The Marche au Puces St. Ouen originated with enterprising “rag-pickers” in 1885, who laid out their scavenged wares for sale near the Porte de Clignancourt. More reverently called “moon fishermen,” these street salesmen over the years built storefronts in alleyways and cubicles in warehouses.
Les Puces today is largest flea market-slash-antique store in the world, with 3,500 licensed vendors set up on some 20 jammed-packed city acres. Every weekend, about a quarter-million people bring their cash, credit cards, and bargaining skills. Expect a crowded Metro car, and keep a wary eye on your valuables. Most stalls open at 9 on Saturdays, 10 on Sundays, and 11 on Mondays, with a closing time of around 6 everyday. Start at the Porte de Clignancourt Metro stop, end of Line 4.