Les Puces de Saint Ouen, this is a magical place and a goal of strolling for everyone !Les Puces de Saint Ouen, this is a magical place and a goal of strolling for everyone !
Puces de Saint Ouen or Puces de Clignancourt ?
This flea market is either called Puces de Saint Ouen (named after Saint Ouen city, northern suburb of Paris) or Puces de Clignancourt (named after the Porte de Clignancourt area).
People come here from all over the world. It attracts over 10 million visitors per year
It’s located on the northern edge of Paris. Although it’s officially located in the suburb city called Saint Ouen, it’s generally considered by everyone as a part of Paris.
The largest flea market in the world
Saint Ouen is the largest flea market in Paris … but in the world too !
The 3 main Paris flea markets are : Vanves flea market, Montreuil flea market and St Ouen Flea market. But Saint Ouen is by far the largest and most important
In Saint Ouen flea market, there are about 14 distinct market-areas and more than 1700 merchants displaying their items in shops and on stalls. In Saint Ouen flea market, you’ll find all type of “architectures” : covered huts, stalls, warehouses, garages, shops…
You can find everything from antiques, records, books, antique jewellery… to clothing. From all eras and all countries. And for every budget
And one main street called : la rue des Rosiers which help you find your way in this huge village-flea market. A good benchmark.
Some History :
It started with people collecting all sorts of things at night, through the garbage of Paris so as to sell them. But after a while, in the late 19th century, they were chased out of the city. Some of them twent to the northern border of Paris where they set up temporary stalls
Then these sales expanded and became more organized.
Finally the Marché de Saint Ouen itself, as it look now, started after WWI with sort of enclosed areas (some covered and some open-air) set up along one main street (la rue des Rosiers). It became very popular within a very short time.
It earned its name because of the flea that infested the furniture which was sold there.
A Spot in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (Allée n°1 in Marché Biron)
Midnight in Paris in le Marché Biron …Do you remember this episode when Gil is strolling in this flea market, looking for some gem and meet Gabrielle from who he buy an old record of Cole Porter ?
More than 14 market-areas
In les Puces de Saint Ouen, there are more than 14 market-areas The main ones are :
- Le Marché Vernaison : founded by Mr Vernaison. In this market, you’ll find all sorts of items : beads, fabric, paintings, antique, fashion, vintage books, toys, antique clothing
- Le Marché Dauphine – 140 rue des Rosiers – Falbalas (one of the last places where you can find costumes from the 18th century to the 1970s and 1980s – https://www.marche-dauphine.com/falbalas/ ) :
- Le Marché Biron : Founded in 1925. A classic market. The shops and stalls are spread on both sides of a long alleyway . Maybe the most expensive where you’ll find lighting, antique furniture… from the 17th century until the 20th (70s/80s). It’s where Gil and Gabrielle meet in Midnight in Paris
- Le Marché Paul Bert – There, you’ll find, 19th and 20th century furniture (including some furniture dating from the 50s and 60s), Vintage fashion shops and thrift stores. This market is owned by the Duke of Westminster – 96-110 Rue des Rosiers. In this market :
- Alain Fradin et Eric Fleuret : vintage XXe allée 5
- David Netter : clothes from the 50s à 80s, Design-Vintage – allée 2 – Stall n° 32 du marché Paul-Bert.
- Giraud Art Déco : specialist of the 20TH century. The shop offers “Vintage couture jewellery” (Chanel, Miriam Haskell, R.Sorrell…), furniture, Art Deco lighting, Cristal chandeliers, Murano lamps, furniture such as dressing tables, chests of drawers, mirrored chiffoniers! : 91 Rue des Rosiers – stand n°91
- Le Marché Serpette : probably the most prestigious and classic one (with Biron)… 110 rue des Rosiers.
- Le Monde du Voyage : luxury items : Hermès items (including the iconic scarves “Carré Hermès”, Chanel, Vuitton suitcases… – Stand 15 Allée 3
- Artémise et Cunégonde: “Haute Couture”. Designer and non-designer clothes. Alley 1 Stands 28 and 29 of the Serpette market.
