If you love to spend hours and hours to browse among the stalls of the markets in search of antiques, old books, vintage clothing, or curios, the spring with its nice sunny days is the perfect time to treat yourself to a weekend of discovery of the best flea markets of Europe.
Stroll among the stalls under the rays of a warm sun, enjoy the delicious street food between one purchase and another, enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of these places, that often hides a very long history and tradition is, in fact, a great pleasure not only for the shopping lovers.
Organized, then, your weekend in Paris at a time of huge Marches aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, the impression will be the one to visit a surreal village within the French capital, or a break to London to enjoy a day at the iconic Portobello Road Market, the destination must for all lovers of the genre.
Other options, perhaps less known, but at the same time very interesting for the atmosphere and for the offered goods are El Rastro of Madrid, the history of which goes deep into the middle Ages, or the flea market of Mauerpark in Berlin, a step away from the Wall that for decades has divided in two the city and the fate of its inhabitants.
If you prefer to stay in Italy, the advice is to visit the Market of Porta Portese where you let yourself be carried away by the irresistible sympathy of the vendors and rummage through thousands of opportunities.
Here are the best flea markets in Europe and all the useful information on how to organize the trip and what to buy from the colorful stalls.
- Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, Paris
- Portobello Road Market, London
- El Rastro Market, Madrid
- The flea market of Mauerpark, Berlin
- The market of Porta Portese, Rome
1 – Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, Paris
Les Puces de Saint-Ouen in Paris is the flea market, the largest in the world and one of the most beautiful in all of Europe. This market town, whose birth dates back to 1870, it was declared in 2001, “Areas for the Protection of Architectural, Urban, and Landscape Heritage (ZPPAUP)” for its particular structure and lovely atmosphere that one can breathe.
The Marches aux Puces de Saint-Ouen in fact it extends over an area of 7 hectares in the EIGHTEENTH arrondissement, and offers both outdoor spaces or indoors, where it hosts over 2.500 stalls that form 14 different markets, each specializing in one type of commodity. For example, the stalls of marché Paul Bert offer antiques, those of the marché Malik and vintage clothes, those of the marché Biron objects of asian art, while in the stands of the marché Malassis, you can buy various items of modern art.
Among the many products of this flea market you can find pieces of great value at a great price, so eyes open and good luck!
- Days in market: Friday from 8.00 to 12.00, Saturday from 9.00 to 18.00, Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00 and Monday from 11.00 to 17.00.
- Where is the Marches aux Puces de Saint-Ouen: Av. de la Porte de Clignancourt, in the EIGHTEENTH arrondissement, an area North of Paris.
- How to get to the Marches aux Puces de Saint-Ouen metro station: take the metro 4 and get off at the station Porte de Clignancourt or line 3 and get off at the Garibaldi station.
2 – Portobello Road Market, London
Among the best flea markets in Europe, there is the Portobello Road Market in London, which is held in the exclusive neighborhood of Notting Hill, the location of the unforgettable movie with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
The Portobello Road Market is the antiques market, the largest in the world , with stalls that are followed dense to the iconic Portobello Road up to Elgin Crescent in a riot of colors, scents, and objects fascinating and long history.
Wandering among the stalls of this vibrant market, it is possible to buy not just antiques but also clothing and costume jewellery vintage or modern, new objects, fruit, vegetables and street food. In this area, however, the pubs and restaurants where you can refuel after shopping there.
- Days in market: Saturday, all types of stalls, the other days are open only a few stand. To check the details click here.
- Where is the Portobello Road Market: Portobello Rd, London, Greater London W10 5TE.
- How to get to Portobello Road Market: get off at the stop of the Metro Notting Hill.
3 – El Rastro Market, Madrid
El Rastro in Madrid is another interesting flea market where you wander among the colourful stalls in search of curious objects and affairs.
This market, with more than 400 years of history, extends in the area of Calle Ribera de Curtidores , and according to tradition you have to start your shopping tour from the plaza Cascorro under the statue of Eloy Gonzalo, which was erected in memory of the fallen of the Spanish in Cuba, to end at the Puerta de Toledo.
Every street accommodates a specific range of stalls where you can buy items and old books, clothes and accessories, magazines, games, in short, any article that suggests you to use your imagination.
- Days on market: Sunday and holidays from 9.00 to 15.00.
- Where is El Rastro street: Calle Ribera de Curtidores and the surrounding area in the barrio de Embajadores.
- How to get to El Rastro flea market: take line 5 and get off at the stop La Latina, or the line 3 and get off at the bus stop Embajadores.
4 – flea Market at Mauerpark, Berlin
The German capital hosts every Sunday a large flea market inside the Mauerpark, the Wall Park which now occupies the former death strip, or no man’s land behind the Berlin Wall , and on a part of which is still visible.
Most of the stalls offers clothing and vintage shoes, vinyl discs, books and various objects of modern art while the antique is almost absent. Interesting but, at the same time, very poignant are the relics of socialism often found in the cellars of the palaces abandoned in the former the soviet zone of the city.
The spring is the best season to treat yourself to a visit to this flea market as between one purchase and another, you can enjoy a relaxing break immersed in the green of its park, a destination very popular by the berliners in the days of the sun.
- Days on market: Sunday from 8.00 to 18.00.
- Where is the flea market of Mauerpark: Bernauer Strasse, in the Prenzlauer Berg district.
- How to get to the flea market at Mauerpark: take the subway U2 and get off at the stop Eberswalder Straße or the subway U8 stopping at Bernauer Straße.
5 – the Market of Porta Portese, Rome
Among the best flea markets of Europe there is also the Porta Portese at Rome, the source of inspiration for countless directors, writers, and singers and of recent origin compared to that of other european markets. This market is, in fact, an evolution of the black market that was held at the end of the Second world war, when the romans in order to compensate for the restrictions of the war they tried to sell or barter the objects the most strange.
Today, the market of Porta Portese is characterized by a strong multi-ethnicity and the ability to find any object type. The known as the “Porta Portese ” you can find everything, from the pill to the Jumbo Jet” is always true.