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City trips in Germany – Berlin
October 2011

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A nice day for a walk in Berlin's Mauerpark Bookmark and Share

Almost everytime I go to Berlin, I find myself wandering around the flea market of Mauerpark, the Wall Park.
I discovered this place in 2009, when I stopped in Berlin for a couple of days back from my trip to Tajikistan.
Most pictures on this page are from 2011, but the ones with snow are from 2009.

Performers at the Mauerpark Amphitheater in Berlin

Mauerpark is located in the neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg. It's very easy to get there: the u-Bahn station Eberswalder Straße is just 500 meters away. The tramway stop Wolliner Straße is even closer.

The park is very large, and adjacent to the football stadium Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.
There are several amenities for children, but also for adults, including an amphitheater and other stages where theater, dance and musical performances can be held.

The Berlin Wall and with snow and graffiti

The Mauerpark is located in what used to be Berlin’s North Station, or Nordbahnhof, of the 19th Century.

Today's Nordbahnhof is the old Stettiner Bahnhof. The old Nordbahnhof was then renamed Güterbahnhof Eberswalder Straße and was used for freight until 1961, when the wall was built.

The station was demolished in 1962, creating a “Death Strip” (Todesstreifen) with a wall on either side.
It’s hard to imagine this when wandering nowadays through the park…

Painting graffiti on the Berlin Wall, Mauerpark

A section of the former Berlin wall is preserved in the upskirts of the park.
Grafitti are regularly changed, it's not like the East Side Gallery where most of the paintings on the wall are fixed protected.

The wall stands on the former division between the neigbourhoods of Prenzlauer Berg in the East and Gesundbrunnen (which was part of Wedding) in the West.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the former Death Strip was made accessible to everyone was turned into a commemorative park.

However, building it wasn’t easy because of different ownerships of the western and eastern parts. The space is still kind of divided: the Eastern half is the park itself, while the flea market is located in the western half.

Finding good deals in the flea market of Mauer Park

The best day to visit Mauer Park is certainly on sunday, when a huge flea market takes place.
It's very organized, cheap, and safe. Most important, you can find anything you might be looking for!

There are many second-hand clothes, most of them in good condition and at very good prices. This is not surprising, as second-hand or charity shops are very common in Germany.

Prices are often cheaper than in other well-known flea markets like Camden Town in London or Clignancourt / Saint Ouen in Paris.

Children playin in the snow near the wall, Mauer Park

I visited Mauerpark in december 2010, during the coldest winter I've ever lived. It was freezing all over Europe, many airports and roads were closed and it was a total mess.

There was a guy in Mauerpark selling what he called "Siberia's best kept secret for the cold days".
Those were ugly boots made from cotton and plastic, that can keep you warm and dry. He sold a lot of pairs so I guess the system worked.
I've never spent a winter in Siberia so I don't know if these boots really come from there, but anyway his slogan worked.

Vintage stuff at Mauerpark flea Market, Berlin

For the DDR nostalgics, there is a section with furnitures, including tables, seats and sofas, mostly dating from when there was an East Germany.

This vintage furnitures can be found in some vintage restaurants or hotels. A great example is the Ostel in Berlin, a hotel/hostel where time stands still, recreating the atmosphere of the hotels in the former DDR.
A way to keep alive what some like to call "Ostalgie", nostalgia from the East.

The happy bus of the Hippie 1960 days

There are also street artists, selling self-made crafts, bags, necklaces and rings.
Some works are very original, including pieces of Lego or useless electronic devices.

Sometimes there's also a travelling lady that got stuck in the 1960's, joyfully smiling over her coloured bus.

Her bus is really nice. Don't forget to give a tip when taking photos. She'll gently make sure you won't.

Vinyls and records at the flea market in Mauer Park

When I visit Mauer Park, I spend some time hunting for CDs and vinyls. Of course, you can find all music styles, even old East-German hits.

Some vendors have good Hard Rock and Metal stuff at very reasonable prices.
It's not the best place to get rare records from my favourite music style, but still I've found some very good deals.

Guitars at the flea market of Mauer Park

As a photography lover, I was happy to find some vintage cameras, but sadly too expensive for me.
Last time, I even found a controversial Leica with a Swastica. See a picture here by flickr user mStreetPhoto.

During World War II, Leica produced cameras for the Wehrmacht, not because of their convinctions, but because they had no choice.
The Leitz family, owners of the Leica brand, actually helped many jews and persecuted people to get out of the Reich with the Leica Train Of Freedom. Click here for a video about it.

Rob Longstaff performing at Berlin's Mauerpark

Many photographers sell prints of their work at Mauer Park, mostly impressions from Berlin.

There's some pretty good stuff. I really think that Berlin is a photogenic city.
That doesn't mean that all buildings are beautiful, because that's not the case.
But every part of Berlin has something inspiring, and artists showcase this in their work.

Finally, there are all kinds of food so you won't starve at Mauer Park. If you've had enough of currywurst and Kebaps, there are salads with fresh bio-labelled produces and vegan meals.

You can unwind at the Mauerpark Beach, a place with long seats on the sandy floor, where live music performances are held. Last time I visited, a guy named Rob Longstaff was playing folk, rock and pop songs on his acoustic guitar. Visit here his facebook page.

And if you feel like it's about time to start a party, two Biergarten are waiting just around the corner.

A tramway painting on the wall, Mauerpark, Berlin

If you have some time in Berlin, it really pays to visit Mauer Park.
Don't miss the sunday Flea Market, and the relaxed atmosphere only a few metres from the Wall.

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Playing basketball in Berlin's Mauerpark, Germany

Germany Links:

Berlin on Trip Advisor
Germany on Trip Advisor
Mauerpark official site
Germany Official Tourism board
Lonely Planet Germany guides
Compare flights to Berlin

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