Braderie is an event hold once a year in Lille, France where people from all over can sell their stuff. For 2 days Lille becomes a gigantic jumble sale basically.

It is by far the biggest flea market in Europe. I bumped into it accidentally, as usual. I have an old friend, one of my couchsurfers, from back in the days when I hosted people in Russia (in this post I describe in details how to use couchsurfing). I went to visit him in Lille, and it has just happened that Braderie was happening exactly that weekend. The flea market was so unusual that I decided to write a separate post about it.

Braderie de Lille is a huuuge event that takes place every first weekend of September.

You can buy everything you can think of there and even something that you cannot think about! Starting from antique furniture and second-hand clothes you can buy helmets used in WWI or tires for example. Tell me what is not there, we will find it! 🙂

Here are just some pictures I made so you get to understand a little bit about how it looks like:

When you are there, don’t forget to try “moules-frites” (mussels and fries), ALL restaurants in the city change their menu and include many moules variations and make them quite cheap so that you order them.


Because there is a competition between restaurants for the biggest pile of empty mussel shells!

When I heard it hosts millions of people during the event, I thought it is the number accumulated for all the past Braderies too (which dates back to XII century by the way). But no, it literally has millions of people walking around Lille’s streets trying to find something unusual from over 10 000 sellers coming from all over Europe especially for the event.

moules Braderie

PS It is fun, I bought some really nice and ridiculously cheap stuff, but remember – if you want to see the city – forget about it! This specific weekend is absolutely impossible. The streets are so full with people you can hardly walk. It is really interesting, and I have never been to an event like this one. But if you want to actually see the city, not antique stuff, I recommend to go there any other weekend. In my next post I will tell you about my experience discovering Lille – wine tasting, a school swimming pool remade into a museum and some awesome food recommendations!

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Braderie in Lille – the biggest flea market in Europe France Misstouristcom