French Flea Markets: the Vide-Grenier

Europe doesn’t do Garage Sales, preferring neighborhood flea markets, known as ‘Car Boot Sales’ in the UK and Village Vide-Greniers in France.  Vide-Grenier literally means “empty your attic”… and empty their attics they do!   Each village usually does one or two a year, spring and fall, and each family fills a table with all manor of fascinating finds.  One person’s trash is another’s treasure, so you can find everything from the most hilarious junk to the most interesting antiques.

The prices at these bric-a-brac free-for-alls are a fraction of the weekly antique markets, and bargaining is the way to go… if you don’t speak French, start with a ‘bonjour’ and a smile, then just point and use a pocket calculator to make your offer!

Here is  the current list of upcoming  vide-greniers:  Just look for ‘Vide Grenier’ or Frippery (mostly clothes); ‘Brocante’ means pricey professional antique dealers, which while interesting, is usually not cheap.

Happy hunting!

Drawing courtesy of the Eze Tourist Office, Eze annual Vide-Grenier poster

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