The 10Best Guide to the Best Antique and Vintage Shopping In Berlin
By Ryan Kalb
Berlin Local Expert
Antiques add so much to a home or office: a sense of quality, history, refinement, and grace. It's no wonder that people find them hard to resist. If you're the type of person who can't pass by a shop, just wondering what may lie within, you'll relish Berlin's bounty. Berlin is fortunately full of these veritable treasure chests - so many neighborhoods preserve so many gems from a metropolis with one of the most storied histories of the twentieth century. While Berlin's various open-air markets are often times some of the best options to find antiques, there are also many antique shops that specialize in such departments. They are also open year-round. To be sure, a wide selection of antiques of all vintages, provenances, and places of origin can be found in Berlin, and 10Best will lead you to the top sources. Our editors and readers particularly applaud Berliner Trödelmarkt and Das Alte Bureau, as you will too after just one glance at the merchandise in these troves. It's without a doubt one of Berlin's best antique shops. Indeed, in a city with so many options, who knows where you will uncover your next favorite piece of clothing, furniture, or decorative element.
Antique & Vintage Jewellery Berlin
Mr. Oliver Rheinfrank - or Antique & Vintage Jewellery Berlin - boasts the largest collection of antique and vintage jewellery in Berlin. Original items of epochs from long time ago revive stories behind every single piece of jewellery as well as their history. They sparkle of pure life and fit to a classical style of fashion as well as to Avantgarde. You will find with us Berlin's biggest selection of antique and historical jewellery for both - men and women - a selection of very individual pieces of the Gregorian Epoch up to Art Nouveau. All items are original and exclusive, they do not sell replicas! (+49-30-20689155)
Memory Vintage is a delightful little second-hand store, located in the trendy district of Prenzlauerberg, which is well-known for its vintage and boutique shops, as well as flea markets. You can expect items from the 30's to the 80's, from vintage designer pieces to accessories, handbags and colourful household objects. Everything is handpicked, reasonably priced and "full of beautiful memories" at this little boutique. If you're in for a chat about all the shop's treasures: the owner is very welcoming and willing to share her knowledge. But there's more: Memory is not only a lovely vintage shop, there is also a Cafe located directly next door. Andrea's husband will make you a tasty Latte Macchiato after your shopping tour! Doesn't that sound perfect? (0160 650 14 348)
Located on the western side of Kreuzberg (which has a very refined reputation, nothing like that of its eastern counterpart), is Bergmannstrasse neighborhood. Known as an ideal spot to come for fine cuisine from a variety of cultural influences, this strip also boasts an wide array of shopping options, with a real focus on the pre-loved. Particularly popular here are antique stores selling treasures from foreign lands of long ago. There are a number of these antique basements along the strip and no doubt, countless trinkets and treasures to be discovered. Here too, you'll find some really fantastic second hand and vintage clothing stores, such as Colours, selling well maintained items at bargain prices. (none)
Flohmarkt am Mauerpark
Every Sunday, more than five thousand people pack themselves into the Mauerpark flea market and adjacent park.The Mauerpark - which translates to the Wall Park in English - was built after the reunification. The park is famous because it encloses an area that had formerly been occupied by a section of the Berlin Wall's famed "Death Strip." But as a park, it's anything but dead. Every Sunday, weekly karaoke matches draw thousands of spectators and locals ply their wares in stands and along pathways. It also happens to be the epicenter of Berlin's budding food-cart scene! The closest U-Bahn stop(s) are at Eberswalder Straße on the U1 and Bernauer Straße on the U8. (0176 29 25 00 21)
Humana Second-Hand-Kleidung GmbH
Germany's famous chain of second-hand clothing and furniture stores are a refuge of vintage fashion and style deriving straight from Communist East Germany. A lot of these clothes are so poorly made and ill-fitting that they seem to have come out of a discount bin for irregular apparel, but hidden amongst the weirdly branded t-shirts and denim jackets, it's possible to find vintage treasures: scarves, shoes, pants, and hats that look straight out of the 1960s. Talk about time travel. And ultimately, that what thrift shopping is, right? Treasure hunting: Humana's Second Hand Clothing provides this time-honored hunt in troves. (030/4222017)
