It’s okay. We know. You’re not alone. You desperately want a cool warehouse of fun, edgy accessories and furniture like Joanna Gaines from television’s Fixer Upper. You’re with your tribe. You can go just about anywhere in the world, and, if you know where to look for the local flea market, you can find funky, one-of-a-kind whatevers. Odds are you know the best places near your own home but are you using your travels to your best advantage?
Carve out some time to visit a flea market next time you travel. It’s generally easy to ship larger purchases back to your home and often, the best finds are things that will fit easily into your carry-on. Remember, cash rules at flea markets and bargaining is a must. If you anticipate a language barrier, have a reliable app on your phone to help you through negotiations.
Greenmarket Square – Next time you’re in Cape Town, South Africa, check out Greenmarket Square. You’ll find everything from beadwork to sculptures to authentic tribal art. The market itself started out as a slave market before becoming a produce market and then a parking lot. Now, it is a thriving venue of independent vendors and artists. Additionally, you’ll find local food and buskers sharing a variety of music.
Westheimer Flea Market – Even if you’re just flying through, plan a long layover and visit Houston’s Westheimer Flea Market. The friendly, creative staff are what makes this place so great. They are constantly creating furniture by mixing up parts of existing pieces while at the same time offering the wonderfully fun flea market things like mismatched tea cups, tin pink flamingos and unusual light fixtures. It started as a laundromat but don’t let it’s plain exterior put you off. Hours of entertainment await you inside.
Marché Aux Puces de Clignancourt (Market of the Fleas) – Sure, you can buy old junk at home. But . . . old junk from Paris? That’s sooo much better. On the north side of Paris, you will find 2500-3000 dealers in everything – and I mean everything Parisian and fun. I promise, it’ll be the best field trip you’ve ever taken.
Mercantic Market – The mix of old and new in Barcelona is astonishing. 100,000 square feet of antiques, vintage items, food, music and general fun awaits you behind the plain facade of the Mercantic. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, the people-watching is excellent – it’s like the Hamptons meet the Bronx. You have a little bit of everything and it’s all good. Plan to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when everything is open and at its height.
127 Corridor – The 127 Corridor is not a place, it’s a journey. For three weeks out of every year, dealers and enthusiasts alike make the trek from Kentucky through Alabama to visit over 2000 vendors in search of that perfect “something.” Billed as the world’s largest yard sale, the 127 Corridor is four days of flea market bliss. Bookmark the website to get the dates for 2017.
Go on! You know you want to give it a shot. Share your best finds (local or while traveling) with us. Happy hunting.