Your circular guide to buying second-hand furniture

read | August 31, 2021

Living in cities can fill us with so much excitement, but during the numerous Covid-19 lockdowns, many of us were boxed in and realised the importance of having a place to feel at home, so we sought to surround ourselves with things (and people) that make us happy. This lead to us moving around to find better housemates, apartments, relationships, workspaces; the list goes on. Have you moved around in the past year, or are you just looking to freshen things up? And are you living in Paris, Milan, Brussels, Copenhagen, Amsterdam or Lisbon? If so, then this may be the article for you! Here we have selected some of the best markets where you can score some unique second-hand, vintage furniture and objects for you to make your space feel truly yours. Plus, there are so many benefits to going for second-hand furniture; let’s explore! 

But first, some knowledge because we love to spread that!

A recent study by the EU (EU 28) looking into circular ways to improve the furniture industry found that EU member states manufacture 28% of furniture sold globally, equating to an €84 billion market share. Also, the European Federation of Furniture Manufacturers (UEA) states that 80% to 90% of the EU furniture waste is incinerated or sent to landfills, with only 10% recycled. Reuse activity in the sector is considered low in comparison despite it being one of the most sustainable and cost-effective options consumers have. When reuse does occur, it’s primarily through private second-hand stores, social enterprise companies, markets, charities and online exchange platforms.

The bottom line is buying used furniture is often more cost-effective, sustainable, and ethical than purchasing brand new items. Yet, if you’re not entirely convinced, allow us to enlighten you on why buying pre-loved furniture and objects is such a great option to begin with. Or if you’re fully in the know and you got this go ahead and scroll ahead to our preparation essentials checklist and to your city to find an inspirational furniture flea market near you. Trust us, you’ll want to bookmark this one or send it to your bestie who just moved. 

The benefits 

Better bang for your buck

You can score some serious gems. We are talking handcrafted, one of a kind, designer pieces for a fraction of the original price. Often, these items come into the second-hand furniture marketplace from people simply decluttering their homes or reading Marie Kondo’s, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up to find pieces that no longer “spark joy”. But it could very well spark joy in your life, so get digging for treasure before they have severe regrets and take it off the market. Finally, many of these items have stood the test of time, so the quality is often very high for the price point, in contrast to the popular particleboard and white plastic vinyl coating you may have seen around that will fall apart in a few years (no shade).

Supporting a decentralised local economy; share the wealth. 

While the convenience of a one-stop-shop like Ikea can reel us in, there is so much you miss out on by going for the most straightforward solution and adding longer-term consequences. Like, when you go furniture treasure hunting, it’s inspiring and exhilarating! And when you find something that fits your needs, that money goes into a locals pocket rather than some much wealthier cooperation. As with most things buying local puts the money directly back into your community, making it more financially sustainable and a vibrant neighbourhood

Personality, character and a story to share

Pre-loved items always have personality and a story to tell, stemming from the item’s history, the designer, how you found it or even your interaction with the seller. Plus, they have lasted the test of time, and while they may come with a few bumps and scratches, this only gives them the character and uniqueness they have earned. Even one special item in your space can stand out and set the mood of a room. 

Breath easy

Did you know particleboard and plywood are bound together by formaldehyde, a proven carcinogen that causes eye and nose irritation? Many major EU furniture producers aim to reduce formaldehyde in their products, but the issue remains for the time being. So to not get an overload of formaldehyde, go for robust used furniture or buy solid wood furniture over particleboard.

You guessed it. It’s much more ecologically sustainable!

Producing new items means new materials and resources, like wood, plastic, and so on, which contributes to deforestation and increased fossil fuels. Therefore, even though we are not made aware of it, these mass-produced cheaper items are incredibly energy-intensive and are often only built to last a few years before breaking down or left looking out of date and worse for wear. Going for pre-loved gems reduces demand for new resources and avoids the nasty packaging you often get with new items. 

Come prepared

Before get going, here’s a quick yet essential checklist you will need during your searches. 

  1. Consider your transportation options, ask a friend, rent a car, just think about it, so you’re not caught totally off guard. 
  2. Do some research or look for some interior inspiration. 
  3. Avoid items that carry a smell.
  4. Always check items for internal decay or mould.
  5. Check the make and model and see that the item hasn’t been recalled.
  6. Try it before you buy it. Test it out by opening drawers, sitting in it, or putting some weight on the item.
  7. Measure your space beforehand and bring a measuring tape.
  8. Consider how you’ll use the item; maybe you can restore or even upcycle it.
  9. Bring a friend if you can; second opinions can be helpful.
  10. Bring cash in case they don’t accept card. 

