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“Overrated glorified car boot sale”

Ranked #40 of 144 things to do in Lille
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Reviewed 20 January 2014

The reputation of this braderie is way beyond its merit. True, Lille is taken over by miles and miles of stalls and there is a very wide variety of old items on sale but the cliché that you can find anything here is completely untrue unless you are looking for a thousand varieties of tat.

Much of the periphery is taken over by cheap clothes/bags/belt stalls. In the centre, particularly the old town, much space is monopolized by shops simply displaying their wares al fresco. The vast majority of dealers selling 'old stuff' appear to be generalists so if you are a collector of, say, prints or kitchenalia or, in my case, Art Deco, you will find very few stalls devoted to your interest..... tho I do recall one stand devoted to miner's lamps! Equally prevalent is 'junk' as opposed to properly curated collectables. By this, I mean, too many stallholders chancing their arms that something they found in a skip and couldn't be bothered to polish, strip or clean has some value.

Though we spent the best part of a Saturday and, according to our pedometer, walked 14km trying to find something of interest, we ended up simply bored and tired and decidedly empty-handed. Add to this that you will need to park at the extremes of the city and the old town is intensely crowded, if you are truly interested in finding gallic treasure then try Saint Ouen in Paris but don't for one moment devote a weekend to this flea market with pretentions to be an antique fair as quantity clearly triumphs over quality.

7  Thank Phileas_Flogg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (147)
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7 - 11 of 147 reviews

Reviewed 8 January 2014

The first weekend in September the city of Lille becomes a giant car boot sale or for the Americans a giant yard sale! The tradition goes back to medieval times, and is organized by the city. You can either set up a stand in front of your property or the city allocates a space to set up your stand (often a token sum). Great for bargain hunting and in the evening there are crazy street parties. Most restaurants compete for the best restaurant which is measured my who has the largest stack of muscle shells!

3  Thank Evanderjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2013

You will find the most amazing things you never knew existed. However, avoid main roads in the centre on Saturday afternoon if you can't stand crowds. Don't wear your best clothes or smart shoes. There are no taxis into town to or from the station because the roads are closed. Be prepared to walk some distance along uneven cobbled streets. The locals are very friendly and the Braderie is unforgettable.

5  Thank Francophile004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2013

This is a tremendous amount of fun if you like flea markets and can deal with crowds. Would love to do it again someday.

1  Thank AmyJosie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2013

Wow! The Braderie gets bigger every year. We had a fantastic but very busy weekend bargain hunting throughout the streets of Lille. The stalls, of which there are miles and miles, range from typical bootsale to high priced antiques, and from market traders to expensive shop sales. The crowds sometimes make it difficult to move freely and the street music gets very loud. At the end of each day the streets are filthy but cleaners work through the night to clean up. A fabulous experience but next time we will take a van for more bargains!

3  Thank Judy1066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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