Berlin Market Guide
One of the favorite activities of locals and visitors alike is a trip to a local market. The great thing about Berlin markets is that you find a wide variety of foods and goods so everyone will be entertained. And, they are casual and fun, so don’t worry about crowds or unruly bargain hunters - just come and enjoy! Here is a list of some great flea markets, followed by some picks for our favorite farmer’s markets.
Where: Eichen Strasse, Treptow (S-Bahn Treptower Park)
When: Sat and Sun, 10am-4pm
A literal treasure trove. The Arena indoor market is an incredible mishmash of stalls and stands, most of which look like they have been there since the dawn of time. That is if they had VHS tapes in the dawn of time. Housed in a huge warehouse in the Arena complex, it is 4000 sqm filled with mink coats, antique radios and everything you probably don’t really need.
If you are looking for creepy children’s toys this is your place. Of all the markets we have reviewed this is probably the most daunting. Definitely not for the faint-hearted, but if you are in the right mood for a hunt then you’ll will probably find some treasure. This market is perfect for rainy weekends and is certainly a market where bartering is welcome. It is located right next to the River Spree, so perfect for a little river-side stroll before or after. Grab a beer and wander through the cave like labyrinth of vintage nonsense. Their website states weapons, pornography and Nazi memorabilia are forbidden, so enjoy a controversy-free flea-market!
Where: Maybachufer, Neukölln (U Bahn – Schönleinstr)
When: Every second Sunday, starting March 2016
This market is only on its fifth year, making it the baby of the Berlin flea-markets, thus its vintage wares still tend to be on the cheap side. Once I bought an incredible oak vintage chest of drawers for a meagre €100. The guy selling it to me, even popped it in his van, drove me to my apartment and helped me carry it upstairs. He was an absolute love heart. You may not be looking for furniture whilst on holiday, but fear not as the market offers everything from 1950’s hand-bags to organic locally produced orange and rosemary ice lollies.
Located alongside the Landwehrkanal, the canal which separates the two districts of Kreuzberg and Neukölln, it tends to attract local international creative types. So the stalls generally stock second-hand hipster wares, hand-made goodies or real vintage. This market is a sure sign of the gentrified times and just how much the area has transformed in the last ten years. Many cute coffee shops and ice creams parlors are open nearby if you fancy a little rest and a people-watch. Make sure you check their website before you head down there, to make sure you have the right Sunday.
This is one of the cutest flea markets in the city. It is pretty small so won’t take you too long to stroll through. It specializes in fifties and sixties design pieces. If you are looking for something from the GDR or any kind of retro, vintage home ware this is a good place to come. Some stands are taken up by locals though just want to make space in their wardrobes. If you take in the local population and their combined styles, then you are sure to find some vintage/designer clothes going pretty cheap. If you feel like sprucing up your home (remember you can always post stuff back home) then grab an oversized neon letter light.
Arkonaplatz and Mauerpark are just about 10 minutes walk from one another, so once you are finished here you can head over to the bustling super sized Mauerpark market.
Probably one of the most written about flea markets in the northern hemisphere. The market really does encapsulate Berlin’s ever changing nature. When the city turned up its gentrification valve, Mauerpark and the surrounding area was the first to feel it. To set the scene we would need some yummy mummy’s, strolling around looking for the perfect organic handmade locally sourced vegan baby grows, whilst sipping on a soy latte purchased from the ethically sound bio-dynamic vintage cafe. As you can probably tell from that sentence, life in this environment involves a lot of buzzwords.
There is literally everything you can imagine here; a plantation of kitchenware, handmade jewellery/art/clothes/everything, a liquorice stall, leather galore. Not to mention all the food stalls. We have a huge Turkish population in Berlin so you will find Gozleme and other such Turkish treats. There is also a bar in the middle of the market called Schönwetter Club, which offers refuge vibes if you starting to struggle with the relentless droves of humans.
An Irish man called Joe Hatchiban has been bringing joy to Mauerpark since 2009 with his Bearpit Karaoke, set in the amphitheatre of the park. It is open air and attracts thousands of people. Anyone can sign up to sing and although some incredible voices inevitably step up, the rougher singers tend to get more support from the crowds. So if your singing skills are lacking, fear not – they will cheer you on nevertheless! Make sure you check out his website to see if he is playing on the particular Sunday you are visiting on.
Every Saturday 9am-4pm (S and U-Bahn Warschauer Strasse/ S and U-Bahn Frankfurter Tor)
This market is in the heart of Friedrichshain. Not only do they have a seasonally changing selection of fruit and veg but they also have interchanging food stalls. Last time I was there I saw Artichokes, Raspberries and Pumpkins. Oh my. Then we have the good stuff; the fish stand, the smoked meat and sausage stand, the dangerously delicious cheese stand. Not to mention specialities from Spreewald and Thuringia. If you want to feel really German grab yourself a Spreewald Gherkin and a beer to walk around with.
If you liked the market and loved the area, come back on Sundays for the Boxi- Fleamarket!
Every Saturday 9am-4pm (U-Bahn Eberswalderstr)
This market is located in the epicentre of Prenzlauer Berg. This district is infamous for its high population of young families. You may notice kindergarden after kindergarden, parks galore, and shops specialising in all things miniature. The market itself has some tasty offerings including Crepes, Chorizo and Cucumbers. As well as local handmade wares such as; scarves, jewellery and wooden children’s toys.
Grab yourself a little picnic and walk up to the Wasserturm (Knaack Str.22). This is the oldest Water Tower in Berlin, dating back to 1877. In use actually until 1952, it piped water to supply the rapidly growing population of workers in the district. Now its less water tower, more exquisite apartments. Sit there, imagine you live in a water tower and enjoy the view of the city.
Every Tuesday and Friday 11am-6.30pm (S and U-Bahn Kottbusser Tor)
For want of a better description this is our realest market. The other two are wonderful by products of their districts’ gentrification. This is a bit more rough around the edges and thus far more charming. This market is in the heart of our Turkish district. Turkish people form the largest ethnic minority in the country. Many were invited over to West Germany in the sixties and seventies as Guest Workers, to work in factories and the service industry. Originally this was thought, by both the ‘Bundesrepublik’ and the Turkish Republic, to be a temporary arrangement. Clearly it didn’t work out quite like that. Neukölln is our most multicultural part of the city and is extremely popular with tourists today.
Maybachufer is the name of the street which runs parallel to the Landwehr Kanal (Canal), making this an incredibly beautiful setting for the hustle and bustle of the market. Half the city make it down to markets on one of the two days, to fill up their fridges with cheap fruit and veg. The predominately Turkish stall holders have their art down to a tee. The sound of their offers fills the street ‘BUY TWO WATERMELONS, GET ONE FREE’. It is hard not to get caught up in the moment. You may find yourself buying more boxes of blueberries than you could ever feasibly eat.
Here we also have lots of Turkish food stands, so you can grab yourself a hot Gozleme (A traditional Turkish treat, a flat bread usually entwined with Spinach and Feta). There are endless stalls here of fabric, kitchen equipment and general bits and bobs. So if you need batteries for something, or a new padlock for your travels, this is your place. I would recommend grabbing a coffee, some nibbles and sit yourself by the canal and watch the world go by.