- Le Marché Jules Vallès :
- “Sarah” (https://www.pucesdeparissaintouen.com/store/chez-sarah/ ) you’ll find old lingerie and clothes from another era
- Alexis T. : créateur de mode situé au 58 rue Jules Vallès (Vintage fashion shops and thrift stores
- Chez Laeticia. A wealth of Vuitton trunks
MAP of the Puces de Saint Ouen:
All sorts of items you can find in les Puces de Saint Ouen :
Chandeliers with pendants, unusual decorative objects (plaster animals, decorative plates with a relief motif, copper braziers, old pharmacopoeias, small prints, book holders from the 1950s…), Industrial design: curtained cupboards, cylinder tables, tin cupboards, furniture that had a life in a factory ), Signed pieces and stamped furniture, vintage jewels, vintage postcards and prints and magazines, silver cutlery, carved crystal glasses…and so many more..
My thoughs and advice
- Beware of pickpockets, more especially on your way from Clignancourt metro stop to the market ..; but in the Saint Ouen market too. Keep your bags closed and your belongings safe
- If possible choose a visit in the morning (less crowded)
- Use the rue des Rosiers to find your way and not get lost. It’s a good benchmark
- Remember what one stall holder said : “You have to know how to search, it’s the customer who makes the find”.
- Don’t hesitate to negociate the prices
- Make sure to have cash with you (best when you negociate and also the vendors don’t all accept credit card)
- Visit the official website of the Puces de Saint Ouen
- Consider visiting the Marché de Vanves too. A different atmosphere and an interesting market too
- I generally choose Garibaldi metro stop even if the walk is a bit longer and the way not straight at all (a bit more complicated). You’ll need to use a map application on your phone !
HOW TO GET THERE ?
Metro : Accessible with a regular metro ticket (zone 1)
First option : Metro stop Porte de Clignancourt (Line 4) and follow the signs. It’s about a 10 minutes walk (walk north) after the Périphérique ( =the circle road which goes all around Paris). I must admit, not the nicest and most attractive walk and a walk during which it’s better mind your bags… Until you arrive at the Puces de Saint Ouen themselves
Second option : (so as to avoid the not very pleasant path between Clignancourt metro stop and the flea market itself). Metro stop Garibaldi (line 13). Then about 15 minutes walk. This is generally the option I choose
…or … : a cab !! – ask for the destination : “rue des Rosiers au Marché aux Puces de Saint Ouen “ (Mind !…. as there is also a “rue des Rosiers” in Paris 4, in Le Marais neighborhood)
Cafés, restaurants in the Puces de Saint Ouen
You’ll find numerous cafés and restaurants. But you probably won’t find high gastronomy there ! Among the most famous places :
- Louisette :by far, this is THE institution of Saint Ouen flea market…. the most outdated and inimitable… (!!), the kitschest …. an old renowned place for its outdated atmosphere with multicoloured garlands and repertoire of French songs, accordion . But don’t expect a refine meal neither the chicest welcome… (!) but I’ve heard that Sharon Stone loves it – Address : Marché Vernaison. 30, avenue Michelet.
- La crème – Coffee and Sweet treats : for a drink, maybe a pastry (!?) or a meal. A new place in the Puces de Saint Ouen – Marché Paul Bert 96 / 110 rue des Rosiers allée 6 stand 81 bis
- Ma Cocotte : a bobo ( = bohemian-bourgeois) and hype type of restaurant ! Quite recent with a modern setting . Chic but still affordable. . Located at the entrance of the Marché Paul Bert of the Puces de Saint Ouen; Designed by Philippe Starck renowned French architecte. 106 Rue des Rosiers
- Le Biron : 85, rue des Rosiers
- Le café Paul Bert : The hotspot for all who are regular to the Puces de Saint Ouen (including the stall holders). The place « where to be» (!). Address : 20, rue Paul-Bert.
- «Le Roi du Café » its old setting and furniture
- Le Picolo : probably the oldest restaurant of the Puces de Saint Ouen. Traditionnal meals – 58 rue Jules Vallès
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More photos of Les Puces de Saint Ouen :