This is the Ultimate Christmas store. Ornaments galore! I could have spent a ton of money here but decided I would just two ornaments. Sooo many to choose from, it was really hard to decide. The further I went into the store that had many, many rooms, I thought I might get lost and not know how to get back out. Just this store alone is worth the visit to Heidelberg!
This is a tiny jewelry store on the main street in Heidelberg that you should not miss. The owner has a selection of different designers and thus ample variety in styles. She has a great taste in choosing the right designers and is quite good in judging in how far jewelry fits your type. A must go to drop in if you are on the way to the cathedral or the castle...
What to pay: There you find anything from one euro until around 150+
A new shop in the old town of Heidelberg. They offer very special and nice gifts and souvenirs that were handcrafted all in Germany, mainly in the South of Germany. Here you find really outstanding products that were lovingly selected and are unique. No bulk goods and kitsch at all. So if you are looking for a real handmade German and stylish souvenir make sure you stop by this shop. The assortment of goods is always changing since it is all handmade.
What to buy: handcrafted unique gifts and souvenirs all made in Germany such as jewellery, modern cuckoo clocks from the black forest, ceramics and pottery, stationary, woodwork ...
What to pay: You find items at all price ranges, depends on how much you want to spend!
The store moved, away from the train station area more to the centre. They are now situated in the Plöck, the street running parallel to the main street.
If you're looking for British food or British souvenirs, that's the place to go.Also if you like Malt Whisky! They have a large selection of brands .
What to buy: Above all British food, cider, Malt Whisky, but also greeting cards, books in English, teapots etc.
What to pay: It's a good deal cheaper than getting a plane ticket to London and doing your shopping there, but it's more expensive than in a German store.Most items cannot be found in a German store anyway.
Heidelberg's Christmas Markets are definitely worth coming to the city over the festive season to visit. Markets can be found 6 different sites around the city, including the Kornmarkt, Universitaetsplatz and Bismarckplatz. My personal favourite was the market at Universitaetsplatz as it had a younger vibe with lots of people eating, drinking and having a good time. It was also the larger of the markets I visited. Most of the markets are within walking distance of each other, but beware- if you over-indulge on the markets you might find yourself staggering rather than walking!
What to buy: Food and Drink- Bratwurst, Currywurst, Steak, Gluehwein
Crafts- Handmade scarves, candles, trinkets, purses etc.
What to pay: Food, drink and crafts more expensive than normal.
Near the cloister Stift Neuburg there is a very good grocery shop. They sell organic food produced in the region. Above the milk and the joghurts you can see photos of the cows who gave the milk. That was a first one for me! When we were walking down to the bus stop, we passed the cows on the meadow. I must admit, though, that I didn't recognize any of them. I probably hadn't looked closely enough at all the photos.
The store is open all day from 10 am - 7 pm , the website is outdated and the times are now much better.
As usual with organic food,the prices are higher than in a supermarket,but the same level as any other organic store.
As befits an old university city, Heidelberg has a number of good bookshops.
This one is conveniently located in the Old Town on the Main Street, right around the corner from the City Theater. So if you have some time to kill before the opera starts you can go in and have a look around.
This bookshop is actually much bigger than it looks from the outside. They have a huge selection of used books, carefully shelved by subject, and in my experience they are very helpful if you have special wishes.
Open Monday - Saturday 10:00 to 20:00.
My fiance and I love this shop. If you are interested in spirituality or simply some unusual items for your home then this is a great little place to visit.
I often see students here looking for an interesting read, or after having returned from a back-packing trip through Asia they seek "musical enlightenment" and memories of their travels here.
According to the owner's business card, she is specialised in "Clothes, Joy & Music" ;-)
What to buy: Here, you can find everything from hippy clothing, to CDs with world music (everything from Native American Shamanic songs to Mongolian throat singing), Tibetan sound bowls, healing crystals, unusual jewellery designs, photography books, etc.
You can also find some very interesting literature here, and if Lil is there she's usually available for a friendly and mind-opening chat with you.
Whatever it might be: if you consider yourself slightly "new age"
and interested in alternative beliefs, I highly recommend this little gem of a shop.
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art & true science". - Albert Einstein.
What to pay: Prices vary according to design, age, material and country of origin.
