One of Berlin’s best kept secrets is its street markets. Throughout the week, across the city there are a wide range of food, flea and antique markets that really give you the best taste of local life so we’ve put together a brief selection of some of the city’s best markets for you to explore.
Winterfeldplatz, Schöneberg (Wednesdays and Saturdays)
This market is reasonably local to the hotel – just 2 kilometres walk away in Schöneberg. The Winterfeldplatz market is held twice a week and regional farmers from all over the state travel into Schöneberg with freshly picked and packed goodies. This is not really a tourist destination so you can enjoy a relaxed local vibe as families do their shopping and eat breakfast or lunch in one of the nice cafes around the square. This is gourmet farmers market shopping at its very best. Vendors dish out handmade ice cream, tubs of marinated olives, jars of mustards and jams and rose and saffron cream cheeses. Of course the fun is not only in looking but eating too. Paper-thin crêpes, slabs of bread oozing with grilled raclette cheese, and fresh Russian blinis are devoured as the spicy fragrance of falafel and currywurst fills the air. Many come to the market just to eat the freshly grilled mackerel for breakfast, and with a full belly can have a relaxing stroll through the far end of the market. There are a few craft stalls to be found, some clothes, and jewelry, along with fresh bunches of flowers and plants. Situated amongst the antique shops and cafes of Schöneberg, the Winterfeld Platz market is definitely the place to be. The market is at Winterfeld Platz in Schöneberg Wednesday from 8 till 2 and Saturdays from 8 till 4. Walk or take the U1 to Nollendorfplatz.
Boxhagener Platz, Friedrichshain (weekends)
The Boxhagener Platz market is one of the most well-known and beloved markets of Berlin. Set in the middle of the East Berlin neighbourhood of Freidrichshain, it sits by a children’s playground and is bordered by bars, boutiques, and cafes. It’s easily accessible by tram, train, bus, bike, car and foot. Boxhagener Platz hosts a farmers market on Saturday mornings that is mainly food focused, with a simple selection of seasonal fruit and vegetables, such as king oyster mushrooms, wild garlic and giant tomatoes, fresh raspberries and apples in season and some regional cheeses, fresh water fish, sausages and smoked meats. There are a few Turkish food stalls for snacks plus homemade sweets and pestos, and all can be enjoyed as you stroll around enjoying a cup of the Berlin market staple; fresh orange or pomegranate juice squeezed by hand.The Sunday market is the big draw card with an eclectic mix of vinyl, second hand clothing, household goods, books, and vintage curiosities. There is also a small selection of handmade goods and some food, and bargaining is encouraged for those special flea market finds. This is a very popular spot for all day brunch as Berlin’s clubbers replenish their energy before heading home, and locals surface from Sunday slumber to stroll the market then relax in a café on the square. The market is at Boxhagener Platz market in Friedrichshain, Saturdays from 8 till 1 and Sundays from 10 till 6. Take the train to U-Bahn Warschauer Strasse, Frankfurter Tor, or Samariterstrasse
Hackescher Markt, Mitte (Thursdays and Saturdays)
Situated in the heart of Mitte in the bustling hub that is Hackescher Markt, this bi-weekly market is good to pick up a few bits and pieces for lunch or dinner, but not really the place to do your weekly shopping. The Thursday market is much bigger and busier than Saturday’s offering, but both have enough of a selection for you to find some bargains. There is good shopping in the Hackescher Markt area and a reasonable flow of tourists and city workers through the crowd so this sets the tone somewhat for the market. There is clothing for sale, both new and secondhand, as well as leather goods, and handbags, jewelry, watches, arts and crafts, sculpture, photography, t-shirts, and even kids toys. The food selection is not huge but you will find a good variety of common street food here including the famous Berliner currywurst and bratwurst, and the Turkish favourite; steamy parcels of spinach and cheese in the form of gözleme. Plus falafels, baked potatoes, and freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. The produce available is somewhat limited but there is usually a good selection of wild and cultivated berries on hand, a spice stall and small scale growers selling heritage style vegetables such as interesting carrots and unique varieties of potatoes. It’s Asparagus season right now so you’ll see plenty of fresh fat white asparagus on sale. For value added products you can’t go past the handmade breads and sausages, and be sure to grab some fresh warm Turkish bread and a selection of dips for a lunchtime picnic by the Spree. Finish it off with some home baked cakes and Arabic sweets and enjoy the live music on offer. The market is at Oranienburger Strasse/Hackescher market in Mitte, Thursdays from 9 till 6 and Saturdays from 10 till 6. Take the train to Alexanderplatz then walk by following the train bridge, or to Hackescher Markt or Weinmeisterstrasse stations.
