Antiques & Flea Markets, Brussels
Located West of the fine art museum and palace, just North of Church of Notre Dame au Sablons, this outdoor market featured a good selection of used goods, jewelry, and the prices seemed reasonable, not cheap, but not sky high either. One of items I found interesting were the bread stamps from the 1,800's, where a family would stamp their unbaked break with the family "stamp" and then drop it off to the local baker. Lots of fine glasses and crystal.
The street markets in Brussels are a very colourful affair but really no different to street markets you can encounter anywhere in Europe. I was a bit disappointed to find the same bling bling jewellery and childrens' toys and puzzles we see here in the U.k. from continental Europe. Ah well we are also part of the European Union and you may find better markets in other locations
What to buy: If you like tat buy it if not go to a reputable shop
Not sure if this was a special Sunday or not, but there was a very cute art market, selling hand made type things, on the Place d'Espagne. We only saw it on Sunday, not during the week.
What to pay: different prices
On the weekends, there is a fine antique market held on the place du Grand Sablon. It's a very small market and this seemed like a place for serious antique shoppers not casual browsers like us.
Open Saturday from 9am-6pm and Sunday 9 am-2pm
Held daily from 7 am-2pm, the Marche-aux-Puces is an open air market selling mostly second hand household goods, knicks knacks and clothing. It's located on the place du Jeu-de-Balle, a large square in the Marolles district. Like most flea markets, it's probably slightly more lively on the weekends.
We had just been to the huge flea market in Lille France a few days earlier so we just walked around the perimeter and headed off to our next stop.
As a huge music fan, I am always on the look out for interesting record shops when I travel abroad.
'The Collector' is a real treasure chest of vinyl from rock to pop, jazz and soul.
Prices are on the high side but the range is very wide. I found some rare albums that I have spent years looking for back in the UK.
For "vinylists", the place has that special glow that only a decent, good and honest record shop (one that is run by an enthusiast) can. Give yourself a good couple of hours for digging those crates!!
What to buy: 60s/70s/80s rock, pop, soul and jazz albums especially but there is a very eclectic range of vinyl including punk/new wave, old film soundtracks, european music etc
What to pay: 10 to 15 euros upwards
This market happens daily from 7a.m. to 1p.m. You will find a large number of vendors selling secondhand household and antique items. While there we found an antique brass clock with matching candleabras...beautiful pieces and a great price. Antiques are few, old clothing, and dishes are there in abundance.
With Sablon area, les Marolles is, as I said earlier in another tip, the Mecca of antiques shopping. The whole area that comprehends le Sablon and les Marolles is so atmospheric.
Here and there, the small pubs with beer sippers sitting on the terraces, or even, on pedestrian lanes. Then, the main streets in Marolles: Rue Blaes and Rue Haute as far as antiques are concerned. Private galleries, simple outlets and the flea market on Place du jeu de balle.
In fact, I like seeing & examining antiques items. At same time, when you see monogrammed silver plate & cup & brush, you feel a pinch because you know that not everyone would accept to get rid of those items that use to be gifts from family members. So, what was there to make them put those personal effects on sale ? Financial troubles ? Fights in the families ? Who knows...
What to buy: * Antiques (trinkets, paintings, figurines, bijoux anciens and jewelry in general, the latter are my favourite...)
* Home furnishing (both the antiques & 2nd-hand shop and the Asian style at Rambaggh, rue Haute)
*Second-hand books (incl. comic strips)
The flea market is held every morning on this nice square in a very popular part of the city.
It is here that ther real Bruxellois, the Ketjes live.
What to buy: Everything, from old books, to funiture from the 1950's, old LP-records, foreign currency, paintings, ...
Be early ! Because the best items go away first.
What to pay: Don' pay too much, always bargain !
Around Place du Sablon, there are many antiques shops selling all sort of art pieces and antiques.
I guess brussels is a bit specialised in African art and antiques.
The pic is random ! many others similar shops around.
For antiques lovers or seekers, do not miss the flea market at Place du Jeu de balle.
What to buy: All sort of antiques and african (primitive) art.
What to pay: Beware, it is not that cheap !
The Hoogstraat (Rue Haute) in the Marollen area (downtown) is a small but very popular street where you can find shops of different kinds of interests, going from antiques to small house hold equipment to grocery...
This is the real Brussels!
A huge shop (rather a warehouse) where to spot some antiques items.
Don't set your mind from what you see just in front of the shop... Old chairs, tables... these seem to be items left there to have them repaired.
Give it a try, enter the room, stroll along the alleys with their sides packed of nice pieces, antiques pieces, figurines, trinkets, vases, clocks, porcelaines boxes, lamps in several drawers.
In the back of the shop, still two levels awaiting for you to discover the antiques.. paintings (small and huge alike); jewelry; pieces of furniture (old off course)
Plan to do it for hours.. at least, this is what I would do next time, I was in a hurry looking for a specific item so hadn't taken much time to do it but will surely return. I am NOT an antiques specialist but I love strolling through those alleys, packed shelves... dreaming of combinations, nice setting.
I think I would spend hours there. It's so easy to marvel at old things, imagining their past lives, trying to know their secrets...
Of course, not to mention that the whole Place du sablon is the very antiques' area, packed with "galeries", antiques shops.
What to buy: Antiques pieces, figurines, trinkets, vases, clocks, porcelaines boxes, lamps in several drawers.
Pieces of furniture; paintings
Glassware and dishware
What to pay: depends on what you buy... tricky he!!!
The Sablon district is the centre of Brussels antiques trade.
There is a really interesting antiques market on the weekends, which is well worth a browse, and plenty of cafe's nearby for refreshments.
In the mid 90s, Bussels observers could see that the Marolles was passing through a period of quiet contemplation of a new and vibrant future. As pupas sit there waiting for the moment to emerge as butterflies, many hoardings covered old warehouses unchanging except for the fly posters that covered the "no fly posting" signs.
One weekend with no fanfare whatsoever, a true butterfly emerged. Brussels had never seen anything like it. Rambagh, like its sanitary neighbour, Baden Baden, stood more like a museum than a shop.
The first surprise was the size - it its on two floors with the dimensions of a warehouse. Then the decor: imaginative lighting, industrial bare wall style, sturdy metal staricases combine to give you the sense that the owners of this shop KNEW from the outset that they would be successful. There was nothing that suggested a stealthy approach.
On closer investigation you see that the shop is organised thematically: upstairs, a Japanese area, downstairs, a fabrics corner, enormous Indian, Indonesian and Malaysian furniture, out the back and up the stairs and area devoted to spiritual objets d'art, and in the small courtyard, a wide range of fountains and garden furniture.
Rambagh makes much of the care that is taken in selecting and restoring items.
What to buy: You name it: everything from huge wooden swings, ancient doors and tables that can seat 20 people, all the way down to cushion covers, teas and books.
I do have reservations about stripping countries of their national treasures, and if I have a reservation about this shop it is that I am not entirely sure how they source their unrestored items. There is plenty of information about the restoration of ruined items which is done at source using local craftspeople.
What to pay: How long is a piece of string??? Rambag's prices are comparable to similar shops, but the choice here is much more extensive.
This is the very shop........
GO AHEAD, MAKE YOUR CHOICE.....
What to buy: Oh, just do have a look and only buy in case you feel you have to spoil someone special!
What to pay: how much you want to spend for that special person or for yourself.....