Dublin Flea Market: The Complete Guide

A Bunch of tents at the Dublin Flea Market with dozens of shoppers looking at their wares

Courtesy of Dublin Flea Market

Dublin is the premier shopping destination in Ireland thanks to its size and its large selection of shops and malls, but one of its most beloved shopping experiences is the monthly Dublin Flea Market held on the last Sunday of every month.

Here is the complete guide to experiencing the Dublin Flea Market like a pro and having fun while hunting for the very best vintage clothes, antiques, and one-of-a-kind Dublin souvenirs.

History

The Dublin Flea Market was created in 2008 as a way to encourage a sense of community in the busy Irish capital and respond to the lack of vintage markets in Dublin while also supporting a green lifestyle. The sellers do make money from their sales but the Flea, as it's often called, is run as a non-profit organization with the overall goal of supporting sustainability Everything sold at the market is second hand, and the organizers see it as a way to promote recycling and find a new life for old objects.

Unfortunately, the planned redevelopment of Newmarket Square in 2018 resulted in the eviction of five city markets, including the Dublin Flea Market. For the next year, the market searched for a new permanent location, hosting pop-up markets in various temporary spaces whenever possible. In May 2019, the Dublin Flea Market reopened its monthly stalls and continues to offer one of the Irish capital’s most beloved Sunday shopping experiences in Dublin 8.

Location and Hours

From late 2008 when the market was founded until mid-2018, the Dublin Flea Market was held in Newmarket, Dublin 8 on the last Sunday of every month.

The market is open the last Sunday of every month from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with special weekend markets in December for a bit of holiday shopping. As of June 2019, the organizers are still searching for a permanent location for the monthly market so it is best to double check social media for announcements of future dates and locations. The current, temporary home for the market is The Digital Hub at The Liberties, Dublin 8.

What to Buy

The selection at the Dublin Flea Market changes every month because the stalls are run by individual sellers and collectors from all over Ireland. That being said, there is literally something for everyone at the market as long as you are willing to look for it. Being a flea market, this unique Dublin shopping experience has serious bargains on used goods as well as a huge selection of vintage and antique items from all over the world but there is a natural focus on Irish bric-a-brac.

There are around 70 stalls at the monthly market and the most colorful specialize in vintage clothes or retro furniture. Food lovers should be on the lookout for copper pots, and secondhand kitchen gadgets. There are also plenty of knickknacks, including collections of skeleton keys, ceramics, and teacups galore.

If you don’t have much room in your suitcase to take a lot home, opt for the vintage costume jewelry or the small pieces of silver flatware you will sometimes spot on the tables. You can also find original artwork and creative graphic posters for sale.

However, the true beauty of the market is that you never know what you will find. Some of the sellers are monthly regulars but most apply to come for one day only and the items they bring to sell from their small personal collections are often the most surprising and delightful.

Tips for Visiting

If you plan to visit the Dublin Flea Market, know that serious shoppers arrive early. If you are hoping to find a specific kind of antique or collectible, it is also a good idea to set out as soon as the market opens because you may otherwise lose that dream item. However, haggling is definitely allowed so don’t be afraid to politely turn down the first price you are offered. If you are simply on the hunt for interesting bargains, it is fine to visit later in the day when the sellers may be more willing to come down in asking price in order to finalize more sales. Chatting with shop owners in Ireland is all a part of the process, so also be ready to have a short conversation or share a few jokes back and forth—however, the sellers will know the value of their items and may turn down lowball offers.

Remember that the sellers are all independent so you never know what you might find at the market. Some sellers have specialties (such a vinyl records or vintage toys) but others bring an intriguing mix of bric-a-brac, so you should plan at least an hour to wander through and be able to stop at each stall to examine the incredibly varied items for sale.

There are some street food stalls and a coffee cart if you need sustenance for shopping, but seating is fairly limited. You can also round out the day with a stop in one of the best Dublin restaurants to celebrate your purchases.

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