An institution for many and a mystery to others, the Orléans flea market is above all a real crowd pleaser, which gets more and more popular – with good reason!
Once a week from 6:30 am, around 90 second-hand dealers from all over the region unpack their goods on the esplanade of the boulevard Alexandre-Martin, a stone-throw away from the cathedral and the shopping center. Antique enthusiasts are usually the first to show up on the premises of the Orléans flea market, in order to snap the best deals – directly from the back of the truck, or as local say, at the cul du camion.
The relatively “moderate” size of the Orléans flea market, gives shoppers the almost unanimous feeling they get a personal shopping experience, compared to larger flea markets. Presentation of goods ranges from well organized flea market booths, to merchandises merely pilled up on blankets. Those who enjoy a good rummage are well at home at this market!
The merchandises on sale at the Orléans flea market are of quality and often highly intriguing, appealing to many a collector and curio-shopper alike. Most items sold at the Orléans flea market are reflections of the agricultural and fishing history of the area found in rustic items like tools, planters, buckets, jugs, wine-making paraphernalia, baskets and fishing rods. There are also antique ceramic items, porcelain craftwork, stuffed animals, linen, kitchenware, antique wooden trunks, paintings, records, silverware, and other utensils and small items of household furniture to be found.
Price wise, the Orléans flea market is quite affordable: a dressing table with a red marble shelf was recently sold for 20 euros, a lot of vintage working tools for 3 euros, and a genuine 1840s Louis-Philippe table for 30 euros. In fact, stall holders seem keen to offload their goods, and usually happily enter into bargaining and friendly banter.
The Orléans flea market is easily accessed by a day trip from Paris thanks to the speedy TGV, but driving here is also easy and possible with lots of parking around. Across the road from the market is the excellent Café Vincent, so replenishment is always close at hand for weary shoppers.