Sundays? Sorted! – Mauerpark

12 Dec

Sundays? Sorted!

In recent years, as more and more of us feel the need to get away from the monotony of everyday life as often as we possibly can, and since the advent of low cost airlines has brought, to the lion’s share of us at least, the ability to travel further afield than we may have done in the past, we have witnessed the rise of the “City Break”.  The practice of whisking yourself and your friends/loved ones off to somewhere new and interesting for the weekend is by no means new, it is however, no longer the reserve of the well to do few, it is enjoyed by more and more of us year on year.

There are many cities that you may choose as a destination for a long weekend, Prague, Vienna, Paris even, but may I make a suggestion? If I were you, I would definitely try Berlin first. Not only does it have a hugely significant role in the turbulent history of Europe, fabulous architecture, countless museums and art galleries, and breath-taking scenery, but also, a wealth of cool bars, great restaurants, a vibrant, happening night life and club scene and bags of atmosphere ta boot.

Now, all of us know that one of the main hazards we encounter on a weekend break in a city is, how to spend a Sunday? Often the final day of a trip and more often than not, entered into with, shall we say, a slightly fragile disposition, it’s invariably a difficult day to fill satisfactorily, especially when travelling with a group, be they family or friends. Well, worry not, Berlin has the answer to this particular problem too.

Upon finding yourself in Berlin on a Sunday with little inclination as to what to do, you can do nothing better than head to one of the flea markets (Flohmarkt). The biggest of these is in the Tiergarten, however, they can be found all over the city so there is bound to be one in close proximity to where you are staying, simply ask around. One of the best is situated beside Mauerpark (so called because it is right on the border where the Berlin Wall was erected) in the Prenzlauer Berg district. The market itself is huge and encompasses all manner of products, many local businesses are represented, as well as plenty of independent stalls and it’s possible to purchase anything from bespoke lampshades to designer T-shirts to used furniture and, most importantly for me, tons of vinyl

The atmosphere is friendly and bustling, with many people, Berliners and tourists alike, enjoying a “Sunday Social”. As with everywhere in Berlin, there is plenty of food and drink on offer, with at least four different beer gardens and bars, some with live music or DJs. There are  grills serving Bratwurst, steaks and fish, as well as numerous stalls selling everything from pancakes to Turkish Pizza, and like most places in Berlin, all at a very reasonable price.

Directly beside the market is the Mauerpark itself and if you don’t fancy wandering round the market stalls, it’s worth grabbing a beer and going for a stroll round there instead/as well. Unlike some other cities I know of, Berliners use their Sundays to get out and socialise, so, you will find the park busy, even in winter, with lots of different people enjoying various different activities with their friends. Some of the things I’ve witnessed in the Mauerpark on a Sunday have included;  a brass band playing 80s TV theme tunes, amateur tightrope walkers practicing between the trees, an electric violinist, an outdoor public karaoke event with an audience of hundreds, a rock band, and, what looked like Morris Dancers, to name but a few. On top of all this revelry of course, there are plenty of people out with their kids or just sitting around picnicking with friends, making the most of their day.

The relaxed vibe makes the whole flea market experience thoroughly enjoyable. The market at Mauerpark is so big and has so many different things going on, attracting so many different kinds of people, both in the market itself and in the park next door, that you are bound to enjoy yourself no matter what kind of mood you are in. It is the perfect way to spend the final day of a city break or any other Sunday in Berlin, and an easy way to pick up any last minute presents, either for friends, or for yourself.

Mauerpark, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin


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