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Paris Nord Aubervilliers

Flea Spirit: Guide To Europe's Best Flea Markets

Not only are antiques fairs and flea markets great for treasure hunting among vintage homeware, furniture and collectables, they also make for a fun day out. You needn't be a seasoned dealer to enjoy a treasure-hunting day out at a vintage fair and flea market. With better quality products than you can get at your average shopping mall, some of Europe’s largest, long-standing fairs are growing in line with the rising demand for vintage products and more sustainable, second-hand shopping. So, for your next city break, ditch the trip to Zara as we've pulled together some of the best spots to prowl for mid-century furniture, kitsch kitchen utensils, 70s dresses and more. It’s time to brush up on your bartering skills.

2023 May 26

Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, Paris

The Parisian ritual of strolling around the sprawling Marché aux Puces offers both a window into the past and some seriously good vintage finds. Welcoming 3,000 traders and up to 180,000 visitors each weekend, the Marché aux Puces is thought to be one of the most famous flea markets in the world. With such an acclaim, as you might guess the opportunity to find some real treasures is high. Stumble upon everything from artist canvases, elaborately crafted furniture and absurd trinkets (either trash or treasure) supplied by collectors from all over France. In essence, there is absolutely no knowing what awaits you at the Marché aux Puces, which make it, and, indeed, any flea market so thrilling. A certain amount of luck, good fortune and magic, je ne sais quoi - is essential.

Conveniently, easyHotel Paris Nord Aubervilliers is located just an 8-minute drive away (or a 25 minute cycle on a spring day), making it the perfect weekend activity for when you’re staying in the capital.

Address: 142 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen, Paris, France

Jeu de Balle market, Brussels

This famous square used to serve as a playing field for Frisian handball, or jeu de balle, but is now better known the “Old Market”, the captial’s most famous flea market. The only market to be open 365 days a year, it’s a haven for flea market aficionados, who, in the shadow of the Church of Notre-Dame Immaculee, can rummage through countless stands stacked with higgledy-piggledy piles of furniture, second-hand clothes, jewellery, old photographs, art and much more to their heart's content. On a sunny day, it can be reached via a short 20-minute walk from our easyHotel Brussels location.

Address: Place du Jeu de Balle 1000 Brussels

Mercat del Encants, Barcelona

A Spanish institution, at this largest second-hand market in Barcelona and one of the oldest in Europe (dating back to the 14th century), you'll find seasoned pros selling hard-to-find historical artefacts, as well as independent sellers with more ramshackle offerings. With over 500 stalls to browse, you can find everything from rare antiques to bric-a-brac homewares, books and clothing. Just a 25-minute journey away from our easyH­­­otel Barcelona Fira location, it can easily be spotted thanks to a gleaming metal structure by architect Fermín Vázquez which it is held under. Head there on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m, with longer opening hours during the summer.

Address : Mercat del Encants, Carrer de los Castillejos, 158, Barcelona, Spain

Mauerpark Flea Market, Berlin

This market is all about the leisurely saunter rather than the hustle. Open every Sunday (between 9 and 6pm), and just a 30-minute walk away from our easyHotel Berlin location, you’ll find it packed with furniture, vintage clothing finds, artist canvases’ and street food stalls. Sprawling across the massive park in Prenzlauer Berg, it’s the city’s largest flea market and on a sunny day you can even make an afternoon of it, by grabbing a few beers and dropping by for the park’s infamous Bearpit Karaoke.

Address: Gleimstraße 55, 10437 Berlin, Germany

IJ Hallen, Amsterdam

On a sunny weekend, we can’t think of anything better than getting the ferry to Amsterdam’s largest outdoor market. With an atmosphere that feels more like a festival than a second-hand marketplace, it’s filled with over 500 stalls, and has lots of local coffee shops and cafés around its edges, making it easy to spend a whole day zig-zagging up and down its aisles. Most of the sellers are young and happy to chat, so it's a great place to pick up local recommendations on where to go while in town, as well as all the pre-loved fashion and homeware bargains you can squeeze into your carry-on up for the journey home.

Our easyHotel Amsterdam City Centre location is just a stone’s throw away, making it the perfect spot for a weekend break.

Address: TT Neveritaweg 15, 1033 WB Amsterdam-Noord, the Netherlands

Feira da Ladra, Lisbon

With a history stretching back to the 13th century, the Feira da Ladra, or “thieves” market

offers some of the best people-watching and vintage gem-finding opportunities in the capital. Selling everything from museum-worthy antiques to vintage artwork, handmade jewellery and clothes, this giant twice-weekly flea market spans several hilly streets on the edge of Alfama, where it has been situated since the late 1800s. Expect to find the lot: arts and antiques, handmade jewellery and vintage vinyl, but watch out for bumped up “tourist prices”. Just a 15-minute drive away from easyHotel Lisbon, the vendors are here every Tuesday to Saturday, and watching the buskers won't cost you a penny.

Address: Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-472 Lisboa, Portugal

Whether you’re planning just a short city break or a week-long holiday, exploring Europe’s flea markets is one of the best ways to whirl away an afternoon and interact with the city’s locals. Time to get exploring!  

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