Hidden Belgium: The largest antique market in the Benelux

Hidden Belgium: The largest antique market in the Benelux

The old Roman town of Tongeren hosts a sprawling antique market every Sunday morning. Established in 1976 by seven local dealers, it has grown into the largest antique market in the Benelux.

Every week, even in winter, more than 350 Belgian and international dealers put out stalls around the mediaeval city walls and along the narrow cobbled streets in the city centre.

The city also has about 40 antique stores that are open on Sunday, along with any number of cafes and restaurants. All in all, it makes Tongeren one of the liveliest places in the region. People come here from the Netherlands, Germany and even the United Kingdom to take a look at what is on offer.

It is the perfect place to haggle over the price of a rococo table or a vintage lamp to decorate an urban loft. The dealers also unload crates of vinyl, shop mannequins, stuffed animals, vintage movie posters and ancient furniture.

But you need to get there soon after the market starts at 7am to snap up the interesting stuff. All the dealers have packed up by 1pm.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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