When you think of the best places to uncover antiques in France, the sprawling Parisian flea markets probably spring to mind. However, various towns and villages around the country are quiet hosts to some of the world’s finest antique fairs and markets. If you’re looking to discover some hidden gems on your next getaway, here’s our quick guide to these lesser known spots with our very own list of France’s top antique fairs.

The best markets in Northern France

La Braderie in Lille, France – Oliver’s Travels (Image courtesy of Frédérique Voisin-Demery via Flickr) Luxury villas in Northern France

La Braderie in Lille, France – Oliver’s Travels (Image courtesy of Frédérique Voisin-Demery via Flickr)

The huge La Grande Braderie market in Lille provides an exciting antique-hunting experience. Held annually during the first weekend in September, this two-day fair sees buyers and sellers staying up all night on Saturday – as do the street performers and musicians – creating a lively carnival atmosphere. With over 200km of stalls to peruse, selling everything from antique silverware to moules-frites, you’re sure to find something truly special.

If you’re planning to travel in April or October, a visit to the biannual Réderie d’Amiens is a must. Playing host to more than 500 professional dealers and 2000 casual traders, it sees 100,000 visitors descend on the event which is brimming with hidden gems just waiting for you to uncover.

Where to stay with Oliver’s Travels

La Manoir Nord

Located just a few minutes from Montreuil market, La Manoir Nord comfortably sleeps up to 12 guests – perfect for large groups of antique collectors. The 18th-century house is bursting with details you’ll be as eager to explore as any stall, filled with stunning period furniture to relax upon after a busy day of keeping your eyes wide open.

The best markets in Paris

Chatou Antiques Fair - France - Image courtesy of Juan Antonio F Segal via Flickr - luxury villas to rent in France - Oliver's Travels

Chatou Antiques Fair – France – Image courtesy of Juan Antonio F Segal via Flickr

Every March and September, collectors descend on Chatou, located in the affluent western Parisian suburbs, for the Chatou Foire au Jambon (“Ham Fair”). Dating back to the Middle Ages when people would gather to buy and sell the region’s impressive range of charcuterie, it’s become more famous today for its wide selection of antiques – while still showcasing ample meat produce to taste and enjoy.

Travel just outside of Paris and you’ll find Braderie de Houilles. The site of Victor Schoelcher’s death (the man who helped abolish slavery in France), the city of Houilles is packed with history to uncover even when the market isn’t on. However, if you do visit on the first Sunday of October, you’ll be greeted by the sight of 2000 second-hand vendors stretching across 10km. From clothes and shoes to toys and trinkets, there’s no doubt you’ll find something worth taking home!

Where to stay with Oliver’s Travels

Chateau Boumont - Paris Region - Oliver's Travels

Chateau Boumont – Paris Region – Oliver’s Travels

Chateau Boumont is located only a stone’s throw away from Paris, so it’s perfect for a trip into town for a spot of antique hunting. Its beautiful decor will also provide great inspiration for bargain hunters while making them feel like true members of the aristocracy!

Location: Paris

The best markets in South-Eastern France  

Our luxury villas in the Côte d’Azur are in a prime spot for those wanting to explore the Salon Antiquité Brocante, located in the village of Antibes. This is one of the largest and most prestigious antique fairs in France, taking place during the last two weeks of April. Professionals from all over Europe flock here every year, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for advice from expert dealers.

Antibes - France

Antibes – France – Image courtesy of Ross Gray via Flickr

Where to stay with Oliver’s Travels

Villa Mougins, Cote d'Azur - Oliver's Travels

Villa Mougins, Cote d’Azur – Oliver’s Travels

When you stay at the Bastide-style Villa Mougins, you’ll find yourself enviably close to the vibrant village that was a previous haunt of names such as Picasso and Churchill (it’s well worth a trip to the boulangerie too!). A light, airy chateau with classically French architecture and a lavish atmosphere to match, it sleeps 10 guests for those big reunions or family getaways.

