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Planning a trip to Germany? Well, while you’re thinking about packing, itineraries, and plane tickets, your friends and family are surely thinking about what presents you’ll be bringing home. Luckily, this beautiful country is a great place for some souvenir shopping. In this guide, we will share the best German souvenirs that you must bring back home!
Traveling to Germany is the best way to learn more about this fascinating country. Plus, German history, tradition, and culture open up a broad spectrum of souvenir possibilities.
You can find anything from historical artifacts and collectibles to toys and sweets, so there really is something for everyone.
Best German Souvenirs from sweets, toys, ornaments, and more
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To help you create a gift list, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 most popular German souvenirs you can treat your friends and family (or yourself) with. So, grab a pretzel and a beer, and let’s get into it.
1. German beer
The first thing you’ll probably want to do when visiting Germany is try out the country’s legendary beer. With over 7,000 varieties of beer brewed in 1,300 breweries, you have plenty of options — so many that even non-beer drinkers will find a pint to their liking.
The most popular beer in Germany is Pilsner, a pale lager with a crisp, refreshing taste. Each German region has its brews, secret recipes, and brewing traditions, so you can try different beers as you travel across the country.
Where to buy German beer
Beer is so quintessentially German that you can find a bottle or sixpack to take home pretty much anywhere. This includes supermarkets, liquor stores, specialized beer shops, breweries, beer gardens, and even farmer’s markets.
2. Beer steins
Speaking of beer, any German will tell you that the perfect way to enjoy a brew is in a beer stein.
A stein, as the locals call it, is more than just a traditional beer mug — it’s a symbol of the country’s beer and brewing history. It dates back to the 14th century, so you can imagine how ingrained it is in German culture.
These traditional beer mugs are usually made of porcelain, ceramic, or stoneware, with a hinged steel lid covering the top.
A beer stein is a great gift for beer connoisseurs or mug collectors who appreciate decorative pieces with a touch of culture and tradition.
Where to buy beer steins
In Germany, beer steins are almost as easy to find as the drink itself. Bars and restaurants sell their own branded versions. If you want something unique, check out specialty liquor marts and souvenir stores for handmade, intricately decorated steins.
3. Haribo gummy bears
If you love gummy bears as much as we do, you’ve surely heard of the Haribo brand. But did you know that it was invented in the 1920s in the town of Bonn in West Germany? The company is now the largest manufacturer of gummy sweets in the world.
Gummy bears are a crowd-pleaser when it comes to souvenirs. You can buy flavors in Germany that you won’t find anywhere else, like “Salz Brezeln” (salty pretzel flavor) and “Saft Goldbären” (fruit juice flavors).
A bonus is that it’s lightweight and easy to pack, which is a great excuse to buy a bunch of it.
Where to buy Haribo gummy bears
You can find these sweet treats in the United States in your local grocery store. But where’s the fun in that when you can get gummy bears straight from the source at German supermarkets or at Bonn’s Haribo factory outlet? The store even has exhibits about Haribo’s history, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
4. German tea
Everybody knows that Germans love their beer, but they also thoroughly enjoy a cup of tea. Black tea is a favorite of the locals, with green tea also at the top of the list. German tea brands that fly off the shelves include Messmer, Teekanne, Dethlefsen & Balk, and Haelssen & Lyon.
Health and wellness teas are surprisingly popular in Germany, and you’ll find teas for all ailments. Flavored herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, ginger, and fruity flavors are used for relaxation, digestion, and other health benefits.
Where to buy German tea
A box of specialty tea makes for a cozy gift. As a bonus, it’s also easy to pack. Most grocery stores in Germany have entire aisles dedicated to tea, so you won’t struggle to find the flavor you are after. You can also find locally-made artisanal teas at farmers’ markets and souvenir shops.
5. Wooden toys
Woodcarving has been a traditional German pastime for centuries, and many artisans have mastered the art. Toymakers have incorporated this skill into their creations, so you can buy handmade, high-quality wooden toys unlike anywhere else.
