Traveling and seeing the world is one thing but what I love to see is the sense of style of locals from place to place.
People watching is a great past time of mine. Not because I am a stalker, it’s because I like to see how people are dressed and when abroad, you are more inspired to try and wear something different, play with your style as you stumble upon cool trends and threads from markets, stores, clothes swaps and places you didn’t even know existed!
One of my favourite past times is vintage shopping. Quite frankly, I can be looking for hours, treasure hunting for those pieces that stand out of the mix. I don’t really have a formula but I would best describe my style a tad eccentric borderline a human rainbow as I do have a weakness for all things colour. And in Europe, it is pretty much a gold mine of vintage wear. And what is better, is that it is very affordable and also there are many options for people to exercise their thrifty ways.
Here I will share my top 5 places of finding the best vintage pieces throughout Europe – my secret is out!
This is Berlins’ biggest and best outdoor market. Come Sunday, this place is packed with Berliners and tourists alike strolling in and out of stores that seem to go on endlessly throughout the park itself. Located in the Prenzlauer Berg-District, goods on offer range from furniture, local art, quirky trinkets, antiques and of course vintage clothing from both vintage sellers and local folk. Despite the crowds, this place oozes a happy atmosphere and I think its’ picturesque green setting certainly adds to that.
I highly suggest you make a day trip out of it as at 3pm, there is community karaoke in the amphitheatre (or otherwise known as the Bear Pit Karaoke Show) which is only steps away from the market. This up and coming Berlin institution is a place to unwind, have a cider in tow and soak up the great community vibes whilst watching the delightful (or not so great) singing of locals and tourists getting into the spirit of a fun afternoon karaoke session. Vintage finds and community karaoke, what more could you want!
Open: 7am-5pm Sundays
Every month over one weekend, Europe’s biggest flea market gets into full swing. Located in Amsterdam Noord, simply catch a free quick ferry ride from Amsterdam Centraal and visit this fleamarket haven of 750+ stalls which is housed in two industrial warehouses and also spills out onto a carpark and from there on, it is all fun and games!
Mostly on offer is fashion, trinkets and food stalls but let not to forget a chilled atmosphere perfect for strolling and hunting for vintage treasures. This is a place where not only would you loose yourself in but also loose plenty of €€€ as there is simply too much good stuff on offer at stupidly cheap (not complaining) prices. I bagged myself some vintage denim shorts 4€ and 3 pairs of hot to trot vintage shoes for 10 € and I would of kept going if only I didn’t get there an hour before close so make sure you go early! The only sting is it is a 5 € entry fee to enter but with the bargains on offer and the atmosphere itself, it’s worth it!
Open: 9.30am – 4pm
Possibly the best thrift shop chain in Europe and even better, it is all for a good cause. Featuring in over 19 countries across Europe and North America, Humana is part of a network of non-for-profit aid organizations. Its’ biggest store, located in Berlin, can be classed as a secondhand department store as it is spread across 4 stories in the hip area of Friedrichshain – just make sure you dedicate a lot of time to this store as you will be there for hours hunting through countless eras of fashion. I can happily report I was in there for a few hours at least. Some Humanas also have special days whereas everything may be 35% off one day then 50% off the next. Keep an eye out for these specials as they promote them through their shop windows.
Traid is a funky vintage charity chain that has a handful of stores in London’s hip areas including Camden, Brixton and up and coming trendy hot spot Dalston. The selection is bountiful and the prices reasonable also. The mannequins located on the shop front also provide for a little giggle as they are most often outlandishly dressed as if they were about to come alive and dance like it is 2074.
What? Weight up! That is exactly what you do in one of Kleirdermarkts’ five stores throughout Hamburg and Berlin – simply weigh your clothes and cough up what their weight is worth. This different and fun way of shopping – pay per kilo – is very extremely popular throughout Europe. Also it means that silk shirt you really like, well you don’t have to pay as much for it as that fur coat you were also eyeing off. Each store is a hipsters’ paradise. My favourite store out of Kleidermarkt Vintage chain is Colours. Located in Berlin, this store is hidden in a courtyard and once you climb up its stairs, you will immediately realise you are about to loose a few hours of your day making your way through the store, especially if you find yourself there during its’ happy hours (Note to self: Every Tuesday between 11 – 1pm) when it is 30% off everything. Other stores in the Kleidermarkt Vintage chain have similar happy hours so to be sure, check out the website for more details on what time and day.
Published as ‘Vintage Shopping in Europe with The Roaming Flamingo‘