15 Distinctively German Things to Buy in Frankfurt

15 Distinctively German Things to Buy in Frankfurt

Home to the European currency (ECB) and namesake sausages, Frankfurt is undoubtedly one of, if not "the", most known destination in Germany. For this there are quite a few reasons. Listed here are some of the things behind those reasons, which now can be picked up as souvenirs.
(To visit the venues mentioned in this article, check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Frankfurt)
Image Courtesy of: Andrew Bone

1. Frankfurt Homburg-Style Hat

Frankfurt Homburg-Style Hat
The ‘bad’ in Bad Homburg, eight miles from downtown Frankfurt, indicates this is a community that authorities deemed wholesome enough to grant it a spa status. It was the healthy climate that drew the Prince of Wales, future King Edward VII, to Bad Homburg in 1882. While there, he bought a hat that he, and subsequently the rest of the world, would thenceforth refer to as Homburg. A Homburg is a stiff hat made of wool or fur felt with a crease running the length of the crown. The edge of the brim is turned up sharply all the way around, and often topped with trim of the same material as the hatband. The style was rediscovered by hip-hop artists in the 1990s, who gave a ‘bad’ Homburg a whole new meaning. Despite its notoriety, the hat is not widely available.

The original Homburger Hutsalon can be found in Bad Homburg on Rathausstraße 8. Bad Homburg is part of the Frankfurt Rhein-Main urban area and can be reached in 20+ minutes by taking the S5 from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, or from Frankfurt city centre at Hauptwache and Konstablerwache. Homburg hat prices start at €129 ($178).
Where to find it:
Homburger Hutsalon
Address: Rathaus Strasse 8, 61348 Bad Homburg
Operation Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 10a.m.-1p.m., 3p.m.-6:30p.m.; Saturday: 10a.m.-2:30p.m.
Email: info@homburger-hutsalon.de
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2. Apple Wine ‘Bembel’

Apple Wine ‘Bembel’
A Bembel is a stoneware pitcher used to serve apple wine, and not incidentally, to keep it cool during the warm summer months. Frankfurt is known for its apple wine locales and their owners keep several sizes on hand to serve the needs of small and large groups. When served, the pitcher is left at the table, usually with a bottle of sparkling water, and the clientele mix their own drinks. A Bembel is generally grey in color with a simple blue design behind the glaze. Some depict city landmarks. As a gift intended for someone who does not drink apple wine, these pitchers can serve as rustic bric-a-brac; they also make very good flower pots.

Toepferei Maurer is a family operation that makes and sells Bembels and related pottery. Their Bembels are priced between 12 and 30 euros and the shop is in the middle of the Sachsenhausen apple wine district; Wallstrasse 5, 60594 Frankfurt. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and until 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Another source is Dippemarkt at Fahrgasse 80, 60311 Frankfurt, near the Konstablermarkt.
Where to find it:
Toepferei Maurer
Address: Wall Strasse 5, 60594 Frankfurt
Operation Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Address: Fahrgasse 80, 60311 Frankfurt
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3. Frankfurt Wine

Frankfurt Wine
Frankfurt is one of the few German municipalities deeply involved in wine business. The city has had its own vineyard at Lohrberg, a modest hill on the northern border of the city, since 1803. Another source of wine is found outside the city limits in nearby Hochheim. The Lohrberg vineyard produces about 10,000 bottles a year. These wines and those from Hochheim can be bought at a wine shop located in an archway on the left side of the City Hall at Roemerberg.

Prices range from 5 to 82 euros a bottle, the latter being for a 2003 Hochheimer Riesling from grapes selected late in the harvest. Sparkling wines are also available. The bottles make nice Frankfurt gifts because they bear distinctive labels with the city seal and landmarks.
Where to find it:
Wine shop
Address: Limpurgergasse 2, 60311 Frankfurt
Operation Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Offline reading and travel directions:
With GPSmyCity App you can read this article offline on your mobile device, use the embedded offline city map and GPS navigation, as well as create a self-guided walk to visit the venues featured in the article.

