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The Ultimate Treasure Hunt

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Brocantes, Flea Markets and Vide Greniers are more commonly known in the UK as car boot sales. In Belgium these are something of a national sport usually taking place in spring and autumn. They range from the professional brocanteur and antique dealer to the amateur man on the street doing a house clearance. They share an element of community spirit but also an air of excitement and anticipation. Some objects sell for a song and some a small fortune.

What might you stumble upon that you never knew you needed until now? A stuffed fox? A WW1 soldiers uniform? A couple of psychedelic retro deckchairs, a fifty piece Limoge porcelain tea set? One person’s rubbish is another man’s gold! An ancient masterpiece or a priceless vase! Come to these brocantes in Belgium and find out. With French speaking Wallonia less than three hours drive from Calais you can jump on a train for a day trip or make a weekend of it.

Antique fairs

When it comes to antique fairs the town of Ciney in the province of Namur is a must. It’s here you will find the Ciney Puces et Salon Antiquaries: The town hosts one of the largest flea market and antique fairs in Belgium with over 500 exhibitors from Belgium,France, Germany, Holland or even Italy and has 15,000 visitors. The fair takes place twice a year over three days, usually around March and October. Its unique concept of high end antiques and bargain hunt brocante made its fame.

Also well worth a detour is the Temploux International Flea Market and Comic Book Festival, which takes place in August. This flea market is the largest and the most famous in Belgium. Over 1,500 exhibitors will set up their stalls throughout the village of Temploux. Visitors can hunt for fantastic finds... all day and night. A comic book festival and a rock festival (the Rockante) also take place in parallel of the flea market, as well as a host of entertainment: orchestra, fun fair, fireworks. An event which the whole family can enjoy taking

Flea Markets

Others markets are less antique orientated such as La Batte, which takes place every Sunday in Liège. Not only is it a real institution in the Fiery City, it also is the largest and oldest market in Belgium. You will find fruits, vegetables, cheese, clothes, books, plants and vintage gems in a picturesque, friendly atmosphere.

Another favourite is the Spa flea market, which sets up every Sunday of the year (between 8 am and 1 pm) in the superb setting of the Sept Heures Park, sheltered by the Galerie Léopold II. Right in the heart of the city! It offers a beautiful selection of second hand items, documents and collectors' favourites. Over 2,000 visitors take a stroll each week through its many stalls.

The stunning Aclot Brocante, set in Nivelles' Sainte-Gertrude collegiate church, is sure to enchant you too.The stalls stretch along the beautiful Grand Place, recently renovated and in the nearby pedestrian streets, offering all manner of objects and curiosities to delight treasure hunters... The event is a bit of a hot ticket in the region and takes place between April and September. A pure delight for lovers of vintage items!

Military flea markets

Ciney is also home for a more niche ‘market’ The "Militaria" Stock Exchange is - as its name suggests – an exhibition/ market place of military objects taking place in April. There are more than 550 exhibitors from all over Europe (Germany, France, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, United Kingdom, Switzerland...). Exhibitors sell uniforms, helmets, spare parts, weapons (legally authorized over the counter), medals, flags, prints, cards, books and other utensils.

Themed markets

If you like themed markets, do check out also the flower markets in Tournai and Mons, the artisanal market of old traditions marché 1900 Marche-en-Famenne, the book market in Nivelles. Looking for terroir products?  Try the farmers' markets in Andenne,  Orgeo, Andenne,  Florennes, Wavre, Auvelais, Soignies...