Tongeren, Belgium Flea Market

Tongeren, Belgium (Stop #3 on our Road Trip)


I just need to say that part of the reason (okay most of the reason) I scheduled our trip in Belgium was so that I could make it to the Tongeren Flea Market which is the biggest flea market in Belgium and one of the biggest in Benelux region.  Tongeren is the Mecca of fleas in Belgium and I don't think I've been more excited for a flea market.  The market runs every Sunday from around 6 AM to 1 PM.  You HAVE to get there early or you will miss out on all the good stuff!  Go on the first Sunday of the month because all of the antique stores and restaurants are also open.

 I don't know about you guys, but when I see a good flea market my palms get sweaty, head gets dizzy, and I start foaming at the mouth.  I may be exaggerating a little but the point is that I was excited woo hoo. The town of Tongeren is also known as the oldest in Belgium so it had quite a reputation to live up to.  I'm going to show you some pics of the market, tell you what they specialize in, give you some tips in pink, and show you what I came home with!


I had to admit, this was the one stop on the trip with my family that was purely for me.  The boys (Brandon, my brother, and step father) aren't too interested in fleas, though my mother was excited, but I was determined to go there because it was only an hour and a half drive from our home-stay in Arlon, Belgium.  We parked a few blocks away on the road for free and I excitedly scurried my way to the shining orb that was Tongeren.


I'm going to show you some pictures that I snapped unfortunately from my iPhone, so they aren't the best, but I know most of you won't care right???  I don't know how anyone else feels, but I just get kind of nervous bringing out my camera and snapping shots of peoples things, plus I'm not sure who is okay with it and who isn't.  And I don't want to look like a total tourist and mess up a sale :)




Up above,  you can see some beautiful shelves, baskets, and small pieces of furniture.  




 Check out all the great stuff.  Lots of shadow cabinets, clocks, paintings, and a globe.  While Tongeren does have decent prices, there are a lot of items that you are going to pay a price for.  Tongeren flea market is a very nice market full of higher end items and antiques (aka it's not full of stuff people are about to throw away) and most of the dealers know what they have.  They certainly aren't going to ask an arm and a leg, but their prices are pretty spot on with what they are worth.  But that doesn't mean you can't find plenty of deals!




Beautiful dress forms for every price range.  I seriously considered buying one of these!  They had dress forms that were old and new.  And anywhere from 75 Euro to 250 Euro.  It didn't disappoint in that avenue.

This pretty little box below was a bone of contention for me.  It was a beautiful old box with pictures of Nurnberg and cherubs.  The colors were  beautiful and I thought about getting it to store some of my newly acquired linens.  The dealer wanted 40 Euro for it and although I thought it was beautiful I decided to walk and figured if I really wanted it I'd come back later.




Let me tell you, this must have been the land of secretary desks, because when I entered one of the inside rooms, there were beautiful secretary desks EVERYWHERE.  I have been trying to get my hands on the perfect secretary desk since I've moved to Germany.  I've seen so many beautiful desks and I even drove a two hour drive to pick one up about 5 months ago, but it was sold right before I got there. :(  So you can imagine my frustration.  

I thought today was the day and that I'd be taking one of these  babies home.  The one below actually.  This desk was from about the 1950's and it was only 170 Euros haggled down to 150 Euros.  What?  Is that the serious price?  I was so excited.  But alas, and what I've come to realize is that no one offers a delivery service.  And with five people in my little SUV, they'd have to walk home for me to fit this in my car, and trust me, I considered it.  A tip is to never go to a market unprepared or without enough car space or a delivery method.  But sometimes, as in my case, it just wasn't possible.

Similary, I found a 300 Euro secretary desk that was over a hundred years old which was also a decent price, but I had to accept the simple fact that I was not taking any of these gorgeous desks home.  Sure, I know I could have done some research and found some sort of a delivery company, but that's not how things worked out.  So I bid farewell to the desks and moved on.





Below is a very blurry picture of some metal, brass, silver, and wood items.




Another item I was sure I would  bring home was a chandelier.  They had so many to choose from, but I refrained myself.





And of course they had plenty of chairs and furniture which is what I love best.



