The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris

Each time we go to Paris (and it’s a trip I’ve done more times than I can count at this point), there is one French flea market that I simply cannot miss. It’s not the huge, world-famous Les Puces Saint-Ouen flea market that’s in the north of Paris just outside the Périphérique. Instead, it’s the simple, laid back vibe of the Marché aux Puces de Vanves that keeps me coming back for more.

Located in the 14th Arrondissement, Vanves is close to the Port de Vanves metro station on the 13 line, and is easily navigable in just a few hours. It pops up every Saturday and Sunday early in the morning (around 7am) and closes by 2pm. Many vendors begin packing up around noon, so it is best to get there early and bring cash.

I recently returned to Vanves and spent my birthday navigating the stalls of this low-key market full of treasures and bric-à-brac. Things you can find at this market are mostly small items you can fit in your suitcase, including landscape and portrait paintings, antique linens, brass candlesticks, tableware and other small curios. You’ll also see some great deals on small furniture pieces, including beautifully upholstered chairs and gorgeously weathered wood side tables.

This time around, I found so many things I loved it was difficult to narrow down my selections! I wish I had brought more room in my suitcases, but I wasn’t prepared to find so many gems this time around.

The vendors here are definitely willing to negotiate, so come prepared for a little friendly back and forth. You’ll find that if you look like a tourist, you may begin at a higher price than the locals. If you speak French, chances of an even better deal await. Unlike my tips for shopping ethically while traveling, in this case I think it’s fine to try to get the best price possible for the items you love!

See below for some of my favorite things I spotted at the Marché aux Puces de Vanves.

The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris - Flea Market | Meridian
These stacks of vintage white tableware are irresistible to dig through. Each piece is small in size and perfect for oils, dips, olives, and other delicate food items.
The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris - Flea Market | Meridian
This vendor had a huge display of charming Wedgwood Jasperware pieces.
The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris - Flea Market | Meridian
It seemed there was an endless supply of portraits and other paintings at the market. These in particular were unframed and easy to transport home.
The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris - Flea Market | Meridian
French bar towels are famous for their durability, and the vintage ones are no exception. It’s especially charming that so many of them are monogramed in cross stitch embroidery.
The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris - Flea Market | Meridian
These fabric lampshades would be an elegant addition to a pair of table lamps.
The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris - Flea Market | Meridian
Who knew you could buy cases of Bordeaux wine at the Marché aux Puces?
The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris - Flea Market | Meridian
I’ve always loved these enamel house numbers, which you can find on every building all over Paris. Bringing one home would be an easy-to-carry and memorable souvenir.
The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris - Flea Market | Meridian
This petite moon globe had me thinking about it even after we left the market.
The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris - Flea Market | Meridian
This vintage Bamileke stool from Cameroon had the most gorgeous weathered patina (so I figured out a way to fit it in my suitcase!).
The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris - Flea Market | Meridian
There was an endless supply of affordable, vintage French trims and ribbons at several spots in the market.
The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris - Flea Market | Meridian
Loved spotting this vintage Tonga basket, which is a style similar to our Woven Palm Baskets but comes from Zambia.
Meridian | The Hidden Secret to Shopping in Paris

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