During your travels, one of the things you always do is shop and buy special things that you can’t find in your country and are typical of the place you are visiting. For music lovers and especially those still buying vinyl and CDs, a visit to a new city is an opportunity to search and find record shops that could offer them the chance to discover music and things they could not find in their city. Although we live in a digital world and have the ability to search and order everything over the Internet, nothing could replace the excitement of discovering a rare vinyl, an out-of-stock CD or an album by an artist you have never heard of. During our European travels, in every city we visit, we always look for and visit record shops that could offer us this excitement. In this article, we present six of our favourite record shops from our travels and also our favourite shop in our hometown.
Dischivolanti (Milan/Italy) : This record shop combines the ideal location with an excellent collection of vinyl and CDs. Located in the heart of the Navigli district of Milan, one of the most beautiful areas of the city for walking, shopping and eating. It has a wide collection of new, used and rare vinyl and CDs, which include all types of music. You could find here rock, pop, punk, industrial, avant-garde, metal, electronic, hip-hop, jazz and classical. It also has a complete collection of works by Italian artists. Another interesting thing is that it stays open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. (Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 47, 20143 Milano, Italy)
Discostars Recordstore (Amsterdam/Netherlands) : Amsterdam is one of the European capitals where record shops are still very much alive and have a loyal audience. In the heart of the Jordaan district, Discostars is a second-hand vinyl (as well as CDs) paradise. It was founded more than fifteen years ago and strongly supports the local music scene. It also has a very good collection of rock, soul and jazz records and a special section with German and French artists. (Haarlemmerdijk 86, 1013 JG Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Teuchtler Schallplattenhandlung u. Antiquariat (Vienna/Austria) : Teuchtler has always been one of the most popular record shops and is respected by the locals in Vienna. However, it became world famous when a scene from Richard Linklater’s classic 1995 tribute to Vienna Before Sunrise was filmed here (you could watch the scene at this link). The shop has a huge and very well organised collection of all music genres. You could find everything here if you have the time and the patience to browse through its numerous stacks. The shop has also two vinyl and several CD listening stations. (Windmuhlgasse 10, 1060 Wien, Austria)
Oye Records (Berlin/Germany) : This famous record shop housed in a basement in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg has become the epicentre of the city’s new vinyl scene. Its collection focuses mainly on dance music from the whole range (jazz to disco to house) and also an updated selection of hip hop. Although most of the records sold here are brand new, there are also some great second-hand options. In recent years, Oye Records’ reputation has transcended the country and attracted an international audience. (Oderberger Str. 4, 10435 Berlin, Germany)
Discos Revolver (Barcelona/Spain) : Carrer Dels Tallers near La Rambla is the most musical street in Barcelona with many first-class record shops. Revolver, since its first opening in 1991, has gained a reputation as one of the best record shops in town. The shop has managed to retain its audience all these years with its exquisite vinyl collection and also a good selection of box sets and rarities. If you are looking for rare Spanish rock albums, this is the place to look. (Carrer dels Tallers, 13, 08001 Barcelona, Spain)
Music and Video Exchange (London/UK) : Notting Hill is one of London’s most desirable and photographed neighbourhoods, with pastel-coloured houses and a thriving market. But it is also a paradise for those who love second-hand music and want to spend hours searching through stacks of vinyl and CDs to discover a rare item. Our favourite place in Notting Hill is the Music and Video Exchange. Their stock is constantly changing so that no two visits here are the same. Their collection has all kinds of music and they also have a wide variety of used DVDs, if you are also a movie collector. (38 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill, London W11 3HX, UK)
Zaharias Records (Athens/Greece) : If you are visiting Athens (our hometown) and want to browse a huge and ever-changing collection of second-hand vinyl and CDs, you should visit Zaharias in the centre of Monastiraki Flea Market. The shop began its history in 1993 among many others that sold used records in Monastiraki in the previous decades. In the years that followed, however, it has become the most popular and established shop in the Flea Market and has one of the largest collections in Greece. It has all kinds of music and a wide variety of Greek artists. Among his famous customers, you could find Robert Plant, Alice Cooper, Triffids and many more. (Ifestou 20, 105 55 Athens, Greece)
If you are a traveller and music lover, we are quite sure that these places will offer you a unique experience.