The Erzgebirge region in East Germany is the heart of the wooden toy-making industry. Some of their best-selling products include wooden puzzles, blocks, cars, trucks, trains, and even musical instruments.
These toys are known for their superior quality and durability, so even kids who play rough won’t be able to destroy them.
Where to buy wooden toys
If you want to buy some traditional German gifts for a kid, you can simply go to any toy store in the country. You’ll also find smaller versions at souvenir shops and airport gift shops.
6. Ritter Sport chocolate
When it comes to German chocolate, one of the best brands is Ritter Sport. The brand name might seem slightly odd, but there’s a perfectly logical explanation for it.
In 1932, the co-founder of the company, Clara Ritter, suggested that the chocolate bars be square to fit perfectly in the pocket of a sports jacket.
One of the best things about Ritter Sport chocolates is the crazy variety of flavors. Strawberry yogurt, cornflakes, honey sea salt almonds, crispy banana, and white mango passion fruit are just a few of their exciting variations, and there are many more to choose from.
Where to buy Ritter Sport chocolate
You can find Ritter Sport in most supermarkets in Germany. But you can live out your Willy Wonka fantasies at the Ritter Sport factory in Waldenbuch. The factory offers chocolate-making lessons where you can create your own personalized chocolate bar.
7. German Christmas ornaments
German Christmas markets are absolutely magical, and the hand-painted festive ornaments are the irresistible stars of the show. Although you won’t be able to transport a large selection of Christmas ornaments home, small decorations make great gifts and will easily fit in your luggage.
A popular choice is the classic Nutcracker doll that brings good luck and protection to your home, according to German folklore. But there are many other items with intricate designs, including angels, snowflakes, and traditional holiday figures like Santa Claus.
Where to buy German Christmas ornaments
If you’re visiting during the festive season, there’s no better place to find unique, handcrafted ornaments than at one of Germany’s traditional Christmas markets. These Christmas decorations are displayed throughout the year in souvenir shops, craft fairs, and antique stores.
Love them or hate them, Birkenstocks are here to stay. These sturdy sandals are one of the biggest brand names ever coming out of Germany. The brand’s roots can be traced back as far as 1774, so it has really stood the test of time.
Birkenstocks are known for being comfortable and were initially designed for orthopedic purposes. There’s nothing worse than uncomfortable footwear when traveling and sightseeing, so investing in a pair is a good idea. Plus, it comes in various designs and colors, so you can choose a pair that compliments your style.
Where to buy Birkenstocks
The best place to buy a pair of Birkenstocks is directly from one of their 15 outlet stores, where the prices are significantly lower. The biggest outlet is in Berlin, but you’ll also find these factory stores in Frankfurt, Bad Honnef, Görlitz, and other towns scattered around the country.
9. Piece of the Berlin Wall
Now, here’s a unique German gift that any history buff will definitely love. Did you know you can buy a small chunk of the actual Berlin Wall? The pieces of concrete are preserved in an acrylic casing, and some still have the original spray-painted graffiti on them.
These display pieces are among the most popular German souvenirs, but scammers unfortunately take advantage of tourists. If you want to own a piece of history, ensure it comes with a legit certificate of authenticity. Without the certificate, you might be paying a lot for a bit of concrete someone picked up in the street.
Where to buy a piece of the Berlin Wall
To buy a legitimate piece of the wall, your best bet is to search in antique and collectible shops. Most German museums have a Berlin Wall display, and their gift shops usually also have authenticated pieces for sale.
10. Germany-themed coffee mugs
Who doesn’t love a good coffee mug? While it might not be the most creative gift, it’s still a popular and cheap souvenir option that you can’t go wrong with.
Whether it’s the Berlin skyline, the German flag, or a quirky mug decorated with sausages and sauerkraut, you’ll find something special for each of your coffee-loving friends.
For a traditional touch, you can go for the classic white and blue Bavarian design or a mug with iconic German landmarks. And, if you find one with your favorite destination printed on it, you’ll be reminded of your journey with every sip of coffee.
