Paris’ most famous antique market makes for the ultimate fossicking day out.
DO You could liken Les Puces (the fleas) at Porte de Clignancourt to an interior designer’s pilgrimage to find the Holy Grail. Unfortunately it’s not the treasure trove of affordable 18th century chandeliers it once was but this antique and bric-à-brac market is still well worth the train trip. From vintage Chanel gowns (tip: you can get them to halve their prices for cash) to retro silver barware, old military paraphernalia, oxidized skeleton keys, advertising posters from the ’60 sand coloured glassware from the ’70s – this is your first port of call for serious interior inspiration. Its charm is museum-worthy antiques in a relaxed, market format.
Note: take cash for negotiating but keep your wallet close, as the 18th is still an underprivileged district of Paris. Also carry a calculator so vendors will suspect that you’re a dealer and give you a better deal.
Opening hours: Saturday 9am-6pm; Sunday 10am-6pm and Monday 10am-5pm, although some stalls close around lunchtime.
EAT AND DRINK Reserve a table in advance at the Philippe Starck-designed restaurant Ma Cocotte. Not only will the interiors inspire you to pick up where you left off at the markets, it’s also a reasonably priced bite, with a casual bistro vibe. Set within a converted warehouse space, there is also outdoor seating if the weather is on your side, which is ideal for a glass of rosé in the sun as you contemplate which treasures to take home.
GET THERE Take the Metro line 4 to Porte de Clignancourt and head for the main street rue des Rosiers.