The Best Places to Shop
The French Riviera is an international destination for shopaholics and bargain hunters. Here are the best places to get your shop on:
French Flea Markets: the Vide-Grenier
Europe doesn’t do Garage Sales, preferring neighborhood flea markets, known as Vide-Greniers, which literally means “empty your attic”. Each village usually does one or two a year, spring and fall, and each family fills a table with all manner of fascinating finds, from the most hilarious junk to the most interesting antiques.
The prices at these bric-a-brac free-for-alls are a fraction of the weekly antique markets, and bargaining is the way to go… if you don’t speak French, start with a ‘bonjour‘ and a smile, then just point and use the calculator on your smartphone to make your offer!
Check our events calendar or this official list for the current list of upcoming Vide Greniers: Just look for ‘Vide Grenier’ (selling anything and everything) or ‘Frippery’ (selling mostly clothes) or ‘Brocante’ (which means pricey professional antique dealers, which while interesting, is usually not cheap). Bring some sacks and lots of coins and small bills.
Food, Flower, Artisan & Antique Markets
The markets in the Old Towns of the French Riviera are basically the beating heart of each town. They are lively places where locals get their daily produce and say “Bonjour!” to their neighbors, while eager tourists look on, curious about the daily activities of the locals, and try to catch the feel of daily Riviera life.
Check out our guide to the best French Riviera markets.
LA Grande Braderie
Once a year, each major city in France holds a massive sale called La Grande Braderie. Clothes and accessories from the town’s boutiques will fill the streets. Racks and tables will help to sell fashion apparel, accessories, decoration, etc. at deep discounts.
The most famous Grand Braderie on the French Riviera is in Saint Tropez, where the designer shops gather for the biggest shopping event on the French Riviera. Check out Iconic Riviera’s guide to this year’s La Grande Braderie in Saint Tropez.
Luxury Shopping in Monaco’s Shopping Centers
If you’re bound for Monaco in search of bargains, I’m going to have to disappoint you. True, there are a few ‘affordable’ shops in the Condamine/Port district. But key Monaco shops (mostly in Monte-Carlo’s Cercle d’Or district around Place du Casino) clothe, bejewel and otherwise complement the costliest bodies on the planet.
Iconic Riviera will give you a preview of some shopping centers in Monaco in our guide to Shopping Centers in Monaco.