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Want to know more about Germany?
Dip into our inspiring eBrochure and get your first impressions about the sheer diversity of Germany as a travel destination. The eBrochure is available in 29 different languages for Windows PC, Macintosh Computers and Linux PC.

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You can find more information about Germany on our website at:, or on our local websites.


Shopping centres and streets

Germany has no end of shopping opportunities. Every major town has its own shopping street, and there are also shopping malls on the outskirts of the urban centres providing plenty more opportunity to indulge in some retail therapy. The busiest shopping street in Germany is Zeil in Frankfurt. In Munich, the pedestrian area extends between Stachus (Karlsplatz) and Marienplatz (Kaufingerstrasse/Neuhauserstrasse). Cologne's classic shopping streets are Hohe Strasse and Schildergasse, while in Düsseldorf you should head for Königsallee. In Hamburg, Mönckebergstrasse has an impressive range of shops. Berlin's 3.5 kilometre Kurfürstendamm or "Ku'damm", as it is known, is famed all over the world for its shops, bars and restaurants.

Shopping centres bring together stores from a range of different sectors to offer a vast choice of goods under one roof. They are usually located on the edges of major conurbations or on greenfield sites.

The Main-Taunus-Zentrum (MTZ) to the west of Frankfurt is Germany's oldest shopping mall and has more than 100 stores.

With almost 200 shops, Centro Oberhausen in the Ruhr area is one of Germany's largest shopping malls.


Lots of companies that manufacture branded goods have their own factory outlet on site. The range includes porcelain, crystal, high-street fashion, designer fashion, household goods, shoes and much more. The goods are usually end-of-season overstocks and shoppers can save 25% to 50%, or sometimes even more.
It's a good idea to make sure you have an accurate map. The manufacturers' sales outlets are often out of town, or located in industrial parks. Generally, the only forms of payment accepted are cash or EC cards, and goods cannot be exchanged or returned. The precise addresses are listed in bargain-hunters' guides ("Schnäppchenführer") which are available from book shops.
Designer outlet centres have several different stores selling last season's collections, end-of-range lines, seconds and overstocks at prices between 10 and 70 per cent off. These centres are usually located in industrial parks located within easy reach of several major towns and cities.

Flea markets

Flea markets are popular in Germany. Clothes, books, household equipment, furniture, antiques and any number of other second hand goods are jumbled together on open-air stalls. Customers and stall-holders haggle over prices. Flea markets are not just for bargain hunters; they are also popular with casual visitors for their unique atmosphere. Most flea markets are held on Saturdays. See local press for details. 

Tax Free

Value added tax is charged on goods bought in Germany. This is currently 19%, with a lower rate of 7% payable on some goods such as food and books. Visitors can claim back VAT on goods intended to be taken outside the EU. The biggest provider of this refund service is Global Refund, although there are also a number of other providers.


Popular souvenirs from Germany include the Black Forest cuckoo clock, beer tankards from Bavaria, Meissen porcelain, wood carvings from the Erzgebirge mountains and Steiff teddy bears. Other tourist destinations also have their own souvenirs with references to local tradition and culture.