Monday, July 19, 2021

Paris In July: Something Old!

Let's face it. We all like a good buy when we travel -- a souvenir, something special to bring home, maybe as a gift or just to treasure. And yes, in Paris you can go to some of the wonderful stores like Le Bon Marche, Galleries Lafayette, Printemps or BHV Marais. But it's even a little more fun to bring home something you've found at a flea market, brocante or vides grenier.


My friend Jerry is a master at finding wonderful items (and knowing how to bargain for them! So, come with us to a few spots!


By and large, you will find the higher end items at the large markets like Clingancourt or Vanves. If you are looking for a print or an antiquarian book, you'll find it there.


You'll also find many printed pieces -- magazines, leaflets, and things with every possible subject. At Vanves, bought a lovely Japanese art print and a Le Petit Journal that featured a cycling cover to frame for Rick.


Items will be large and small, heavy and light.


I rather liked this tray!


But if you are looking for small, easy to pack items, you won't be disappointed. It's easy to find such things as this button display, along with jewelry, small frames and miniatures.

 

Paris quite regularly has street sales and flea markets. The best way to get info about them is to have a flea-market-loving friend in Paris! But chances are your B&B host or hotel can guide you to good information. 


You are likely to find a mix of things here -- higher end items but more reasonably priced things and lots of smaller, easy to pack items. (Bring bubble wrap, if you think you might search for something fragile -- or pick some up while you are out shopping, so you don't have to protect your purchases wrapping them in your underwear and socks!)

This elegant accordion may be a good candidate for shipping home!

How about a few silver spoons as souvenirs? Or other small but lovely pieces? Chances are you can find them here. 


At this fair, I bought a small children's book. I really should run it through Google Translate! And I still wish I'd bought this little fish dish!

If you happen to have access to a car and are taking a road trip, you may be lucky enough to find a vides grenier in the charming towns and villages along the way. 


At spots like this you are more likely to find things similar to a neighborhood tag sale -- children's toys, games, even lawn furniture. If I saw these cute chairs at home, I probably would have purchased them in a heartbeat!

There's a different feel to the small town vides greniers. Items tend to be more recent but you can still find some pretty interesting things that have come from the attic, like grandma's crystal liqueur glasses or great grandpa's WWII memorabilia.


Here are a few tips for making your flea market shopping all the more fun -- and successful.

Finding one: If you speak, read or can translate French, here's a website on finding spots in Paris. It will tell you basic location info, hours, maximum number of vendors and some entries may have photos. Just copy the text and run through google translate.

Language skills. Chances are your vendor is as fluent in English or your language as you are in theirs (which, if you are American, is highly unlikely!) If possible, go with someone who speaks French (I was lucky to have Jerry with me -- and he's a master at bargaining!) Or, learn a few "shopping phrases" yourself. (If you are like me, you may know how to ask "how much" but it also helps to know your numbers so you can understand the answer!) Think about what you would ask if shopping in your own country and commit those phrases to memory in French!

Start Early! Check the hours and start out early. Some of the larger markets close down early or are only open on weekends.

Carry cash. If you are shopping for small items, 50 euros may be more than enough.

Bring a bag -- you may well not get one from the vendor. A fold-up tote is idea for most small purchases. And remember, if you buy "too much" to pack, you can always post it home!


If you're lucky, like Jerry, you'll be able to furnish your home with beautiful finds that will always remind you of your holiday in France! 


Here are a few more resources:  "Markets of Paris" by Dixon and Ruthanne Long; Paris Discovery Guide's Paris flea market section, or google "Paris Brocantes," "Paris Flea Markets," or "Paris Vides Greniers."

Happy Hunting!


This post is part of Paris in July, a month long blogging event hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea with links to posts about books, film, music, travel, food and Parisian life!

Sharing with:    Paris in July     /    Tuesday Turn About     /    All About Home    /    Pink Saturday      /    Love Your Creativity   

49 comments:

Pamela said...

What fun! I love to hunt through the odds and ends, not really knowing what I want to buy until I see it.

Valerie-Jael said...

I have missed all the flea-markets here these past months, and hope that they will soon be opened again, I love rummaging among the treasures! Hugs, Valerie

Rajani Rehana said...

