Updated June 2019

It’s possible you’ve never heard of the Vanves flea market. It’s not the world famous antique market Puces de St.Ouen that you find in the north of Paris and it’s also not even remotely as big. However, if you are a vintage bohemian fan or if you’re searching for an alternative to mainstream sightseeing, I strongly recommend to take a little detour to the south of Paris and visit the about 300 stalls of the Puce de Vanves.

historical background: Paris has several flea markets (marché aux puces in french) and historically, they are all located just outside the city gates. In earlier days, rag and bone men set up their stalls outside town to avoid taxes and fees. They offered items and trinkets found in the trash of the elite and eventually grouped up to attract more customers. In the late 19th century Les Puces de Saint-Ouen became officially the first flea market of Paris.


While the Puces de Saint-Ouen can be intimidating by it’s size and the crowds (up to 180.000 visitors per weekend), the flea market at Porte de Vanves is a valid and laid back alternative. If you are shopping for furniture or equally big items, it might not be your place though – the Flea market in Vanves is more a place to find knick knack and hotchpotch: vintage dinnerware, all sorts of collectibles, old photographs and some vintage clothing.

Old photographs at the Puces de Vanves in the south of Paris - The vanves flea market is a good place for some vintage bargain hunting
Old photographs at the Puces de Vanves in the south of Paris – The Vanves flea market is a good place for some vintage bargain hunting

Useful information to visit the Vanves flea market

The Flea market is located in the south of the 14th Arrondissement of Paris on Avenue Marc Sangnier and Avenue Georges Lafenstre, just between the Porte de Vanves and the tramway station Didot

How to get there:  closest public transport stations are Porte de Vanves or Didot of Tramway line 3 or Porte de Vanves by Metro Line 13. Check our post about the Parisian public transportation system if you need help

Opening times: every Saturday and Sunday from 7h-14h (many vendors packing up for lunch time though and aren’t coming back after, so better be there early)

Money: pack some cash and if you need more, there’s an ATM at Porte de Vanves at the Sociète Generale bank

Safety: Like on all public places with crowds, pickpockets aren’t far – take care of your belongings but don’t be paranoid, its a place like any other!

The flea markets of Paris

Until today the Parisian flea markets are an institution and famous among antique lovers, bargain hunters and all those in search of something they know nothing about yet. The biggest flea markets are the Puces de Saint-Ouen/Puces de Clignancourt in the north (it’s actually the same market under two names, even if they are often referred to as two different places), les puces de Montreuil in the east and lastly the Puces de Vanves in the south. It’s hard to figure out the best Paris flea market though, as they all have different features.

If you want to dive into the jungle of the flea market at St.Ouen, you’ll profit best from it by taking a guided tour with a local. Check out this Paris flea market insider and bargain tour! During this around 2 hours private walking tour you’ll visit hard to find stores that only locals know, learn how to sniff out the best bargains and meet market traders who will tell you their tales. 

 

Where to eat nearby the Vanves Flea Market?

The area around the flea market in Vanves is known to be a rather calm, residential neighbourhood. You won’t find any touristic places or restaurants that are trying to rip you off – restaurants in the 15th and 14th arrondissements around the flea market are places for locals and residents – hence: Restaurants and bars where it’s important that guests are coming back.

French Restaurants near Porte de Vanves

Even though it’s not a central area of Paris, you have still plenty of eateries around. The choice of international cuisine is as huge (try Le Bistro d’Indochine for Vietnamese food and Jeongane for Coreen) as it is for french cuisine, check out those places below:

If you just need a break and a refreshment, around the Park Georges Brassens and a little further around the Metro Station Pernety are plenty of nice local Bars and Cafés that are usually open all day.

 

What else to do in the area?

Visiting the Puce de Vanves is a good destination if you are looking into discovering a less touristic area of Paris. The market at Porte de Vanves is located in the very south of Paris and from a touristic point of view rather off beat territory.  Nevertheless – or perhaps for exactly that reason it’s worth to come by. If you spent days of seeing world-famous monuments and art, it’s time to touch base with the people’s site of Paris. A Paris of it’s inhabitants. Where people have lunch with friends, spend Sunday mornings in a park or buy their groceries in the neighbourhood Saturday market. Set off for exploring the 14th and 15th Arrondissement of Paris.

 

Marché de Brune

The farmers Market “Marché de Brune” is located just next to the Flea Market and takes place on Thursdays and Sundays from 7h-15h. You’ll find a high variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish but also local bread, pastries and loads of cheese.

 

Parc Georges Brassens

Named after the famous french singer and poet Georges Brassens the parc is the perfect place to relax after a busy market morning. It’s a very family oriented park with many playgrounds, but also with greens and a duck pond. The parc Georges Brassens is also home to one of the few vineyards of Paris, the Clos des Morillons and keeps beehives as well.

The abandoned railway

Also, and thats probably one of the most interesting if not thrilling “features” of the Parc Georges Brassens:  with a bit of an adventurer heart, you can access the “not for public access” tracks of the Petite Ceinture, the former railway belt around Paris. If you’re standing at the vineyards, just go down the little hill across and see if there are holes in the fences. It sounds more dodgy as it is; there are usually plenty of people having picnics and going for walks, but still, it’s fun and exciting 🙂

If that’s too much of a thrill, you also can check out the open for public tracks of the petite ceinture that are just around the corner!

 

La Petite Ceinture

The abandoned railways of the petite ceinture are partially open to public. It’s a super non touristy activity and a cool activity for everyone who wants to explore Paris off the beaten path. Read my post about the Petite Ceinture to know more

 

The Covered Book Market

The antique and old book market is located in an old slaughterhouse just adjacent to Parc Georges Brassens. On Saturdays and Sundays from 9h-18h you can browse through ancient books, papers, magazines, documents and other written words. Don’t fear rain – the market is covered.

 

The Catacombs of Paris

Not too far away from the Puce de Vanves are the Catacombs – about 20 meters beyond the streets of Paris lays the last resting place of approximately 6 millions Parisians. The labyrinth-like galleries of bone arrangements are open to public and a popular tourist attraction.

If you are planning to visit, you should purchase your billet in advance – not only to save some queue time but also to be sure to actually be allowed to enter the Catacombs in the first place.

Spots are limited per day and hour as they only grant access to a certain amount of visitors. On busy days (most days) admission is not guaranteed if you did not purchase your ticket already.  click here to secure your spot and skip the line

If you are at Porte de Vanves, take Tramway 3 until Porte d’Orléans and switch to Metro Line 4 until Denfert Rochereau.

Rue Daguerre

Rue Daguerre is a pedestrian street close to the catacombs. It’s home to many bars and restaurants and a great place to relax and to shop some groceries: it’s has everything – from delis, butchers, seafood, cakes and pastries, fruits and veggies…

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The Puce de Vanves offers all sorts of antique and vintage goods
The Puce de Vanves offers all sorts of antique and vintage goods

porte de vanves flea market - find trinkets and presents as souvenirs from your Paris trip

 

La puce de Vanves - a paradise for good bargains and unique goods - visiting a flea market in Paris is a nice offbeat change from visiting major landmarks        even though the flea market in Vanves is not specialized in antiques, you find plenty of old things - photos for example

 

Know where to go: 


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