So after going through the whole market, having lunch and eating some amazing Belgian waffles (Brussels is only an hour away from Tongeren so the waffles are still amazing!), and only buying three items, I decided that I wanted, nay, needed that colorful antique Nurnberg box.  I headed back to the stall where it was located and I kind of froze.  It looked like nothing had been bought from this stall EXCEPT for the box that I wanted.  Of course it was taken and I broke one of my own rules about flea market shopping;  If you love an item or even like an item then you should buy it then and there because it WILL be gone when you come back around, and of course in my case it was...

So there aren't too many pictures here, but I want to let you guys know what were the most popular items that I saw in bulk at Tongeren Market.  Meaning, that if you are searching for any of the below mentioned items, this place will not disappoint.


Popular Tongeren Flea Finds:


-Dress Forms                     -Paintings
-Secretary Desks                -Watering Pots
-Chandeliers                      -Ceramics
-Linens                              -Vintage Signs
-Grain Sacks                      -Militaria
-Chairs                               -Shabby Furniture
 -Clocks                              -Knick Knacks            
- Suitcases


Now on to what I took home!

Still on my turquoise and gold color kick, I picked up this porcelain? turquoise and gold leaf dish that was just what I needed to store my rings on my bedside.  The lady was asking 3 Euro and gave it to me for 2 Euro without me even asking.  I love it!  Looking at the back it was probably made by a local company in Belgium and signed A. Bayer.




The second item I picked up was this old blanket.  To be honest, I don't even think the blanket was for sale, but as soon as I saw it I envisioned having pic nics and naps in the park!  It was 4 Euro.




The final items I bought were this pair of Lion's Head Bowls that are in literally every restaurant in Germany and other parts of Europe.  Everytime I get soup it is in one of these bowls so I wanted to take some with me.   The dealer had about 10 more of these but I wanted to keep it simple and they were only .50 each!


If you can manage to do the math, that's only 7 Euro total that I spent.  Even my family ended up finding some cool things and they admitted that they actually had a great time and weren't bored once.  "Duh!" I told them.

I will definitely be back a few more times before I leave Germany and although I didn't buy a lot, I wanted to.  Tongeren didn't disappoint and I would recommend this market to anyone.  



Favorite Items at Tongeren:
The secretary desks and dress forms.




Next Stop:  Trier, Germany




Have you been to Tongeren?   Tell me about your experience or if you haven't been there would you like to go?
 
 
 
 
 
 






Linking up at:

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Dagmar's Home
Ivy and Elephants
The Brambleberry Cottage
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From My Front Porch To Yours
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57 comments :

  1. I love the turquoise and gold leaf dish! I am so green with envy over here!

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    1. I love it too. I should have bought more things lol.

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  2. Looks so great, I love flea markets and I will seek them out whenever I go to different places. You can tell a lot about a country from their flea markets!!

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    1. Holly,

      So true about learning a lot about a country's flea markets especially since Belgium was so involved in the WWII. And the furniture is so beautiful!

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  3. I am over the moon excited you were able to shop here. It is one of my dream spots to visit. Thank you for sharing all the inside info on the shopping.

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    1. Donna,

      Thanks for the comments I hope you do get to visit Tongeren one day. I know I'll be back hopefully at least one more time. (It's a 5 hour drive from where I live so not really close). Plus I followed you on Bloglovin!

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  4. This year I am also in a turquoise mode so love that dish. Nothing like a flea market to bring out the shopper in me. A fun outing you took us on today!

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    1. Thanks Jackie and Joel, followed your travel blog on Bloglovin!

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  5. I've enjoyed some flea markets in Provence and in New York City - but I usually have my husband along and he has no patience. I think these are best visited along or with a girlfriend who's keen. It looks like you had a lot of fun.

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    1. Lol I so agree, I've never been to any fleas in NYC yet or Provence but I know I'll get there. So true what you said about girls trips for fleas, I don't like to be rushed and Brandon hates any form of shopping whatsoever, even though he found more things than I did at the flea market haha. Followed you on G+ and Bloglovin!

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  6. Those secretary's are sheer beauty - OMG I'd love to get my hands on one of them - and I don't know if I could have left without a chandelier
    But those soup bowls are just amazing - and I really love your turquoise " ring plate "
    What a great post- enjoyed every second of it!
    Hugs,
    Suzan

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    1. Thank you Suzan. I already can't wait to go back with an empty car to get my secretary!

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  7. Wow, so worth the trip! I saw things I want in every pic...I'd have to rent a cargo plane just to get it all home, but soooo worth it!

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    1. A cargo plane lol You and me both. Thanks for stopping by Christine!

