If you have been to Berlin before and have seen all the must-see attractions or simply tired of the tourist track, why not check out many of its local scenes? If you happen to be in Berlin on a weekend, I suggest that you head to Mauerpark, where a lot of Berliners flock on Sundays.
Located in a gentrified neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, Mauerpark (German for “wall park”) used to be a “death strip” before the fall of Berlin Wall. “Death strip” was an area behind the East German side of the wall that was a gauntlet of floodlights, vicious dogs, soft sands (to show footprints), trip-wire machine guns and patrolling soldiers with orders to shoot escapees on sight.
Death strip no more, Mauerpark is now a very lively zone that has become a popular place of recreation for Berliners. On Sundays, the park is a bustling tapestry of flea market, food stalls, artistic venue, outdoor karaoke and where people gather for picnic and games. Quietly looming above it all is a surviving section of the Berlin Wall.
I spent a good part of a day in Mauerpark when I was in Berlin last July when I stopped by for few days on my way to my week-long silent retreat in the Bavaria. (My first solo trip since I met Keith.) I had a delightful time watching Berliners go about their day at the park and spending my Sunday in Berlin like a local.
Groups of friends gathered on the expansive lawn for picnic.
At the heart of the Sunday at Mauerpark is the flea market.
Dubbed as one of the best flea markets in Berlin, it features many stalls selling wide array of items like local designer t-shirts, vintage vinyls, trinkets, furniture, fashion accessories, etc. For tourists, there were some good souvenirs to be had.
It was a nice taste of a slice of local life in Berlin. Learning the dark history of Mauerpark and witnessing its transformation into a lively zone made the experience very rewarding.
- Mauerpark is easily accessible by public transportation.
- There are a lot of cafes on the streets the lead to the park where you can stop by for breakfast before heading to the park.
- It’s pleasant to walk on the streets around the park and admire the lovely facades of restored townhouses from 19th century.
- If you want to learn more about Berlin Wall history, you may want to visit the nearby Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial). It is a 1.4 km long interactive memorial that vividly documents the life with the Berlin Wall.
Linking to Weekend Travel Inspiration.