A Place to Call Home: Buying Furniture in Berlin

When expatriates move to Germany, they often find that furnished apartments are both expensive and very rare. This can cause a lot of problems, as shipping your furniture abroad can also cost a pretty penny and take a few months on top of that. Some expats therefore rent a hotel room to ease the transition. However, the question remains: where can one buy proper, affordable furniture after relocating to Germany?

Reuse and Recycle: Antique and Used Furniture

If you choose Berlin as your future city to live in, the solution might be easier than you think. Germany’s capital is a haven for students, artists, and global minds. This makes finding used furniture quite easy as there is always someone who is moving and hoping to leave some of their belongings behind. Often these furnitures are in a very good condition. You can start by searching online classifieds like Ebay, or Craigslist. But Berlin is also famous for its fleamarkets – there are 50 of them altogether – where you can find anything from antique furniture to silverware. The ones at Boxhagener Platz and Mauerpark are among the more popular ones. However, the flea markets at Ostbahnhof, JFK Platz, and Potsdamer Platz are well worth a visit as well. Make sure to check every piece thoroughly and haggle for a good price.

Aside from the flea markets and the online classifieds, there are some stores which specialize in used furniture and sometimes even offer transport and moving services. Some of these are the Mini-Kaufhaus Meyer on Amsterdamerstraße, HUMANA Second Hand at Frankfurter Tor, or Gebrauchtmöbel Gambrinus at Tegel Airport.

The “Traditional” Way: New Furniture and International Shipping

Of course, there are some furnitures and pieces which you should not rent or buy used, such as a mattress, for instance. In some cases, you might want to visit a regular furniture store such as IKEA (in Spandau, Tempelhof, and Lichtenberg) or Poco Domäne (Kreuzberg, Marzahn, and Wedding). The pieces you find there might not be unique but they are affordable and often easy to set up. Once you have all the basic furniture you need you can also browse online shops for special items or decorating pieces. You should only use this option if you have enough time to wait for delivery, in other words, if you do not need these things right away.

Expatriates who relocate to Germany for a few years or maybe even for good, often decide to move at least a part of their furniture to Germany. The problem is that this is often a long, complicated, and expensive process. Therefore, you should make sure to collect more info on buying and shipping furniture to Germany before your move.


Saskia Petz

Tanja Traut

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