French Flea Markets: the Vide-Grenier

Poster for french flea market

Europe doesn’t do Garage Sales, preferring neighborhood flea markets called Vide-Greniers (‘Car Boot Sales’ for you Brits).  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 the calculator on your smart phone to make your offer!

Bring some sacks and lots of coins and small bills.

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!

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

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