Chapter 26: Exploring the Arrondissements: The 18th- Paris Flea Market


Ok- confession time….I’ve had a blog post half written for about two weeks now, but I just couldn’t seem to find the inspiration to finish it. We’ve done so many amazing things in the meantime that I knew I would have to either finish it or drop it (for the time being)…so I dropped it. I really wanted to write a couple short posts on a few amazing adventures we’ve had- so here goes!

A couple weekends ago Marc and I finally made it up to the 18th arrondissement to check out the world famous flea market (Les Puces de Saint-Ouen). It is absolutely enormous, covering seven hectares and is the largest antique market in the world, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors each weekend. Somehow we completely lucked out with the crowds- we arrived around lunchtime which is meant to be the worst possible time, and it was still really quiet. It was also the last weekend of the school holiday, so maybe everyone was out buying school supplies? We also had beautiful sunny weather for most of the day….quelle chance! 


The market (called Les Puces, or ‘the fleas’) is comprised of several smaller markets, each with it’s own personality. We started in an outdoor one that was such a hilarious mixture of items- furniture, antiques, clothes and a surprising amount of taxidermy…

This part of the market was FULL of junk, but there were also so many amazing pieces of furniture and decorations (there was one booth that sold nothing but the lights off of old ships- I loved them!)…you just had to have the energy to sift through all the random dishes and tea towels to find the good stuff.

And then there was the taxidermy….all the creatures were so creepy but strangely fascinating…they were definitely some of my favourite things there! The armadillo bowl and goose/cat definitely deserve a special mention.

We spent a fair bit of time and energy in this portion of the market, and in my opinion it was the best part. The covered markets we visited later were WAY too posh and expensive (one had a shop containing nothing but vintage Louis Vuitton travel cases) and much less interesting- at least for our current income level! Although I did threaten to take decorating inspiration from a few of the shops…I think it’s all very classy and understated, don’t you agree?


Also spotted in the posh section…more taxidermy (a little fancier this time, but still….why are the French so obsessed?), a French ‘Storage Wars‘ star, and a plane.

Les Puces was such a brilliant experience because regardless of which market you ended up in, you had NO IDEA what you would find in the next store. It was so random and crazy, and exploring for a few hours was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday! We actually didn’t end up buying a single thing, but the experience was so cool that I can’t wait to go again.

Marc and Murphy and I are off to Switzerland in a couple of days, so be prepared for some mountain pictures!! I can’t wait to be back and visit the family and see hills/mountains/lakes again.

Catch you guys in the next one!


4 thoughts on “Chapter 26: Exploring the Arrondissements: The 18th- Paris Flea Market

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