CONTRIBUTED BY ROBBY L.
I love nothing more than spending an afternoon rummaging around a market looking for a bargain or an unknown treasure. So imagine my excitement when I found out about Homburg’s monthly flea and antiques market! Held on the first Saturday of each month, the Homburg flea and antiques market is the largest of its kind in south-west Germany. At only around a 30 minutes drive from the Kaiserslautern/Ramstein area, it’s easy to spot as soon as you enter the town.
The market is held in the area named the Forum, in front of the Rathaus (town hall). If you are using a GPS plug in ‘Am Forum, 66424 Homburg’. You’ll see the hoards of people walking toward the market area so you really can’t miss it!
The biggest difficulty is definitely parking! There is no designated parking area and the parking lots in the town quickly fill up. This leaves you with two options: wait in one of the lines outside the multi-story parking lots as cars go one in and one out or drive around and look for a space on the side of the road. This is the option we chose and after no more than 10 minutes driving around the town we managed to grab a vacant spot as another car was just leaving with all their flea market goodies. I know for some it is a little unclear what areas are legal for parking so if in doubt just ask someone walking past and if that’s not possible and you’re not 100%, just look elsewhere.This monthly event is a ticket officer’s dream and we did walk past a few cars with fines on the windscreen! Also whatever you do, don’t park in or in front of someone’s driveway or garage. You will be greeted by a very disgruntled homeowner! Also don’t be tempted to park in the Aldi or Hela parking lot, employees know the drill and on the dates of the flea market will have someone outside making sure only those who intend to use the store are allowed to park there. Despite the slight debacle of finding a car space, the flea market was 100% worth it! It is a market junkie’s dream!
Whether looking for big ticket items (think furniture, bicycles, electronics), valuable antiques (of every conceivable nature!) or cheap and cheerful goodies (knick knacks, home decorations, dvds, second-hand children’s toys, clothes etc.) Some vendors come from miles around to sell their goods and antiques whilst there are also plenty of local stall owners simply looking to clear out their garages and spare rooms!
I didn’t really have a plan in mind of buying a lot of things but in the end I couldn’t resist and spent 3 hours, 200 Euros and three back breaking trips to the car hauling our treasures back! I purchased a lot of great home decor items, a gold ring, a wine crate, some cool German signage and a set of 2 outdoor chairs and a patio table! So I’d definitely advise bringing bags or something to hold your purchases. I even saw people who had brought carts with them to carry their items.
Also it is a cash only market so be prepared to have plenty of Euros if you plan on buying and I’d suggest some small bills as well as large in case vendors don’t have much change. They will not appreciate a 50 Euro bill for a 7 Euro purchase!
The market is entirely outdoors but there are several food stands with picnic benches if you fancy a bite or a refreshing drink.
My one major tip would be if you like something, buy it! Because I promise you it will be gone if you come back for it at the end of the day. This happened to me twice on my first visit and I’ve since learned if you know you want it, just buy it!
You can always ask the vendor to keep it as his stall for an hour or so if it’s large and you don’t want to carry it around with you.
Vendors are definitely willing to negotiate, so don’t be afraid to haggle!
The market takes places for 8am – 4pm and the next few dates in 2015 for the market are: June 6, July 4, August 1, September 5, October 10, November 7.
For more tips about Flohmärkte (Flea Markets) please read Your Ultimate Guide to Flohmärkte!