A crate full of dolls heads can be found in the corner. Meanwhile, shelves of books adorn the streets, while antique chairs, trinkets, chic designer clothing, jewellery, and the like can be found in abundance. The Brocante de la Rue de Bretagne de Noel (Christmas Flea Market) is something of a wonderland for all those with an interest in antiques…
Brocante de la Rue de Bretagne de Noel: Vintage in the 3rd Arrondissement
The flea market and car boot sale event features some five hundred vendors, all selling unique, unusual, and often vintage wares. The event is also sometimes referred to as the ‘autumn brocante’ due to its timing. Taking place from the 24th to the 26th of November, this long weekend free entrance occasion is free to visit and you can never be too sure what kind of treasure you’ll stumble upon next…
Held along rue Eugène Spuller, rue de Bretagne, square du Temple, place Turenne, rue du Petit Thouars and rue Cafarelli, the brocante includes everything from designer brands to bargains, meaning that there’s something for every price range. If you’re feeling a little hungry, then speciality food stands are dotted all around.
Organised by the Town Hall of the 3rd arrondissement, around which the brocante de la Rue de Bretagne is held, you can expect to find vintage pop-up fairs every few months. The latest flea market was announced two months in advance on the Mairie du 3e arrondissement website– so keep your eyes peeled for future vintage markets!
Nearby things to do in Le Marais
The 3e is part of Le Marais area of the city. Quite literally translated as ‘the swamp’ in English, the area is so-called because it was marshy bog before Monks drained the area in order to expand the fringes of Paris during the middle ages.
Wander around today, and as well as the Haussmannian architecture that is so synonymous with the rest of the city, you can expect to find little lanes, beautiful mansion houses (known as ‘hôtels’), and churches in abundance.
Take a free and self-guided walking tour of Le Marais: Like many a European capital city, Paris is best explored on foot. Le Marais, in particular, is easy to wander around over the course of a day. Along the way, you’ll soon spy plenty of world-famous attractions, coffee houses, and lots of traces of the Medieval city.
Study or work inside a medieval mansion: The Bibliothèque Forney is housed within a former medieval mansion house which was once home to the archbishopric of Sens. Today, the books, many of which are focused on the decorative arts, are housed against a backdrop of beautiful architectural details dating back centuries.
Village Saint Paul: For true fans of all things vintage related, the permanent St Paul Market can be found somewhere between the Cardinal Richelieu commissioned Eglise Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis and the River Seine. A maze of sprawling streets and little shops, this hidden Marais gem is always worth a visit!
Musée Picasso: Dedicated to the famous artist, Pablo Picasso, this museum is home to over five thousand pieces, including sculptures, paintings, prints, and ceramics. Set against the backdrop of a 17th-century Hôtel Particulier, you could easily spend a few hours exploring all of the works of art housed there.