Best European antiques markets to visit
From Munich to Amsterdam, we've rounded up a few of the best antiques markets in Europe
Whether you’re looking to add to your collection of vintage enamelware, restock your shelves with antique linens or simply find a bargain to sell on, cities all around Europe are home to some intriguing antiques markets.
Wherever you're travelling to, here are a few antiques markets in Europe worth visiting...
Best antiques markets in Europe
Els Encants, Barcelona
In existence, in some form, since the 14th century there are claims this four-days-a-week Barcelona market was originally set up as a means of selling off the possessions of people who had died, to repay their debts.
For the last decade, Els Encants has been housed in a custom-designed space and the benefits of its breezy open sides and rippling mirrored canopy are easily appreciated during the summer months.
The market’s biggest distinction, however, is the quality of items – where some flea markets are flooded with cheap imported clothing, here you’re still more likely to be browsing antique lamps, vintage clothes, jewellery and furniture.
Fiera Antiquaria di Arezzo, Tuscany
More for serious antiques collectors than Sunday morning treasure-hunters – though there are plenty of smaller gems to be sought out too – Fiera Antiquaria di Arezzo has been going since 1968.
Spooling out below the city’s terracotta-tiled roofs, or sometimes shifting over to the park, the setting is as much of a draw as the shopping.
Among the fair’s 500-odd stalls you’ll find everything from antique linens and telescopes to marble busts, vintage chairs, ornately gilded mirrors and old photographs.
If you happen to visit the city when the fair isn’t running, its website lists a useful map of local dealers and restorers.
Frederiksberg Loppetorv, Copenhagen
One for fans of mid-century Danish design – and much more – this flea market pops up behind the City Hall on Saturdays during the summer months.
The pickings tend not to be quite as refined as those at the city’s smaller but highly regarded Thorvaldsens Plads Antique Market, but Frederiksberg Loppetorv is much bigger, the range more varied and the chance of stumbling across a piece of Royal Copenhagen, Georg Jensen or Holmegaard just as plausible.
The location – in Copenhagen’s affluent Frederiksberg – is another reason to visit, with elegant parks, design stores and stylish coffee shops all close at hand.
La Grande Réderie d’Amiens, Northern France
The flea markets of Paris and Lille may be better known but, with around 2,000 stallholders converging on this twice-yearly (April and October) event, Amiens’ flea market is one to watch in northern France.
A browser’s dream, you’ll find antiques from professional dealers right down to domestic bric-à-brac; think grand chandeliers to coffee pots.
Go a day or two early and make the most of this charming Picardie city; walk the cobbled streets of its pretty Old Town, admire its floating gardens, Les Hortillonnages, visit its otherworldly 13th-century cathedral or feast on regional treats such as golden macarons.
Flohmarkt Theresienwiese, Munich
Munich’s largest flea market takes place on the Oktoberfest fairground site, Theresienwiese, just once a year, at the end of April, and is organised by the Bavarian Red Cross.
The opening event of the city’s Spring Festival, it plays host to up to 3,000 sellers and draws huge crowds hoping to sniff out a bargain from among its reams of vintage furniture, glassware, militaria, crockery, clothes, gardenalia and paintings.
If you’re visiting at other times of year, you won’t leave empty-handed. As well as weekly flea markets like the one at Olympiapark, Munich also hosts the Auer Dult three times a year.
Amsterdam Vrijmarkt, Amsterdam
Not so much a flea market as a nationwide free-for-all, every year, on 27th April, King’s Day is celebrated with the government waiving the need for permits to sell on the streets.
This national holiday sees locals clearing out their attics as a ripple of car boot sale-like stalls pop up in towns and cities. The largest vrijmarkt is in Amsterdam.
More giant jumble sale than collector’s haven, there are some specialist areas, however; the Jordaan district tends to be a better hunting ground for antiques.
The area’s beautiful canalside buildings are also home to galleries, interiors stores and world-class museums.
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