PUCES DE NYON – FLEA MARKET IN NYON
by Chené Koscielny
There is something mystical about rummaging through mountains of objects pre-loved by other people at a good flea market (marché de puces) and one of my all-time favourites has to be Les Puces de Nyon.
The Puces de Nyon takes place on the last Sunday of every month, regardless of the weather (except during August and in December it takes place on the second Sunday of the month).
The next market takes place on Sunday 30th of July 2017.
For starters there can’t be a more beautiful setting for a flea market – overlooking the clear waters of the lake on one side and framed by the Chateau de Nyon on the other. On a clear day Mont Blanc beckons in the distance. The 200-ish stalls snake all the way along the lake and spread into the old town in-between brasseries and cafés bristling with life as locals and tourists enjoy animated conversations over coffee, brunch or lunch.
Carefully laid out displays of vintage crockery and cutlery, toy cars and trucks, obscure paintings, trinkets and ornaments, stamps, antique jewellery and other objects invite you to lose yourself in forgotten worlds and times.
Every object tells a story… and it’s up to you to imagine its many former lives. I don’t come here to shop really – though I’ll never say no to a good bargain. I come for some soul-searching, a bit like clearing out the attic of my mind while sifting through other people’s discarded stuff.
I’m not alone in this. I fell in love with flea markets in Berlin, where Sunday mornings are often spent meandering through the city’s hip flea markets followed by a leisurely breakfast washed down with endless cups of strong coffee in a café in the sun poring over the pages of the Sunday paper.
I discovered that visiting a flea market is a soulful experience, a way to anchor your mind in the present and to create a bit of headspace in an otherwise busy world. Since then I’ve scoured through the second-hand treasures of former generations in London and New York with much satisfaction, but I have to say the Puces de Nyon is one of my favourites.
In the summer the market has the ambiance of a Mediterranean seaside village, complete with a lakeside café, serving Apérol and other cocktails. I love to spend time here observing the people – and their dogs.
The pace is slow and the people are laid-back and friendly – but don’t try to haggle down the price too much.
In winter, I just love the crispness of the air and the promise of a hot chocolate after a couple of hours strolling through the stalls.
WHAT TO BUY
Some of our occasional finds have included a lovely vintage brass fireplace cover and more recently a dramatic fake silver chandelier, for which I paid CHF25, an exact replica of which I later saw on sale in an interior design shop in Geneva for CHF180.
Bric-à-brac, toys, DVDs, LPs, video games, books, vintage clothes, furniture, crockery, cutlery, jewellery, ornaments, and so much more. Educate the children about dial-phones, LPs and hand coffee bean grinders. They’re sure to be thrilled ; )
WHAT TO EAT
You’re spoilt for choice with brasseries and cafés along the lakeshore, or grab a hot dog from the hot dog stand and enjoy an Apérol or juice at the lakeside café.
CHILDREN’S TOYS AND BOOKS
Children and teens keen to make some pocket money can book a free place in the Place de Savoie to sell old toys and books. A good place to spend pocket money too. We’ve found X-box games, French books and bey-blades.
Contact: M. Gérard Hardy: 079 791 87 69 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org for information about the stalls.
WHERE TO PARK
We always park in the public parking space at the top of the hill in the centre of town and walk down. It’s only a five minute walk and you won’t have any traffic on the way out. Of course, this means you’ve got to go back up the hill too, but it is not too bad, especially with an ice cream in hand.
Address: The flea market takes place in the quartier de Rive, along Lac Léman
Hours: From 8am until 6.30pm
Click here for website