Can you smell it ? That dusty odor of antiques, the aroma of clothes with history, things that have passed from one hand to the other? Vintage stores have a very unique charm – either you like it or it reminds you of grannie’s old sofa, the one with flowers and weird dirt rims from where a crocheted tablecloth was lying to protect the cover. But once you’ve gotten under the spell of thrift shops, there’s just no way out. Because let’s face it: no outfit looks as rad as one sexed up with a piece from back in the days! So if you’re part of the second-hand clan and constantly on the hunt for that one special retro-thingy, then keep scrolling. Because we’ve got a list of vintage-lovers’ cities for you that will make every trip the shopping experience of your life. Promise.
First in line is Cologne (mainly ‘cause it’s also really close to Luxembourg, like actually next-door). With its very special patchwork style the city on the Rhine cannot exactly be called beautiful. I mean, if a classic outside is what you’re looking for, that is. But Cologne is vibrant and genuinely authentic. And just like its inhabitants, ranging from international students to typically Kölsch peepz, the city is mostly one thing: diverse. No wonder the list of vintage stores is a hit. One of the must-go-to places is Picknweight – Vintage Kilo Store (https://picknweight.de). The XXL-store on Ehrenstraße has long since become a real institution. With shops in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Ibiza and London, finding a place to shop by the kilo is now easier than ever and will make every second hand lover’s heart jump. But beware: shopping at Picknweight requires time – and large funds! No one will leave this place empty-handed, not even vintage-virgins (ask my little brother). And if after this first stop there’s still some money left in your pocket: head over to Vintage&Rags (https://www.vintage-rags.de/). Though somewhat strange in name this place on Hohenzollernring will blow your mind. On two floors awaits everything a vintage-lover’s heart desires and the inside of the shop is simply amazing. Definitely worth to spare some coins for this gem!
Next we’ll head over to our French friends. Oh, Paris mon amour! The city of love should not only be on top of every traveler’s bucket list, it’s also a must for little fashionistas. Once you’ve strolled along the Eiffel tower, the famous Notre Dame de Paris and fabulous Moulin Rouge, take a moment to appreciate the French capital’s large offer of boutiques, clothing stores and high-end millineries. And let’s face it: no one knows how to add that little extra touch of charme to ten square meters like our neighbors do. A true temple of chic is Chinemachine (http://www.chinemachinevintage.com/). The boutique on rue des Martyrs lies right in the artistic heart of Montmartre and will take you on a true journey through time. From famous designer labels to ‘la classe’ retro-picks – this place has it all. Similar but different is Troc en Stock (https://trocenstock.wixsite.com/) on Clauzel-Street. Much smaller than its vintage-mate this shop is the place to go to if you desire a true second hand experience.
The third stop on our journey is Maastricht. Small, cute, with lots of picturesque sideroads and squares. One of the more upcoming districts of the Dutch city is Wyck. Just head out of the center and over the bridge and what you’ll find is a jungle of lovely cafés, bars – and of course vintage stores! For classic Hollywood styles and the perfect dress for tonight’s date, Magnolia Thrift Store (https://magnolia-thrift-store.business.site/) is where you’ll want to spend your money. Another gem is Retro&Chic (https://www.instagram.com/retroandchic/) on Heggenstraat. As the name reveals, this store too has some perfectly fine clothes from different decades and is busting with shiny jewelry and accessories of all kind. Back in Wyck there’s another place-to-be: We-ar Vintage & design (http://wear-vintage.com/) can be found on exactly two locations – Rechtstraat and Achter het Vleeshuis – as well as in Amsterdam. This one’s for everyday goodies. From bomber jackets to denim wear (they even have a men’s cave!), you’ll find exactly the one piece you’ve always been looking for!