The Berliner Trödelmarkt - with trödel being the German word for "rummage" - is full of exquisite antiques, unusual finds, and rare memorabilia are for sale along the famous Straße des 17. Juni. This is the massive street located directly in the middle of the gorgeous, green Tiergarten that leads up to the Siegesäule, or otherwise the large, golden-winged column commemorating Prussia's victory over the Austro-Hungarian empire. At this open-air market, the dealers are very experienced, and the market gets crowded, but thankfully, the vendors do welcome bargaining. The market takes place every Saturday and Sunday, and on national holidays it often also opens for sale. The closest S-Bahn is located at the Tiergarten. (+49-(0)-30-2655-0096)
Berliner Antik und Flohmarkt
A treasure chest full of antiques, bits of nostalgia and culinary delights awaits you in the heart of Berlin. Come discover the 35 shops, restaurants, and cafés right at the Friedrichstraße S- and U-Bahn station. Rummage for souvenirs, gifts and collectors' items in Berlin's historic S-Bahn archways. There is something for everyone, no matter what your price range. The selection includes antique dolls and toys, paintings, etchings, time pieces, and precious works of art. Archway 201 is home to Bärenstark, where you can find the most adorable teddy-bears ever made. Stores and street vendors carry everything from bric-a-brac to one-of-a-kind lamps. Once you're done shopping (or if you just happen to be in the neighborhood), you can unwind at Nolle's restaurant or at the Leon café and restaurant. Go see for yourself and get a glimpse of all the antiques waiting to be discovered in Berlin. (+49-(0)-30-2082-655)
Das Alte Bureau
Das Alte Bureau is a cosy little second-hand furniture store in the quaint district of Schöneberg which provides a pleasant and quaint atmosphere for browsing or buying antiques. Displays include a variety of wooden desks and classic cabinets from which to choose - in addition, there are plenty of desks, seats, vitrines, armoires, and even antique sewing tables which one can modernize for a laptop. The wide range of items is not limited to these types, as the owner Eduardo Santos always has some special items that aren't so easily categorized. The closest U-Bahn is located at Eisenacherstrasse, which is a stop along the U7. (+49-(0)-30-2165-950)
Stiefelkombinat Berlin Schuhwaren
Stiefelkombinat is one of Berlin's bigger spots to pick up some awesome vintage pieces. Both shops on the Eberwalder Strasse - one for the guys and one for the girls - are completely packed with originals from the 40's to the 80's. Especially their shoe section is more than huge (that explains the name: Stiefel is the German word for boot). This shop is not cheap as chips, unfortunately, but still worth a look. To complete your fancy vintage outfit, there's just one more thing you'll need: retro sunglasses! Stiefelkombinat packs its all. (030 51051234)
The owner of this well-known vintage shop (no, his name is not Paul..it's Frank) started his business over ten years ago at the Oderberger Strasse. Nowadays, Paul's Boutique comprises of four different buildings: a streetwear department, a shop focused on designer brands and another store in Mitte with a mix of new and vintage items on stock. The streetwear shop is called 'The Mothership' by insiders, and its walls and shelves are filled with Frank's toy robots, boomboxes, and Star Wars Collectibles (not for sale, unfortunately). It's a good place to hunt for vintage sneakers, used denim, t-shirts, and jackets. Pick up your vintage designer pieces a few doors down at Goo, or dig through used shoes, sunglasses and jewelry at Chapter Mitte. (030 44 03 37 37)
About Ryan Kalb
Originally from NYC, Ryan completed his BA at New York University and then promptly abdicated in 2007. Since then, he hasn't looked back. After an inspiring, year-long tour through Southeast Asia while teaching English in Bangkok, Thailand, he moved to Europe. In Berlin, Ryan speaks fluent German and fills his days with translation and English instruction. With an MA in Literature and Cultural Studies, Ryan enjoys Berlin's dynamic nature and claims it's the antithesis of the German cliché. Ryan says that Berlin is electrified by a raw combination of potential and limitlessness rarely encountered in other cosmopolitan cities of the world.
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