On a lazy Sunday morning, nothing beats hunting for treasures at a vintage market. It is the perfect combination of a practical yet at the same time very relaxing activity. Searching through hundreds of banana boxes, scanning for that one perfect piece until something catches your attention: it has to be your thing but if it is, you will find it very rewarding. Nearly every town has its own flea market and it is definitely worth the effort to go have a look but let’s be honest: not all vintage markets are the same. Some are more professional, others concentrate on people emptying their own home and therefore the offer can be quite fluctuating. If you are looking to score the most beautiful vintage gems, go have a look at these five Belgian flea markets.
1. Marché aux puces du Place du Jeu de Balle (Brussels)
It is a classic and chances are you already know it (especially if you live in Brussels) but we cannot make this list without mentioning the Place du Jeu de Balle. This flea market takes place ever since 1873 and up until the beginning of the pandemic, it did so every single day. Even now, you can go on a vintage hunt four times a week (every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) so nothing to complain about really. If you are used to more curated markets, you might find this one a bit tricky. You really do have to get your hands dirty, search through endless boxes and haggle as if your life depended on it. But if you do not mind all that, the Place du Jeu de Balle will make you very very happy. It is located in the Marolles neighborhood, where you will also find tons of antique shops and lots of nice places to grab a bite.
2. Broc Events (Wauthier-Braine)
Something completely different from the Place du Jeu de Balle is Broc Events, located a bit South of Brussels. This market takes place on Sundays, even though there is also a big warehouse with a selection of the best and more expensive pieces which is open from Wednesday until Sunday. The vintage market is targeted at professional retailers, which means the selection is rather nice and not expensive. So if you have a vintage shop, this is a nice place to find some stock, yet everyone can visit and take advantage of the stunning pieces on offer. Keep in mind that the market takes place in an industrial area so you will need a car to get here but you have to make some effort to get something nice, don’t you?
3. Antiekmarkt (Tongeren)
This might be one of the most famous antique markets in the whole of Belgium. Each Sunday morning, starting from 7 AM, almost 400 different stand set up camp in Tongeren. Whether you are looking for a Louis XIV-chair or some seventies design, you will undoubtedly find everything you are looking for at this enormous event. If you are just visiting Belgium, this might be a bit out of your way, but the surrounding area is actually also worth a visit. The city itself is known for its Roman archeological sites and Tongeren is located in the Haspengouw-region, which is splendid especially when the fruit trees are blossoming, usually somewhere around April-May.
4. Rommelmarkt Dageraadplaats (Antwerp)
Are you looking to pay a visit to Antwerp and do you want to make the most of it by going to a vintage market? Well, to the Dageraadplaats you go. Contrary to the other markets we have talked about so far, this event does not take place every week. There are multiple vintage markets on the Dageraadplaats a year, so for the exact dates you better check their website. As you can expect from a vintage event in Antwerp, everything is selected with care – no space for rubbish here. The market is located in the popular Zurenborg neighborhood which is well-known for its Art Nouveau architecture. You will also find plenty of trendy, very hipstery cafés and shops in this area, so take your time and make a day out of it.
5. Brocante St-Pholien (Liège)
We have written about the beautiful Liège before so have a look at that if you want to spend a day in the city. But did you know this is also a great place to go vintage hunting? Especially on Friday mornings, when the St-Pholien flea market takes place in the Outremeuse neighborhood. Even though nowadays, due to Covid-19, the market is a lot smaller than usual, it still pays off to go there if you are looking for some great vintage pieces to spice up your interior. No matter what you want to buy, you will find it here.