One of the most frequented spots by both locals and visitors in Brussels is the famous open-air antique market in Place du Jeu de Balle / Vossenplein. Located in the heart of the Marolles area, right opposite Pin Pon, the market is full of second-hand items, so be prepared for some serious treasure-hunting and a bit of bargaining!
Open-air markets are a great part of life in Brussels and one of the things I personally love the most about this city. The Place du Jeu de Balle flea market brings together numerous merchants who sell all sorts of things from second-hand clothes and jewellery to props, ornaments and other curiosities. The market is open throughout the week (6:00 – 14:00), including weekends when it stays open until 15:00. According to my experience, weekdays are far less crowded but there seems to be more variety during the weekend.
Looking into the history of the market, I discovered that the Jeu de Balle square was originally intended to serve as a field for “balle pelote”, a very popular game in Brussels back in the day, which is actually similar to tennis. In 1873 the City of Brussels decided to move the “den â met” (i.e. “old market” in Brussels’ dialect) from the Anneessens square to the Jeu de Balle square as it was thought that it didn’t fit with the appearance of the central boulevards.
Nowadays the Jeu de Balle flea market is, together with the nearby antique shops in the Sablon, Rue Haute and Rue Blaes, the best spot to score some real bargains. And speaking of great spots, there are some lovely restaurants and cafes you can enjoy once you’re done exploring, like Jef, Pei & Mei, L’Arriere Pays, Le Perroquet and L’Atelier en Ville,
If you love antiques or are looking for a fun Sunday activity in Brussels, the antique market in Place du jeu de Balle is well worth a visit. It’s a great way to get a feel of the local atmosphere in Brussels and maybe pick up a few quality items on the way too. Have fun and don’t forget to send me a picture on Instagram or Twitter with the #seemybrussels hashtag!