One famous flea market is the Porte de Vanves in Paris. Its is one of the best in France due to its size and variety. On Saturdays and Sundays more than 300 vendors set up shop. It may be messy, but it is more for people who love good bargains.
If you’re familiar with Paris, no need to tell you about how pharmacies are so different here, compared, say, to London. French pharmacies are like beauty parlours where you can get your subscription of antibiotics of course but also the best beauty, baby, diet, vitamin, and herb products. We call it para-pharmacy. Of course, this can prove pricey. So think no more and head straight to rue du four in the St Germain-des-Près area. Pharmacy Fouhety is the cheapest in Paris and it stocks every brand and product you may dream of. Be prepared, the whole world meets here and queues are long but it’s all worth it.
26, Rue du Four (Corner of rue Bonaparte and rue du Four), Paris 6th.
Google map: bit.ly/pCcgXe
* Agnes is our Been there local for Paris. You can view her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/paris-local-agnes-poirier.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/AgnesPoirier
Situated on the famous “rue Mouffetard” in the heart of Paris, right next to the Panthéon, this fabulous boutique is typically French, and prides itself on selling products that are original, yet quintessentially French and, above all, of the very highest quality. The delicatessen boasts an array of products, such as Fauchon, Hédiart, in addition to delicious products sourced from small French manufacturers. A wide range of designer kitchen tableware is also available on sale. A very pretty boutique, perfect for indulging yourself, or indeed, others. A beautiful selection of luxurious products at prices which won't break the bank.
4, rue Mouffetard, 75005, Paris, France
Google map: bit.ly/pxyyLZ
Here is one of France’s best chocolatiers and I know one thing or two about eating chocolate. Patrick Roger makes little milk and black rochers to die for and his 100% cocoa tablettes in their elegant green magnet boxes are like jewels. Roger also experiments with spices and you will find his chocolate with basil a real discovery.
Tourists may be queuing up in front of Ladurée for its famous macarons but Parisians often shlep to the bucolic and authentic Daumesnil quartier to get the best Mille-Feuille in Paris, at Vandermeersch’s. A Mille-Feuille (literally, thousand leaves) is a landmark of French patisserie. Its « leaves » must be light and crispy and its cream delicately perfumed with vanilla and a touch of rum.
278 Avenue Daumnesil, Paris 12th
+33 (0)1 43 47 21 66
Google map: bit.ly/kxdncA
The Album bookshop is a temple dedicated to the art of Bande dessinée, an extremely successful art form in the Francophone world, which has no equivalent in Britain or the USA. In Anglophone countries, comic strips are considered a mere entertainment mainly targeted at children. The expression graphic novel had to be coined to appeal to a more mature readership. In France, Belgium and Switzerland, dozens of young authors’ names and unique visual signatures catch people’s eyes whenever they pass a bookshop. Asterix alone has sold 326 million albums since its creation in 1961 and has been translated in 107 languages and dialects.
Ever wondered where Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg got their dancing shoes from? The supplier of ballet companies throughout the world, Repetto is an artisan chausseur worth the detour. One piece of advice: wait for the sales!
By pasting Ville de Paris into your browser then clicking the shopping basket icon top right, you will find listed almost one hundred, first-rate, Parisian neighbourhood food markets for your pure pleasure. Meanwhile, here’s my tip for a Sunday, ‘two for one’ epicurean, Parisian market outing.
My two favourites are conveniently close yet delightfully different in atmosphere:
1) Marché d’Aligre:
With its village atmosphere you might catch yourself fantasizing that you are in a vintage French film, rubbing shoulders with locals as they fill their shopping ‘caddies’ to the brim with every type of food from fish heads and tripes to organic bread and wild mushrooms. Specialist food shops surround the stalls here and cafes, with terraces for people watching, are plentiful.
Open 6 days, Tuesday to Sunday -7am until 1.30pm.