Action time; treasure hunting.

Knowing where to go is often half the battle, so here we have selected flea markets that focus on furniture, household goods, and objects to set you off on the right foot! Skip to your city or bookmark it for your next move.

second-hand furniture market

Berlin

Flea market at mauerpark berlin

This is a trendy, vast and vibrant outdoor flea market with vintage clothes, antiques, furniture and used goods. If you have some free time, you might even get to see some Karaoke in the park while enjoying a drink or meal. 

When? Every sunday 10am-6pm

Where? Bernauer Str. 63-64, 13355 Berlin, Germany – Map – 

Website: http://www.flohmarktimmauerpark.de/

(Bit pazarı )Hallenflohmarkt an der Arena

Here is where you will find professional traders and genuinely spectacular pieces. This market is a little “hush-hush”, so if you want to find a less invaded fantastic furniture selection, this is the place to be.

When? Every Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm

Where? Eichenstraße 4A, 12435 Berlin, Germany – Map

Website: N/A

Arkonaplatz Wochenmarkt und Flohmarkt

This is an open-air flea market with a regularly rotating inventory of antiques, housewares, furniture and more. It’s less busy than other markets, which gives you a better selection and calmer experience, so take advantage. 

When? Every Friday 10am-7pm and Sunday 10am-4pm

Where? Arkonapl., 10435 Berlin, Germany – Map

Website: http://troedelmarkt-arkonaplatz.de/index.html

Art and Flea Market at Fehrbelliner Platz

Here you will find a range of diverse goods, high quality and very cheap. Only professionals, artists and craftspeople, sell their work here, including paintings, pottery and jewellery to furniture. Just follow the red carpet leading you through the stalls.

When? Every Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm

Where? Fehrbelliner Platz 1, 10707 Berlin, Germany – Map

Website: http://www.fehrbi.info/

Antikmarkt Berlin Ostbahnhof

Find everything from furniture to art to war memorabilia. This antique market is filled with bargains and a range of food stalls if you get peckish!

When? Every Sunday 9 am to 4 pm – Temporarily closed but will reopen with a “super market” May 1st 2022. 

Where? Erich-Steinfurth-Straße 1, Friedrichshain – Map – 

Website: https://oldthing.de/Berliner-Flohmarkt/Antikes-und-Sammeln/Grosser-Antikmarkt-Ostbahnhof

Flea market at Boxhagener Platz

Most people will have heard of this one; even though it’s relatively small, it’s one of Berlin’s most popular markets for bargain hunters from all over Berlin, looking for books, vinyl records, furniture and much more.

When? Every Sunday 8 am to 6 pm

Where? Boxhagener Platz 1, 10245 Berlin, Germany – Map

Website: N/A

For more info about local flea markets: The top 11 Berlin flea markets | visitBerlin.de 

Amsterdam 

Ijhallen

This is the biggest flea market in Europe, with over 750 stalls and sellers. It’s found in the industrial north of Amsterdam, just a fairy trip away; it sells almost everything!

When? The first or second weekend of every month from 09:00 – 16:30 (check out their calendar for updates)

Where? T.T. Neveritaweg 11033 WB Amsterdam-Noord – Map

Website: https://ijhallen.nl/

Noordermarkt Flea Market 

Found in the Jordaan neighbourhood of Amsterdam, where cafés and restaurants line the square. This is a small but delightful flea market. Here you’ll find a mix of second-hand goods, ranging from antiques and books to clothes and household kitsch.

When? Saturday, 9am – 4pm

Where? Noordermarkt 42B, 1015 NA Amsterdam, Netherlands – Map – 

Website: https://www.noordermarkt-amsterdam.nl/

For more info about local flea markets: Amsterdam’s Best Flea Markets 

Paris

Les Puces de Clignancourt / Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen / The Paris Market

This market has three names probably because it’s so massive; it is Paris’ most popular Flea market at Porte (door) de Clignancourt. It’s officially called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen but known to Parisians as Les Puces (The Fleas). If you seriously love vintage, welcome to vintage heaven. This market covers seven hectares and is the largest antique market in the world.

