The Marolles Flea Market
The Marolles Flea Market on Place du Jeu de Balle is just that. A flea market. The Marolles Flea Market is the most famous flea market in Brussels. It originated in 1919 and is open 365 days a year from 6 am to 2 pm on weekdays and from 6 am to 3 pm on weekends. This flea market only allows professional sellers to sell here. You will find familiar faces and stands day after day, year after year.
The atmosphere at the Marolles flea market is unique. Place de Jeu de Balle is a large square located close to the heart of Brussels. 450 sellers rise early each and everyday to set up their elaborate displays. The merchants sell everything. Rusty antiques, sports memorabilia, miniature figurines, car parts and barely working bicycles, gritty silver and gold jewelry, pottery and ceramics, outdated electronics, coveted collectibles, kitchen sets and furniture, fur hats, coats, scarves, and gloves of all sizes and decades….
I’ll be honest, I don’t know antiques and I don’t collect anything. Most of the flea market is cluttered with junk. But I did find some fun in my adventure. loved trying on all the fur hats and modeling for the vendor. She giggled and urged me to make a purchase with each new addition to my head. I admired the silverware and home goods and wrinkled my nose at the piles of used clothing sprawled across the floor.
Best part, all prices are up for negotiation. But compared to similar markets I have visited in Rome or Berlin, the prices at the Marolles flea market are generally reasonable and fair. Just try to blend in, tourists are always targeted and prices are adjusted according to your manners (or lack there of). By early afternoon, the crowds disappear and the stands are broken down. The merchants wallow home in need of rest for the following day.
If you are looking for a prized antique or a unique memory from Brussels, the Marolles flea market is for you. It is a quintessential flea market. There are more locals shopping and congregating in the corners of the square than tourists. The merchants are friendly with one another, and most take their business very seriously. Elderly scavenge the mass piles of goods, children play soccer nearby, and middle-aged men laugh over a morning cup of joe. Whether you’d like to make a purchase, or just have a look around, the Marolles flea market is a great way to see Belgium at it’s most authentic.
Marolles Flea Market, Vossenplein, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
Have you been to Brussels? Did you have a chance to visit the Marolles Flea Market? I would love to hear about your experience at Marolles Flea Market or a similar market in the world. Looking for something similar? Check out my favorite food market in Spain or the 11 Reasons Why You Should Visit Germany this Winter!