Berlin is blessed with some top-notch market halls and markets and one of my all-time favourites is the Turkish Market on Maybachufer in Neukölln. Come rain or shine, a cast of characters as colourful as their stock set up their stalls and hawk their wares on the road running alongside the Landwehrkanal on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The market here is a real hotchpotch: it is most well-known for the fruit and veg sellers and fabrics sold by the metre but it doesn’t restrict itself to fresh produce and haberdashery supplies. You will also find everything from after shave and perfume to candy floss and sweets. There is a stall here that has the most bizarre mixture of products: camping stoves, bike locks and ping pong bats rub shoulders with plugs, phone chargers and cables galore. At another stand you can even get those tiny mirrors with a long handle that dentists use to check your teeth.
There is generally more variety in the stalls on the canal side of the street.
The Turkish Market is open from 11:00 to 18:30 but the best time to go will depend on your priorities – the best and freshest produce will be snapped up by the early birds but late comers can pick up some real bargains as traders look to reduce the load they have to pack up and cart away.
The market is loved by locals and tourists alike so is always busy, especially on hot summer days so it’s not easy to navigate a path between the people, pushchairs, bikes and granny trolleys (Hackenporsche). If it all gets a bit too much, you can take a break and grab a bite to eat. As with all markets these days there are also stands selling street food: there’s Gözleme, Börek, Dürüm and many other Turkish specialities. If you can’t decide what to go for, visit the ladies from Mamas Food Manufaktur, you can’t go far wrong with anything they serve. You will often find musicians performing on the platforms jutting out over the canal so you can enjoy some entertainment while you eat.
When you reach the end of the market, don’t turn around. I recommend you walk a few more steps and visit the guy who sells parrots made from folded maps that hang from the trees just a little further along on the canal side.
The Turkish market on Maybachufer is the perfect place to soak in the sights and sounds of a genuine Berlin experience. Of course it is now popular with tourists but this is a market where locals to go to buy their fresh produce and textiles. This one of my happy places. Despite the crowds a stroll through the market is always an uplifting experience – there’s something about so much colour and the smells and sounds that fill the senses and lifts my spirits. Go there. Feel alive.