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Exploring Paris fleamarkets: Puces Saint Ouen Part 2 : Marché Dauphine

Exploring further into the Saint Ouen Fleamarkets, this is the second in the series of blogs, please see Part 1 for the practical information about visiting St Ouen. Living in Paris, I can go often, but I am aware that you may need to choose just a few markets to visit and need to find the best for you, if you're like me, its good to know what to expect when you arrive along with having a few tips from a local!

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Covering 14km of allies, courtyards and streets, the Marché aux Puces de Saint Ouen fleamarket is actually a collection of fleamarkets in one area just beyond the old Paris city gate. It is is too big to explore fully in one day so I'll take you round the markets bit by bit and give you a flavour of each market, this hopefully will help you choose the ones most suited to your tastes. In one visit, I usually explore one or two markets in detail and maybe wander round or through two more over an afternoon.

Fleamarket in Paris with orange spaceship
This market is so big, there's a spaceship in the centre!

The Puces de Ouen are good markets to visit on a rainy day as the booths are under cover so will still operate in the rain, when other more central Paris open air markets are reduced in size. You will however need an umberella and waterproof coat to move comfortably from stall to stall in the open air markets and from market to market. The market featured here is however undercover.

You may have heard that the markets are so big that one even has a spaceship in the centre of it! And that is correct!

Paris Dauphine Fleamarket

Situated in a modern building (inaugurated in 1991) in a central location just off Rue des Rosiers, the main street in Puces d'Ouen. It is open Friday for a half day 10am - 1pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am - 6pm amd Monday 11am to 7pm. However these times are flexible stall by stall, according to the agenda of each seller and Mondays and Fridays have fewer booths open. They may also open later and close earlier.

Dauphine is the biggest covered market (great for those rainy days!) and has 150 plus sellers.

What I like most about Marché Dauphine is that it has such variety. There are stalls with genuine and valuable antiques, from furniture to chandeliers and a lot of art, and I was delighted to find some very good pieces indeed.

A big part of its character are the Mid Century Modern and Pop culture vendors, with very collectible items. While I appreciate the design and quality of these shops, its not really my 'thing' so I don't spend so much time in this section, and indeed didn't take any pictures!

Along the right hand alley is a small but lovely run of boutiques that sell just my sort of thing! Ironstone or terre de fer vaisselle (dishes) and eclectic but curated curios with the emphasis on patina and pieces that show their age and history, I love the quirkiness. There was a lot of taxidermy, fabrics, shells and apothecary paraphernalia.

This for me is the nspirational aspect of Les Puces, I always spend ages in this section, talking to the vendors and feeding my imagination.

The prices aren't cheap, please don't come with an expectiation of scoring a bargain, it's Paris antique shop prices, not the price tag you would expect at a garage sale or vide greniers. However you still can find a special piece and pay a fair price. The vendors have higher overheads and spend a lot of time sourcing their pieces. I do always try to buy something as they run a business rather than a museum!

Upstairs is very different indeed. On the gallery there are book sellers, records and ephemera stalls and artisans, including a great picture framing shop. It also gives a lovely view down over the lower market.