Garage sales, brocantes and bargains

Brocantes and vide greniers are more commonly known in the US as rummage or garage sales. In Belgium these are something of a tradition, usually taking place in spring and autumn. The sellers range from professional brocanteurs and antique dealers to anyone clearing a house. Some objects sell for a song and some a small fortune. What might you find? What are you looking for? A stuffed fox? A WWI soldier’s uniform? A couple of psychedelic retro deckchairs, a fifty-piece Limoges porcelain tea set? One person’s trash is another one’s treasure! Check out the brocantes in Belgium and find out.

Ciney Puces et Salon Antiqaires: When it comes to antique fairs, the one held in the town of Ciney in the province of Namur is a must.  It hosts one of the largest flea (puces) market and antique fairs in Belgium, with over 500 exhibitors from Belgium, France, Germany, Holland and even Italy, and attracts 15,000 visitors. The fair takes place twice a year over three days, usually in March and October. What has made the Ciney Puces & Antiquités famous is its unique mix of high-end antiques and bargain-priced brocante.

Search for unusual items in a historic setting at the brocante in Nivelles, Belgium
Search for unusual items in a historic setting at the brocante in Nivelles, Belgium, © Alex Kouprianoff.

Temploux’ International flea market and comic book festival is the largest and most famous of its kind in Belgium. Over 1,500 exhibitors set up their stalls throughout the village of Temploux. Visitors can hunt for fantastic finds all day and night. A comic book festival and a rock festival, the Rockante, takes place in parallel with the flea market, along with a host of other entertainment including an orchestra, fun fair, and fireworks for the whole family to enjoy.

Liège, the largest city in Wallonia, is essential when it comes to retail therapy. La Batte Sunday market is one of its retail highlights. The oldest street market in Belgium, you’ll find clothes, cheese, books, and more displayed along the riverside. The main shopping area in Liège, centered on Rue Vinâve d’Île, is also worth a look. It’s a busy retail street that passes by the city’s impressive Gothic cathedral. Intriguing shopping streets extend in all directions, combining global brands and interesting independents. Little bars and brasseries make it the perfect place to wander with a stop for lunch.  For designer labels at discounted prices, head out of Liège for about an hour, and you’ll find Maasmechelen Village, home to some of the world’s biggest names in fashion.

Spa’s Flea Market takes place every Sunday morning of the year, right in the heart of the city in the superb setting of the Sept Heures park, sheltered by the Galerie Léopold II! It offers a beautiful selection of antiques, secondhand items, documents and collectors’ favorites. Over 2,000 visitors take a stroll each week through its many stalls.

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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