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may 05

Cheap shopping in Paris--isn't it bromantic?

A brocante on the streets of Paris (Courtesy Meg Zimbeck/Flickr)

Springtime in Paris is the season of bromance. With apologies to Paul Rudd, however, the local version isn't about platonic male bonding. The 'bro' that sets Parisian hearts a flutter is a secondhand sale—the brocante.

French love for the brocante is blooming now as dealers begin to organize their spring and summer sales. You'll find them popping up all over town and selling a mix of antique furniture, charming old posters, and obscure collectables. These sales, organized by professional brocanteurs, are temporary and mobile but offer the same sort of goods that you'd find at one of the city's more permanent flea markets (marchés aux puces) on the outskirts of town. To learn which brocantes will be operating during your visit, consult this website.

Brocantes are joined in good weather by the equally romantic vide-greniers—neighborhood sidewalk sales that invite residents to "empty the attic." These tag sales are a fascinating mix of junk and treasure and offer a unique window into the lives of the local population. They're also a great source for funny and inexpensive gifts—what friend back at home wouldn't love a French action figure or an old Johnny Hallyday calendar? This website provides a list of vide-greniers by arrondissment, and also lists the city's brocantes and marchés aux puces.

To get you in the mood for bromance, here's a list of some of the sales that are scheduled in May:

Brocantes

May 10 in the 18th arrondissement

May 10 in the 20th arrondissement

May 29 in the 3rd arrondissement

May 30 in the 3rd arrondissement

May 31 in the 3rd arrondissement

Vide-Greniers

May 2 in the 13th arrondissement

May 2 in the 14th arrondissement

May 3 in the 18th arrondissement

May 8 in the 14th arrondissement

May 10 in the 11th arrondissement

May 16 in the 13th arrondissement

May 16 in the 13th arrondissement

May 17 in the 2nd arrondissement

May 17 in the 13th arrondissement

May 17 in the 13th arrondissement

May 17 in the 13th arrondissement

May 17 in the 14th arrondissement

May 17 in the 17th arrondissement

May 17 in the 17th arrondissement

May 17 in the 18th arrondissement

May 17 in the 20th arrondissement

May 24 in the 14th arrondissement

May 24 in the 14th arrondissement

May 24 in the 15th arrondissement

May 24 in the 15th arrondissement

May 29 in the 3rd arrondissement

May 30 in the 3rd arrondissement

May 31 in the 3rd arrondissement

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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