Sunday is the day of rest? Hardly; in Berlin people stroll the avenues and parks, or meet for brunch in any of the bountiful cafes of their Kiez (neighborhood). Many however throng to the various flea-markets across the city to browse the wares, bargain and barter for collectibles and curios, or just people-watch and hang-out.
I am always fascinated by the myriad objects available at flea-markets; a kind of museum, a timeline of possessions on their way through life before ending up in an old box with fellow forgotten items, or ultimately, on a rubbish heap!
Many vendors are artists, fashion designers, or jewelry-makers who find the flea-market a good platform for exposure and sales. Others are vintage and antique dealers. Even some shops reserve a stand at markets to sell their wares. But mostly it’s classic, well… junk!
Following are 5 flea-markets that make for a different type of Sunday stroll:
From Alexanderplatz U-bahn (subway) take the U2 toward Pankow to Eberswalder Strasse station.
Follow the crowds and you reach the Mauerpark (Wall Park). The liveliest of the 5, this maze features everything you can imagine: from new to antique and everything in between and food and drink stalls to boot. Plan a whole day first scouting the goods, then hang out in the adjoining park watching bands, and buskers or performers. Bring a portable barbeque and a cooler of beer while enjoying life under the sun, and expect to meet many new and international people!
From Alexanderplatz U-bahn U5 to Samariter Strasse walk down Mainzer Strasse (right side) two blocks to Boxhagenerplatz.
My favorite, and in my Kiez, this is a small yet eclectic market great for records/CD’s, furniture and interior decoration. Of, course you will find clothing, collectibles, art and select junk too! Located in Freidrichshain the area is famous for its huge selection of cafes and restaurants to see and be seen in!
Take U1 to Schlesisches Tor, walk down Schlesische Strasse toward Treptower Park, the old industrial area is located on the riverside.
Arena is located indoors in an old factory, so is great for rainy days. The stands here are permanent fixtures and are literally piled to the roof with stuff – often resembling granddad’s garage it is packed with vintage household wares and antique furniture, but also electronics, hardware etc. as well as rugs. Bartering is essential, as the vendors are mostly of Turkish descent… a true bazaar!
The area around Arena has a few chill cafes located on the river canals, a buoyant swimming-pool on the riverfront and at night a good spot for clubbing.
Bode Museum Antique and Book Market
From Alexanderplatz walk to the Museum Island on the river, the market is located outside the Bode Museum.
This is a place for serious collectors and a treasure-trove of German antique books, maps, coins, art and collectibles. Though somewhat pricey due to its tourist location, it is a valuable source to find specialists and dealers. Surrounded by the best museums and the historic-center it’s an interesting backdrop to stroll through while sightseeing.
Strasse des 17. Juni
Located outside the Tiergarten S-Bahn station.
Probably the oldest and most popular flea-market in ‘West’ Berlin with everything you ever thought existed in one place from art to zoo souvenirs! A fun way to end up a day at the nearby Zoological Gardens – for observing a different kind of animal in their natural habitat!
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