Twice a week, Hamburg’s Isestraße becomes Europe’s largest outdoor market: the Isemarkt. Set in a charming residential neighborhood with beautiful art nouveau buildings, this extraordinary gourmet farmers’ market spreads almost 1 km below the metro rails of the U3 (see HVV metro article) allowing for a magnificent experience regardless of the weather. Stroll down the center lane and discover what close to 200 vendors have on offer!
Immerse yourself in the various sensory pleasures – when I first encountered this market, I felt like a sponge trying to absorb all the different scents from the abundance of flowers and plants, herbs, spices and soaps, cured meats and fish, international delicacies, pralines and chocolates.
Sample some delicious local (organic) produce, or have a long thin smoked sausage called “Wattwurm”. I’d also recommend tasting the vegetarian soups and quiches, and obtaining some of the homemade jams. In addition, you’ll find this plethora of culinary delights interspersed with stands offering leather goods, arts and crafts, jewelry, high end fashion, and home appliances.
If you feel like taking a break, have some coffee or tea, and watch how people engage in friendly conversations with the merchants exchanging ideas and recipes, listen to the street musicians, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere – you’ll notice that nobody here seems to be in a rush. Haggling is definitely allowed, but as the experts among you will already know: your success rate is usually the highest towards closing time.