4. Designer Soap

Designer Soap
Frankfurt is known as a banking center with more skyscrapers than anywhere else in Germany. The very first of them, however, wasn’t a bank but a building belonging to a soap and scent factory. The Mousonturm still carries the name of the soap works, but now is a performing arts center. Die Seifenmanufaktur, located in the north of Frankfurt, carries on the soap tradition as a wholesaler of a wide range of hand-made soaps found at shops around the city. Natural ingredients are prevalent and the soaps come in many different colors, shapes and scents. These soaps can be found at the Hessen Shops in the Sachsenhausen district at Diesterwegstr. Soaps are priced from several euros up to 35 euros or more for gift arrangements.
Where to find it:
Hessen Shops
Address: Leipziger Strasse 49, 60487 Frankfurt, near the university in Bockenheim
Address: Diesterweg Strasse 22, 60594 Frankfurt

Address: Nistergasse 16, 60439 Frankfurt
Operation Hours: Monday-Friday: 2 p.m.-6 p.m.

5. Car Models

Car Models
Adam Opel AG began building cars in 1899 at a factory near Frankfurt in Ruesselsheim. General Motors first took a stake in the German car company in 1929 and Opel still remains a GM subsidiary. Classics from more than 110 years of car making are available at the Opel store in the form of scale models, generally on a scale of 1:43 or 1:67. One possibility is to combine shopping with a tour of the plant, but it’s not necessary. Subways S8 and S9 run every 10 to 15 minutes from downtown Frankfurt. The journey takes 14 to 20 minutes, depending on where you get on. Get off Ruesselsheim main station. The Opel shop is in the big red factory building on the left when you come out of the station. Prices: Smaller models cost several euros; top range products are more than 30 euros.
Where to find it:
Opel Forum
Address: Bahnhofsplatz, 65423 Ruesselsheim
Operation Hours: Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
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6. Eintracht team Scarf

Eintracht team Scarf
Eintracht Frankfurt is a sports club with about 16,000 members that is best known for its professional soccer team. Because the season is long, running from July till May, fan-wear is almost always available. The eagle and crown of the official city seal is also found on the Eintracht Frankfurt club logo. Both, the logo and the words Eintracht Frankfurt are found on most fan scarves, thus making it a good and somewhat offbeat souvenir. A trip to the stadium without a scarf is something no true fan would consider, be it winter or summer. The scarves cost about 13 euros and can be found almost anywhere sporting goods are sold.
Where to find it:
Sport Arena
Address: An der Hauptwache 1, 60313 Frankfurt
Operation Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thursday,Saturday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday: Closed

The Eintracht-Shop
Address: Bethmann Strasse 19, 60311 Frankfurt
Operation Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sunday: Closed

7. Leather Handbag

Leather Handbag
Leather-making was an important industry through the middle of the 20th Century in Frankfurt and the surrounding region. The center of the industry was just east of the city limits, in the town of Offenbach. However, by year 2000, there were less than 20 companies left making leather goods in and around Offenbach. One of those companies is Picard, founded in 1928 and located in Obertshausen about 7.5 miles from Frankfurt. Picard makes leatherwear for men and women that has a reputation for quality and durability. Its products are found in many Frankfurt leather shops.

Gabler, located downtown at Toengesgasse 33, 60311 Frankfurt, is a good venue. Gabler predates Picard by about 50 years and is located one block away from Zeil, the pedestrian zone that is the heart of the Frankfurt shopping district. The ladies handbags shown here range in size and are priced from 119 to 199 euros. Gabler store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
Where to find it:
Address: Toengesgasse 33, 60311 Frankfurt
Operation Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

8. Euro Mug

Euro Mug
Frankfurt is the home of the European Central Bank, which is located at Kaiserstr. 29, 60311 Frankfurt, at least until it moves to a permanent location currently under construction outside the downtown financial district. On the ground floor of the current building, on the Kaiserstrasse side, is a glass-walled facility called Infoshop in the ECB. Infoshop is not part of the central bank. It primarily sells coins, books and there is a small coffee shop. Among the souvenirs on offer here are coffee mugs in true-to-life colors and designs of the euro notes. Whatever the denomination: 5, 10, 50 or 500 euros, the price for a mug is the same 5.90 euros. Shop hours are Mon-Fri, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where to find it:
Address: Kaiser Strasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt
Operation Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

9. Techno Music

Techno Music
It was in 1982, legend has it, that an employee in a record store below Frankfurt’s main train station decided to categorize disparate electronic music bands, such as Germany’s Kraftwerk and the English group Depeche Mode, under one label. Because "technology" was too long a word, the label was shortened to techno, and Frankfurt was on its way to becoming the German capital for developing the music whose roots are in the U.S.

