antique shops would soon follow, acting as the foundations of today’s flea market.
Nowadays, it consists of some fifteen different sections, each unique in their offer and atmosphere. Some look like Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, others have the feel of some high-end art gallery; be sure to define the ones you want to visit in advance, otherwise you’ll quickly get lost in the labyrinth. Take an entire day to stroll along Saint Ouen’s endless stalls of old treasures and finish off with a glass of delicious white whine and escargots à l’ail on one of the messy little terraces.