Each year, no fewer than 5 million visitors walk around the stalls and covered boutiques of the Saint-Ouen flea market. This Aladdin’s cave of treasures attracts antique lovers who come to seek unique pieces that they can’t get anywhere else. Since opening in 1885, the Saint-Ouen flea market has grown to become one of the trendiest places in Paris.
Antique lovers’ paradise
More than 1,500 stalls are spread over a market of 7 hectares located in the North of Paris. In total, the Saint-Ouen flea market generates an annual revenues of around €400 million.
Craftsmen, antique dealers and designers sell their wares in 15 different ‘markets’, each with their own atmospheres and specialities. The Biron, Dauphine and Vernaison market are must-sees since they are where the Saint-Ouen flea market was born.
From crystal chandeliers to the Voltaire armchair including old vinyl records, antique furniture, ornaments, vintage clothes and jewellery, the flea market is an antique lover’s paradise. Fortunately, the market has enough to also attract the curious who are simply looking for pretty and unique decoration pieces.
The flea market, c’est chic
Who would have believed few years ago that the Saint-Ouen flea market would become one of the most popular places of the French capital? In 1920, Romain Vernaison set up the first official market selling food after the Great War.
Today, the flea market is an impressive source of objects full of history which attract antique lovers but also modern and trendy brands. In fact, for the past few months, the Saint-Ouen flea market has been undergoing quite the resurgence. A new generation of retailers arrived in Saint-Ouen. In the Malik market, not only can you find vintage clothes and uniforms but also sportswear and trendy clothing.
Philippe Stark, an internationally renowned French designer, decorated the restaurant Ma cocotte in the heart of the Paul Bert Serpette market. Also, international stars like Lenny Kravitz, Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone and even Mick Jagger have walked through the streets of the market when they were in Paris.
As the self-appointed largest antiques market in the world, the Saint-Ouen flea market even appears in cinema professionals’ address books. Some costumes from the famous Pirates of the Caribbean film saga were unearthed in Saint-Ouen!
The market has also become one of the favourite leisure spots for Parisians, up there with Montmartre, the Quais de Seine or the Champs Elysees. Every Sunday, thousands of people come to take a walk in this open-air museum to admire its numerous antiques.
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