If you have been following me for a while, then you know that I am obsessed with thrift shopping. I have a whole Instagram account dedicated to showing off my thrift style looks! I have been wearing exclusively secondhand clothing since 2017 for ethical and environmental reasons. When I moved to Cologne, I wasn’t sure if I would have a hard time finding secondhand clothing. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I have found tons of great vintage and secondhand here, and I am sharing all my favorites in this best thrift shopping Cologne guide.
In my experience, Cologne has a great secondhand and vintage clothing scene with a wide variety of shops at different price points. There are well known large chains with low prices as well as specialty and high-end distributors who have impeccable curated selections. This means I always have somewhere to find new pieces to add to my sustainable wardrobe!
In this post, I am sharing all of my insider secrets about where to find the best secondhand clothing stores in Cologne. The post is sorted roughly by price, starting with the cheapest stores and working up to the most expensive. This is an approximation from my experience shopping at these various thrift shops.
Another thing that stands out to me about secondhand shopping in Cologne is the abundance of supply. Of course, there are plenty of trendy young people and students inspired to find thrifted goods, but it never feels like the selections are picked over. Plus, there are lots of seasonal pop-ups and rotating vintage clothing sales that come to town, such as VinoKilo or the SwapIt clothing exchange. It doesn’t feel like there is a ton of competition when it comes to finding great pieces.
Where to Find the Coolest Secondhand Clothing Stores in Cologne
Without fail, I can always find something at Humana Secondhand. There are several locations around the city, but the biggest (and imo, the best) is the one at Hahnenstraße 55 near Neumarkt. Mens, womens, and even kids clothes span the three floors of this affordable secondhand shop, with products ranging from vintage to contemporary styles. Don’t miss the vintage section upstairs, which tends to have a lot of styles from the 1970s. Most of the contemporary brands are big box stores, like Zara and H&M, but you’ll occasionally find some high-end gems. I find the prices to be really affordable, and they run pretty good sales. Always check the quality and condition of the clothes here because they are not particularly curated or selected by the staff.
This cash-only spot located on the busy Bonnerstraße is not particularly inviting at first glance; but upon some digging and closer inspections, you’re bound to find a few gems. The prices are great, and they always have a sale rack and a one euro bin. The selection here is unique, often with funky and cool pieces for reasonable prices. They also have a really big selection of shoes and cowboy boots. It isn’t very well-known, so it’s not quite as picked over as other places in Cologne. It feels like a neighborhood spot! I have found some really good quality leather products here, like shoes and jackets.
Part of a larger pan-European chain of secondhand shops, Think Twice is a place I can count on because their selection is solid and constantly rotating. This store is the queen of epic sales, which is why you’ll often find a line to enter the store. They will run these count down events a few times a year, such as a countdown to Christmas, where each day of the count down corresponds with a price. So on day 12, everything is 12 euros, day 11 everything is 11 euros, etc. They also do capsule collections, where a new batch of clothing will be announced ahead of hitting the store floors. Follow them on social media to stay in the know about the various promotions.
This small German chain has both secondhand and upcycled clothing at really good prices. I initially discovered them on Instagram, and was thrilled when they opened a brick-and-mortar store in Köln’s cool Ehrenfeld neighborhood. The staff here is always cheerful and approachable with a great selection of pieces that feel cool and on-trend. I also really like that Kleiderei hosts special events, including a clothing swap, as well as promotes their ethos online through their community. This feels like one of those brands that really practices what they preach.
Spread across two levels, Vintage Revivals is a great secondhand shop when you’re looking for something specific. They sort their clothing in an androgynous rainbow sorted way, grouped based on product category. You’ll find jackets, blazers, band t-shirts, and even lingerie spread across two floors. You’re not coming here for a deal, but it isn’t overpriced either. They rotate the selection seasonally and typically have sales at the end of a season.
Of all the shops on this list, stepping foot inside Into the Vibes makes me the happiest. The owner is almost always there and she is very friendly. She and her husband opened up their brick and mortar store during the pandemic, and I give them so much respect for it. It feels good to support them! I find that the selection here is perfectly on trend (i.e. what the people on TikTok are wearing), so you’ll find good fitting mom jeans, garish patterned button downs, or funky fanny pack bags. The prices reflect the effort and curated selection, but I find it is worth paying a little extra for good quality and service.
Part plant shop, part vintage clothing curator, Mooii is a trendy female-owned shop in Nippes. The owner built a large following on Instagram, which served as the community and foundation for her brick and mortar shop. She is also just really likable and cute. I love seeing her Instagram stories! The vintage selection is somewhat small and can be expensive, but for certain items, like 1980s sportswear or cozy fleece pullovers, you will find the perfect piece. Mooii is also really collaborative with other Köln businesses, and will host pop up shops and special events, all of which get announced on Instagram.
Pick n’ Weigh is the queen of secondhand clothing in Cologne–this is the home that vintage built! The sprawling shop on Ehrenstrasse is crammed to the gills with treasures from the 60s-2000s just waiting to be discovered. None of the items have prices, and instead you figure out the price by weight. There will be a color on the tag associated with a price tier (like you see in the picture below), and then you can use the conveniently located weighing stations to find out the price.
Because of the density of the merchandise, I will forewarn you that this place can be really overwhelming. Even I, an experienced vintage shopper, find this store to be too much. I have to be in the mood to dig and hunt, but you can certainly count on being able to find something unique when you come in here. The prices can be expensive, especially for special or heavy items. Choose wisely!
This is Cologne’s OG vintage shop – it has been around since the 90s. Spread across two floors, this spacious secondhand shop has a top quality clothing selection with a special emphasis on vintage sports jerseys and street wear. I think that Vintage & Rags has the largest selection of men’s secondhand clothing in all of Cologne. The men’s clothes make up more than half the store! It is always really busy here so it is best to go during off-hours to avoid feeling overwhelmed by pushy patrons. Personally, I think the prices are too high and I only purchase select items here, like Levi’s pants or denim jackets.
For luxury and designer labels, there isn’t anywhere better in Cologne than Coco + Chloe. You’ll find exceptional pieces from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Hermés here. As such, the prices are much higher than any of the other secondhand stores I’ve listed. But the quality aligns with the price, and it is still significantly cheaper than buying new. This vintage clothing shop is located a block from my apartment in the same shopping center as my grocery store, so I am always tempted by their alluring window displays. The owner and primary buyer has a great eye, always seeming to find the perfect contemporary styles in great condition.