Since 1988, the Marché aux Puces des Arnavaux has been creating chaos and joy in equal measure in Marseille. It is considered somewhat of an institution to locals, and draws in crowds of tourists too. With more than 10 acres of space, it is an area that definitely takes some time to fully explore. Though the whole experience can be a bit exhausting, it is more than worth it. All those that love markets and antiques should make the effort to navigate this location at least once in a lifetime.
The whole area of the Marché aux Puces des Arnavaux is a mish-mash of shops, antique-filled warehouses, markets and often just piles of stuff. The antique market hall hosts about forty shops which are open every day of the year from 07:30 to 18:00 except Monday. Junk dealers (about 120 of them) take over the premises around the gallery on Saturdays and Sundays from 07:30 to 14:00.
Throughout the week there is a semblance of order, but when the flea market opens every weekend it can be hard to move through all the goods for sale. Many vendors have designated spaces for the stalls, but where these official spots are lacking, a blanket on the floor serves just fine. It is a second-hand-lover’s dream.
The only way to investigate all the items for sale at the Marché aux Puces des Arnavaux flea market is to get your hands dirty and rummage. Vendors have no problem with this, and seem to enjoy to banter with visitors and bargain over desired items. Because of this, the atmosphere is great; lively, friendly and welcoming to all. It does help to have a basic grasp of French to really get the most out of a visit here, but of course it is possible to negotiate in any language, since cash is universal!
Though it is a regular affair, the Marché aux Puces des Arnavaux always has new items on display. No matter how often shoppers visit here, they will find new items every time, and plenty of variety. This market is hugely popular, and will no doubt be in this location for many years to come.