When? Monday – open 24/7, Tuesday and Wednesday 9am – 4.45pm, Friday and Saturday – 9am – 7.30pm, Sunday 12pm – 7pm, Thursday 8.45am – 5.30pm.

Where? 53 Rue Jules Vallès, 93400 Saint-Ouen, France – Map – 

Website:https://www.pucesdeparissaintouen.com/

Paris Montreuil Flea Market (Puces De Montreuil) At Porte De Montreuil 

Discover an entirely open-air flea market with around 500 stalls. This market resembles a giant garage sale or swap meet. But it is filled with second-hand items and many knick-knacks. Most aisles focus on selling second-hand clothes, old furniture, spare parts, hardware and tools for very friendly prices. 

Where: 18 Av. du Professeur André Lemierre, 75020 Paris, France – Map

When: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday: 7 am to 7.30 pm

Website: https://www.paris.fr/equipements/marche-aux-puces-de-la-porte-de-montreuil-4517

For more info about flea markets: The Best Flea Markets in Paris 

3 Best Flea Markets in Paris for Bric-à-Brac and Antiques

second-hand furniture market

Milan

Mercatone dell’antiquariato sul naviglio grande

Lined along the beautiful Naviglio canal, you’ll find neat stalls full of stunning objects. This is a thrifting experience you will want to repeat. Find 380-plus stalls trading furniture, jewellery, porcelain and more. 

When? Last Sunday of every month (check out their calendar here)

Where? Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 4, 20144 Milano MI, Italy – Map

Website: http://www.navigliogrande.mi.it/mercatone-dellantiquariato/

East Market Milano

East Market is an indoor/outdoor marketplace offering new and vintage clothing and furniture at various price points. It’s also a nice place to socialise with friends, often hosting music, events, and food stalls. 

When? Sunday 10 am to 9 pm – Starts early May

Where? Via Mecenate, 88/A, 20138 Milano MI, Italy –  Map

Website: https://www.eastmarketmilano.com/

Mercatino Penelope (Penelope Flea Market)

This is a vintage furniture hunters playground, with armchairs, lamps, bookshelves and all the valuable pieces of home furniture you can think of. If you’re good at negotiating, this is the place to go.

When: From Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm; on Sundays from 3:00 pm to 7.30 pm. Closed on Mondays.

Where? Via Macedonio Melloni 6 , ingresso da, Via Francesco Guicciardini, 20129 Milano MI, Italy – Map – 

Website: https://www.facebook.com/mercatinopenelope/

Tra noi e voi flea market

Find art, a decent furniture collection and a great spread of tableware. This is one of the best larger indoor flea markets in central Milan regarding the quality, selection, and ease of browsing. 

When: Open every day except Tuesday 10 am to 12.30 am with a lunch break in-between until 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm. 

Where? Via Giuseppe Marcora, 8, 20121 Milano MI, Italy – Map

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Al-Mercatino-Tra-Noi-e-Voi-1644421485805998/

For more info about flea markets: Vintage in Milano. Where to find object with souls

Flea markets in Milan | Appsolutelymilano 

Lisbon

Feira da Ladra / “Thieves’ Market”

This is the oldest and most well known open-air flea market in Lisbon. It’s colourful and filled with almost everything you can imagine. Locals frequent it, and you’ll find it on virtually all must-visit lists. 

When? Every Tuesday and Saturday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Address: Campo de Santa Clara (São Vicente) – Map

Website: https://informacoeseservicos.lisboa.pt/contactos/diretorio-da-cidade/feira-da-ladra

Cantinho do Vintage

At Cantinho do Vintage, you will find a vast warehouse that makes you feel like you have taken a step into the past. Although a little on the pricier side, people rave about the designer pieces and the A+ quality items they find here. They also deliver within two days, which is a giant plus!

When: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 11am – 7pm and Saturdays 11am – 7pm  

Where: Rua do Açúcar nº 19, 1950-142 Lisbon

Website: https://cantinhodovintage.pt/quem-somos/cantinho-do-vintage/

Feira da Bagageira / Luggage compartment Fair

Have you ever wondered what’s in someone’s trunk? Well, wonder no more, here they will show you. Sellers transform their car trunks into a sales stand, where you can find anything from clothes to accessories, decorative items, furniture, books, toys and records. This is a self-organised community-based event so keep an eye on the next edition. 

When? Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Where? Various locations for updates check here.

