The St. Pauli Fish Market is the place to be at dawn on Sundays in Hamburg. It has been a critical commercial center for the city since 1703, and now has avery important social and tourist roles. Come to mingle with locals and buy fresh fish, fruit, flowers, clothing and household goods. Have an early breakfast and you may be joined by young revelers on their way home from a night out.
Start your day with coffee, a pastry and fruit or finish your night out, as many do, with a fish sandwich and a beer. Shop for fresh produce, flowers and plants, tea, candy and pasta, as well as clothes and antiques, while taking in the convivial atmosphere of the city’s oldest and most traditional open-air market.
Wake up pre-dawn to get the best buys and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Some of the fish has come straight off boats that come into the port. Colorful goods and produce are touted by enthusiastic market sellers. Up to 70,000 visitors crowd into the marketplace every Sunday.
Once you’re done shopping at the open-air market, head for the fish auction hall just next door. No fish is auctioned here now, but you’ll find free-flowing beer and live music. Try a famous big brunch of local delicacies, such as green herring, cured meats or oxtail stew. Expect drinking and dancing from other patrons, even first thing on a Sunday morning.
The outdoor market closes at midmorning, although the auction hall stays open until later. Get here by taking the urban rail to the Reeperbahn Station and walking down Pepermölenbek Street until you reach the market on the banks of the Elbe River. The market is free to enter. Come early for the best bargains, and bring cash, as many stalls don’t have ATM facilities.