The first time I fell in love with Paris, I was heading up the Eiffel Tower and marveling at the extraordinary views of the city. Love deepened as I perused the nearby Museum of Wine and found unparalleled beauty at Luxembourg Gardens. Then of course, it was downright lust when I entered the aromatic paradise called Laduree and sated myself with delectable raspberry and lemon macarons. As a Paris first-timer, you naturally hit the major landmarks—historic Notre Dame, the stunning River Seine Bridges, the artifact-filled Louvre, picturesque Moulin Rouge, and dazzling Champs-Elysees shops. I was thrilled with each and determined to come back to Paris to see even more illustrious attractions.
On my second visit to the enchanting French capital, I fell in love all over again—this time, with the vibrant open-air market known as the Clignancourt flea market. Also known as Les Puces de Saint-Ouen or the Saint-Ouen street market, this amazing Paris attraction may well be the biggest flea market in the world; it's certainly the most beloved and I can see why. If you enjoy hunting for good-quality antiques and discovering captivating second-hand treasures, this celebrated street market is one incredible Paris attraction you don't want to miss.
About the Clignancourt Street Market
Long dubbed the best flea market in Paris, the delightful Clignancourt street market is easily accessed via public transportation. I like to enter via Porte de Saint Ouen, but you can also access it by the Porte de Clignacourt via its ring road. The Clignancourt market address is listed as 99 Rue des Rossiers, but if you simply say "Clignancourt street market," your taxi driver will know exactly where to go. Clignancourt flea market hours are Saturdays and Sundays, but if you're looking for popular Paris flea markets open weekdays, you're in luck as the Les Puces flea market is also open on Mondays. Even so, I prefer to visit early on Saturday morning when the vendors are fresh-faced and ready to deal. Some of the vendors actually open for business on Friday, but it's hit or miss. For the best selection, plan to go on Saturday or Sunday.
Clignancourt Flea Market Map
Navigating the busy Clignancourt flea market is not for the faint of heart. It can feel a bit overwhelming with so much stuff gleaming and piled everywhere. Personally, I love to roam free and see where my fancy takes me, but if you're looking for certain items like antique leather-bound books or 18th century tapestries, you might want to procure a Paris flea market map so you can more easily find the vendors who specialize in antiques or whatever your fancy happens to be. Features of open-air market Clignancourt can also be found on these useful maps.
What to Buy at Paris Flea Market Clignancourt
I am amazed by the wealth of unique items available at the Clignancourt street market. As a long-time librarian, I can't help but feel drawn to the vintage books with their brilliant illustrations and old-world bindings. I adore coming upon piles of leather-bound lovelies. Most are in French, but you can find volumes in other languages, too, like English, Italian, Spanish, and German. I also love to look at all the eclectic art—the colorful paintings of old-world Paris cafes, pretty Paris neighborhoods, and blooming French landscapes. I feel sure that if you can't find a Paris souvenir at this open-air market, you won't find one anywhere. There is truly something wonderful here for everyone! From vintage umbrellas and paperweights to door knockers and canvas art, the great selection will take your breath away.
You can spend the entire day perusing the marvelous array of wares at this first-rate Paris open air market. I prefer to shop for vintage items that I can fit in my suitcase, but you'll certainly find large-scale items like antique furnishings from bygone eras. I'm not an antiques expert so I can't certify the authenticity of all the old objects found here, but I can say that this Paris flea market enjoys an excellent reputation and many of its antiques dealers have been setting up shop here for years. They take pride in their wares and are trusted by their discerning Parisian clientele.
Fun Paris Flea Market Finds
The fun-filled Paris flea market Clignancourt is popular with antiques shoppers, but there are so many more spectacular things to find there. On my visits to this great street market, I've purchased a wide array of cool items that I treasure like: a mint-condition carved bakelite bangle in a shade of applejuice, an early 20th century copy of Manon Lescaut with stunning illustrations, a vintage Balles de Versailles perfume bottle from the 1960s, a quaint antique tin carousel toy from Germany, a beautiful lace tablecloth from Belgium, and a breathtaking Venetian glass serving tray that I use every Christmas to serve my favorite pastries.
Of course, when visiting, expect to find original paintings, antique textiles, carved chairs, Oriental rugs, vintage clothing and handbags, artisan-worthy jewelry, silverware, china, paintings, sculptures, and so much more. My sister was tickled to find a silver-plated gravy boat in the shape of a swan about few years back. We happily witness it on her table every Thanksgiving. She also loves to hunt this fabulous street market for sewing and jewelry-making bits and baubles like silver thimbles, vintage ribbons, and antique buttons.
Tips for Shopping the Clignancourt Open-Air Market
When shopping any Paris flea market, it's important to keep certain tips in mind. I always wear a purse with a long strap that I can where across my body. That way, an opportunistic thief can't run off with it. Pickpockets can be found the world over, but they do seem to congregate at popular attractions like the renowned St. Ouen flea market. Depending on how much money I'm bringing along, I might also wear a small coin purse with a strap that I keep around my neck and tucked under my blouse.
Speaking of money, you can't be afraid to negotiate with this open-air market's vendors. They naturally want to get as much for their charming wares as possible. However, you should do your homework. If you're looking for certain items, be sure to research their value so you don't over pay. I enjoy the haggling game, but many people find it distasteful. Even so, it's part of the Paris flea market experience. Finally, don't forget to wear comfortable shoes. As the biggest and best flea market in the world, the Clignancourt street market is going to keep you on your feet for a while. Dress for the weather as well!
If you don't like busy crowded flea markets, you might try the Porte de Vanves flea market as a less-bustling alternative to the Clignancout open-air market. It's less congested, but it's also quite friendly and features a charming array of goods. I love visiting Paris for its flea markets. Clignancourt flea market is my favorite and sometimes I've gone multiple times in one trip. There's always something new and exciting to behold. Last time I found an antique postcard illustrated by my favorite artist, Raphael Kirchner. My sister discovered a 19th century haircomb topped with a carved orchid and lapis lazuli centerpiece. You simply never know what jaw-droppingly beautiful thing you're going to find at the amazing Clignancourt street market. This open-air market is the best Paris attraction if you ask me.