Feira de S. João de Deus / S. João de Deus Fair

The initiative invites the neighbourhood inhabitants to sell the goods they no longer use, from handicrafts, furniture to antiques. This market has no fixed regularity, so you may very well just stumble across it one day, but try to keep an eye on it. 

When? Saturday (dates to be confirmed) 10:00 – 18:00

Where? Praça de Londres, Lisbon, Portugal – Map

Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100048672866828

For more info about local flea markets: As melhores feiras de antiguidades e velharias de Lisboa 

Brussels

The Jeu de Balle Flea Market In Brussels 

This is one of our founders’ favourite markets. Find over 300 stalls with a range of objects, furniture, textiles and accessories. The market has a pleasant atmosphere attracting antique hunters looking for a bargain and casual visitors and tourists. 

When?  Every Monday-Friday: 6 am – 2 pm Weekends: 6 am – 3 pm

Where? Place du Jeu de Balle, 1000 Brussels, Belgium – Map – 

Website: https://www.facebook.com/AmisDuVieuxMarche

Broc’ Antik Market Belgium (formerly Waterloo Flea Market)

Known as one of the largest flea markets in Belgium, Broc’ Antik Market Belgium is an improved iteration of the Waterloo Flea Market, with more stalls, nicer items and more. Yet this improvement has come with a higher price point, so look out!

When? Every Saturday 8am-2pm and Sunday 5.30am – 2pm

Where? Rue des Français 7, 6210 Les Bons Villers, Belgium – Map

Website: https://brocantelesbonsvillers.com/ 

Brussels Design Market

Now standing for almost 22 years, The Brussels Design Market has evolved into the “largest design market in Europe”. If you love design, you’ll find this market on must-see lists for international vintage design lovers. 

When? Every Saturday 9am – 6pm and Sunday 9am – 5pm

Where? Gare Maritime, Rue Picard 11, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium – Map

Website: https://designmarket.be/uk/

For more info about local flea markets: Flea Markets in Belgium – fleamapket: The world’s best flea markets 

Copenhagen

Den Blå Hal

2000sqm of antique Scandinavian homeware sounds like a lot of potential. This market showcases an array of used and vintage objects including, second-hand furniture classics, art, toys, vintage and second-hand clothing and more. 

Entry fee: 10 DKK 

When? Every Saturday andSunday, 10am–4pm. 

Where? Ved Amagerbanen 9, 2300 København, Denmark – Map – 

Website: denblaahal.dk

Frederiksberg Loppetorv 

Hunt for Danish almost anything and everything at this market. You will find more than just antique furniture and second-hand clothes, like Danish design decor items, lamps, ceramics, glassware, silverware, and music instruments. 

Where: Frederiksberg Bredegade 13, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark – Map

When: Every Saturday from early April to October (except on Copenhagen Pride Parade day)

Website: https://www.frederiksberg.dk/loppetorv

Loppemarked I Tap 1 

Held in the Carlsberg brewery district, this is a vast indoor flea market. Find over 200 stalls and designated areas for clothes and furniture, making it so much easier to spot what you’re after. Perfect for bargain hunters looking for furniture, lamps and books and more.

Where: Raffinaderivej 10, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark – Map

When: Four times a year, Saturday – Sunday

Website: http://www.tap1marked.dk/

Nørrebrogade Flea Market

This market has a lot of potential for exceptional finds for those willing to get their hands deep into some big messy piles and search for some treasures. Vintage furniture here is a prominent feature, but this flea market has pretty much anything for everyone.

Where: Nørrebrogade 90, 2200 København, Denmark – Map

When: Every Saturday, April – October

Website: http://www.norrebro.dk/

Gentofte Loppemarked

One of Copehgaens of the most popular flea markets because of its bargain status. So, if you’re good at hunting and love a low price for some authentic designer pieces, this must be the place. 

Where: Bregnegård 2, 2920 Charlottenlund, right by Charlottenlund Station – Map

When: Every Sunday from 8 am-2 pm from April-October.

Website: gentofteloppemarked.dk

For more info about local flea markets

Flea market season has begun in Copenhagen! 

The top five best flea markets in Copenhagen 

So there you have it!  We hope you find what you’re looking for, and no matter what city you are in, we hope this guide will provide you with the right tools, knowledge and mindset for your second-hand furniture treasure hunting journey.

You can also check Ccrave selection of circular Home products here.

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