The Plainpalais flea market runs every Wednesday and Saturday from 6:30 in the morning until 17:15 in winter and 18:15 in summer.
Of course, there are the more typical options for a morning out, like shopping as a family at Balexert or strolling along the lakeside on the left or right banks, but if these don’t really call to you there is always the Plainpalais flea market. It has a lively ambiance, and with so many vendors of antiques and oddities, there is always something new to discover.
For those of you who start to feel itchy or bored at the very thought of thrift shops, dusty old books, and antique jewelry, furniture, and other « treasures » from another decade, don’t even bother attempting this kind of outing. You are likely to be bored or even risk suffering some sort of allergy attack. But for those who find a sense of charm in useless bric-a-brac, cracked paintings, « faux retro » furniture, shoes which are much-too-tight but oh-so-glamorous, decalibrated scales which make you seem to weigh less than you do, gorgeous but hopelessly broken watches, vintage dresses which would have been perfect for your great-aunt’s wedding, necklaces made from some kind of upscale plastic, well, YOU have found the perfect destination for your next Wednesday wander or Saturday stroll.
If you’re still hungry for a deal after exploring the flea market, you can treat yourself to a crepe, cookie, chai tea, draft beer, or coffee at the snack bar on the east corner of the Plainpalais diamond, near the skate park (they even have blankets available during the winter). Alternatively, try the other terrace-bistro, towards the middle of the diamond, for a fresh fruit juice, ginger tea, or piece of cake. Livresse, a peaceful café-bookstore, offers a large selection of teas at 5 rue Vignier (a mostly-pedestrian little street, perpendicular to avenue Henri-Dunant).
Also in the neighborhood, and sticking with the theme of second-hand treasures (specifically books), why not try a bowl of soup at the Recyclables, at 53 rue de Carouge – there’s even a small terrace for you to enjoy.
When it’s all said and done, you will have enjoyed a pleasant outing, though you may face a few sardonic remarks when you start to talk about all the « savings » you made with the great deals you found. Never mind – at least you had a good time!