One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – and treasures certainly abound in Paris, a city of folks blessed with phenomenal taste. Whether you’re exploring the massive Saint-Ouen market or poking through treasures under the canopy above a secondhand book stall, Paris’s flea markets offer something for everyone.

1. Saint-Ouen

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Saint-Ouen is Paris's premier flea / Image: © Paris Tourist Office - Marc Bertrand

The puces or flea markets at Paris’ northern limit is by far the city’s most famous, boasting everything from antique jewellery to vintage clothes and furniture. It's laid out as several smaller markets, with the Marché Paul Bert being one of the most famous for furniture. The Marché Vernaison sells everything from antique jewellery to toys, while the Marché Dauphine is the most eclectic and a local fave. The puces are open Saturday and Sunday, with some dealers also operating Mondays, but beware: this market is beloved by tourists and pickpockets alike.

Nearest Metro: Porte de Saint-Ouen or Porte de Clignancourt

2. Porte de Vanves

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Get your hands dirty with in-the-know locals at Porte de Vanves / Image: Alamy

At the opposite end of Paris, the Porte de Vanves puces is a far more local affair. Here, stalls are set up in a loop along several streets each Saturday and Sunday, boasting an assortment of bric-a-brac. It’s easy to stumble upon small treasures like Limoges porcelain, criminally inexpensive secondhand books and antique postcards; furniture is a less frequent but equally delightful find.

Nearest Metro: Porte de Vanves

 

3. Georges Brassens Book Market

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Bookworms can stock their shelves at Georges Brassens / Image: © Paris Tourist Office - Amélie Dupont

If you’re already in the south of Paris for the Vanves marché, take the time to check out the secondhand books under the old market stalls at Georges Brassens park. Here, everything from inexpensive used paperbacks to leatherbound antiques are on display. (There's also a good assortment of books for children.) While most sellers understandably peddle mainly French lit, there are a few tables with English tomes, so keep an eye out for them.

Nearest Metro: Plaisance

4. Montreuil

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Montreuli's market is a truly fecund spot for dedicated diggers / Image: Alamy

This market – held Saturday through Monday – is a bit outside of Paris proper, in the trendy neighboring suburb of Montreuil, and that’s part of what makes it so phenomenal. It’s mainly locals at this charming puces known for secondhand clothes boasting vintage style. Natty finds might include leather goods, pre-war clothing and more. That said, anything can turn up here, from old vinyl to antique furniture, if you take the time to look.

Nearest Metro: Porte de Monteuil

5. Aligre

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Antique-hounds work up an appetite at Aligre / Image: Alamy

Adjacent to the covered food market of the same name is this regular pop-up rummage sale or brocante, which appears every morning except Mondays. The quality of goods punted by around 30 professional dealers here varies wildly, making good finds all the more exciting to unearth. The flea market has been shrinking in recent years – yielding space to the ever-growing food market next door – but you’ll likely find a wide selection of secondhand books, kitchenware and more. Plus, you can always grab a victory snack when you’ve finished shopping.

Nearest Metro: Ledru-Rollin