Where to buy a German-themed coffee mug
Coffee mugs aren’t hard to find — souvenir shops and chains like Starbucks have plenty. But that’s a bit boring, isn’t it? We recommend you check out local ceramic and pottery stores for a more personal touch. These stores are usually family-run, so not only will you be supporting small businesses, but you’ll also be able to get a unique handcrafted mug.
11. Hummel figurines
Some might say they’re cute, others might say they’re creepy, but either way, Hummel figurines are authentic German souvenirs to bring home. These little porcelain statues were created in the 1930s and quickly became an iconic part of German art and collectibles history.
The figurines are based on drawings by Berta Hummel of children’s everyday life, like playing musical instruments, gardening, and laughing. Each one is hand-painted, making it even more unique and authentic.
Where to buy Hummel figurines
If you’re looking for rare Hummel figurines, antique shops and collectibles stores might have some hidden treasures. For more common (and cheaper) options, you can check at gift shops and larger department stores nationwide.
12. German wine
Besides the country’s legendary beer, Germany also has a fabulous wine scene. Regions like the Moselle Valley, Franken, Baden, and Rhine-Hesse are renowned for their exceptional wineries. So, needless to say, a bottle of exquisite wine makes a great gift for your sophisticated friends.
The Saxony region deserves a special mention when talking about German wine. The area’s unique climate and rich soil create the perfect environment to grow top-quality grapes. Wineries in Saxony produce wines with a distinct flavor profile, including Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Traminer.
Where to buy German wine
The best place to buy a bottle of wine is the winery itself, but we know you might not have the opportunity to visit wineries. Luckily, Germany has many specialized wine shops, or “Weinhandels,” where wine connoisseurs can help you pick the perfect bottle to take home.
13. 4711 Eau de cologne
Cologne is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, and it’s also where the world’s first eau de cologne originated in 1792. So it only makes sense to treat yourself or a loved one to a bottle of 4711, the timeless German fragrance.
The original formula for 4711 is still used today and has a fresh, citrusy scent. The cologne includes lemon, orange, bergamot, and other botanical essential oils. These oils are said to give a comforting, positive, and relaxing effect on the body and mind.
Why wouldn’t you want a perfume that revitalizes and lifts your mood?
Where to buy 4711 eau de cologne
Fragrance stores, or perfumeries, aren’t uncommon in Germany, so you can buy authentic 4711 in most towns, including Cologne and Frankfurt. If there are no perfumeries near the area you’re visiting, you’ll also find the brand in large department stores.
14. Cuckoo clock
If you’re looking for a truly extraordinary souvenir that’s also an intricate piece of art, a German cuckoo clock might be right up your alley. Authentic clocks are made in the gorgeous Black Forest region of Germany by expert craftsmen who uniquely carve each one.
Because of their intricate designs, mechanics, and embellishments, genuine Black Forest cuckoo clocks are delicate, not to mention pricey. Luckily, some high-quality replicas are sturdier to transport and easier on your wallet.
If you want to buy a cuckoo clock, we recommend you set a budget beforehand and consider how you’ll get it home safely and in one piece.
Where to buy cuckoo clocks
There are specialized clock shops in the Black Forest region, in charming towns like Triberg, Furtwangen, and Titisee-Neustadt, where you can get the real thing. But if you’re after a more budget-friendly option, souvenir shops, antique stores, and local markets are good places to find the clock of your fairytale dreams.
15. German sausage spices
If you or someone on your gift list loves German sausages like Bratwurst or Weisswurst, spices are a fantastic idea for a souvenir. Depending on your country’s import laws, you might be unable to travel with sausages.
The next best thing is learning to make these tasty, savory delicacies at home and enjoy them whenever the craving hits.
The spice blends used to make German sausages differ from one region to another and even from one butcher to another. Usually, it includes a mix of herbs and spices like white pepper, coriander, garlic, ginger, cardamom, and marjoram.
