Our Top 5 thrift shops in Bern: the Classics, the Insider’s Tips, and Everything in Between
#1 Bärner Brocki, Lorraine neighbourhood
The description “thrift shop” doesn’t really do the Bärner Brocki in the Lorraine neighbourhood justice. It is a large, professionally run, fully equipped warehouse. And it’s not only organized and well kept, the set prices are also very fair. But the best thing about this shop are the shelves with the new stuff: experienced bargain hunters start their visit there to find the best treasures before sitting down in the cute café for some coffee and cake. The Bärner Brocki also has an exemplary work integration programme (no wonder it has been visited by the Federal Council!). This means that the customers sometimes need to be a bit patient with the employees, but it definitely adds to the charm of this wonderful thrift shop. And the fact that they have seasonal activities that contribute to a lively neighbourhood, such as Easter chocolate making or pumpkin sales, is the icing on the cake.
TO THE BÄRNER BROCKI
#2 Designbörse und Brockenstube Renoli, Mattenhof neighbourhood
Behind a nondescript facade at 83 Schwarztorstrasse in Bern’s Mattenhof neighbourhood lies a true mecca for design fans. It is filled to the top with furniture and other objects from the 1960s and 1970s, from Horgenglarus classics to eclectic toys to neon signs from old post offices, always in good condition. If you’re on a budget, visit the second-hand store’s thrift department in the basement for some reasonably priced treasures. Owner Oliver Kathriner is always happy to help his customers find what they’re looking for, and if you need help getting your new gem home, he can deliver it to your doorstep with his moving truck – very practical! There’s also a small but stylish second-hand clothing store amidst all the furniture. It’s the perfect combo for some Saturday afternoon shopping.
TO DESIGNBÖRSE UND BROCKENSTUBE RENOLI
#3 Rosa Brockenhaus, Wyler
This thrift shop is hard to overlook (its name “pink thrift shop” says it all – the building really is very pink!), but because it’s not on a main road, you can still shop in peace. The “thrift store groove” is strong here: the space is overflowing with furniture, household items, and boxes filled to the brim with trinkets and other objects. Keep your eyes open and don’t be afraid to rummage your way through the shop to find hidden treasures – a great challenge for true vintage fans! Not all items are in mint condition, but that’s OK: if you’re friendly and go about it right, the likeable and witty owner is open to some bargaining. This shop can’t really count as an insider’s tip anymore, so it’s best to go regularly!
TO THE ROSA BROCKENHAUS
#4 Hiob International, Bümpliz
The Bümpliz area probably has more thrift shops than any other neighbourhood in Bern, and Hiob International is at the heart of it all. You can find pretty much anything you could wish for in the huge space. There’s everything from funky furniture from the 1960s to a wide array of sporting equipment that costs much less than it would at a department store. Looking for colourful second-hand clothes or maybe a complete porcelain tableware set? The variety is what makes this thrift shop special – you could easily furnish and equip an entire house with things found just here. People of every age and background enjoy hunting for second-hand bargains in the large, bright shop.
TO HIOB INTERNATIONAL
#5 Winkel, Gol Farang & Mobile Vintage, Lorraine neighbourhood
Small, but an absolute gem – that’s how we would describe this thrift store at 1 Platanenweg in the Lorraine neighbourhood, which is actually three shops in one: Winkel finds and sells elegant vintage furniture, Gol Farang has the matching carpets and Mobile Vintage offers a carefully curated selection of trendy second-hand clothing. These people know what’s good. And their prices are fair, too. By the way, Winkel makes it easy for customers to look for specific objects and furniture: bargain hunters and vintage fans can be put on a list and are notified as soon as the desired object has found its way to the shop on Platanenweg. So if you’re still waiting to find an Eames chair – it might just show up there!
OFF TO PLATANENWEG
There are of course countless other thrift shops in and around Bern in addition to our five favourites. If by now you’re anxious to start thrift shopping, here’s a list of additional stores.
More thrift shops in and around Bern
- Das kleine Bröckli, Lorraine neighbourhood
Turnweg 29, 3013 Bern
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 1:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sat 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
More information at www.daskleinebroeckli.ch
- Bücher-Brockenhaus (second-hand books), Rathausgasse
Rathausgasse 30, 3000 Bern 7
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 2:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sat 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
More information at www.buecherbrockenhaus.ch
- Hiob International, Breitenrain neighbourhood
Pappelweg 10, 3013 Bern
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m–6.30 p.m., Sat 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
More information at www.hiob.ch/brockenstuben/bern-breitenrain
- Aare Fundgrube
Monbijoustrasse 71, 3007 Bern
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., Sat 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
- Eiger Brockenhaus
Mühlemattstrasse 70, 3007 Bern
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sat 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
More information at www.eigerbrocki-transporte.ch/
- Monbijou Brocante (antique shop)
Monbijoustrasse 67, 3007 Bern
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 10:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sat 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
More information at www.monbijou-brocante.ch/
- Bücker Brocky Bern (second-hand books)
Länggassstrasse 46, 3012 Bern
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sat 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
More information at www.buecher-brocky.ch/
- Das kleine Bröckli, Lorraine neighbourhood