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  8. I love all your great buys, especially the beautiful dish! Lol, buyers remorse- why didn't I buy more! You are so blessed to be able to travel. Take advantage of living in Europe where so many countries are so close. Great post!

    Linda at The French Hens Nest

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    1. Thanks Linda,
      Trust me we are taking advantage of our time in Europe, haha we will be broke by the time we get back Stateside.

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  9. Too bad about that secretary desk. It was gorgeous. I've never been to Tongeren but have been to Trier. Loved it. We visited Bastone, Belgium which is where I found my favorite "souvenir" in a second hand shop. A heavy lion door knocker. Whenever I look at it I am reminded how beautiful it is in Germany and Belgium. We also went to France but hubby wasn't impressed and I heard about it. :/ Next time I will take someone fun with me. lol Like my sister. :)

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    1. Nancy,
      My next posts are about France. Brandon didn't really like Paris ( he already went there a few weeks before me). I need more time than just one day in Paris and I should bring a friend next time.

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  10. What a lovely flea market. I could definitely find something there, beautiful things! Thanks for sharing, and also stopping by with your wonderful comment!

    Take Care,
    jody

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  11. I dont blame you. I had my DSLR out this weekend and was taking photos at the small flea market here in Bath, England and I felt a bit 'ehhh' about it. Luckily no one asked questions and I did buy some things for our vow renewal so i felt in the end it was good. I love seeing the things you can find in these markets all over the world. I would love to go to that one. In love with that ring dish for one, that is beautiful! Thank you for linking up with us today for #TravelTuesday !

    x

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    1. Well Bonnie, if I took pics like you I'd be busting out my DSLR too lol.

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  12. Thanks for sharing your experience at the flea market. It is fun to see what they are offering - there are many beautiful items. I hope you are not suffering from separation anxiety with the secretary!! it was a beauty - no wonder why you gave it much thought!

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    1. The secretary desk thing has happened to me so many times. Where I see one I want and something doesn't work out lol. When I do find one I'll make a big deal about it.

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  13. Flea markets make me go weak in the knees, too! And a flea market in Belgium is even better--mostly because you can follow up your shopping with a cone of piping hot frites. PS: I found your blog through the Travel Tuesdays linkup :)

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    1. Aw the frites. The boys were all over them. I snagged a few as I could. Belgium does have great food. Especially Brussels. Followed you on Bloglovin!

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  14. Hi Brittany,
    Thank you so much for making my day! Every pic was gorgeous! Being in Los Angeles, these are exquisite to see. My eyes are like saucers and there is some drool I have to wipe away at seeing these BEAUTIFUL items just sitting out on the street and sidewalk. I love your purchases. So sorry about the box you missed out on. There is a nicer one waiting for you on another day. :)

    Thank you,
    Sarah :)

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    1. Well thanks Sarah, I always tell myself, it wasn't meant to be if I miss out on something. lol to the "just sitting out on the street and sidewalk."

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  15. This sale looks wonderful. Love out door markets! How were the prices?

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    1. The prices were decent. Not too cheap and not crazy expensive. They knew what they had. But it was worth it because you won't find a lot of junk there, they have a lot of great items!

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  16. I too love a good flea market, and these pictures have me practically drooling!
    - Rachel @ With Love, Rachel

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    1. Thanks Rachel, checked out your blog and I gotta say I love your blog design! Looks like we have a lot of things in common including cheese, travel, and love for the English language. Followed you on Bloglovin!

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  17. Oh wow this market looks amazing, a great place to find some really unique items. Europe has the best flea markets, use to live in Amsterdam and loved the street markets there.
    Just popping over from the Travel Tuesday link

    Laura x
    www.sidestreetstyle.com

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    1. Hi Laura,
      You used to live in Amsterdame? That is awesome, I visited for the first time last November and loved it. New follower.

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  18. Hi Brittany, This looks like such fun! Thanks for sharing this at the Open House party...Belgium is on my bucket list.
    xx,
    Sherry

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  19. Oh wow! I had no idea that this market was the largest in Belgium and Northern Europe. I stumbled upon it a couple years ago and remember thinking that it was massive. It just kept going and going. but it all makes sense now. So much great stuff!

