Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Around Town: To Market, To Market in Hamburg

Yesterday I visited the Isemarkt—the largest outdoor market in Europe. Aside from being an incredible kilometer-long festival of food and other wares, it was a reminder of the many different types of market experiences here in Hamburg.

I talked about my Christmas market outings back in December, and would list my favorites as Rathaus (large, lovely, traditional), Gerhardt-Hauptmann Platz (quaint, traditional), and St. Pauli (large, traditional mixed with highly untraditional).

There are several spots around the city where you’ll find a Saturday-morning flea market. The one near us is also open on Wednesday mornings, and is quite large with everything from food to furniture. And, of course, it’s where I got my bike!

The fish market in St. Pauli is infamous. It’s only open on Sunday mornings till 9:30 am (starts at 5 or 7 am depending on the time of year) and sits below the Reeperbahn (Hamburg’s equivalent of a red-light district).

It's not stall after stall of fishmongers like a traditional fish market. This one is a bit more commercial and a lot more diverse--you'll see locals shopping and intrepid tourists gawking at folks staggering down from a night of partying to continue partying, because in addition to the outdoor stalls and trucks there’s a hall with music, food, and, yes, beer. 

(See video for an idea of the size of the hall. Bottom level has a band at either end, some food, and several beer stalls. The second level has a cafe with a buffet breakfast.)

You really can buy almost anything here!

Isemarkt was what a lot of people think of when they think 
of European markets. Multiple vendors, fresh food and goods, 
people shopping with their baskets for 
the next few days before the market returns...

Continuing a centuries-old tradition of outdoor markets for shopping, Isemarkt is open Tuesday and Friday mornings, and features meats, cheeses, breads and pastries, flowers, spices, knife-sharpening, and more. There were food samples, a candy vendor that has been selling here for 60 years, and a vendor scraping meat off a hooved leg of unknown origin.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Um. How did I only find out about this blog now?? Looks like you're having a blast!

  3. Um. How did I only find out about this blog now?? Looks like you're having a blast!