In recent years, fast fashion has come under fire for a number of reasons, pushing many consumers towards second-hand shopping as a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to the high street.
Germany offers many great second-hand stores for clothes, books and antiques. For an even better deal, some of the nation’s top bargain hunters head to their local flea market to hunt for some pre-loved treasures. Here are some of the best flea markets the country has to offer!
1. Marheinekeplatz Flea Market, Berlin
As the capital of uniqueness, it’s no surprise that Berlin’s flea markets often feature great items for sale. The Marheinekeplatz flea market, located on Bergmannstraße in the heart of the colorful Kreuzberg district, is no exception.
The Marheinekeplatz flea market offers items such as books, records and antiques, as well as jewelery and children’s toys. It is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2. Flohmarkt auf der Bremer Bürgerweide, Bremen
During the summer season, this large flea market is located on the Bürgerweide in Bremen. It has been one of Germany’s most popular flea markets for three decades. On busy days, the market has over 30,000 visitors and operates between 4 a.m. and 2 p.m. Shoppers can find many ancient treasures in this market, especially porcelain and ceramic items such as rare porcelain, as well as other more valuable antiques.
Trading is not allowed at this flea market, but for those looking to sell used items, registration is not required. However, the market has strict rules on what can be sold here, and vendors are required to bring their own table and clean up properly after the event.
3. Flohschanze Flea and Antique Market, Hamburg
For those in Hamburg, the Flohschanze flea and antique market offers shoppers genuine quality objects and antiques. Once a week, buyers and sellers meet between the disused cattle slaughterhouses located in Neuer Kamp 1 Straße, to buy and sell their precious goods.
Since the organizers of this flea market ensure that only antiques and art are sold, you are unlikely to find cheap second-hand goods, but the wide variety of vintage items makes this market one of the best places to find rare antiques in Hamburg. The Flohschanze flea and antique market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4. Flohmarkt am Schaumainkai, Frankfurt
Every Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (excluding German public holidays), bargain hunters in Frankfurt can find some of the best antiques and second-hand items the city has to offer. With over 12,000 different dealers choosing to sell items here every year, you’re sure to find something to suit your personal aesthetic.
The market itself is fairly easy to get to using public transport, but for drivers it can be difficult to park nearby. Most people walk to the Schaumainkai and admire the view over the river.
5. Flohmarkt an der Galopprennbahn, Cologne
For a truly unique experience, this Cologne flea market takes place on a racecourse every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the flea market is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., while on Saturdays you get an extra hour of shopping until 2 p.m.
Once a month there is also a Sunday flea market, which is a bigger event, often with live music and a small beer garden, where you can enjoy a nice glass of cold German beer – perfect when it’s hot in the summer!
6. Arkonaplatz Flea Market, Berlin
This Berlin-based flea market is a real treat. As one of the most historic flea markets in the country, Arkonaplatz Flea Market has a cozy atmosphere, selling everything from clothes to jewelry, as well as records and books.
The flea market on Arkonaplatz takes place every Sunday from 10am to 4pm and is located a few minutes walk from the famous Mauerpark flea market, if you want to do some extra shopping!
7. Flohmarkt im Olympiapark, Munich
The Flohmarkt im Olympiapark is another flea market that operates more than one day a week. Located in Munich’s Olympiapark, this market takes place on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The flea market is organized by the Bavarian Red Cross, which provides food and toilet facilities on site so visitors can comfortably browse the stalls. For vendors, the only rules are that only goods “that are common in a household or have accumulated in the home over time” can be offered and that vendors must bring their own tables.
8. Kranoldplatz Flea Market, Berlin
Every second Saturday at Neukölln’s Kranoldplatz, this flea market offers vintage items for every bargain-hunter’s taste. From handmade jewelry to art, there are plenty of beautiful antique treasures for sale in the neighborhood.
This market is relatively seasonal and therefore only takes place between the end of April and October each year. As with the Flohmarkt im Olympiapark, there is also food and drink available to visitors and there is often live music too.
9. Münchner Flohmarkt auf der Theresienwiese, Munich
Probably the biggest flea market in all of Germany, the Münchner Flohmarkt auf der Theresienwiese is certainly the most famous. For 30 years, this market has taken place once a year in April. The Bavarian Red Cross organizes this flea market, a large part of the profits goes to the financing of events and charitable programs of the Red Cross.
Usually over 2,000 sellers offer their products for sale here with thousands of visitors arriving to find the best bargains. It’s easy to get lost among the thousands of stalls, but for those in the know, this market is a real paradise.
10. Flohmarkt Karlsplatz, Stuttgart
The Flohmarkt Karlsplatz has been in business for over 30 years and is home to over 120 different dealers. The market takes place on Saturdays and offers both a combination of second-hand household items as well as more valuable antique pieces.
The city also hosts a range of different markets in Stuttgart throughout the seasons. In spring and autumn, there are two large flea markets in the center of Stuttgart, spread over 3,000 square meters, as well as nine large farmers’ markets, offering a real variety of shopping experiences!
11. Feinkost Flohmarkt, Leipzig
On the first Sunday of every month between March and November, the Feinkost Flohmarkt in Leipzig is one of the liveliest spots in the region. There is a huge range of different stalls at this outdoor market, with around 30 more stalls covered in case of rain.
The Feinkost Flohmarkt offers a great alternative to fast fashion, as several vendors specialize in reselling vintage clothing. Along with great fashion choices, there are also furniture and antique stalls as well as food.
12. Antiques and Book Market at the Bode Museum, Berlin
For another great Berlin-based flea market, there’s the Bode Museum Antiques and Book Market, perfect for a leisurely weekend stroll. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., this flea market offers books, vinyl records, CDs, furniture, and beautiful handmade pieces.
There are around 60 vendors in this flea market and since the quality of the items offered here is a bit higher than the average Berlin flea market, it is also a bit more expensive. Despite this, the market remains a very popular choice, thanks in large part to its relaxed atmosphere. You’ll find plenty of wonderful local craftsmen who are happy to tell you about their work and antique dealers who are happy to take part in long conversations about the best pieces they have to offer.
Tips for Visiting Flea Markets in Germany
So now that you know where to find the best deals in Germany, it’s time to plan your trip! Be sure to check the latest opening hours for each market, as plans can change quickly, especially in bad weather.
It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the idea of haggling over the price of things before you go – especially in larger markets, there could be a chance someone will try to outbid you. It’s a good idea to set a price limit in your mind for each item so you don’t get caught up in a bidding war and go home regretting how much you spent (we’ve all been there!) .
Remember to pack plenty of cash, especially smaller tickets so you can haggle the price using exact amounts if you wish! After that, it’s finally time to shop till you drop – happy saving!