Three times a week, all year long, an industrial wasteland next to the Jonage canal in Villeurbanne, on the outskirts of Lyon, is transformed into the venue for France’s second biggest flea market.
With the accuracy of a clockwork, dealers arrive at Les Puces du Canal in the early hours of the day to unload and display their stock. Les Puces du Canal is a truly unique market which attracts in the order of 500,000 visitors per year.
A true paradise for fans of bric-a-brac and antiques, Les Puces du Canal is an unusual experience and well worth a visit if you’re passing through Lyon. If you’re after old furniture, vintage decor, or anything designer and retro for that matter, then you’ve come to the right place: Les Puces du Canal gathers every week, around 400 vendors and exhibitors, including antiques dealers, vintage décor specialists, flea market dealers and collectors.
And if it’s quality items you’re after, do not fret: Les Puces du Canal opens three times a week, and is exclusively accessible to professional stall holders on Thursdays and Saturdays, while members of the public are welcome to set up their own booth during its Sunday opening hours.
Each weekly event spreads over four distinct areas. Le Hangar, which is renowned for its finer pieces of furniture, gathers more than a hundred famous merchants, proposing a wide choice of antiques, from the 16th to the 20th century. La halle Louis-la-Brocante, known colloquially as « les tôles », is the backbone of the market: it brings together second-hand dealers who are organized according to their specialties. Le village des containers, is dedicated to design and more contemporary items (old bicycles, light fittings and vintage posters). And last but not least, l’École is more focused on upcycled, restored and vintage objects.
And once you’ve dug up a couple of hidden gems, browsed all the great deals on offer and haggled like if your own life depended on it, head to one of the guinguette like Le Broc’ café or L’expo Bar for a well deserved steak-frites, plenty of Rhone wine and a savory petit mâchon à la Lyonnaise.