Marche aux puces de ClignancourtAntiques in the Marche aux Puces of Paris. (Photo by ParisSharing)

The flea market and antiques market of Paris

The world's largest flea market is Paris's outdoor outlet for old clothing, kick-knacks, semi-antiques, bootleg CDs, paintings, used car parts, yellowing comic books, and just a little bit of everything else you can imagine.

It takes place out beyond the 17eme district, just beyond the very northern edge city where the municipality of Paris gives way to the suburban town of Saint-Ouen. (This because, for public health reasons, the city fathers kicked the old rag-and-bone men outside the city limits in 1870.)

Its official name is the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen—though many people just call it "Clingnancourt" after its location near the Porte de Clingnancourt Métro staion. (One of the odd synchronicities of the Universe is that flea markets are actually called "flea" markets in many different languages—except British English, of course, where they become "boot sales").

It's actually a group of some fifteen markets collectively comprising almost 3,000 stalls. You'll find it all here: antiques, junk, vintage clothing, and just plain old cheap duds.

When it comes ot antiques, professional dealers often snatch up the best loot, but you can still get great buys on vintage French postcards, old buttons, and bistro ware.