For antique lovers and shoppers on a budget, few things are more exciting than digging for treasures from times gone by at European flea markets. From mid-century bowls to old photo albums, antique porcelain statues to vintage wall art, you never know what you might find. Each treasure holds a story, so as I inspect each artifact, I imagine who has owned it and where it might have come from. Flea market finds make excellent souvenirs, it’s like taking home a bit of European history. Here are, what I consider, the three best Flea Markets in Europe
Established in 2004, Flohmarkt am Mauerpark (Mauer Park Flea Market) is full of vendors selling…well, stuff…both old and new. A great place to purchase bikes, hats, vintage dead stock sunglasses, old photo albums, and mid-century furniture to deck out a Berlin apartment. There are several verdant eating areas in the flohmarkt. I suggest pairing the Turkish sampler plate (heaping with fresh veggies, herbed potatoes, lamb and onions) with a cup of gluhwein (spiced wine with rum). The market is located near to the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Stadion M10 tram stop (formerly Oderberger Straße) and is a short walk from the U2’s Eberswalder Straße (Station). Note that the market is located next to the Mauerpark, not in it. It is open on Sundays (only) from 8am- 6pm.
A trip to Paris would not be complete without a visit to The most famous flea market in Paris, Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, commonly referred to as Les Puces (The Fleas). It is located at Porte de Clignancourt. To get there, take the metro line 4 to the stop Porte de Clignancout. The stalls at les Puces are open every Saturday from 9h – 18h, Sunday from 10h to 18h, and Monday from 11h to 5h. It is quite difficult for vendors to get a stall at Les Puces, and many of the stalls have been passed down through generations of antique collector’s families. Be prepared to find items in a variety of price points — keep in mind that vendors expect customers to bargain. Two of my favorite stalls are Marché Serpette and Marché Paul Bert (Serpette: 110 rue des Rosiers ; Paul Bert: 96 rue des Rosiers and 18 rue Paul Bert). They both offer a quality assortment of art deco furniture, prints, vintage jewelry, mirrors, etc.
London offers a great selection of flea markets throughout the city. One of the most diverse of these is the Covent Garden Market ; Tube: Covent Garden. The best selection of goods can be found on Sundays between 11am-6pm, however there are various types of markets from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm. The Apple Market is the main market in the courtyard where you can find smaller objects ranging from glassware to leather goods. Much of the merchandise is not antique—quite a few artisans offer handmade goods. Behind the courtyard you’ll find Jubilee Market . On Mondays, both the Apple Market and Jubilee Market places are taken over by a variety of antique dealers. On Tuesdays, vendors at the Jubilee Market sell modern goods such as scarves, jewelry, t-shirts, etc.
Happy hunting!Written by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for Europeupclose.com