Awesome post

La Table De Nana said...

My fave?Isle ~Sur~La~Sorgue…the most stunning array of antique dealers 💞So many treasures to be had in France.Fun post Jeanie.I love tole trays too.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I know that this will shock you, Jeanie, but I am happy to pass on these delights! I have visited a few antiquarian bookstores on my travels but the prices generally preclude any buying. Mostly on my trips I come back with no souvenirs, I may have bought a bird book or two, and possibly a bird carving. Good work is not cheap, however, nor should it be.

Linda Stoll said...

Oh what FUN! Now I'm going to scroll through real slow once more and 'shop'!

Tristan Robin said...

One of my five favorite things to do in Paris - shop at the stalls! I love it. We always have to post a box or two off for home because I just can't resist some of the stuff that's impossible to find here without paying the proverbial arm and leg! Gorgeous early gilded frames are my downfall ... and they are so plentiful at the brocantes! Thanks for sharing your photos; they take me back to treasured times!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,
It would be fun to explore a flea market in Paris, so many beautiful treasures.
I would be checking out the books and art. The little fish dish is cute.
Take care, have a happy day!

Jenn Jilks said...

I really like flea markets. Of course, stuff here isn't anywhere near as old as in Paris!
Good guidelines for market shopping anywhere!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I love flea markets and searching for treasures. The box of buttons made me laugh - I still have a bag of buttons my mother cut off old clothes in the 1950's. I can't let go of them.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

We had the best time shopping a couple of flea markets in Paris. I ended up bringing home some white towels with red monograms and a vintage wine opener.

Mae Travels said...

Great advice on the topic. I have been to some of the low-end AND high-end flea markets there (and they use the same term, Marché aux Puces) -- though some of them are actually pretty serious antique markets with prices to match. Your experiences are much more varied than mine: I was mostly interested in old post cards, especially Mona Lisa-themed.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

thepaintedapron.com said...

I imagine flea market shopping in another country is an amazing experience, and that you see things you've never seen before! A real insight into the culture and history...
Jenna

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

How fun!! Nothing like a good flea market to find a treasure.

R's Rue said...

I now want to treasure hunt in Paris with you friend. Hope all is well.

Martha said...

So much fun and I sure would love browsing around places like that!

DeniseinVA said...

A wonderful post Jeanie and if I am ever lucky enough to visit Paris again, I will take note and bookmark this. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful photos and for the great read.

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, this is where I would love to be. I delight in the treasure hunt.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Browsing the Parisian flea markets must have been a treat! This is a great idea for a souvenir as shopping in a foreign country adds to the experience. That is a fantastic idea to bring bubble wrap!

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

I would really enjoy that. I did go to a flea market in London, and it was great fun!

gigi-hawaii said...

Nice post about Paris! I love those teacups and saucers. They would be hard to resist.

Sandra Cox said...

What fun! And all kinds of info. Thank you.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Oh to go to these lovely markets in France again! Thank you for the virtual tease to a place I need to revisit! So many beautiful items--I'm with you on that lovely painted round tray--lovely.

NanaDiana said...

What a wonderful, wonderful post. I love that you were able to travel there and I know you enjoyed it! I always wanted to go to Paris-not sure if that is ever going to happen now. xo Diana

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Flea markets are among my favorite excursions, jeanie, and the ones you posted about here looked wonderful. I think I would have been more a spectator than buyer, but what fun looking at all those treasures!

Joanne Huffman said...

What a wonderful shopping trip this would be.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Love your Paris adventures Jeanie. The street venders and those flea marts. I want to go to Provence and visit the open air markets. A lovely city to visit. Thanks for taking me along.

Red Rose Alley said...

Ooooo, I like that tray too, such a pretty one. There are many unique treasures on here today, Jeanie. The tea cups are lovely, and Nel would love those antique books. The accordion caught my eye, as my mother-in-law used to play the accordion. This looks like a wacky one, something you'd see in Alice in Wonderland haha. It's so fun to browse through antiques, and especially take that special something home that we find. l )

~Sheri

William Kendall said...

My dad would love that accordion.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I would love to browse these markets and look at all the eye candy, Jeanie. Perhaps an antique tea cup and saucer would come home with me?

