Almost every Saturday and Sunday during the summer and whenever else the weather permits throughout the year, plenty of flea markets pop up in the larger cities, usually in front of town halls, at historical locations, gardens, and parks. At times, there are even night markets, with artistic performances, like live music and dance as side events. In smaller cities, a smaller number of flea markets take place throughout the course of the year. You can find information about all flea markets, their addresses and opening times through your council administration or city newspapers and magazines. You can also easily search the internet to find a flea market. For example, here you can enter the name of your city or postal code and find a flea market nearby.
How are they different from regular shops?
Some complain that household goods or clothing are expensive in Germany. But buying brand-new products is not the only option. In Germany, as in many other countries, there are bazaars ("markets") and online portals where you can buy or sell used goods cheaply. A market in which people can sell their goods privately and in person is called flea market (in German "Flohmarkt"). According to the German dictionary Duden, the origin of the word is unknown. French has the same expression, so it could be a direct translation.
More than just a bargain
These markets are not just bazaars, they have a long tradition. For many people, spending time at a flea market counts as a cultural activity. Some even visit flea markets as often as every week. There you can buy clothes, books, accessories, jewelry, household goods and other small items or decorative objects at a very low price. Flea markets are also a great alternative to throwing away unnecessary items and can ultimately help save the environment.
For some, it is almost a hobby to go to the flea market. Many enjoy walking around the stalls, eating snacks or grabbing a drink and searching for their favourite things. It can be pretty fun to buy, sell or exchange new and used items on weekly flea markets and similar online portals.
Where can I find a flea market?
Can I bargain at flea markets?
What else can I do at a flea market?
Online flea markets
If you are planning to furnish your apartment but - for any reason- do not want to spend too much money on it (e.g. If you receive financial assistance from the Social Welfare Office (“Sozialamt”) or Jobcenter to equip your home), shopping for furniture and household appliances through online flea markets would be a quite smart option. There are often also new and little-used items at an affordable price. On these portals, you can also find car rental offers and experts who can help you assemble your furniture and kitchen, all at reasonable prices.
Watch out if you are purchasing bicycles or electronic devices! If someone sells you a bike without a bill, there is no way to make sure it is not stolen. In the case of electronic devices, there is usually no possibility of prior testing and no redemption guarantee.