Paris Flea Market

by Liz Dowling

Visiting the famous Paris Flea Market or “Clignancourt” had been on my list for a while.  The problem is, I am not the greatest flea market person.  I go to them with the best intentions, see acres and acres of stuff, get overwhelmed and want to run.


My friend Julie, a designer with finely honed flea market skills, tried to show me the joys of a good flea when we lived in Charlotte, NC.  She took me to our local Metrolina flea market (we even paid up for the early bird tickets so it wouldn’t be too crowded) and enthusiastically began the tour.  But, about an hour into our journey, she ended up parking me at a picnic table with a sandwich.  I failed the test.

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So, when I told my husband I wanted to go to Clignancourt while we were in Paris, he was floored.  We took the Metro to “Porte de Clignancourt” early Saturday morning (the flea is open Saturday to Monday, 9-6).  We walked up Rue de Rosiers to the center of the market, stopping first at the Paul Bert section.

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It was a visual feast of shapes, colors, furniture and antiques.

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The weather was beautiful, so wandering past stalls and down the winding paths was a pleasure.

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Not to say we didn’t take any breaks.  We took a crepe break, an espresso break, a pomme frites break….  It is easy to stop and recharge with little cafes dotted all over the flea market.  We sat at a tiny outdoor cafe in the sun for 30 minutes eating Nutella crepes.  Heaven.


We purchased a few things and had them shipped home.  They conveniently have shipping stations in each section of the flea market.

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 It was a wonderful day thanks to a patient husband and gorgeous weather. I lasted about three hours and every minute was well worth it.  Julie, Metrolina?

Julie (right) and I in Charlotte 2005

Julie (right) and I at a party in Charlotte 2004

Julie Exley – Trellis Interiors – San Francisco

the wry home

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Kathy Perkal March 22, 2014 - 4:29 pm

I am salivating thinking about those Nutella crepes. Where did you have them?

Elizabeth Dowling March 22, 2014 - 4:52 pm

At a tiny cafe in the Paul Bert section of the flea market. Handmade before you and they came with an espresso. Lovely!

Maria G March 23, 2014 - 9:22 am

I’m inspired as I putter around my house.

Elizabeth Dowling March 23, 2014 - 9:50 am

Thanks Maria!

Laura Breitenbach March 23, 2014 - 2:29 pm

How come I didn’t see any of these fabulous flea markets on my trip to Paris a few months ago? Obviously I need to return with a personalize map with the best markets highlighted and identified by you.

Elizabeth Dowling March 23, 2014 - 7:33 pm

This is my first time to the flea in Paris, so now I can tell you all of the highlights. And also the cute cafes to stop in and rest your weary legs while sipping a glass of wine!

Paula Fung March 24, 2014 - 8:23 am

Those pictures are awesome, what is it about Paris? Even their flea markets are curated! I often hit the Rye Pres thrift shop on Thursday mornings if you ever want to come. We could go to Patisserie for croissants after 🙂

Elizabeth Dowling March 24, 2014 - 8:55 am

I know, everything in Paris looks good! But, I am up for the Rye Pres thrift shop since I have never been there. Bring it on!

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