SHOPPING IN HEIDELBERG IS EASY AS MANY SHOPS ARE LOCATED IN THE OLD TOWN:
Although Heidelberg is not known as a shopping destination, there are more than 400 shops in this town that will keep you busy.
The Old Town (Altstadt) accounts for a third of all shops in Heidelberg, which makes it convenient for shopping. The main shopping area is the rectangle bounded by Hauptstraße, the main pedestrian street that is known for shopping, Plöck (south of Hauptstraße) and Marktplatz (at the eastern end of the rectangle) and Bismarckplatz to the west (the tram and bus hub). Just on Hauptstraße alone there are many boutiques, gift shops, bookshops and shops that cater for your daily needs.
Shops in Heidelberg
Most of the shops in Heidelberg are small businesses or retail outlets of international chains, but there are department stores as well.
Fashion and accessories – Some international high-street chain stores along Hauptstraße include Stefanel, Esprit, Benetton, Geox, Mango, H&M and Foot Locker. When the sale signs are up, it’s hard to walk the length of Hauptstraße and not be enticed … and I’m speaking from experience here.
Books – Being a university town, there are many bookshops in Heidelberg and you’ll find them in Hauptstraße, Plöck and especially around Universitätsplatz. Some have an English language section where you can buy your reading material or last minute guide books or maps.
Gifts and Souvenirs – One of the most popular gift shops along Hauptstraße would have to be Käthe Wohlfahrt at Hauptstraße 124. The Käthe Wohlfahrt store is a treasure trove of Christmas gifts and decorations that lovers of all things Christmas will find hard to resist. At Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas shopping is available all year round.
Other gift shops along Hauptstraße include Swarovski at Hauptstraße 85, Best of British at Hauptstraße 192 and Tinney’s Irish shop at Hauptstraße 194.
For the cheaper souvenirs and postcards, the stalls surrounding the Heiliggeistkirche in Marktplatz have everything from umbrellas, tea towels, flags, and all sorts of tacky souvenirs. It’s odd that Heidelberg’s most famous church would allow these lower quality stalls to be attached to the exterior of this magnificent church, which unfortunately gives it a trashy look.
If you prefer department store shopping, you can head for Galeria Kaufhof. There are several Galeria Kaufhof’s in town but the one at Bismarckplatz has seven levels of shopping. This store has everything from men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, household goods, toys, food and alcohol. If you’re looking for more serious branded goods, you’ll find Valentino, Aigner, Hugo Boss, Timberland and Calvin Klein here.
A Sweet Kind of Place
Heidelberg can’t compete with Rome or Paris when it comes to shopping for designer labels, but what it misses out in high fashion labels, it makes up for in sweets. The Heidelberger Studentenkuss is a Heidelberg tradition. Don’t leave town without buying one of these ‘Kisses’.
If you can, try and visit the official Heidelberger Studentenkuss shop on Haspelgasse near the Alte Brücke. The owner of the shop is lovely to talk to and it helps that she speaks perfect English.
Heidelberger Zuckerladen at Plöck 52 is another popular candy store in Heidelberg. The dentist chair in the window warns of what happens to people who indulge in too much sweet, but those who dare to step into the store will enjoy the range of sweets and the quirky atmosphere created by its entertaining owners. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this shop, and most visitors come out raving about it.
If you happen to be in town on Wednesdays and Saturdays, you’ll find the local market in operation at the Marktplatz. The colourful market operates from 7 am to 2 pm only and you never know what local goods you can find here.
Map of Heidelberg: