Diana Keeler is a novelist and Etsy shopkeeper based in Paris. She writes about traveling and doughnuts on Travel Crush. She interviewed Ryan Gosling three times in one year. Find her on Instagram and Pinterest.
Whether they’re out scouting goods for their stores, hunting for trends and inspiration, or just shopping for unique, statement-making pieces for their own homes, nobody knows the flea market scene like the vintage and antiques sellers on Etsy. We polled a few of our favorites to get their suggestions for don’t-miss markets around the world — along with their tips on what to look for, how to bargain, and what to eat while you’re there. (After all, man cannot live on bargains alone.)
Loppemarked i Bella, Copenhagen, Denmark
Denmark-based artist and secondhand seller Eeli Polli seeks out the best Scandinavian vintage and handmade ceramics for her shop North Vintage — some of which she sources at the twice-annual Loppemarked
Loppemarked at the Bella Center, Center Boulevard 5, Copenhagen; two events annually; regular admission $6.
Laura Mae and Amanda Jean of Maejean Vintage, who sell antique jewelry from the Edwardian to the mid-century eras, suggest not a single market, but the entire Pennsylvania town of Adamstown, about an hour west of Philadelphia. “It’s filled with amazing antiques shops, galleries, co-ops, and markets,” Mae says. “You can find everything from retro furniture to Victorian jewelry — and even neat old hardware.” Though the antique shops operate year-round, the women suggest visiting during the summer months, when many shops set up outdoor stalls, and dragging yourself out to browse in the pre-dawn weekend hours. “Many serious shoppers arrive with a flashlight before the sun rises to scope out the best deals and rare finds.” (Those rare finds include Mae and Jean’s favorite purchase, a 1900s diamond and sapphire toi-et-mo
Venues and hours vary throughout Adamstown, PA.
Westpaket Flea Market, Leipzig, Germany
Westpaket Flea Market, Karl-Heine-Straße, Leipzig; two events annually; admission free.
Rozelle Markets, Sydney, Australia
Vintage clothing seller Cara Weinstock, of the vintage clothes shop Cara Mia, stands behind her hometown favorite as one of the world’s best fleas: Rozelle Markets in Sydney, Australia. “It’s a true flea market, with everything from vintage clothes and jewelry to books and records, bric-a-brac, vintage homewares, light fittings, and much more,” she says. Her list of greatest hits — which makes a fair representation of her shop’s stock — is heartbreakingly great: an ’80s Versace Couture dress, a ’70s Balmain cape, vintage kimonos, and a pair of Chloe jeans (“With the tags still on!”). Cara recommends attending both Saturday and Sunday’s markets and showing up around 9 a.m. After the shopping, she suggests hitting the food stalls, which are in two groups — one by the entrance and one by the back of the market. “There’s a Mediterranean stall, which is a market mainstay, a great coffee stall, and lots of farmer’s market stalls with fresh produce.”
Rozelle Markets, 663 Darling Street, Rozelle; every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; admission free.
Les Puces de Vanves, Paris, France
As an Etsy vintage seller based in Paris, I’m most likely to stock my own shop with kitchen goods and old books that I’ve bagged at the region’s weekend vide greniers (or “empty attics” — the French equivalent to a garage sale), but for treasures for my own home, it’s the flea market at Porte de Vanves all the way. This gem on Paris’s southern border is often overlooked by visitors headed for the more famous flea on the opposite end of the city, at the Porte de Clignancourt. It’s too bad — you’ll find better prices, friendlier vendors, and a more relaxed atmosphere here. Come to scoop up mid-century cafetières, vintage designer handbags, paintings, drawings, and a wide array of ceramics — for as little as a couple of euros, if you’re willing to dig. (Don’t be surprised if your efforts to bargain are rebuffed — the last time I tried to knock 5 euros off a 45 price tag, I got a stern look and unsolicited directions to the nearest ATM.) On your way home, stop by the Blé Délice boulangerie, between the metro and the market, for a bag of warm beignets.
Puces de Vanves, along Marc Sangnier Avenue and Avenue Georges Lafenestre, near the Porte de Vanves metro station; every Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; admission free.
Spandau Flea Market, Berlin, Germany
Timea Gremsperger of Mighty Vintage outfits her Berlin apartment with the same incredible vintage housewares she stocks in her shop: kilim rugs, antique clocks, and a collection of patterned plates that might have visitors hankering to start their own. She heartily recommends the flea at Berlin-Spandau, where she landed her favorite-ever find, a green velvet couch from the 1960s. “Everybody was packing up when we saw it,” Gremsperger says. “[My husband and I] looked at each other and grinned. The best part was that the stall owner wanted to get home and offered it to us for 20 euros — just to get rid of it!” She recommends focusing on the private (read: non-commercial) vendors located near the entrance to the facility’s parking lot; these sellers often bring more eclectic goods. As for snacks, Gremsperger suggests seeking out a vintage camper run by a Russian mother-and-daughter team, who sell Eastern European food; Gremsperger’s favorite is lángos, a Hungarian fried bread. “But be careful,” she warns. “Super greasy!”
Spandau flea market, Juliusturm 55, Berlin; every Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; admission free.
What’s your favorite flea market to shop? Tell us in the comments!