What To Buy In Heidelberg, Germany

what to buy in heidelberg
| 5 min read

Perched along the banks of the Neckar River is this beautiful town in Germany. Home to Germany’s first university, Heidelberg’s richness lies not only in its cultural history but also its magnificent architecture. Encapsulating history, culture, and architecture in its many walls is the Heidelberger Schloss, a 13th-century Gothic fortification which is now mostly in ruins. Among other notable places in the town is the Universitätsbibliothek (or, University Library), boasting one of the largest book collections across Germany with close to two million volumes in its several shelves. There’s also the Baroque domes of Heiliggeistkirche (or, Church of the Holy Spirit) that you can marvel at. While you’re touring around, don’t forget to shell out a few bucks and buy souvenirs. Thinking of what to buy exactly? Use this list of what to buy in Heidelberg, Germany, as a starting point and you’ll be good to go.

1. Heidelberger Zuckerladen candies

OD'ing on the good stuff from the Heidelberger Zuckerladen.
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jakob Montrasio used under CC BY 2.0

Stand in front of this dated-looking shop and you’ll feel like there’s nothing different. Step inside and you’ll be like a kid in a candy store (quite literally!). Among the most famous local candy shops in Heidelberg, Heidelberger Zuckerladen has almost achieved landmark status in the town. Gummy bears, lollipops, sugar candies, marzipan treats, you name it and they have it. While you’re spoilt for choice on what to pick and what to leave, the owner (manning the till) will engage you in a game of dice to distract you from the craving a bit. The candies here make for fantastic souvenirs, so go by and choose what you like best – they’re honestly divine! It can get quite crowded, so prepare yourselves for the hustle beforehand.

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2. Gummy bears

Oursons gélatine marché Rouffignac
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jebulon used under CC0

If you’re not so much into full-fledged confectionery, gummy bears are a great option to take back home as souvenirs. They don’t melt all that easily and can even be stored for a long time. Did you know that the concept of chewy treats, aka Gummy bears, began in Germany by the name of Gummibär? So, you’ll find a million little stores across German towns selling these delicious little treats. Bären Treff is one of the many amazing shops in Heidelberg where you can pick a bagful. They even give out free samples, so you can try the flavors before purchasing them.

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3. Leibniz Bisquits

 Leibniz Bisquits
Source: Pixabay

These are what you’d usually call cookies, available in chocolate, milk, butter, and several other flavors. Buy a flavor (or all of them) that you prefer and savor them as a superb snack. We hear they can be quite addictive, so watch out for those extra kilos (or pounds) you may be adding up on. Almost every grocery store in Heidelberg sells these, so it’s not going to be hard finding them. Stock up on them for your hunger pangs or as a souvenir for a loved one, Leibniz Bisquits will be a sure-fire hit.

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4. German mustard

German mustard is another fab souvenir that you can take back for folks who appreciate their savory condiments. Mostly organically-grown, the mustard you’ll find in most stores are medium spiced and packed in metal tubes. Since Germans are fond of their mustard flavors, you’ll find a bottle in almost every convenience store in town. You can also go in for the mild or hotter (Scharf) variants, depending on your palate.

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5. Souvenirs from the shops outside Heiliggeistkirche

Source: Photo by Flickr user Erik Drost used under CC BY 2.0

Heiliggeistkirche is one place that attracts a maximum tourist footfall in the city. While mostly go there to marvel at the architectural and spiritual beauty of the place; they also find a great souvenir collection at the tiny stores and built-in stalls outside. Framed prints, non-religious merchandise, posters, and wall paintings are among the many lovely little things you’ll find here. Pick something up for your loved ones back home and give them a bit of Heidelberg to cherish.

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6. A classic German wooden toy

Another quintessentially Heidelberg souvenir to take back home are the cute wooden toys you get around the town. Not just tiny figurines or models, there are full-size wooden chairs or other larger items available too. These make for superb gifts not just for kids, but also adults. If not gifts, you can also take one home for the keepsake. You’ll be impressed by the neatness and intricateness of these toys’ design and details. Buy one or buy many, the options are plenty.

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7. Christmas decoration

Christmas gifts, Heidelberg, Germany
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Maksym Kozlenko used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Nothing says beautiful better than Christmas decoration you’ll find at every nook and corner of the town. Ornamental, basic, or detailed – they have whatever kind you may be looking for. Mistletoe, tiny Christmas trees, star models, snow globes, rice lights, and a plethora of other exquisite stuff. If not the usual decorations, you can also pick up the nutcracker models, tabletop accessories, incense smokers, or music boxes to amplify the Christmassy feels at home. Head to the Hauptstrasse and its neighboring streets and you’ll find many stores selling a varied collection. Käthe Wohlfahrt is one of Heidelberg’s most famous stores for purchasing Christmas decoration. Be it Christmas season or not, the collection at Käthe Wohlfahrt will not cease to stump you.

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8. Cloth shopping bags

Eco-friendly alternatives are big in today’s day and age, so here’s one souvenir that’s not only made to last but also serves as a practical purpose – cloth shopping bags. You’ll find several options with quirky prints and designs across the town. You can use them to carry your stuff around the town and then gift it to someone back home. They come in various sizes as well. Canvas, cotton, or jute, invest in the material you find best. These will definitely be loved by anyone you give them to, so pick one up on your sojourn to Heidelberg.

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9. Sattleschutz (bicycle seat covers)

Know someone back home who’s a biking enthusiast? This is one souvenir they’ll love you for. Sattleschutz is a cooler (and sophisticated) looking variant of a plastic bag that can be used to cover bicycle seats and save them from getting wet. You’ll find them in millions of colors and designs, so pick the one you think best. They’re sold in every local market, but don’t mistake them for shower caps! Sattleschutz can also mean saddle covers, so don’t be surprised if the shop owner hands you something that looks a lot bigger and different-looking than a bicycle seat.

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10. Books

Travel always has a story to tell, and what can encapsulate the story of travel better than a book? While in Heidelberg, pick up a book that’ll forever stay with you as a tangible reminder of your memorable time in town. It can be anything ranging from a German-language comic book or a collection of maps bound as a book. Add to that, Heidelberg is a university town, so you’ll find a fantastic collection of books to pick up. Universitätsplatz, Hauptstrasse, and Plöck neighborhoods of the town have many stores selling them.

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Keepsakes from Heidelberg

The real deal at Heidelberg’s Einkaufzentrum (or, shopping centers) is the local products you’ll find there. While shopping from the usual retail chains is going to be the same as anywhere, it is the smaller businesses or local retailers that are the real gems in the city. Bismarckplatz is where you’ll find most stores and major retail chains. Altstadt and Marktplatz are other equally famous shopping districts in town. You’ll also find great connectivity via public transport to and from all these places. Carry this list of what-to-buy in Heidelberg, Germany while you’re around the town and take a bit of the city back for the keeps.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Priyanjali, a writer and traveler, identifies as a self-proclaimed aesthete dedicated to achieving fulfillment in her personal and professional life. Her skill lies in transforming intangible...Read more

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