Where to buy German sausage spices
Local markets are a great place to find many of the souvenirs on this list, and spices are no exception. Merchants sell cute little packets of mixed spices that you can easily take home at very reasonable prices. Nearby butcheries and delicatessens will also provide the spices you need to recreate German sausages.
16. Traditional clothing
Ask anyone what they associate with Germany, and you’ll most likely hear about Munich’s famous “Oktoberfest.” This annual celebration shows the country’s rich culture and iconic traditional clothing.
Men wear the instantly recognizable “lederhosen,” which are leather pants with suspenders, usually paired with a white button-down shirt and wool socks. For women, “dirndls” are the traditional outfit — a custom-made dress with ruffles, a lace-up bodice, and an apron.
Where to buy traditional clothing
The best place to get authentic traditional dresses is at specialized boutiques in Munich. Be warned, it’s pricey, but a clothing item or two makes a great souvenir.
17. Germany fridge magnet
Fridge magnets are a classic go-to souvenir regardless of which country you’re visiting. Isn’t it nice to be reminded of your travels whenever you open your fridge?
Fridge magnets depicting the German flag, a pretzel, a cute beer stein, the Brandenburg Gate, or your favorite city — the options are endless.
If you’re a heavy packer or have many people at home who expect a gift, fridge magnets are the way to go. Not only is it a budget-friendly option, but it’s also small and compact enough that it won’t cause extra luggage fees.
Where to buy a German fridge magnet
Fridge magnets are easy to find — souvenir shops are plenty in all major German cities. If you left souvenir shopping at the last minute (or accidentally forgot about someone on your list), airport gift shops will always have your back.
18. German fountain pen
Whether you want an elegant writing tool for yourself or a fellow pen enthusiast, a German fountain pen is always a good souvenir to bring home. As with most products made in the country, these pens are of exceptional quality and design.
Germany is home to some of the world’s leading pen manufacturers, including Faber-Castell, Pelikan, Montblanc, and Lamy. Simply writing a shopping list with one of these pens will make you feel elegant and luxurious, so it’s definitely worth the investment.
Where to buy a German fountain pen
Because there are so many pen manufacturers in Germany, you’ll see a lot of stationery stores and specialized pen shops in major cities. Auctions and collector stores are the right places to start your search if you’re looking for a particular collectible.
19. Berliner Luft
Since 1954, Berliner Luft has been a popular drink in Germany. This clear liqueur is made with peppermint essence, water, sugar, and pure alcohol. It’s a slightly syrupy liquid usually taken as a shot, but it can also be added to cocktails for a strong, minty taste.
Berliner Luft is particularly popular in Berlin, which is one of the best places to visit in Germany in winter. The nightlife scene doesn’t cool down during this time, though — the capital is a non-stop party all year round. And if it gets too cold, a couple of Berliner Luft shots will warm you right up.
Where to buy Berliner Luft
You won’t struggle to find a bottle (or three) of Berliner Luft in Germany to take home to your friends. It’s available in supermarkets, bars, restaurants, and liquor stores across the country.
20. Steiff teddy bears
There’s no denying that everyone loves teddy bears, regardless of their age. If you want to spoil someone special back home, Steiff teddy bears will put a smile on their faces. These cuddly bears are the elite of the stuffed animal world, and collectors pay top dollar for rare or limited-edition teddies.
Different ranges of Steiff teddy bears exist, so you can pick one that suits your taste and budget. All their toys are made from the highest quality materials, so whichever you choose, you can be assured it will last a lifetime.
Where to buy a Steiff teddy bear
In major cities like Berlin, Munich, and Stuttgart, you can visit the Steiff Store and see the luxurious bears in person. Many German toy stores stock the smaller, reasonably-priced ranges, so you can find them there too.
The best German souvenirs | Wrapped up
What’s a trip without some shopping? Bringing some thoughtful souvenirs home is a great way to share your German adventure with your loved ones. Hopefully, this list has given you some ideas and inspiration to pick the perfect gift for each person on your list.
Before you hop on a plane, check out our travel tips to make your trip to Germany as smooth and stress-free as possible.
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