Lovers of bric-a-brac and street fairs flock to Lille for its famous Braderie weekend. Europe's biggest flea market sees between 1 million and 2 million (quite a difference, but whatever figure you use, it's a lot) visiting the north France city, this year on the first weekend in September, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd.
As it goes on all night, it's best to book somewhere in Lille or nearby for the weekend. Lille overflows with stalls packing the streets and selling everything you could imagine. Unless you're after something specific, the best plan is to go with the flow, buy if you feel the urge and enjoy the street music and entertainers.
The braderie starts at 2pm on Saturday 1st September and continues right through to 11pm on Sunday evening. If you're living like a local, you keep going on mussels and chips on sale through the day and night. The braderie started in the 12th century as a huge fair, then in the 16th century the law changed allowing servants to sell their masters' old clothes and any household items they had been given. It remains the place for household items, clothes, furniture, toys, jewellery, doors, kitchen tables, door handles...just go and see what is there.