Vanves flea market : charm and authenticity
If you’re a passionate collector, a lover of hunting for bargains, or just enjoy wandering through flea markets, you’ll probably like Vanves flea market!
Every Saturday and Sunday morning, it’s a paradise for “les Chineurs” (= the French nickname for the bargain hunters). More confidential than Saint-Ouen. On a sunny Sunday morning, more especially, you’ll spend an exquisite peaceful morning, whether you’ve planned or not to buy something, whether you’ve bought or not something !
It is one of the largest flea markets in Paris : 350 merchants along 2 avenues (boulevard Marc Sangnier and boulevard Lafenestre) on the edge of Southern Paris. At the crossroad of these two avenues a man play on his piano.
This market is filled with charm and authenticity, friendly. A relaxing and joyful way to spend a morning of a weekend
What will you find at Vanves flea market?
If you love authentic items, this is the place to go to.
20s and 30s items, 18th, 19th and art deco objects, luminaires, glassware and silverware; vintage jewellery and fantasy, cameras, records, old French comic books and old papers; dusty antique books, old fashion magazines from the 20s and 30s (and some a bit more recent ones), coins, military medals; paintings, drawings and engravings and vintage postcards, antique toys, religious objects, dolls, old dishes, table cloths, vases, vintage kitchen items…
Only a few stalls vending old clothes and textiles. Same for big furniture
Most of what’s sold there is quite affordable and you can negotiate the price as in all flea markets
The main Paris’ flea markets are Montreuil, Saint Ouen, and Vanves. They developed during the 19th century on the area where the fortified wall of Thiers (President of France from 1871 to 1873) was located. (The wall of Thiers was a defensive wall, built around 1840 and included almost the whole actual Paris. It was demoslished around 1920.)
The Saint Ouen flea market is by far the largest in the city (more than 2500 stalls and 17 kilometres of alleyways spread over 6 hectares).
So why choose Vanves?
Much smaller than Saint Ouen flea market: you’ll easily find you way, won’t get lost and won’t feel overwhelmed. Also a peaceful and intimate Parisian atmosphere, a little outdated, easily accessible by metro, and still largely the haunt of locals and regulars. You’ll find there atmosphere of an old Paris.
Some of the vendors are professionals and many of them have had a stall for a long time. Some of them for several decades.
But if you‘re more interested in large furniture, Saint Ouen flea market will probably be a better place. And if you’re looking for vintage clothing, the choice in Saint Ouen flea market will be much larger.
My suggestions and opinion :
- Saint Ouen or Vanves ? Pro : Vanves is a smaller and thus of a more manageable size. You can’t get lost ! . Cons : Not the best place for furniture (or clothing, especially if you’re looking for something specific)
- Plan to arrive not too late, if possible around 10.30 or earlier if possible, for the best finds. Not after 11am (The vendors generally leave around 1.30pm)
- Take some cash with you. Most vendors take cash only. And be prepare to bargain,
- Needs between 1.30 to 2.30 hours to enjoy it; Good prices.
- Some vendors speak some English. It would be helpful if you spoke a little French. Don’t hesitate to bargain.
Practical details :
- Marc Sangnier avenue and Georges Lafenestre avenue – Paris, 14th arrondissement
- Opened year-round on Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 1.30pm
- Free entrance
- Metro stop : Porte de Vanves, line 13 or Tram T3 or Bus 58, 95, 191
- Payment in cash
You can combine your visit to Vanves flea market with :
- On Sunday morning : after Vanves flea market, you can go the the close-by food market on Boulevard Brune (Paris 14) : cheeses, fruit tarts and fresh regional produce
- Montsouris area (So Parisian, from Daguerre to Montsouris )
- Montparnasse neighborhood and for instance enjoy a meal at a crêperie in Montparnasse the “kingdom” of crêperies.
- Montparnasse cemetery
- Les Catacombes
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