Marché is a familiar word to all us, and, as we should all know is the French word for market. I dare say it is impossible to visit France without walking through or past one, whether intentionally or not. Markets are an institution in Parisian culture. But what about all these other things like brocantes, vide-greniers and braderies? “What’s the difference?”, one might ask. Allow me an attempt at clearing this up.
First of all, a marché is generally the same day every week depending on the neighborhood. This is where many people go to get fresh produce, cheeses, breads, preserves, flowers, etc. This is Paris! The edible treasures to be found are endless. These can be found every day of the week. A brocante is more like an outdoor flea market full of antiques, second-hand (or d’occasion in French) goods, clothing and anything else you could think of. These are traveling markets that are put on by organizations where proffesionals sell their collections of whatever it might be. A vide-greniers, on the other hand, is more like a garage or yard sale. Individuals sell things they don’t want, displaying it in the yard or street. These too are quite popular in Paris and generally there are certain days allocated to the event. This way it’s a neighborhood wide effort. And finally, a braderie is simply a clearance or discount center.
Even if you don’t plan to buy anything, these events are fun to go to with friends or family to discover unexpected treasure. You know what they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
Below is a list of marchés, brocantes, vide-greniers and broderies of all sorts around Paris this month.
Saturday, April 27 – Sunday, April 28: Blvd Richard Lenoir 11e, (Metro Oberkampf) ; Ave. de Maine 14e (Metro Gaité, Alésia)
Sunday, April 28: Rue des Pyrénees, de Jourdain and de la Mare, 20e (Metro Pyrénées) ; Cours de Vincennes (Metro Nation)
Marché Gourmands – April 25-27 : Place de la Convention (Metro Convention)
Braderie de Livres (book clearance) – April 27 : Biblio-Monge, 5e (Metro Monge)
Full and current listings here: