This is a guest article from my namesake Kathrin. She loves the marché aux puces of the Côte d’Azur and has written a nice article about it, so that we know on which market we find what and which one is especially worthwhile. And she shared a really great link! There you will find all flea markets in France, sorted by region and city.
And now Kathrin has the floor:
As long as I can remember, I have a penchant for French crystal chandeliers, crystal glasses, mirrors and linen. I like to combine vintage pieces and antiques with contemporary design and breathe new life into old things. The antique markets on the Côte D’Azur are like a paradise for me. In Hamburg, I hardly ever go to an antique or flea market. But it’s different here. I went twice to the flea market at Jas de Roberts in Grimaud within 4 weeks!
The flea market at the Jas de Roberts in Grimaud
- All year round every Sunday (weather dependent) until 01 p.m.
Especially in winter and spring the market attracts with its special atmosphere. There is no crowd and you can get some real bargains. For my apartment in Antibes I bought a beautiful mirror that would have cost me a fortune in Hamburg and two decorated bedside tables with marble tiles for my daughters bedroom. Where bedside pots used to be kept are now my daughters’ books. (Luckily they didn’t notice why the bedside tables are partly lined with porcelain…) I also couldn’t stop at the retro step ladder, which is actually intended for libraries. I could rummage here at the Jas des Roberts for hours… Occasionally or after the stroll we stop at the restaurant with the same name for a café. On Sunday mornings, the restaurant is a meeting place for both tourists and locals. People meet here, everyone seems to know each other, the audience is motley. Wonderful! (We haven’t eaten there yet, but it was highly recommended to us.)
The flea market at the Cours Saleya in Nice
- Every Monday all year round (except on public holidays) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Since Grimaud is quite far away for us, now and then the flea market on the Cours Saleya in Nice has to serve. It is a bit more professional than in Grimaud, the prices appear to be higher, which is certainly also due to the stand fees and the many tourists. Of course, I also found something here and bought two beautiful lamp feet that still have the old French bayonet sockets. The corresponding light bulbs are in Germany only available on the Internet, but can be found in Nice without problems. The dealer sent me to Rue JP Papon and there I found not only bayonet bulbs, but also a suitable lampshade for my lamp base. The lampshade was without a doubt also vintage: the indicated price was still in Francs. Since the screw thread of my beautiful yellow lampshade, also bought at the flea market in Grimaud (easy to see on my photo), didn’t fit on the second lampshade, I was passed on from Rue JP Papon to Horthense in Rue Catherine Segurane a few streets further on. The charming older gentleman even speaks German. Within two hours after purchasing the lamp feet I found myself in a café with two functioning antique lamps for small money. Voilà, things can be that easy in France. (But when I think about how difficult it is to get a proper craftsman…)
Nizza, Rue Catherine Segurane
- Nice’s antique district, during the usual opening hours.
For those who still do not have enough of French antiques or who have a bigger purse, I recommend a walk in the Rue Catherine Segurane right behind the harbor close to the Place Garibaldi. One antique shop follows another. Many of these beautiful shops are closed around lunchtime and on Mondays, as it is normal in southern France. I recommend planning a stroll after 3 pm from Tuesday to Friday in order to avoid closed doors. This quarter behind the harbor with its many restaurants, cafés and shops is, by the way, currently my favorite place in Nice!
La Brocante in Cannes
- Sundays all year round (weather dependent) right in front of the Palais de festival
Those who can not reach Nice or Grimaud easily will also find in Antibes or Cannes a weekly Marché aux Puces or La Brocante, as it is called in French. There you can find stands with beautiful porcelain, jewelry and crystal. But you can’t compare it with the other two markets.
Flea market in the Old Town of Antibes…
- All year round (weather dependent) Thursdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Old Town
A visit to Brocante in Antibes on Saturday morning is particularly recommended. But first I buy freshly caught fish for dinner directly at Port Vauban and then I choose vegetables on the covered Marché Provencale in cours Massena. The regional, very friendly traders can be found in the middle aisle and give me French lessons as well as tips on how to fill zucchini blossoms.
With my shopping in the basket, I continue – not without buying a Tarte au citron in the Pâtisserie – to the flea markets on the beautiful Place Nationale in the middle of the vieille ville. From time to time I find here a linen napkin with the initials of one of my daughters.
… and in 31 Avenue de Nice
- all year round on the weekend in the 31 Avenue de Nice
Somewhat outside of Antibes and unfortunately not so beautifully situated, there is a larger area with partly fixed halls. Here you can also find larger pieces of furniture and other beautiful things, but this market, which is always open on weekends, is not very charming.
The antique market in Isle sur Sorgue
On top of my wish list is the antique market in Isle sur Sorgue, a small town in Provence. It is situated 25 km away from Avignon, is considered to be the Mecca for antiques and is said to surpass all described markets regarding flair and choice. I hope to visit it this year.
Twice a year, on Good Friday and Ascension Day, a huge antique market takes place. Otherwise, on Sundays many merchants are supposed to exhibit their antiques in a very charming ambiance. I haven’t been there yet and look forward to going there soon. And maybe I may report about it again…
Thank you very much, dear Kathrin! I was at the market in Grimaud last Sunday because you were so enthusiastic about it. And what can I say: it was great! As always in France we didn’t know what to expect and were a bit confused about the area. No one had told us that the market would take place in a small depression in the middle of a forest! But when we finally found the stalls between the cork oaks, we were incredibly happy. What a great atmosphere! And of course we also found something… You’re right, the prices are really pleasant. All around a successful Sunday!
And of course you can report about the market in Isle sur Sorgue! I ask for it! Thank you for participating in “You & the Côte d’Azur”.
Which is your favourite flea market on the Côte d’Azur?