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Shopping in France, like you’ve never done before

Sandy Price, the author of The Flea Markets of France, reckons there’s no better way to spend a sunny day in France than bargain-hunting and browsing, or just soaking up the atmosphere than at the market.

Or for the braver souls there are the ‘vide-greniers’ (basically, ‘emptying the attics’) that take place on a less frequent basis in communities across France.

In Paris there’s no better than the massive Porte de Vanves,the weekend flea market near the Porte de Vanves metro stop in Paris which is one of the very best in France, in terms of size and the eclectic nature of its wares. Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Not a very scenic spot, but a wealth of treasure for the hunter.

Further south in Toulouse is the Allées Jules Guesde. Held on the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the month a large, high-quality flea market is held all day along the allées Jules Guesde, in central Toulouse. The variety of collectables, though, is large, with perhaps an emphasis on the decorative over the rustic (and what is rustic is likely to be well-polished!.

Then there’s the mixed-up mountain of odds and ends in Orléans on the Boulevard Alexandre Martin. The town of Orléans, a gateway to the Loire region, has a moderate-sized, but wide-ranging, flea market on Saturday mornings. The several vendors who display their wares in boxes or heaped on blankets will appeal to bargain hunters and junk merchants!

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