Offbeat Paris: Marché aux Puces Saint-Ouen

August 2, 2018

The allure of Paris usually consists of the following:  art, gastronomy, fashion, history, and architecture.  I'd like to add to this list, if I may.  Nostalgia.  Nostalgia, to me, particularly found in tangible objects that were at one point in time of the utmost value to a person's life, but then traveled through time from one home to the next and then eventually finding its way to an antique dealer...in Paris.  It has occurred to me a few trips ago that I had not crossed off an important 'must-see' in Paris...the antique markets.  I've always wanted to visit the most famous of them all, the Marché aux Puces Saint-Ouen in Paris.  You know, the flea market seen in "Midnight in Paris"?  Well, this time I was invited on a walking tour with Localers, a local tour company offering guided tours, to tour Paris with one of their expert guides.  Localers have so many walking tours to choose from, even offbeat ones, but since I had not seen Marché aux Puces Saint-Ouen I decided to book their "Paris Flea Market Tour".

Marché aux Puces Saint-Ouen (also known as the "Puces", which is French for fleas) is one of the largest antiques markets in the world.  It is located in Paris at Porte de Clignancourt and has 15 markets within 7 hectares:
  • Antica
  • Biron
  • Cambo
  • Dauphine
  • Django Reinhardt
  • Jules Vallès
  • le Passage
  • Malassis
  • Malik
  • l'Entrepôt
  • Paul Bert Serpette
  • des Rues
  • l'Usine
  • Lécuyer
  • Vernaison
Our Localers guide, Eric, showed us a couple of them:  Marche Paul Bert Serpette and Marché de l'Entrepôt.

We met up with Eric and another family at the Garibaldi Metro station on a Sunday morning, which was the closest stop to the Puces.  We walked down Rue des Rosiers, which is the main street where the different markets can be found.

Marché de l'Entrepôt was our first stop.  It's a spacious alleyway housing bulkier items like furniture, spiral staircases, mantelpieces, doors, wrought iron gates, bars, and iron railings.  These items were dismantled from former chateaus and made its way here.


Our second stop on this tour...
Marché Paul Bert Serpette is an avant-garde market housing a beautiful mix of furniture, art, kitchenware, decorative pieces from mid-century modern to pieces dating back to the 17th century.  It's a favorite among celebrities like Julia Roberts and Kanye West.  Plus, it was featured in "Midnight in Paris."

I have heard the Puces can get crowded and like any place in the world you should be mindful of your belongings to avoid being pickpocketed.  Luckily it was nice, quiet, and not crowded at all!  It made the tour quite pleasant.  One thing I've noticed is that the Puces is not cheap.  For example, the vintage utensils below are 40€ for each bundle of 12.  But I'm sure the price is negotiable with proper negotiation techniques.


The Puces is open every Saturday and Sunday from 9h to 18h, and Mondays from 11h to 17h.  Although I did not find what I was looking for, I'm thrilled that I had the opportunity to visit the Puces and will be planning another trip back to visit the other marchés.

Thanks Localers for sponsoring this post.

2 comments

  1. Bonjour Majell! I am so happy to see this post about Marche aux Puces. I wanted to visit this on my last trip, but did not have time. Hoping to make it on an upcoming trip. Did you happen to notice if there are any Rue signs here, or do you know of another place I can look? I'm searching for a place to purchase one to bring home to my Paris study room! Any Rue... :) Merci!

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    1. Bonjour! That's exactly what I was looking for, but I didn't find any yet. I only found one sign, but it was a Place sign. I haven't looked at all the vendors and I only visited two marchés. The one I wanted visit is Marché Vernaison, but didn't have time. I think they might be there.

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