At the end of August, before the weather started to turn cooler, we had a visit from Stefan’s parents and we decided to gather ourselves up and go check out the renowned Berliner Trödelmarkt at the Tiergarten. A Trödelmarkt is basically just a flea market but this one is not your typical carry-my-box-of-junk-down-to-the-market-and-try-to-sell-it gig. This is more like a casual yet professional venue to sell your wares, whether they are old, new but look old, or somewhere in between.

You can find just about anything you want that is old or old looking. We saw all sorts of things out on the tables like random plates, glassware, silverware, jewelry, lamps, candlesticks, records, books, paintings and other art, random household knick knacks and other decorations. For the most part it’s smaller stuff that you can carry in your hands and not so many things like pieces of furniture that you’d need a car to transport.

There were also businesses there selling beautiful fur coats and some really nice watches like Cartier and Rolex — but you do want to be cautious with anything that you can’t identify yourself as the real deal because you really just don’t know. And with a price tag of €900 for a woman’s Cartier watch, you want some sort of assurance that you’re not being taken for a ride!

The market reminds me quite a bit of the one we visited in Zurich years ago, which is right next to the Züricher See, which is also just booth after booth of random things. There were lots of older things, some really valuable and some probably only worth something because of currant demand. And while there weren’t many bargains to be seen IMO (and few of the vendors actually seemed to want to haggle with us although we tried), I did manage to pick up a a few cheap bracelets and some hoop earrings to go through my tunnels — all for just a few Euros.

Did I mention it was really packed? Since it was a really nice, warm day, it was definitely to be expected. I’m not sure if one would be able to bargain better on a colder day when there are (probably) less visitors to the market but I would guess that at least half (if not more) of the people browsing the market were tourists. And so that might also contribute to the antique store pricing model that they have going on here.

I was actually kind of surprised by the number of professional stands at the market but I guess I shouldn’t have been…there are so few places that are just casual markets anymore. And this place is listed in all sorts of guide books and getting lots of attention, so it makes sense that a lot of the vendors are trying to make some serious money out there.

To be honest, we found quite a few things for sale there that we had just laying around at the farm like old kitchen gadgets and farm tools. Perhaps we should have packed up everything from the farm and brought it to sell there. We probably would have made a killing but you also have to think about the time investment you put in to sitting out there all day.

I do think we’ll probably visit there again some time to see what’s going on. There was a wildly impressive collection of old door knobs that I just would love to put in our apartment — but I’m sure I won’t be too thrilled with the price tags. I think every place deserves a second chance before totally ruling it out as a waste and this place is definitely interesting to browse through. But just be sure to bring a lot of cash if you intend to buy anything and expect to hear them throw our prices like you’d find shopping in regular stores, not eBay!

Where: Straße des 17. Juni (at the Western-most edge of the Tiergarten)
Public transport: U2 to Ernst Reuter Platz then walk about 10 minutes or S-Bahn to Berlin-Tiergarten and walk a couple minutes
When: Every Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 – 17:00pm

Look for these gates (the Charlottenburger Tor) with the big figures of Sophie Charlotte and Friedrich the First and you’ll know you’re in the right place!


Just across the street is also a great place to stop for a quick lunch or even just a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. Captain Schillow has been around for many years and the entire restaurant is on a boat. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, with food including a range of Berlin favorites.

The ambiance is rather nice and it’s right on the water and you can even rent the whole boat for parties (with or without cruising). Thanks to the awnings and umbrellas up above, there’s usually plenty of shade even on the warmer days.

We tried several of their cakes while there last time and all were delicious. If you’re in the area and ready to eat, it’s a great alternative with some local flavor since there aren’t so restaurants to choose from in the area.