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Love flea markets so I would have been in 7th heaven to go to that one with you and Rick.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

We went to a flea market a year ago February in the Place de la République. I bought nothing, but I enjoyed taking photos and looking at the items.

Lisbeth said...

Great post Jeanie. You make me want to go to Paris NOW to look into the wonderful brocantes and antiquity markets. So many beautiful items, I think I could buy them all. Thank you also for the tips where to go. I will go back to this post next time I heading for Paris.

Ricki Treleaven said...

What a sweet idea for a blog party! I enjoyed seeing all the pretty French wares from your trip. It's been a long time since I've gone antiquing. I need to get out more around here because there are some lovely antiques shops and malls. You're inspiring me, Jeanie!

Hena Tayeb said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to spend a morning.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, it all looks like such fun. I could spend time at places like those for a whole trip. I would pack just things right for wrapping..Happy Summer..xxoJudy

Sandra Cox said...

I like that tray too:)

Iris Flavia said...

You made me laugh with this.
Last time I was on a flea market I was 17 years old.
I tried three years ago but was too late (they close at 2 pm?!).
And then... French numbers, arghhhhh. 99. I still have that in my head.
You always have a bag with you here. At least us older guys. Wiser guys?
Yes, I have (too) many finds in my home from beautiful journeys.
When (not if) flea markets pop up again I´ll go - it´s about time!

Anca said...

It's always interesting to see what one can find at this kind of markets. I never buy anything though as I am too much a minimalist for this.

As a Romanian, I was unpleasantly surprised that not enough people can have a basic discussion in English when I visited parts of Europe. In Germany, for example, I was talking in English (I could just as easily talk in Romanian as it made no difference), the German was responding in German and we used signs in the end. Before my 2nd trip to Germany I took a 2-months course and I was able to talk in basic German with them, now I don't remember a lot though. In the Netherlands was great, everybody knew English!

Tamara said...

Gosh, I feel like I've just had a mini break to Paris - walking through all those market stalls with you. Surprising how a photo can transport you either back to memories, or forward to aspirations of getting there... I love the accordion as my dad and uncles are all players - and i just adore french accordion buskers. Buttons, hooks & spoons have been amongst my little purchases for ease of bringing home tho.

Marilyn Miller said...

I have been fortunate to have visited several brocantes in France and brought home treasures tucked in my suitcase. They make the best souvenirs. Just looking at your pictures I saw a couple things I would have been tempted to buy.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Such a fun post. I never did buy anything on my trips to Paris. I should have looked for something small to frame. I will have to keep this in my for my next trip!!

Lowcarb team member said...

Since Covid, I have missed the little markets and visits to second hand shops, and the joy of browsing. Although most are open again now, wearing of masks is advised and I just don't find it so enjoyable.

I do like that little fish dish, I have a dish shaped like an owl which I treasure.

All the best Jan

My name is Erika. said...

I have to play catch up because somehow in this busy week I missed this post. Glad I found it as it was a really interesting read. It's so fun looking for bargains, and seeing all those great finds someone may want. I remember seeing a few of these when we went to Paris, but it was February so fairs were more limited. As I said in my last comment, hope all is well and you are enjoying some lake life. Hugs-Erika

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, you have provided interesting and useful info. It would be nice to have someone with you that can speak French. I really enjoyed your photos and commentary!

Arti said...

Lovely photos, especially those on the books. One interesting photo below the link, and above the paragraph Language Skills: I see the English sign in the background and beside it, Chinese! The four characters shown there mean 'Chinese School.' Yes, this I know, many Chinese parents send their children to learn the Chinese language, usually on the weekend (here in N. America, and I guess in Paris too). These kids go to school six days a week.

Rita C at Panoply said...

I finally got around to reading this post and loved it. I knew I would. #lifegoals - shopping the vintage markets of France some day.

Debra@CommonGround said...

Oh how I love this post. This is a dream of mine. How fun that you have had this wonderful opportunity. Hope you will have more trips. Have a great upcoming week!

Debra@CommonGround said...

oh PS, I'm featuring your post on All About Home Monday evening. Thanks so much for coming by and linking up.

Popular Posts