The Heidelberg flohmarkt is a good place to find European antiques, be it a big piece of furniture or a small lamp or knick-knacks. There are are vintage clothing, art, vases, dishes, flea market cheap items, and all sorts of stuff.
It is only open in the summer, every other Saturday.
I don't care if my clothes aren't by Italian designers. I don't care for shoes that cost more than a small car. All I want are trendy clothes that are comfortable, of good quality and will fit me! And ever since I got my first little pocket money from my parents, I've been shopping in Hennes & Mauritz. Don't get me wrong: I am not a shopaholic. But after years of frustration, seeking clothes that will fit tall women with curves, I always find myself returning to my trusty H&M.
H&M is a Swedish brand now operating in countries worldwide. They have managed the seemingly impossible success of retail: ever-trendy clothes at very reasonable prices. If Madonna, Karl Lagerfeld & Kylie Minogue agree (all have designed collections for H&M) then I can't be so wrong, can I?!
What to buy: There are 2 (two) H&M stores in Heidelberg: one at the entrance of the old town (Hauptstrasse No. 1), by the Bismarkplatz (this is ALWAYS my first stop when I visit Heidelberg) and the other is inside the Hauptstrasse (no. 37), about 10min by foot. Both stores have 2 levels, and if you cannot find your size in one shop, staff will call the other store to check for you.
I love H&M because:
> prices are reasonable.
> quality is good.
> the size on the hanger IS the actual size of the garment.
> fantastic selection of underwear & lingerie.
> their trousers are long enough for my long legs!
> they have large stocks of all items.
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday: 10:00am - 08:00pm.
Saturday: 09:30am - 07:00pm.
--> UPDATE April 2008: H&M has emerged as the top performing European retail brand with a value of 10.4 billion euros!
What to pay: Prices are extremely reasonable, and yet I always find I'm overspending and can hardly carry the bags afterwards!
Heidelberg is a tourist hot-spot, so naturally you'll see plenty of stores & stalls selling everything from postcards, to t-shirts, to fridge magnets, mouse pads, calendars, beer mugs... you get the idea: *Everything!*
The best place to look for souvenirs are the stalls all around the Heilig Geist Church in the old town's pedestrian precinct (or "Hauptstrasse"). Some might call this a tourist trap but let's be honest: most of us deny it, but usually we DO buy ourselves some souvenirs. Admit it! haha! ;-)
What to buy: Most of the stuff is your usual cheesy rip-off kitsh, but sometimes you may just find something a little taseful & treasured.
Have a look at the back of the church... there's an art gallery selling prints of traditional, modern or abstract Heidelberg images. And maybe a mouse pad for the office wouldn't be so bad? A fridge magnet for grandma? And a proper German 1-litre beer mug for your uncle?
I bought a Heidelberg sweatshirt (helps my homesickness) for 20 Euros, a funny kitchen apron for 10 Euros and 2 small wooden dolls for 3 Euros each.
--> Also see my seperate "things to do" tip on the Chocolaterie Knoesel, located right behind this church!
What to pay: You can try to haggle, but most stall owners will have none of it. If the price is too high, compare with the other stalls (they all have pretty much the same things) or just leave it be.
This is the very first shop I visit, each and every time I'm in Heidelberg. I've been shopping here for years. It's a tradition for me, and anyone that I've ever brought here has also fallen in love with this place.
The Tea Pavillon is easy to miss, so slow-down and take notice: a small yellow sign on one of the old town's buildings points into a small corridor, taking you past an age-old and dented wooden stairwell. Behind these stairs, enter through a small glass door into a tiny shop crammed full of delicious delights and wondrous trinkets.
This shop signifies everything I love about Heidelberg and old, European cities in general: step into a side-alley and discover something completely unique, tucked-away and hidden from "unworthy" visitors :-)
What to buy: Here, you will find teas from all over the world as well as designer tea pots, hand-made cups & mugs, wind chimes, incense sticks, tee accessories, scented oils & candles, beautiful & unique gift ideas, etc. My reason for always visiting this shop are the hand-made, all-natural and incredibly yummy candies ("bonbons"). Made from various herbs & fruits, nothing beats a sore throat like their in-house candy creations!