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  20. It's so fun to see the cool things they had for sale. I love that little leaf dish you got and that blanket. Great finds and for such a bargain!
    Liz

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  21. I am green with envy that just looks like paradise to me :) Those little chandeliers make my heart clench! Thankyou so much for sharing so many pictures!
    Jennelise

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  22. What a wonderful post! I would love to wander through and see (and shop) all those incredible treasures!

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  23. We visit The Netherlands regularly (Dutch Hubbie), and I have wanted an excuse to visit Belgium. Tongeren here we come. Do you have a trailer hitch on your SUV? Get one and a small trailer. Very European ;)))))
    Linda

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    1. So lucky to get to visit The Netherlands often, I LOVED Amsterdam and will be going back. There are also some good fleas in The Netherlands. No, unfortuneately I don't have a hitch on my SUV but I will be getting one to haul that secretary desk back to Germany!

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  24. How exciting and so wonderful to see through your photos. Thanks for sharing all these incredible items with us at TTF.

    Linda

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  25. *happy sigh* Thank you for taking us on a tour of this flea market. It does look fabulous! Would love to go someday... so many pretties to see. Thank you! Catherine (new follower)

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    1. Thank you for reading along! I want to let everyone know how great it was.

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  26. I could spend hours there ... just to take pictures :). You are so lucky to be able to tour Europe and experience these lovely places. Thank you so much for taking us along!

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    1. Thanks Bi Ti. I am very grateful and also very mindful that my time here is short!

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  27. Oh, I would have thought I was in flea market heaven being there What gorgeous items!! thank you for taking us along to this fantastic place! And thank you for sharing at TTF.

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  28. What fun! I'm like you, see so much that I like and would like to bring home, but I refrain! Love your finds...the turquoise dish is so pretty!
    Thanks so much for sharing at Amaze Me Monday...
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  29. Wow - I'm with you. I drool over flea markets and I feel my pulse start to rise as I head toward the entrance! Thanks for sharing this one at Knick of Time Tuesday - I'm featuring you tonight at the party!
    ~Angie @ Knick of Time

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    1. Thanks Angie! Excited to see the feature!

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  30. Pinterest surfing this morning, and came across your blog... saw the words "Tongeren Belgium"... and be still my heart, I raced to click on the link. LOL Although it's been several years now since I've done a Tongeren run, I lived in Germany for 6 years, and Tongeren was a near monthly trip for me. Are you still in Germany? I'm curious how the prices are doing at floh markts in general over the past few years. Is the general consensus that the prices have gone up, or are there still bargains? Curious if you've been to some of my old haunts: :) Cuijk, Netherlands? (Very nice indoor Floh markt), Rimbach (hmmm... that may be spelled Rembach), Germany?

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    1. Hi Kim,
      Wow 6 years in Germany! To be honest, I would love to live here for that long if we could. And yes I am still in Germany for another 2 years. It's going by too fast. I've only been here for a year so I honestly can't compare the prices from when you were here but there still are great deals to be found everywhere. Tongeren definitely can have some steep prices but you can also find deals too. I've heard about the indoor market in Cuijk and have it on my flea guide tab but I haven't been there yet. I haven't heard of Rembach's flea in Germany but I'll have to look into it, there are so many! Thanks Kim!

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  31. Hi Brittany, Came across your blog on Tongeren Flea Market while doing some research into a trip this week. I go to Tongeren every six weeks or so. I'm based in Harwich, Essex, England where I run an antiques/vintage/retro business called Quirky Old Stuff. You're right, the Tongeren Flea is a great market in a lovely town. If you or your readers ever get to the UK, try Spitalfields Market and Bermondsey Market, both in London. We're about 60 miles north of London in Harwich. You can see the sort of stuff I sell on QuirkyOldStuff.com. Ken.

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    1. Thanks for the Tip Ken! I'll be sure to check out your site. I'm actually visiting London over the Christmas holidays, so who knows!

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  32. Thank you for linking to my blog! Can I ask you a question? How do you have time to link to all of those fab blogs? I can never finds the time. If you have a tip, please let me know! Vielen Dank!

    Dagmar ~ Dagmar's Home

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  33. Your trips to Metz and Trier made me feel really nostalgic. They are both right on my doorstep too (I'm based in Luxembourg) but I seem to be travelling to lots of other places at the moment and don't get the chance to visit.
    Carol aka Traveller

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I love to hear from readers! Questions and comments welcome. I try to respond to everyone (I respond back to your comments on the comments page so check back for a response). Thanks for reading!

-Brittany Ruth