As it is happening quite often in bigger cities, shop chains take over and expell old-established and good shops. This is also true for Darmstadt city and definitely for me a reason to avoid the town for spontaneous shopping.
Concerning florists – I cannot remember a good flower shop in the city where it is fun to buy a bouquet for any occasion.
BUT: quite often the suburbs of “plastic cities” (my bad-mouth term for cities like Darmstadt without specific charm in the shopping areas) hold true gem shops.
And for any kind of flower arrangement, the best is Andreas Goldner’s shop in Arheilgen, a suburb north of the city. My colleagues and I fully agree on this, and as I live close I often get orders from colleagues to bring a special bouquet for some occasions.
The shop itself is very colourful, the walls are painted in different colours and the flowers and bouquets are a feast for the eye. They have loose flowers and bouquets, several kind of decoration, vases – you name it. Their taste to form the arrangements is exceptional, just look at the main photo and photo 2. They use flowers, shrubs, bands, objects and any other kind of decoration that fits to a “theme”. They make unicoloured and multicoloured bouquets – whatever the customer likes.
In addition, they have special exhibitions in their small courtyard, depending on the season. Strawberry exhibitions or Christmas exhibitions or special ones for Advent and spring or gardening. Their flowers are fresh, the owner told me that they select only the freshest ones from the market in Frankfurt. And I can confirm this – a bouquet holds for more than one week.
What to buy: They make arrangements for all different occasions. Regular bouquets or ones for weddings, bereavements, Christmas, etc. Check their website (left navigation menu) for examples. Even if the website is in German only, they show photos and they speak for themselves.
Location of Goldner flowershop on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., tip date: February 2008 (update March 2011: location on Google Maps added).
What to pay: It depends what you want to spend. You can already have a nice bouquet for 5 Euro. The ones in my photos 1 and 2 have been around 11 Euro.
Mon-Fri: 8:30 - 18:30,
Sat: 8:30 - 14:00
There might be other tea shops in Darmstadt, but these two ones are my favourites. To make it easy, they are located next to each other (haha, I don’t know whose idea it was, but it seems to work. Both are here since ages).
Tee Gschwendner belongs to a franchising chain, but they offer very delicious teas. As far as I have seen, the tea is available only in loose form (no teabags), but this starts from 100 g up to 1000 g. Their variety is immense, from traditional black tea to green tea, chai, herb teas, and aroma teas of all sorts. In addition, they also sell tea accessoires like tea pots and cups, storage boxes, candy (the sugar not the sweets) and napkins. Usually there is a seasonal variety of special tea mixtures. What I like with this shop is that they have little boxes with the teas where you can sniff and decide if the aroma is your liking.
My alltime favourite is Roibosh-Lemon, an excellent vitamin stimulans for all season. Yum!!
The prices are depending on the variety – green tea for example is around 4 € per 100 g, fruit tea a bit less, and black tea a bit more. They also have a very interesting measuring device, called "Teela-Maß" (Maß = measure), a kind of plastic spoon (photo 5).
What to buy: Rusticana is the shop next door. They also have loose tea and teabags, plus an incredible variety of accessories like tea pots, sets, sugar in all modification and tea related decoration. In addition you can get many spices and herbs there, depending on the season. They are a bit more expensive than Gschwendner, but have another variety in the teas.
Rusticana spices and teas
What to pay: Elisabethenstrasse is the street behind (=south of) Luisencentre shopping mall, and then to the right (west).
Location of Tee Gschwendner and Rusticana on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., tip date: December 2007 (update March 2011: location on Google Maps added).
I recently got a remark about the wedding cup story from a prominent VT member who will marry soon. So I went into research and found the lady who is responsible for having made Darmstadt’s Wedding Tower a place for weddings again. She is one of the Friends of Wedding Tower (Förderverein Hochzeitsturm) and they also have given the wedding cups a revival.
The shop is open during the opening hours of the Wedding Tower. Which is Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter time and daily (except Mondays) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in summer time.
What to buy: It is possible to puchase the cups on display here at the cashier in the tower, but it needs to be paid in cash (they don’t have a credit card reader).
The cups are approx. 20 cm in height and available in different material and style.
Main photo: the ones on the front are made of carved glass and silver (I think, oh my, I didn’t ask… next time for sure) and are 165 € each. The ones in the back (orange and red) are also made of glass, but uncarved and silver, 110 € each;
photo 2: plain ones for 114 €;
photo 3: the ones in the back are 110 €, the ones in the front are 114 €, both a bit more decorated;
photo 4: heavily decorated and 114 €;
The last photo (5) is now another souvenir of Darmstadt’s wedding tower and can only survive with the disciplined, lol. It is made of chocolate, 10 cm in size and is 9 €.
Location of the wedding cup shop (inside Wedding Tower) on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., tip date: December 2007 (update March 2011: location on Google Maps added).
What to pay: The original shop for the wedding cups is located in Goslar. They sell the cups for roughly 20 € less than the shop in Darmstadt.
For website of Goslar's shop see below.
If you are looking for any kind of music on CD, you didn't find in other shops - check out CD Lounge. I was happy to realize that this is not part of a chain, but originated by a man who loves music - thus the slogan "music as passion". CD Lounge is the shop where you can find almost any CD you want, and if not, be sure, the staff will order it.
When I looked for special classic CDs, I got all of them there. Quite a great feeling not to receive a stunned look "What do you want ??", as I experienced it in the department stores and other music shops.
I also like their website (only in German), where owner Peter Schulz and his staff are introducing themselves and their favourite music.
You are in good hands at CD Lounge :-)
What to buy: Well, you can get all kind of classical music, jazz, rock, etc.
And, according to their (old) website, they also have good old vinyl records !
Update April 2010:
They have moved locations and changed the name to CD Lounge. But service and selection is the same or even better.
What to pay: You pay the usual prices - however, I found that they are even slightly less expensive than department stores.
Location of CD shop City CD on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., tip date: December 2006 (update March 2011: location on Google Maps added).
We have an excellent bookstore here, so if you need any specific item, check and ask if they have it. They also order books within 1 day !
They have 3 floors, one (upper floor) with business books and university / school books, the other one (ground floor) with the typical displays like books on sale, new editions of all and everything, postcards and books on CD. The lower level floor is the best - novels and all that, any kind of cooking, gardening, sports, travel literature you can imagine.
Also, they are selling all those little goodies you need or don't need but must have - house decorating things like candles, pictures, frames and the little somethings :-)
English spoken by the way.
The website below is of the main group, you can even order online and pick-up in the desired Habel-location !! Great service !
Update, January 2011:
Since some time, Buch Habel belongs to Hugendubel. They have changed their logo since January 2011. It had influence on the quality/stock of books they had but that's solved in the meantime.
There is a bigger bookstore in town by now (Thalia), but that one belongs to a Holding which is typical for these days: anti-human, RoI interested only and expansion and increasing market share at all costs, blackmailing small bookstores who don't want to cooperate, in one word: a monster. That's why I don't shop at Thalia and that's what I want to ask everyone who comes to Darmstadt and needs books: Buch Habel shall be your choice!
What to buy: Whatever you like - the travel section in the basement is enormous for example !
What to pay: Depends on what you buy, they have the usual prices.
Location of Hugendubel Bookstore on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., tip date: September 2005 (last update March 2011: location on Google Maps added).
The shop is on the left of the artist's colony museum. You find there books, postcards and other gifts from the Art Nouveau.