Location: Cote D’Azur

South-Western France

For a spot of autumn antique-hunting, head for the Salon des Antiquaires et des Arts Contemporains, found in the historic city of Toulouse. Held each November, this market recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. With over 300 dealers exhibiting their goods here annually, you’ll find plenty of treasures if you take your time exploring.

Where to stay with Oliver’s Travels

Chateau Chamborigaud - Languedoc - Oliver's Travels

Chateau Chamborigaud – Languedoc – Oliver’s Travels

Anyone wanting to dicover Toulouse and the surrounding region can enjoy a seriously luxurious holiday experience by staying in Chateau Chamborigaud. Offering room for 18 guests, this authentic architectural villa features a heated swimming pool, barbecue, and sits adjacent to a tennis court you can use for a small fee. Why not check out our guest blog post from Will Hatton at The Broke Backpacker as he puts his feet up there?

Chateau Ariege - Midi-Pyrenees - Olivers Travels

Chateau Ariege – Midi-Pyrenees – Olivers Travels

And if you’re looking for a different kind of luxury, how about Chateau Ariege? Sleeping 10 and coming equipped with a swimming pool, tennis court and 25 acres of grounds, it oozes style and sophistication, inviting guests to truly relax in its sumptuous surroundings.

Location: Midi-Pyrenees

If your antique affliction could be better served with some vintage wines, why not check out our list of the Top Wine Experiences in The South of France?

Oliver's Travels

 

For our full range of luxury villas in France, head to Oliver’s Travels where you’ll find a range of properties to suit everyone – from antiques lovers to the most modern tastes.  

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15 Responses

  1. Greg

    Hi,

    Im going to France this August specifically to go to antiques markets and wine merchants. Would you be able to point me in the direction of any near to Calais as I really have no idea?

    Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated

    Kind regards
    Greg Howson

    Reply
  2. Andrew Pope

    Hi Greg, regards the wine, the best value in France is often the Supermarket I’ve found that the wine merchants tend to be expensive in comparison for the same product.
    Also Calias is not as good value as further from the coast, the stores near to the port have a captive audianse of Brits wanting cheap booze! And the prices are better in the smaller towns with less foot traffic!

    Reply
  3. Jennifer Johnson

    I would like to drive over via Chunnel April 13 – 21 2014. Would like to find
    some antique fairs. Thank you

    Jennifer Johnson

    Reply
    • Jon

      Hi Jennifer,

      Whereabouts in France are you travelling to? We’ll see if we can’t dig up a few gems for you!

      Reply
  4. Vanessa

    Hello,

    I am looking for antique fairs in southern France during the month of June? Do you know of any good ones during this time?

    Thank you,
    Vanessa

    Reply
  5. Charlotte

    Hi,

    I’m looking for a good antiques market in either August or September 2014. I would either come in on the Eurostar from London or drive via the channel tunnel. Do you have any suggestions?

    Many thanks

    Reply
  6. Michael

    Oliver,

    I want to source art deco furniture in any part of France in March. Would you have any suggestions where I should look.

    Reply
    • oliver

      Hi Michael,

      A good place to start may be the Saint-Ouen flea market in Northern Paris. Can’t guarantee you’ll definitely find art deco furniture, but it’s pretty sprawling (up to some 2,000 stalls) and offers a huge range of antiques and collectibles. It’s open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays all year.

      Happy hunting!

      Oliver

      Reply
  7. Andrew Lovatt

    Hello , I am looking to buy good quality Ormolu , Cassolettes , Chenets and small pieces of veneered / inlaid furniture , I have always bought in the UK but would love to go and buy in France but do not want a wasted journey , can you please point me in the right direction ?
    Kind regards Andrew

    Reply
  8. Pip

    Hi Oliver,

    Can you suggest any fairs that are similar to Sunbury Antiques in the UK in France? I’ve been to a few in the UK and nothing beats this antiques fair I feel as you get such a range but I would love to visit France and see what it has to offer in vintage markets. Is there any near Calais or not too far for a day trip/weekend from the UK? Much appreciated.

    Reply

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