For me, a real weekend in Berlin includes a flea market visit, in addition to a generous brunch. This was already the case before, when the German capital wasn’t yet my home, and it was only a place to visit.
The big difference to the past is that today I can easily pick up all three designer sweaters at a bargain price, can put effort into haggling for that old golden frame, and invest time rummaging for an original edition of my favourite author in old book boxes. Because these days I don’t have to squeeze my purchases into a suitcase and three bags, which make my ride’s eyes roll upon seeing them. Even the kidney-shaped desk I can simply drag home. I’ve prepared a small list so that you know which flea markets are worth checking out in Berlin for vintage clothes, where the old plates and books are, and which art markets or antique markets still have chandeliers and porcelain from the 70s:
The Colourful – Flea Market at Marheinekeplatz
What I like at the flea market in the Bergmannkiez area in particular, is that the historical town square offers enough space to wander alone through the stands. Especially on offer are second-hand clothes, toys, and homemade items. But it also has books, CDs, and records, as well as art and antiques.
Saturday 10 am -4 pm, Sunday 11 am – 5pm , Marheinekeplatz (Kreuzberg)
The Original Berliner – Flea Market at Arkonaplatz
The market women once stood under the old linden trees a hundred years ago at Arkonaplatz. Today it is mainly families from the neighbourhood that gather there, who combine a visit to the flea market with one of the greatest playgrounds just next door. The flea market mainly offers second-hand clothes, books, and recording items. At the northern end there are always dealers with larger furniture items, lamps, and a colourful assortment of letters.
Sunday 10 am -4 pm, Arkonaplatz (Mitte)
The Historical – Flea Market at Rathaus Schöneberg
Where John F. Kennedy once stood and identified himself as a Berliner, these days is where many people jostle every weekend between tent rows of hobby flea market dealers, looking for bargains in the form of clothing, books, electrical goods, and other knickknacks.
Saturday + Sunday, 9 am – 4 pm, John-F.-Kennedy-Platz 1 (Schöneberg)
The Iconic – Flea Market at Mauerpark
The flea market bordering directly on Mauerpark has long been well-known internationally. Hundreds of people move through its rows every Sunday. I have often heard it said recently that commercial dealers are now becoming prevalent. I like the “professional” stands, whose handmade work usually has a clear Berlin reference, and there are still numerous private people here who want to get rid of their clothes, jewellery, and furniture. And the atmosphere doesn’t hurt either, which – including the meadow and the park hillside – is like a festival.
Sunday 7 am – 5 pm, Bernauer Straße 63-64 (Prenzlauer Berg)
The Intellectuals – Antique and Book Market at Bode Museum
Numerous book and antique dealers line up with their stands along the river Spree every weekend. Their tables are filled with a wide range of books, art, and small furniture. These include cheap modern antiques and real rarities.
Saturday + Sunday 11 am – 5pm, Am Kupfergraben (Mitte)
The Jewellery – Art and Flea Market at Fehrbelliner Platz
The special thing about the Fehrbelliner flea market is that in addition to the usual assortment of clothing, bags, housewares, books, plates, and CDs, there is the art promenade. The area opposite the Parkcafé is marked by a red carpet reserved for artists, who exhibit their paintings, drawings, ceramics, jewellery, and furniture. The clientele is significantly older than in other parts of the city.
Saturday + Sunday 10 am – 4 pm, Fehrbelliner Platz 1, 10707 (Wilmersdorf)
The Neighbourhood – Flea Market at Boxhagener Platz
The flea market around the “Boxi” has always been of one of my favourite markets. This is where you will find everything you can imagine in terms of a flea market, from surprising figurines to antiques; years ago I discovered a beautiful wine-red velvet sofa here. And the location in the middle of Simon-Dach district, with all of its Cafés, is ideal for a Sunday outing.
Sunday 10 am -6 pm, Boxhagener Platz 1 (Friedrichshain)
The Traditional – Flea Market on Straße des 17. Juni
The flea market on Straße des 17. Juni is a Berlin original. Founded in 1978, it is the oldest flea market in the city. It is well worth browsing here: amidst the selection of junk there are also genuine collectibles with the value of rarities. You can also find dealers of the big, old farmer cabinets, and fine porcelain from way back when. An arts and crafts market has been connected to the market since 1988, with hand-knitted items, wooden toys, ceramic articles, and much more.
Saturday + Sunday 10 am – 5 pm, Straße des 17. Juni at the S-Bahnhof (Tiergarten)
The Precious – Antique Market at Ostbahnhof
The road on the north side of the Ostbahnhof is a central meeting place on Sunday for antique dealers and collectors. The offerings of professional sellers range from small items, such as stamps, coins, and postcards, and antiquarian books and records, to porcelain and large furniture items.
Sunday 9 am – 5 pm, Erich-Steinfurth-Straße 1 (Friedrichshain)
The Creative – Nowkölln Flea Market
The idyllic location next to the Landwehr Canal draws many market-goers. On Tuesdays and Fridays the dealers loudly praise their fruit and vegetables at the BiOriental Market, and on Saturdays Berlin design students frolic at the local textile market. Every second Sunday the Maybachufer belongs to Berlin designers offering printed shirts, hand-crafted jewellery, and accessories. There are always culinary offerings and artistic performances as well.
From April 2nd, 1st + 3rd Saturday of the month, Maybachufer (Neukölln)
The Night – SO36 Night Flea Market
There is a totally different atmosphere in the legendary SO36, where once per month the club becomes a marketplace for used CDs, records, clothes, and all kinds of odds and ends. Visitors can search the tables of the private dealers for treasures from 20:00 onwards. The DJ is in on duty on this evening, and the bar is also open during the flea market. I always come very early, since it often gets crowded quite quickly. Particularly nice are the intermittent band performances that are put on here.
Wednesday, middle of the month, Oranienstraße 190 (Kreuzberg)
Written by Anna Bockhoff