A legendary cavernous disco at Frankfurt airport was an early stage for mixes by DJs who remain mainstays of the scene; Talla 2XLC and Sven Vaeth are two. Both sell product on their websites. Recordings also are available in the few remaining CD shops. For people who know their way around the music, Freebase located at Brueckenstr. 36, 60594 Frankfurt sells LPs and CDs and has a European-wide reputation. CDs from better known DJs, like Vaeth, are available on the top floor of Saturn in the MyZeil shopping mall, 106 Zeil, 60313 Frankfurt. A CD will cost about 17 euros.
Where to find it:
Address: Bruecken Strasse 36, 60594 Frankfurt

Top floor of Saturn, MyZeil shopping mall
Address: 106 Zeil, 60313 Frankfurt
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10. Apple-Wine Glass

Apple-Wine Glass
Given the importance of the apple wine culture in Frankfurt, it should come as no surprise that there is a drinking glass made for and used only to drink apple wine. The glasses have a distinctive ribbed diamond pattern and most display the logo of an apple-wine maker. Those logos are what make the glasses an attractive souvenir, because they often feature Frankfurt motifs with the city name printed on the glass. Standard sizes are one-quarter liter or a half-liter, and they can be found everywhere apple wine is served. The glasses are readily available at shops, but finding one with a commercial brand is a little bit more difficult. One location in the middle of the city is Frankfurt Forum, in the Roemer city square at Roemerberg 32, 60311 Frankfurt. A quarter-liter glass costs 1.60 euros. Another location is KaufhausHessen, in the cafe district of Bornheim, at Berger Strasse 288, 60385 Frankfurt.
Where to find it:
Frankfurt Forum
Address: Roemerberg 32, 60311 Frankfurt

Address: Berger Strasse 288, 60385 Frankfurt

11. Frankfurt Mustard

Frankfurt Mustard
Mustard is known all over the world and mustard seeds are grown in many places far away from Frankfurt. Great Britain is a mustard-seed producer and English mustards are renowned. Frankfurt lays claim to the frankfurter, which is one reason the city has a reputation for good mustards. Writing in 1805, the German academic Carl Philipp Funke said, “The English mustard is preferred. In Germany, the best mustard comes from Frankfurt am Mayn (sic).” Today, the spelling of the river is different but the city mustard culture flourishes. Ingredients in specialty mustards can include the seven herbs found in the traditional Frankfurt ‘green sauce,’ apple wine and pumpkin.

There are mustards that go well with cheese and, of course, a hot dog. KaufhausHessen, a shop at Berger Strasse 288, 60385 Frankfurt, offers a variety of mustards with labels identifying the product as coming from Frankfurt am Main. Price: 5 to 7 euros.
Where to find it:
Address: Berger Strasse 288, 60385 Frankfurt

12. Frankfurt Apple Wine

Frankfurt Apple Wine
Some people claim the city of Frankfurt is the heart of the apple wine culture, while others say the center is where you are sitting when sampling this regional favorite. Apple wine is fermented without sugar and its alcoholic content at 5.5 per cent is about half that found in wine made from grapes. Apple wine normally is served in a stoneware pitcher with a separate bottle of mineral water. Consumer are invited to mix their drink themselves. The combination is a refreshing, low-cal treat with a punch.

