Winterfeldtplatz Market

Schöneberg’s charming Winterfeldtplatz is home to one of Berlin’s finest farmers’ markets…

Image by Paul Sullivan

On most days of the week Schöneberg’s Winterfeldtplatz— named after Prussian General Hans Karl von Winterfeldt, a close confidante of Frederick The Great—is a pleasant, leafy square, inhabited mostly by skaters, strolling locals and the occasional knot of tourists.

The majority of the square was destroyed in the war but still possesses a curious architectural mix, from the 60s-style social housing that runs along one side to distinctive landmarks like the red-brick St. Matthias church, one of the few free-standing Catholic churches in Berlin, and the residential house (and associated buildings) constructed by renowned local architect Hinrich Baller.

Every Saturday since 1990, the square has been taken over by market stalls. Initially just a few, but over the last three decades or so the number has swelled to more than 250, making it one of the largest and most diverse markets in Berlin.

Winterfeldtplatz in 1909

Open from around 7am, the market begins to really buzz around 10am, its aisles increasingly clogged with locals shopping for their weekly meat, fruit and veg, tourists browsing the clothes and food stalls, and hungry types in search of Frühstück and coffee.

One of the great things about Winterfeldtplatz is that it caters for a broad clientele. You can breakfast (or lunch) on currywurst and freshly-pressed orange juice; indulge in cheap and tasty crepes and gözleme; or enjoy grilled fish treats at the popular Stecklerfisch.

Looking for something more exotic? Make your way to the Brazilian Imbiss, which serves up hearty dishes like feijoada, ximxim de galinha and snacks like pão de queijo (cheese and bread balls).

Image by Paul Sullivan

Despite being best known for its abundance of plants and flowers, which you’ll find in abundance all over the market, there’s plenty more to taste as you stroll. Home-made Leberkäse, Oma Emma’s fantastic marmalades, La Praline’s Swedish chocolate, delis selling everything from fresh Italian pasta and yellow tomatoes from Campagna, salami and chorizo specialists…

The streets around the market are worth exploring too. Having made guest appearances in works by Walter Benjamin, Erich Kästner, Christopher Isherwood and others, today they are full of antique dealers, bookshops, whisky shops and cafes.

If you’re not struggling with heavy bags of goodies (unlikely) or if you manage a stroll before shopping, you can also explore some of the history in the area.

On Maassenstraße you’ll find plaques commemorating previous residents like Nobel Literature prize-winning poet and playwright Nelly Sachs (number twelve) and Wilhelm Furtwangler, widely considered to be one of the twentieth century’s finest symphonic and operatic conductors.

Image by Fridolin freudenfett, via Wikimedia. 

It’s family-friendly too. Kids can play at the Paradiesgärtchen playground next to Matthias Church is called as well as on the terrace of the wonderful Theater am Winterfeldtplatz, (Gleditschstraße 5), which has excellent puppet shows (mostly German with occasional English shows).

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