The good thing about being in Paris at a weekend is that I got chance to go to the huge flea market (‘Marche de Puces’) at Porte de Clingancourt.
There aren’t so many real bargains there any more (it is now very much a tourist attraction, which cancels out the bargains) but it is still a nice place to spend a Saturday morning.
First you have to go through the newer part of the market, stocked with the usual array of ‘branded’ clothes and trainers, and then you get to the flea market proper. (I’m told you can enter the other way by using Garibaldi metro instead but I’ve never tried).
Remember to take cash with you if you want to buy anything, as few stallholders accept cards (and remember to put the cash somewhere safe, out of the reach of pickpockets).
Meanwhile, if you find yourself in London on a Friday morning, Bermondsey antique market is the place to head. It’s open from 6AM to 2PM, and I’m told the serious dealers are there early. Obviously I’ve never got there for 6AM, although they do tend to be packing up from midday, so it’s worth getting there by mid-morning at the latest.
There’s always some interesting things there; a lot of the traders have been coming for years and really know their stuff. (and there’s an inside bit too that can’t get ruined by the great British weather).
I didn’t buy anything at either market, even though I really enjoyed myself poking around.
One advantage to my itinerant lifestyle is that it does stop me from buying things that I don’t really need. If I’m not going to use it and it’s too big to pack and take with me then it’s probably best left where it is.