Speaking of Amsterdam – the capital of the Netherlands is a true paradise for vintage lovers! I guess it somehow runs in the veins (or canals) of the city. Nowhere else you can find so many different styles and unique looks and that’s not just with the younger generation. The best day to head out on a shopping spree is Thursday, because then you can really shop until you drop. Shops are open until 9 p.m. and if by then you haven’t found at least two bags full of upcycled styles – well no comment to that. So here’s the deal: discover the beautiful floating city in the morning, take a glimpse of Amsterdam’s red light district De Wallen around noon and go on a second-hand marathon until sundown. And what’s best: as the vintage market has known a real boom in the past years, almost every shop can be found in multiple locations spread out through town. Well, isn’t that nice? A real jewel is Bis! (https://www.bis-vintage.nl/vintage) on Sint Antoniesbreestraat. It’s not just one single store, but three in a row. From army styles to women’s wear to the coolest styles for young gentleman – this is the place for a shopping trip with your whole gang. If you’re specifically looking for that flashy 70s and 80s look, just pass by Bij Ons Vintage (http://www.bijons-vintage.nl) on Nieuwezijous Voorburgwal or Reestraat. Like I said: if you miss one, just watch out for the second (or third, or fourth, …) store.
The next plane takes us to Milan. Mhh, can you already smell the pasta? Italy’s metropole is not only the capital for haute couture fashion, but a cosmopolitan feast for anyone that likes good food, culture and clothes. Had enough of museums and Da Vinci? Well guess what – it-pieces from back in the days are just waiting to be found! If you’re into cozy small shops then Urzì Vintage Store (https://www.instagram.com/urzivintage/) is the place to be. Located in the heart of Brera this one-man-store has a large collection of beautifully used bags, shoes and leather goods. For the hipsters among us there’s Groupies Vintage (https://groupiesvintage.com/). Here on Via Giangiacomo Mora you can find lots of funky blouses, cool denim jackets and even some handmade recycled clothes. The authentic New York vibe may perhaps seem a bit out-of-space in a thoroughly italiano city, but believe me: it’s worth the stop!
Another less popular yet extremely beautiful city is Krakow. As one of the few eastern European cities that wasn’t totally destroyed during the Second World War, Krakow should definitely not be missed. Medieval buildings, colorful streets, picturesque castles (even with dragons!) – and of course the largest market square in this part of the world. Rynek Gɫówny with its famous cloth hall and the immense Bazylika Mariacka will be the sight for your holiday photo album, promise! But where you’ll absolutely want to head to is Kazimierz. The former Jewish district is not only widely known for its rich yet sad history (yup it’s the place you know from Spielberg’s Schindler’s list) but is now also home to some of the best vintage shops in Poland. For stunning costumes and wedding gowns from past times you should absolutely take a stroll through Vintage Classics (https://www.facebook.com/pg/VintageClassics/about/?ref=page_internal) on Jozefa Street. I mean, they even have their own brand of 1940s to 1960s dress imitations, how cool is that?! For younger styles that you can actually also wear to school, Flyin’ Vintage (https://www.instagram.com/flyinvintage_krakow/) is the deal. There’s two shops in town, one on Krakowska Street and one on Stradonska. In both locations you will find everything a hipster heart desires (especially colors!).
Well, well, if this isn’t a list to be shared among second-hand lovers. In case you’re currently living on a budget and cannot afford to travel the globe just to get a new bag – no worries, Luxembourg has some cool stores too. We’ll just name one of them though, as it’s a true personal favorite that should not be missed: The AA Warehouse (https://www.instagram.com/theaawarehouse/?hl=fr&fbclid=IwAR1GwuSFjVhrnKXDHJhlJrmDMi21VUijtQYBc_R9wdmsgSO1Y4Amz24ygfw) . Never heard of that one? Well then it’s about time. Located on Mühlenweg in Gasperich this shared space hosts the stock of two super fresh young ladies that are only waiting to share their vintage-passion with others. One tip: go there on a Sunday, otherwise you’ll end up standing in front of a closed door. But what better way to spend the laziest of days – when every other store in town is closed, I dare add – then to pay those girls a visit and maybe find something you never knew you needed. So my dears, on your wallets, grab your steal-radar and prepare for a shopping trip that you’ll never forget!