Saint-Ouen, France for the Grandmama of all Street Markets

My boyfriend has been traveling for the last month for work, and we decided to book a flight for me to meet up with him in Paris. 

Paris has been a longtime daydream for me, so naturally I was completely thrilled to see it become a reality. We stayed in a killer Airbnb in St. Oeun (sont-oon), just a few miles outside of Paris, proper. It’s much quieter – and a little cheaper – than being right inside Paris; plus, it’s close to transit and really cozy. 

The BEST part of this neighbourhood – which was explained to us by our host upon arrival – is the street market that opens up Friday – Sunday. He said that it’s possibly the biggest in Europe, and we think he might be right (if not the biggest, certainly one of the best). During the rest of the week, if you walk the street in St. Oeun, you’ll see dozens and dozens of rolling garage doors, shut tight and covered in graffiti. Artsy, yes, but not altogether impressive on their own. Once Friday hits, that all changes.

Friday was our last day, as it happens, so we made our way out of the bnb in the morning, and found that it was literally in the market. We saw the old garage doors all rolled up the moment we walked out of the building! 

It’s impossible to describe exactly how incredible this market was. It was nothing like I’d ever seen before. There were large and small spaces, filled to the brim with well-organized masterpieces. Ultra-mod light fixtures, vintage Dior, huge stone sculptures of panthers and 18th century furniture – whatever you could possibly want, it’s there. My boyfriend and I joked that we’d have a home in France just to decorate it straight from this market. All of the spaces were organized like some sort of otherworldly, vintage IKEA – like entire rooms that could be easily lived in at that very moment. (And we considered moving in, to be honest.)

I would go back to France just for this market.

Insider Tip

Potential visitors should keep in mind that St. Oeun is not accustomed to seeing many tourists, like some places nearer the city center. Its vibes are very local, and not geared toward visitors who need a lot of accommodating.

Where I stayed / started

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