Nobody travels to Berlin just to wander around a flea market. But, then again, no visitor to Berlin who has spent any time wandering around one of its flea markets has ever been disappointed doing so. The truth is, if your itinerary is not too demanding or if you are one of those who have the luxury of being able to enjoy an extended stay here, it always pays to take a leisurely stroll through a few of Berlin’s more popular Flohmärkte.
Flea markets are like mirrors. They reflect a lot about what popular culture values, or, perhaps more accurately, what popular culture no longer values. But let’s face it. No one is really looking for value here. It’s more about curiosity than anything else. It may be true that a certain degree of bargaining skill is involved here. It may even be that it is considered an art to know all about how flea markets tick and to be able to find what you’re after or to recognize the difference between valuable items and worthless junk and all of that, but, hey, isn’t it enough just to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon browsing around and having fun?
And fun you will have. In addition to the usual stock of secondhand books, cloths, ancient furniture and other curiosities which you can find at any other flea market around the world, don’t be surprised to find a large collection of Eastern European bric-a-brac. Russian and Polish items are big here, as is authentic GDR and Soviet memorabilia and regional culinary treats like Thüringer Rostbratwurst and Spreewald Pickles. So let’s get started. Go out there and jump into the fray. These flea markets are real life. And here are the real life addresses.
Arkonaplatz (U-Bahn Bernauer Str.), 08:00-18:00 on Sunday. Centrally located in Prenzlauer Berg (Mitte), this is a popular meeting point for the “alternative” crowd. Enjoy a ring-side seat at one of the square’s many pleasant cafes. It’s strange, but this seems to be the market where all of the 70s paraphernalia accumulates.
Flohmarkt am Kupfergraben (S-Bahn/U-Bahn Friedrichstr.), 09:00-16:00 on Saturday and Sunday. Near the S-Bahn-Bogen, right across the street from the Museum Island, everybody seems to be having a great time here. It’s very easy to take part in some serious joking and not-so-serious bargaining here if you wish. The selection of “tourist souvenirs” can be a bit overpowering at times and there is no shortage of kitsch, but the friendly atmosphere is certainly worth the visit.
Straße des 17 Juni (S-Bahn Tiergarten), 11:00-17:00 on Saturday and Sunday. This is certainly the biggest flea market in town. It’s walking distance from the Zoo Station and borders the Technical University (U-Bahn Ernst-Reuther-Platz). The atmosphere is young and lively, somewhat political (lots of students) with the emphasis more on hand-crafted work and art.
Moritzplatz (U-Bahn Moritzplatz), 08:00-16:00 on Saturday and Sunday. This is the market with that funky, up-in-your-face, no-pretensions-here-pal touch. Everything is cheaper here, with good reason. You (most likely) won’t be finding that treasured designer piece you’ve been searching for at this place. But that’s not why you came here. There are several nice restaurants in the area, too.
Flohmarkt an der Arena in Treptow (S-Bahn Treptow), 08:00-18:00 on Saturday and Sunday. This place is housed in a giant warehouse on the banks of the River Spree. And there is a lot more going on at the Arena than just the flea market. When you’ve finished browsing, have a closer look at the huge variety of cultural activities (concerts, exhibitions) this place has to offer.
And that handful just scratched the surface! Here are some more addresses – by no means a complete listing of all the flea markets in town – from which you can pick out the next or nearest market to explore and enjoy.
Trödelmarkt Boxhagener Platz
Trödelmarkt auf dem John-F.-Kennedy-Platz
Großer Antikmarkt am Ostbahnhof, Erich-Steinfurth-Str.
Antikmarkt am Potsdamer Platz, U-Bahn Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Park
Trödelmarkt Bergmannstraße, Chamissoplatz
Flohmarkt auf dem Platz des 4. Juli, Goerzallee
Trödelmarkt an der Landsberger Allee 358-360
Trödelmarkt auf dem Leopoldplatz
Flohmarkt am Mauerpark, Bernauer Str. 63-64
Trödelmarkt Buckower Chaussee
Kitsch- u. Kunstmarkt am Rixdorfer Prater, Richardplatz 6
Trödelmarkt Kopenhagener Str.
Trödelmarkt Wilhelmsruher Damm
Trödelmarkt Nordmeile, Oraniendamm 6
Familienflohmarkt in Tegel-Süd, Emstaler Platz
Flohmarkt U-Bahn Siemensdamm
Hallentrödelmarkt am Juliusturm