Maybachufer Turkish Market, Kreuzberg/Neukölln (Tuesdays and Fridays)
The Turkish market at Maybachufer in Neukölln is Berlin’s biggest outdoor market and is mostly frequented by locals but more recently tourists as well. Held twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays it is a little piece of Istanbul on the banks of the canals in Berlin. The vast selection of Turkish specialties for sale is because the largest Turkish population outside of Turkey can be found in Berlin. The freshness and abundance of fruit and vegetables here cannot be matched and the prices are some of the best in Berlin. The smells of Turkey fill the air as juicy bunches of mint and grapes change hands, and succulent red tomatoes and avocados are bought by the box. There are pomegranates and figs, dates and almonds, cherries and watermelons and cucumbers and peppers of every colour. Dense doorstops of German bread compete with warm fluffy rounds of fragrant sesame sprinkled Turkish breads, while German organic artisanal food stalls sit side by side with bountiful olives, spices and cheeses from the Mediterranean. The market has developed more in recent years so prepared food stalls and live music were thrown into the mix. Patrons can snack on freshly boiled corn cobs, crispy gözleme and oriental sweets, and wash it all down with fruit smoothies and coffees and of course the ubiquitous pomegranate juice. Food is definitely the star attraction here but it’s also a great market to buy fresh flowers, fabric and sewing supplies, and everything from books, clothing, and games to electronics, jewelry and sparkly shoes. There is also a not so Turkish market on Saturdays in the same location with delightful locally made art, craft, fashion and gourmet food products. The market is at Maybachufer in Kreuzberg/Neukölln on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 till 6.30pm. Take the train to Kottbusser Tor and walk to the canal or Schönleinstrasse station.
The Mauerpark flea market is without question Berlin’s biggest and best-loved flea market. Held every Sunday, it is overcrowded and noisy and bursting with stuff to buy. It’s definitely an assault on the senses but by far the best place to find the most unique flea market bargains in Berlin.There’s a lot of vinyl, plenty of bric-á-brac and vintage cameras galore. You can buy kitchenware, military collectables, swap cards, telephones from every era and bikes, bikes and more bikes. The lucky few can score some quality antiques, and there is also plenty of DDR style furniture and home wares for those bitten by the ‘Ostalgie’ bug. The market also hosts a number of clothing vendors, selling both new and secondhand clothes and there is a good selection of hand made items and cool t-shirts. Plus photographs, postcards, record players, books and jigsaw puzzles. There’s a trinket to be found for everyone! The market is held next to the Mauerpark, parkland developed from land that previously held the Berlin wall and death strip. This parkland is filled with people on market days, many attending the now famous Bearpit Karaoke, or strolling to watch the dozens of buskers, jugglers and other street performers. Of course where there are people there’s food and Mauerpark market has a decent selection to feed the hungry masses. There’s a beer garden on site selling the usual German fare of bratwurst and flammkuchen, plus the essential selection of Turkish favorites such as gözleme, falafel and haloumi burgers. Along with crepes, waffles, and sushi, plus coffees, beers and Bio drinks galore. There is something for everyone, whatever time Sunday you arrive. The market is at Mauerpark in Prenzlauer Berg on Sundays from 10 till 6. Walk or take the U1 to Nollendorfplatz. Take the train to Eberswalde Strasse or Bernauer Strasse