2) Less than a mile by foot from rue d’Aligre is Marché Bastille, (old name Marché Richard-Lenoir). Here you will find a vast, glorious feast as most traders offer morsels for tasting (dégustation) of every kind of food for free. As you munch your way through the happy throng you’ll find food for the soul and mind too as street performers and assorted, small, political manifestations (demos) are on hand to entertain and politically educate …. Bon appetite!
Open 2 days, Thursdays and Sundays, 7am til 3pm.
Pl d'Aligre, rue d'Aligre, 12th Arr.
Google map: bit.ly/fJwQDn
Bd. Richard Lenoir, 11th Arr.
Google map: bit.ly/hfvYIf
Three clothes shops which stock an incredible array of vintage clothes with plenty of designer labels. All piled high and ready to rifle through. And in a popular tourist area, so very easy to find.
One of my favourite ways of spending a Sunday morning (not too early though) is to hit, what I consider, the best market in Paris. It is similar to a carboot sale in the UK (or a yard sale in the States). The market at “Porte Montreuil” is not chic or filled with expensive antiques like “Les Puces de Saint-Ouen” - it’s pretty grimy and grotty. Just anybody can rock up and put some stuff on the ground and sell it (although, beware the police do come by now and again and “move people on”).
There are plenty of the expensive vintage/retro clothes and furniture stalls plus lots of cheap/fake perfume, branded clothes at the beginning. But as you get towards the back you can find the real gems, vintage 1950’s petticoats for 5€ (I shouldn’t really be telling you this, now it’ll get expensive), vinyl records for 50 cents, retro crockey - you name it you can find it. You just have to have a real rummage and do some hardcore haggling. Try and not look like a tourist as this will result in an instant doubling of the price.
Saturday and Sunday 8am - 2pm
Metro Porte de Montreuil, line 9
Brocante at 2 rue Eugène Spuller by Square du Temple, (Temple Métro)
If your timing is lucky, twice a year approximately mid to end of May (start looking from mid-May, this year it is 29 - 31 May), and near the beginning of December, the Comité des Fêtes organizes a huge fleamarket which spills onto the surrounding streets Eugene Spuller, de Bretagne, Perrée, Debelleyme and Dupetit-Thouars, Place Turenne, Carreau du Temple and the Cour de la Mairie in the 3rd. Arr. It is like a smaller Clignancourt and other flea markets before they became too well known. It runs Friday morning until Sunday night and is where you can find everything and amazing vintage; trinkets, clothing, furniture, toys and treasures starting from one euro. A tip is to be the first to buy something in the morning, the vendor will usually accept any reasonable offer as it is a good omen for the rest of the day. The other brilliant thing is to be there near the close as after 7pm as you can get things that are left for free - it helps to speak French! The atmosphere is good and generally the people are very nice, as it seems this is a one off for them and they are doing it for fun. The Christmas Brocante is perfect for getting one of a kind gifts.
Also as an additional tip to NookandSpoon's for Free 'P' Star: look in the low bin along the wall to the right under the hanging clothes, you can find amazing things, all priced at three euros. I got a spectacular 70's dress the last time.
Brocante at 2 rue Eugène Spuller by Square du Temple, (Temple Métro)
Literally meaning 'The Prince's Orchard', this boutique certainly lives up to its name (Princesses do not be down hearted, this store will be fruitful for you too!)
Located in the hippest part of Paris, the Marais provides the perfect backdrop for this funky store. Le Verger du Prince is always busy, but if you have the patience to delve through the overflowing shelves and gently elbow some people out of the way, you will find some fantastic pieces. Leather jackets, sparkly fabrics, 60's & 70's dresses, accessories, jackets, the list of treasures is endless. Once you are exhausted by this store, you are advised to nip down the road to Falafel Alley (aka Rue des Rosier) for a delicious, rejuvenating bite to eat.
33 Rue de Sicile, 75004, Paris.
Tel - 01 42 78 33 72. 7/7, mon - sun.
11am-9pm. Metro Saint-Paul
Great little treasure trove hidden away in the Bastille area. Top designer names and fab colourful gear at low prices. Make sure to visit all three floors!
