Sunglasses from the 50s, David Bowie’s drainpipe jeans or grandpa’s woolen pullover – nothing is currently as in as fashion from the past. Second-hand clothing for those who can’t afford brand stuff? In the hip boroughs, vintage fashion has defined the trends for quite a while already. Thrift shopping belongs to the hipster like the ironic gym bag, and the scene is nowhere as vivid as in Berlin. Here is where to find the best second-hand stores and what else is to know about vintage fashion in the capital:
Flea markets provide one of the best options to rifle through piles of old clothing on the hunt for the trendiest pieces. On the weekend you find heaps of them in the city, but no two are alike. The most famous one sure is the one in Mauerpark (Prenzlauer Berg), since the Mauerpark Flea Market with its countless traders, buskers and food corners has long turned into a weekly street festival. But beware – the hipster event has become so popular, that on sunny weekends a dense crowd pushes through the rows and it’s anything but cheap. Real bargains can be found at Boxhagener Platz in walking distance to Industriepalast Hostel; this flea market may be a little smaller, but the choice of products is still impressive. One of the most beautiful flea markets takes place every other Sunday at Maybachufer in Neukölln. It’s also just a 20 minute walk from the hostel. Rainy day? Don’t worry, check out the indoor flea market at Arena in Treptow. Important: flea market day is Sunday, only then the markets are open.
But also during the week vintage shopping in Berlin has no borders: Numerous second hand stores of all size are found throughout the city. There is larger ones, of course, like the fancy Made in Berlin close to Hackescher Markt or the thrift shops of Humana (e.g. at Frankfurter Tor). But it is also quite exciting to comb the countless smaller second hand, vintage, and thrift shops. There are many of them around Boxhagener Platz, like the trendy Trash & Schick in Wühlischstraße. In the side streets of Kreuzberg, especially around Schlesisches Tor, Görlitzer Bahnhof and Bergmannstraße you’ll also strike it rich. And a real insider’s tip is the Garage in the north of Schöneberg: hidden in a small side street not far from Nollendorfplatz you’ll find real treasures of the last 50 years for a good price in the spacious basement.
Grab a bag and take off from Industriepalast Hostel towards Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, and go for the capital’s piles of vintage clothing. Here at the hostel reception we’ve got even more insider’s tips for you, so don’t hesitate asking. You know the style: “I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket…”
Enjoy the thrift shopping,
Blogger at Industriepalast Hostel
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.