Weekend in Berlin :: Day 2

After a good night’s sleep, we were ready to head out into the big city. It was a sunny, but cold, Sunday morning and within a short walk from our apartment on Ruppiner Strasse were two nice sized markets, both with playgrounds beside them. How could I refuse!?
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First stop was the trödelmarkt in Akronaplatz (10435 Berlin-Mitte; Opening hours: Sun. 10am – 5pm; in winter until 4pm).

This smallish market is nested in between a playground and big open green space in the middle of the neighborhood with several cafes. We arrived just after 10:00am and some vendors were still setting up. The market consisted of 50 or so stalls selling design pieces to include furniture from the ‘50s,‘60s and 70’s, vintage knick-knacks, retro fashion pieces and industrial items. After walking around a bit and contemplating a few purchases, a huge signage letter A or E was hard to pass up, I stopped into a little cafe for coffee and hot chocolate to go for the boys who were playing at the playground.
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We then made our way to the large flohmarkt at Mauerpark (Bernauer Straße 63 – 64, 10435 Berlin-Mitte; Opening hours: Sun. 8am – 6pm).

Mauerpark, or “Wall Park”, is located in what used to be the Death Strip (the empty area between the two parallel walls that actually made up the Berlin Wall) and is popular with Berliners and tourists alike. There are seemingly endless rows of overflowing stalls selling usual flea market treasures including furniture, secondhand clothing, books, electronics, bikes, dishes and toys. Bargaining is expected.

You will also find food stalls with locally-produced food, ethnic eats, and a beer garden. I was drawn by an amazing aroma to a stall where head-scarfed women prepared delicious looking Turkish specialties.

It is advised to go early if you don’t like crowds. We finished up just after 12:00 and it was starting to get packed.
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(Side note :: The difference between a trödelmarkt and a flohmarkt:: at trödelmarkts only used/old items are sold and at flohmarkts used/old items are sold and you may find some stalls selling new or handcrafted items.)

 
 
The walk from Mauerpark to the U-bahn (underground train) took us along a part of the former wall and the Berlin Wall Memorial. In fact, the neighborhood we stayed in was once divided by the the Berlin Wall and several of the successful escape tunnels are located close by. Read an interesting walking tour of the area here.

Markers in the pavement indicated the boundaries of the wall and gave memorial to those who successfully escaped “flücht” and those who were arrested “festnahme” trying to escape.

November 9, 2014 marked twenty five years since the Berlin Wall fell. Walking the area, viewing old photographs and reading the history displayed on markers left me with an impression one can only get by seeing it first hand. It is unimaginable what it must have been like to live on the East side of the wall, divided from family, friends, freedom and democracy.
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Public transport was very easy to navigate. We purchased day tickets on Sunday and Monday for Jay and I. The children rode for free. The U-Bahn at Brenauer Strasse was our ‘home base’ so to speak.  The boys enjoyed hopping on and off at the trains at different stops as we navigated the city.


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We spent our Sunday afternoon at the interactive Science Center Spectrum. The boys had a blast. I stuffed my camera in a locker with our coats, so no pictures here. I will say, the Science Center is a must when visiting Berlin with children.

From there we had a quick visit with friends, the Pflüger family, who now call Berlin home. We first met them at the International German School in Brussels where Alex attended early primary grades. It was nice to catch up with them and to see Alex interact with an old friend, Fynn.

We ended the day with a few scoops of the #1 ranked ice cream in Berlin at Caffe-e-gelato. We all agreed it was yummy! Another must while in Berlin with children (or without!).
 

Coming soon….the final day of our adventures in Berlin!
{Read about Day 1 again here — Weekend in Berlin :: Day 1}
 
 

xoxo,

Mel

4 thoughts on “Weekend in Berlin :: Day 2

  1. Mel- I love reading your descriptions of everything and seeing your photos–it’s like a travel guide magazine!! Love those flea markets!! Very informative and fun to see the kids enjoying and learning from this experience. Can’t wait for your next post!! Love Aunt Carol XO

    • YES….I could’ve spent the entire afternoon at the fleamarkets!! Sadly, no, I did not bring home a huge signage letter. It would’ve been a tight fit in the car. Maybe I will get lucky and find one locally! Much love to you and Epa, xoxo.

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