Big commercial brands, like the Possman varieties, are found anywhere alcoholic beverages are sold, including the supermarket in the basement of Karstadt department store at 90 Zeil. The Zeil is a pedestrian zone that is the city’s central shopping district. Kaufhaus Hessen away from city center in trendy Bornheim at 288 Berger Strasse, 60385 Frankfurt, offers a connoisseur’s selection. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and until 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Closed Sundays. Possmann Original costs about €1.60 ($2.20) for a 1 liter bottle. Specialty brands cost more, but still not expensive.
Where to find it:
Karstadt department store
Address: 90 Zeil, 60313 Frankfurt

Kaufhaus Hessen
Address: 288 Berger Strasse, 60385 Frankfurt
Operation Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday: Closed

13. Jack Wolfskin Sportswear

Jack Wolfskin Sportswear
Jack Wolfskin was founded in Frankfurt in 1981 and is one of Germany’s most successful manufacturers of outdoor gear. Today, the company is based near Frankfurt, in Idstein. Jack Wolfskin products are sold in more than 4,000 stores across Europe and Asia. The clothing is generally light weight and comes in bright colors stamped with the company’s yellow-paw trademark. A feature with their jackets is the separable jackets and inner liners that can be worn separately and are interchangeable. This means the customers can select a liner to go with their jacket and vice versa. Because the jackets also ‘breathe,’ they are popular with skiers and hikers. A basic winter jacket is available for 130 euros and top of the line combinations cost 400 euros.

There are two Jack Wolfskin stores in Frankfurt. A downtown store is located at Neue Kraemer 30, 60311 Frankfurt. The Nordwestzentrum shopping mall in the north of the city has a store at Tituscorso 5, 60439 Frankfurt. Shops are open from 10 a.m. until early evening, except on Sunday. Another shop is in Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport; it stays open until 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Where to find it:
Jack Wolfskin stores
Address: Neue Kraemer 30, 60311 Frankfurt

Address: Nordwestzentrum shopping mall, Tituscorso 5, 60439 Frankfurt

Address: Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport
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14. Frankfurter

Frankfurt lends its name to a pork sausage, known around the world as the frankfurter. Although it tastes best fresh, at least one butcher has come up with an idea of a canned product suitable as an edible city souvenir that can be transported long distances. The history of Gref-Völsings goes back to 1894 when the butchery by the same name was founded. Gref-Völsings products are found all over town, at supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants and butcher shops. For canned products, the company uses traditional design cans to pack their sausages. Frankfurters are long and slender, and a half-dozen will fit into a can that sells for about 6 euros.

Suggestions for both fresh and canned Frankfurters are butchers’ Metzgerei Ullmann or Schoen in the city market at Kleinmarkthalle, Hasengasse 7, 60311 Frankfurt. The canned variety is available at Kulturothek just outside the market at An der Kleinmarkthalle 7-9. Hessen Shop outlets and KaufhausHessen also sell the product.
Where to find it:
Metzgerei Ullmann, city market at Kleinmarkthalle
Address: Hasengasse 7, 60311 Frankfurt

Schoen, city market at Kleinmarkthalle
Address: Hasengasse 7, 60311 Frankfurt

Address: An der Kleinmarkthalle 7-9, 60311 Frankfurt

Address: Berger Strasse 288, 60385 Frankfurt
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15. Struwwelpeter Children’s Book

Struwwelpeter Children’s Book
Struwwelpeter is one of the world’s best-selling books for children with 30 million copies sold in Germany alone since it was first published in 1845. Author, Heinrich Hoffmann, was born in Frankfurt; his book was born there too, out of frustration. Hoffmann wrote and illustrated a series of tales, each with a moral, after having failed to find a suitable children’s book for his three-year-old daughter. The book remains controversial to this day. A common criticism is that it is too gruesome for children.

The American author Mark Twain was not among the critics. Twain “freely” translated the book for his daughter while on a trip to Germany in 1891, using the title ‘Slovenly Peter.’ His translation is available at the Struwwelpeter Museum, Schubert Strasse 20, 60325 Frankfurt, in the Westend district. Many other translations, in Thai, Chinese and Yiddish, for example, are also available there. The museum is open Tue-Sun from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The books range in price from about 10 euros to 25. Another location for English-language copies is the Frankfurt Forum near City Hall at Roemerberg 32, 60311 Frankfurt.
Where to find it:
Struwwelpeter Museum
Address: Schubert Strasse 20, 60325 Frankfurt
Operation Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Frankfurt Forum
Address: Roemerberg 32, 60311 Frankfurt
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