Top Travel Tip: French flea markets

Top Travel Tip: treasure hunting in the côte d’azur

The French Riviera is famous for its sultry, hot summers but Autumn here is spectacular too – especially if you love second hand shopping.

Fall is vide grenier season in Provence, when the area becomes a treasure hunter’s paradise.

The phrase vide grenier translates to clearing the attic – basically the equivalent of a rummage sale in the US – only everything is charming and French!

There are antiques markets year round here in Nice and throughout the region, but the prices are usually quite high.

If you can wait until the weather cools, from August through December is when the French get busy clearing out their proverbial attics, and that is when the bargains appear.

Every weekend, and often during the week as well, people in towns up and down France’s southern coast wake up before the sun rises, unfold their card tables, and lay out the things they are ready to part with.

You never know what gems you might find at a vide grenier. and the prices are astounding; I have seldom come across anything priced above 5 Euros.

From antique pottery and enamelware, to potted plants and vintage French crockery and stationary, to slightly worn designer clothes, shoes, jewelry, and purses to books, board games and anything else you can imagine, I have been hitting the bargain jackpot!

If you are in the area – or want to be – this is a great website that details all of the flea markets and rummage sales in France.

Bon shopping, and bon chance!

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