You can visit the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and Museum Island, but to find the heart of Berlin, you should stroll over one of its local flea markets.
Mingling with Berliners, soaking up the atmosphere, and hunting for some vintage treasures at a "Flohmarkt" make for a relaxed Sunday morning in Berlin.
Here’s where to find the best flea markets in Berlin, and remember: Come early for the best treasures.
It's not a flea market, it’s a happening. Tens of thousands of locals descend every Sunday on this sprawling flea market at the edge of Mauerpark, not far from where the Berlin Wall once stood. Berliners sell vintage clothes, books, toys, furniture, and household goods, right next to local designers who offer hand-printed T-Shirts with the Berlin TV Tower and jewelry. You'll find music, food stands, street artists - it’s chaotic, it’s crowded, it’s fun. If you need some quiet time after all that hustle and bustle, check out the Berlin Wall Memorial Site just down the street, with its superb Documentation Center (Bernauer Strasse).
Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm, Bernauer Straße 63-64, 13355 Berlin
Even if you don’t want to buy anything, it’s a treat to stroll through this neighborhood flea market, set under trees on the cobble-stoned Arkonaplatz; compared to other flea markets, this one is rather small and straightforward, and I like its relaxed and friendly atmosphere. If you love vintage designer items from the 60s and 70s, you’ll be in bargain heaven.
There are plenty of charming cafes and breakfast places around the corner as well as a generous playground.
Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm, Arkonaplatz 10435 Berlin
One of Berlin’s oldest flea markets, this is also one of the most popular markets and gets mentioned in most Berlin guide books – no wonder that prices here are higher than elsewhere. The market along Strasse des 17. Juni specializes in antiques, art and handicrafts; visitors love the high-quality selection of furniture, paintings, jewelry, and porcelain, but you can also find books, vinyl, clothes, and shoes. Plus, you can squeeze in some sightseeing; Berlin's Tiergarten, the city’s largest park, is just around the corner, and the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Columns are at the end of the street.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm, Straße des 17. Juni, 10623 Berlin
4. Treptow Indoor Flea Market
Not as picturesque as many other Berlin flea markets, this indoor market takes place in a huge warehouse; at first sight, there seems to be a lot of junk – mountains of remote controls, heaps of old tires - but if you have a little time and patience, you can score real treasures for absolute bargain prices. For a nice stroll afterwards, head down to the river Spree, and if you walk east, you can discover the extraordinary Soviet War Memorial, a monument with gigantic dimensions.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm, Eichenstrasse 4, 12435 Berlin
Started in 2010 on the banks of the river Spree, Neukölln’s Flow Market has quickly become one of Berlin’s hippest Sunday hangouts. The market attracts the neighborhood’s young and diverse crowd, who browses for second hand items, arts and crafts, and vintage clothes, while getting entertained by live musicians and DJs. In winter, there is a special Christmas Flea market.
Every first and third Sunday of the month, 10 am -6 pm, Maybach Ufer, 12045 Berlin
A jewel of a flea market – set around a small park in Friedrichshain, you can find great treasures here, whether it’s a nostalgic tea set, a leather bag from the GDR, or a unique watch. For an after-flea market treat, check out the surrounding streets, where you’ll find plenty of cute cafes and ethnic restaurants.
Sundays, 10 am – 6 pm, Gärtnerstraße 25 10245, Berlin