The Braderie De Lille, Europe’s biggest Flea Market……
Just one and a half hours on the Eurostar from London or just one hour’s train ride from Paris, the town of Lille is host to the largest Flea Market in Europe on the first Saturday and Sunday of September. The whole town is shut off from vehicles and given over to around 10,000 stallholders plying their wares and treasures on every street in the town, and sees over two million visitors over the weekend.
I arrived on the Eurostar at around 11am on the Saturday but the market was in full swing and the streets were already crowded by the time I got there with my little trolley bag! I was determined to fill it up and started on my quest to find something interesting.
I had read and heard about this flea market for years and this was my first visit so wasn’t sure what to expect when I got here. I made sure I booked the Eurostar in advance as it gets booked up very quickly. If you want to go over the two days it’s wise to book accommodation a few months in advance too as hotel rooms get very expensive the nearer the date gets.
There are certain areas in the market that sell the more upmarket, genuine antiques with more expensive price tags to the serious dealers; whereas most of the streets have amateur household sellers getting rid of the rubbish from their cupboards, more like a car boot sale.