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Few things are more exciting than digging for treasures from times gone by at European flea markets. From mid-century vases to old photo albums, antique pill boxes to vintage sunglasses, you never know what you might find. Each treasure holds a story, so as I inspect each artifact, I imagine who has owned it and where it might have come from. It’s as though I’m holding a bit of someone else’s history.
While visiting Berlin recently, I had the opportunity to do a bit of flea market exploration and brought home some great finds. Here are some suggestions for those of you who like to “junk hunt” as much as I do.
Flohmarkt am Mauerpark
Established in 2004, this Prenzlauer Berg gem is full of vendors selling…well, stuff…both old and new. A great place to purchase bikes, hats, vintage dead stock sunglasses, old photo albums, and mid-century furniture to deck out your Berlin apartment. There are several verdant eating areas in the flohmarkt. I suggest pairing the Turkish sampler plate (heaping with fresh veggies, herbed potatoes, lamb and onions) with a cup of gluhwein (spiced wine with rum). The market is located near to the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Stadion M10 tram stop (formerly Oderberger Straße) and is a short walk from the U2’s Eberswalder Straße (Station). Note that the market is located next to the Mauerpark, not in it.
This is the place to go if you’re looking for books, dishes, glassware, furniture or home accessories….at very low prices. Come ready to bargain. Unlike Berlin’s other flea markets, the Euroflohmarkt is open daily (9am – 6pm; Wed. 3pm – 6pm). Located in Pankow. Nearest U-Bahn station: Vinetastraße (U2); Tram: M1, M13 (Bornholmer Straße / Schönhauser Allee). Look out for the Shell petrol station.
Straße des 17. Juni Flohmarkt
Straße des 17. Juni Flohmarkt (originally Berliner Trödelmarkt Kunst- und Kunsthandwerkermarkt) is Berlin’s biggest and most famous market. The flohmarkt is divided into two sections; one half specializes more in art, handicrafts and antiques, and the section closest to Tiergarten Station is home to more classic flea market goods (antiques, vintage items etc.). Be forewarned, since this flohmarkt tends to attract more tourists (who are less apt at bargaining), prices tend to be a bit inflated. Opening hours: Sat. – Sun. 11am – 7pm. The closest U-bahn stop is Tiergarten.
Flohmarkt am Arkonaplatz
Located in Mitte, the Flea Market Arkonaplatz is the place to go for vintage goods from the 50s, 60s and 70s. You can also find clothing, mod home accessories and funky furniture. A popular market for 20 and 30-something Berliners. Arkonaplatz itself is a lovely square with a plethora of chestnut trees and charming older buildings. When you finish shopping, enjoy a drink at one of the nearby cafes. Opening hours: Sun. 10am – 5pm; in winter until 4pm. The closest U-bahn stop is Bernauer Strasse.
Written By Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for EuropeUpClose.com