Markets selling used goods of all kinds will take place this spring and summer across the Continent.

Markets selling used goods of all kinds will take place this spring and summer across the Continent. (iStock)

For some it’s the love of a bargain, for others the thrill of the chase. Collectors seek to find the rarities that have thus far eluded them, and professional traders can smell where there’s money to be made. Small wonder, then, that flea markets remain such popular events across Europe. And like flowers after a spring rain, they’re popping up all over. Here are some particularly interesting markets to check out in the weeks and months to come.


Munich: For one spring Saturday each year, the vast grounds that host Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest celebrations host an eagerly anticipated event of another kind. On April 22, tens of thousands of seekers of secondhand treasures will make their way to the Theresienwiese to peruse the stalls of the Bavarian capital’s biggest flea market. Early risers will have the best chance of finding the article of clothing or household good they’re after, as selling starts at 7 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. There’s another good reason to be in the area: The Frühlingsfest, known affectionately as the Oktoberfest’s little sister, runs simultaneously right next door. Online:

Schweinfurt: Some 500 stands set up across the city’s Volksfestplatz are the place to search for antiques, art, old furniture, clothing, toys and other secondhand treasures on May 13. The flea market, organized by the Red Cross, runs 7 a.m.- 4 p.m. Online:

Nuremberg: Twice a year, the streets of Nuremberg’s Old Town bustle as up to 4,000 private sellers and professional traders set up stalls offering toys, tools, jewelry, books, household goods and everything in between. These markets get underway on Fridays at 4 p.m. and run until midnight, then reopen at 7 a.m. Saturday and trade until 8 p.m. Dates for 2023 are May 12-13 and Sept. 8-9. Online:

Stuttgart: Hundreds of traders will take over Stuttgart’s inner city on May 21, the first of two dates of a bustling flea market that sprawls across the Marktplatz, Schillerplatz and beyond. A wide range of sellers, from high-end antiques dealers to junk removers, will be on hand. The flea market runs 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. The event’s fall edition is slated for Sept. 17. Online:

Konstanz: This flea market just a stone’s throw from the shores of Lake Constance has two unique features: it runs throughout the night, and it crosses an international border. The 24-hour flea market that spills into Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, offers more than a thousand stalls to peruse along a five-mile route. Musicians and street artists further enliven the scene, as do specialty markets for foodstuffs, arts and crafts, comics and record albums. The shopping frenzy kicks off at 6 p.m. on June 17. Online:


Ciney: Some 500 exhibitors from all corners of Europe attract thousands of visitors to a flea market and antiques fair that’s held three times annually. The main event always occurs on a Friday, when trucks chock full of furniture and assorted bric-a-brac park up outside the Ciney Expo and unload their contents straight onto the pavement. The gates open at 2 p.m., allowing thousands of visitors to begin a frenzied search for rare and unique objects from furniture to folk art. On Saturdays and Sundays, the indoor exhibition space offers stalls offering vintage gems and an antique fair. An expert appraiser is on hand to offer advice free of charge. The upcoming dates of the Ciney Puces & Antiquités are July 21-23 and Oct. 6-8. Adult entry costs 10 euros on the Friday and 8 euros on Saturday or Sunday. Online:


Amiens: On April 23, the Grande Réderie d'Amiens will see some 2,000 exhibitors set up stands promising rare finds. Bargain hunters from around the world will start their treasure hunts, flashlights in hand, as early as 5 a.m. Considered one of the country’s most prestigious flea markets, the event is staged twice annually, with its autumn edition slated for Oct. 1. Online:

Lille: It’s well worth planning ahead for what’s hailed as the biggest flea market in Europe. The Grande Braderie de Lille, held on the first weekend of September each year, transforms this pleasant Flemish city known for its outstanding architecture into a bargain hunter’s paradise. Shoppers in need of sustenance eagerly tuck into moules frites, mussels and French fries, eaten by the ton here. City officials anticipate that up to two million visitors might attend the event’s 2023 edition, set to unfold Sept. 2-3. Online:


Countrywide: A fairly new tradition established about a decade ago is Siivouspäivä, or Cleaning Day. On this day, private individuals are encouraged to put their used but still functional items up for sale in informal markets that spring up on streets, courtyards and parks. As sellers register the places where they will be selling, an online map can be used as a guide from one point to the next. The next Cleaning Day takes place on May 27. Online:

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