It’s one of those Sundays in Berlin that promises to be lot of fun: The sun is shining, it’s nice and warm and so are the people – Monday is not yet on the horizon. In summer, the Mauerpark flea market opens its gates every Sunday and there is a flurry of activity in the former Berlin rail yard. On this day in front of the park on Bernauer Strasse, cars take second place to people, who crowd their way to the entrance on the other side. There is a breeze in the air, and the tantalising smells and sounds of the nearby flea market draw you in. If you climb up to the top of the range of hills on the east side of the park, you can get a good view of the impressive scope of the flea market. Once you descend into the maze of stalls, small workshops offering services such as bike repairs, and street food trucks, you feel like you’re in the hustle and bustle of a faraway place, one that you’d like to visit one day.
There is an enormous selection – a hodgepodge of traditional flea market wares such as grandmother’s porcelain, fine ashtray collections and old lithographs of butterflies and insects, combined with influences from the creative scene. There is practically everything the non-conformists of this city and the world could want: handcrafted wares, from batik clothing to jewellery, art and printed bags to toys and vintage objects – the craziest lampshades you’ve every seen, squeaky chairs that evoke the allure of 50s and 60s style, and the obligatory records and books.
The vendors look happy sitting and sweating it out in the sun. And with good reason, as the people keep filing in well into the late afternoon, checking out the wares and playfully haggling over prices at the stalls.
The great thing about this flea market is that, unlike a lot of the other Berlin flea markets, it is right next to a wide, open space. So if you need a break from the tumult or want to cool down, you can just go over and sit on the grass or attend the now legendary open karaoke session at the Mauerpark amphitheatre, a show that draws hundreds of spectators every time.
Grab a bite to eat from the grill and a cold drink for the ultimate flea market experience at Mauerpark!