Here's the perfect excuse to stay up all Saturday night. Every Sunday in the wee hours, some 70,000 locals and visitors descend upon the famous Fischmarkt in St Pauli. The market has been running since 1703, and its undisputed stars are the boisterous Marktschreier (market criers) who hawk their wares at full volume. Live bands also entertainingly crank out cover versions of ancient German pop songs in the adjoining Fischauktionshalle (Fish Auction Hall).
Vendors artfully arrange their bananas, cherries, kumquats and whatever else they’ve picked up that week (some comes direct from farms but a lot comes from wholesalers). Others pile up eels, shellfish, cacti and all manner of goods. It’s not yet 5am when the first customers begin to trundle in. ‘Don’t be shy, little girl', a vendor might shout with a lascivious wink to a 60-year-old, waggling a piece of eel in front of her face. Almost always, the ‘girl’ blushes before taking a hearty bite as the crowd cheers.