Flea markets can be a terrific way to draw crowds and tourism into otherwise little explored areas within countries. This is especially true for the French town of Mézilles, in Burgundy. One weekend in August since 1976, this quaint village in the French countryside hosts one of the biggest flea markets in the country: the Bricabrac de Mézilles. The French call such markets vide greniers, which translates roughly to “attic clean out”. And this is a rather accurate translation for such an event.
The village of Mézilles is the perfect location for such a thriving market as the Bricabrac de Mézilles. It is very picturesque, with streets winding through the center of the town every which way and stunning brick work throughout the buildings. There are lovely views of surrounding fields, and gardens are beautifully maintained. It means that strolling through the market offers a wonderful experience, whether you are transfixed by the goods on sale or just looking to enjoy the weekend.
The Bricabrac de Mézilles squeezes plenty of booths and tables throughout the streets of the town, and where there is no further room the market spills out into the fields surrounding the town and squares within. There are more than 500 vendors, all incredibly friendly and shouting out to visitors, creating a jovial and welcoming atmosphere. They will often shout out prices to entice customers, so be prepared to bargain and snag some great buys! Some vendors are professionals, others amateur, so there are goods to suit all and prices fit for every pocket.
One incredibly special feature of the Bricabrac de Mézilles is that it is open late into the night. The market is at this time illuminated by lanterns, and many visitors bring flashlights to check out the nocturnal wares. There are also barbecues going and music playing, creating such a special event that no one would want to miss out on. If you’re planning on spending a week road tripping in Burgundy in August, you can kill two birds with one stone and visit the Foire aux puces d’Aillant-sur-Tholon which takes place exactly a week before the Bricabrac de Mézilles.