Be sure to visit Mauerpark on your next vacation in Berlin.
The iconic actress and singer Marlene Dietrich once said: “Ich hab' noch einen Koffer in Berlin” which literally means “I still have a suitcase in Berlin.” This most famous German actress had become an American citizen in 1939 but the bustling and gritty city of Berlin still pulled her in; and she is not the only one to feel so strongly about the city.
Berlin has been a haven for artists for decades and many have chosen to make the inspirational city their permanent home; or simply long enough to please their muse. Famously, Nick Cave, David Bowie, Iggy Pop and the members of U2 all lived in Berlin and created iconic music during their stay. Then of course, David Hasselhoff, the actor best known for Baywatch, but he sang about freedom and danced in a leather jacket with glistening light bulbs on the remains of the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve in 1989 – clearly he was touched by the city as well.
Great venue for artists
Nowadays, artists hail from all corners of the world to live in this city and signs of art can be found all over Berlin. When you visit Berlin you´ll find a series of galleries, cinemas, and theaters in each district and more often cafés, restaurants, walls and lampposts serve as platforms for artistic outlet as well.
Parks are no exception to be a great venue for artists and lovers of art. Mauerpark is probably the most popular park in Berlin. Every Sunday the weekly flea market draws locals and tourists who scavenger hunt for hidden gems and treasures. The flea market has plenty of old DDR memorabilia on display for nostalgic or chic buyers as well as new and old clothes, records and furniture and whatever strikes their fancy.
Fancy flea market
The seasons have no effect on the popularity of the flea market; hot summer days or frosty winter days – Mauerpark always attracts the crowd. Why? The combination of the relaxed ambience, the nostalgic echo of former times captured in the old memorabilia sold in the market, the lingering aromas of delicious food that hovers in the air – all part of the Mauerpark flea market experience.
Fill the park with sound
After a stroll through the flea market there is the option of lying in the park and listening to people make a bargain on an old LOMO camera or some vintage posters. Or drink a nice cup of coffee or German beer while listening to musicians playing their music in the park. Then, if you are lucky and the weather is nice, there is the weekly karaoke. Irish street musician Joe Hatchiban started bringing his karaoke equipment to Mauerpark in 2009 and thereby launched a trend among the locals. Anyone can sing their heart out and hear their voice fill the Mauerpark – and make no bones about it, it is always a sight to see strangers from all corners of the world stand in front of the huge crowd and sing like there is no tomorrow. Anyone can get on the platform and make it his or her own. It's all a part of the lovely and relaxed experience of Berlin.
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by Inga Thorunn Waage
Photos: Thinkstock.com and ©Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH - www.visitberlin.de – Photographer: Günther Steffens