If you're looking for something unique, visit the friendly staff at the Tea Pavillon in the Hauptstrasse (pedestrian precinct) of the old town in Heidelberg.
TIP: Be very careful when moving around in this small shop; if you break something, you pay for it.
What to pay: There is something here for every budget. The sweets are charged by weight (pick 'n' mix your own).
Schwarzmarkt literally means "black market"... but don't worry: this isn't some kind of dodgy side-alley operation: this is a funky little shop that mainly specializes in Mobile Phone accessories (they say they have the largest selection of mobile covers in the area), but has recently started branching-out and now offers fun gadgets, cool & cult t-shirts, funky gift ideas, and in 2006: FIFA World Cup fan items (of course!)
The staff here is great: you can tell that they truly enjoy their work, and quite often I've had to force myself to stop a rather entertaining conversation because the queue behind me was getting impatient! (Sorry!)
--> (I will upload some photos of my t-shirts from here sometime...)
What to buy: I'm not saying that you "have to" stop at this shop, but I enjoy coming here and more often than not, I find something fun, special and unique (and most of the time it's NOT for my mobile phone :-) This place is definitely worth a quick visit.
Monday - Saturday: 09:30am - 08:00pm.
Good thing to know: in Germany we call (UK) mobile phones or (USA) cell phones --> "a HANDY" :-)
What to pay: There is something for every budget, but some of the "cult" items (i.e. t-shirts, etc.) can be a bit pricier than usual.
This is a great place to either shop for yourself, or to also bring some nice gifts back home for loved-ones. Choose uniquely-shaped bottles & some nice decorative wrapping to make a simple bottle of booze into a nice gift from Heidelberg. (try "Heidelberger Blaue Perle" = blueberry liquor)
All around the store there are shelves packed with big glass spheres full of delicious concoctions, brews and fermentations. Ask one of the sales staff for assistance, and you can open the tap to pour yourself a sample (of each...) before you buy.
I spent 1/2 hour trying to choose a few bottles... their assortment is so big, with so many yummy things: liquors made from any kind of berries or fruit, aromatic whisky (not your "ancient" variety, but still pretty decent), various wines and much more.
What to buy: This store sells spirits, liquors and mixers / wines, dessert wines, etc. / jams, honey & other condiments / oils & vinegars. I can't help myself: I buy something here every time :-)
Depending on the season, the store has promotions for certain products. In summer, for example, you're most likely to find small cups with caipirinha or sangria for free tasting, and the bottles at discounted prices.
In winter, you absolutely MUST try their Xmas liquor, made with cloves, plums, vanilla and other gorgeous ingredients... I'm serious folks: you are truly missing out on something if you don't pick-up a couple of bottles! Mulled wine at the Xmas market is nice, but this stuff is even nicer for sipping at home.
Mondays to Saturdays 10:00am - 07:00pm.
What to pay: Obviously a little bit more expensive that regular "supermarket booze" but so worth it! I paid 7 EUR for 1 litre of plum liquor.
Germany is one of the few countries that still does Xmas "properly", in all its glory, cheesiness, community spirit, warm fuzziness & grand decorations. Experience christmas in Germany once and you'll never want to celebrate it anywhere else ever again :-)
--> Check this link for my separate Xmas-Market-Tip: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/1a2d2f.
Kaethe Wohlfahrt is the poster child of this spirit; a well-known chain of stores throughout Germany and of course there's also a store in Heidelberg's old town. This is a place where it's always "the season to be jolly" - Christmas decorations are on display & for sale 365 days a year! The window displays are truly magnificent and are changed regularly.
What to buy: There are also plenty of souvenirs and decorational items for sale that are not "Xmassy", such as Cuckoo-Clocks, Garden Gnomes, hand-made dolls, Glass or Ceramic figurines, table cloths, Xmas Pyramids, Nutcrackers, cookie tins, limited edition collectors items, hand-made tree decorations, and so much more...
For those of you that can't get enough: you can order their products from their online catalogue! Visit the website for more info.
Monday to Friday: 10:00am - 06.00pm.
Saturdays: 11:00am - 05:00pm. (Sundays: Closed)
What to pay: Many of the items are quite expensive, but the high level quality & craftmanship is undeniable.