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Freiburg Shopping

From: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

Freiburg shop photo

ABOVE: A bear guards the Sigikid children's boutique.

Outdoor markets

photoThe Münstermarkt brings farmers, handicraft vendors, and other merchants to the cathedral square every day except Sunday. Stalls are normally open from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m, though some vendors may go home early when business is slow. (Saturday is the busiest day, when the Münsterplatz is packed with stalls and shoppers, especially on the cathedral's north side.)

If you're staying in a hotel and can't justify buying a kilo of asparagus or a slab of raw beef, you can enjoy a bratwurst or a waffle from one of the Münstermarkt's food wagons instead.

The smaller but lively Market on the Rotteckring is located between the C&A department store and the tourist office. It caters to students and nostalgic ex-hippies with merchandise from North Africa and India.

Department stores and shops

Freiburg's department stores are located on the Kaiser Joseph Strasse, along one of the two main tram routes through the center of town. You'll find branches of Kaufhof, Karstadt, and other German retail chains.

Independent shops are more interesting, and there are plenty of them. (We learned about many of Freiburg's small shops from Helike Jurina, a charming and knowledgeable guide with the Freiburg tourist office.)

Alte WacheOn the Münsterplatz, you'll find the Alte Wache, a former guardhouse that is now a showroom for wines from Baden. You can sample more than 100 wines by the glass (sip it at a table under the arches) or buy bottled wine, accessories, and gourmet foods in the ground-floor shop.

Historisches KaufhausNearby, secondhand books are sold under the arcades of the  Kaufhaus. Most are in German, but who knows--you might find a Danielle Steel or Stephen King potboiler mixed in with the Teutonic titles.

Sabine Schmidt cheese shopSabine Schmidt Käsespezialitäten, on the north side of the square, may be Freiburg's best source of imported and domestic cheeses.

C-PunktJust behind the Münster, c-punkt--a.k.a. the Roman Catholic diocese's information office and gift shop--has an appealing range of souvenirs. Bargains include stone paperweights and roof shingles from the Münster. (The cathedral is made of sandstone, and worn sections are constantly being replaced by stonemasons.)

Goldsmith symbolAs you walk around the Altstadt, you'll see mosaic coats of arms set into the cobblestones that represent goods on sale in adajcent shops. For example, the coat of arms at right belongs to a jeweler, the Goldschmiede in der Ölmühle.

GarconneMany interesting shops are in Gerberau, Fisherau, Insel, and other streets near the Augustinerplatz. A good example is Claudia Löslein's fabric and clothing boutique, Garconne, where we saw this boiled-wool jumper on a mannequin outside the shop. Made-to-order clothing is also available, and multiple fittings will give you a reason to linger in Freiburg.

Spielzeugladen HolzpferdFreiburg's Altstadt has several excellent toy stores, including Spielzeugladen Holzpferd (which translates as "Wooden Horse Toy Shop). The store may look small, but it's well-stocked with everything from high-end dolls, kits, etc. to inexpensive impulse items.

Honig GalerieClose by, on Fisherau, Honig-Galerie sells a wide range of honeys, honey-based candies and liqueurs, baked goods, and cosmetics made from honey or royal jelly. The shop, which occupies a 300-year-old house, was founded by Susanne Heldt in 1997.

Finally, one of the most useful souvenirs that you can buy is a Freiburg map satchel, a messenger bag that is produced by a German map vendor, Way-ok. Look for the colorful bags at bookstores and souvenir shops around town.

To learn more about Freiburg shops, put on your walking shoes and explore the Altstadt. You'll find interesting stores throughout the old city.

Next page: Hotels, hostels, and camping



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