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Bric a brac IN RUHR​

Vintage items

For expats in the Ruhr Metropolis who enjoy the hunt for eclectic and old items, so-called bric-a-brac, Trödel, and flea markets, Trödelmärkte, are excellent places to find unusual and useful items for the home. Germans adore them as much as many other nationalities.

Somebody’s junk can always be somebody else’s treasure. The Ruhr offers great alternatives for in-person hunting for a special curiosity, a bargain or some vintage treasure.

Since many flea markets are outdoors, friendly chats with stallholders can be combined with a breath of fresh air while learning a little more history about unusual purchases.

Car boot sales iacross the region offer everything from antiques and antiquities, furniture large and small, new and second hand clothes, books, records, old toys as well as new articles of everyday use such as toothpaste, batteries or smaller household goods. Special flea markets for children’s wear and toys are also very popular.

At numerous venues all across the Ruhr, hundreds of stands are run by private individuals or families as well as professional dealers. The enormous variety of items on offer is phenomenal. Most take place on the weekend, especially Saturdays.

Charity shops such as Oxfam, can be found in Essen and Dortmund, while smaller, individual second hand stores selling various items are located in many places.

By Vincent Green, Jul 6 2021

Written text on paper


We stand in a foreign culture finding ourselves pointing, gesticulating and hoping to be understood. Many Germans speak at least some English. However, some expats relocating to the Ruhr Metropolis may wish to carry a few basic but helpful words with them for use in awkward moments.

Water in sink


Tap water in the Ruhr Metropolis possesses such a high quality that it can be drunk from the tap regularly. Local water is treated and cleaned through an extensive process on its way to the consumer. By then it is highly drinkable and virtually tasteless.

Socialising in the Ruhr

Staying in touch and getting together with others living in a similar situation can be important. Expat groups in social media are highly valuable sources for connecting. Socialising in the Ruhr Metropolis can include events, international clubs or heading for a popular spot to meet international residents.