Come on Eileen
16/18 rue des Taillandiers 75011
Mon-Thur 11.30am-8.30pm, Fri 11.30am-7.30pm, Sun 4-8pm
Aux Comptoirs du Chineur is a small shop where you can find absolutely everything, from toys to jewels, shoes to old records, comic books to items of decorationb - what the French call "un joyeux bazar" (a real mess)
So if you once threw away your favourite childhood doll and regret it, if you decide to start a fancy shoe collection, or simply feel nostalgic of the good old days, that's the place to go, with everything dating back from the 50s-80s.
49 rue St Paul,75004 Paris: right in the centre of Paris, in the lovely area of the Marais (4th arrondissement)
Nearest metro station: St Paul or Bastille
This Marché de la Gare is 10 minutes from Chatelet on RER A (station - Nanterre Ville, direction St Germain en Laye). Nanterre is just to the west of la Défence and is home to a huge plethora of different cultures, many west and north African. The market has its fair share of cheap household tat outside but venture inside the big hall to bustle and hassle with all the others. Veg, meat, spices, smells noises, indefinable languages, and bargains galore and not a tourist in sight. No need to stay nearby. The market is right next to the station and is open 08h to 13h30 wed and sat. Great fun, great food and something a bit different. Oh, and prices at a half of the centre of Paris!
Train RER A from Chatelet/Auber to Nanterre Ville (direction St Germaine en Laye. Station is next to market.
This little boutique in the Marais is a favourite among fashion-forward Parisiens. It sells a mix of first and second hand clothes, shoes and accessories, and is a great antidote to the sometimes suffocating Bo-Bo style (bourgeouis-bohemian) with its mix of androgynous punk, 80's and early 90's style. Prices vary but are consistently reasonable and the shop itself is worth a visit just to see the changing rooms which are hollowed out red British phone boxes, complete with BT adverts and a dogging smell of urine!
22 Rue Roi de Sicile 75004
This tiny vintage shop in the Marais is always packed with girls who know that it sells the cheapest, most on trend clothes in central Paris. The man who owns it sells his clothes for absurdly low prices (50 euros for a fur coat) and therefore gets new stock once or twice a week. The problem of stale items clogging up the racks for months is certainly not an issue here and you rarely see the same thing twice. This is probably the most famous vintage shop that i know of in Paris and the title is well deserved. You know when you see french girls gliding around in those perfect low heeled black leather boots nonchalently playing with the sleeve of their timeless breton striped shirt; they shop at Coiffeur. If all that shopping has made you hungry grab a falafel from next door, they are the best in Paris.
32 Rue de Rosiers, 75004
The second hand clothes section of the flea market at Porte de Montreuil is how vintage shopping on a budget should always be. Go on a Monday morning when it's just the locals and most things are 2 euros or under. You won't find high fashion here, although i got a great chunky knit lacoste jumper last time, it's more other people's cast aways, which i think is just as interesting. If you are into grungy california cool t-shirts, interesting prints, or just some really amazing bargains, this is the one for you.
Avenue de la Porte de Montreuil, 75020
Metro Porte de Montreuil
This vintage shop, as well as being hidden away in a back street of Bastille, was completely unknown to all of my Parisian friends. During the many hours i have spent in the surprisingly large and satisfyingly musty basement it has come to be one of my favourite fail-safe places in Paris. Some of my most exciting finds include patent Chanel 'bovva boots', a grungy men's Missoni jumper and a plethora of Doc Marten shoes and brogues in girls sizes. Prices are not dirt cheap so if you're looking for a 5 Euro breton stripe t-shirt then try Coiffeur instead, these are serious labels so cost a bit more. As memory serves me, the Missoni was around 60 euros and shoes are all about 40. If you have an interest in fashion and the time and patience to look, this shop will unearth you some absolute treasures. Not open on Saturdays.
16 Rue Taillandiers, 75011 Paris.
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com