Planning the perfect trip to Berlin and wanting to make sure your souvenirs are special and unique to the city? A great trip to the city includes more than tours and torte. Inevitably you’re going to want to pick something up to remember your trip by, or you’ll need to find something special to bring as a gift to someone back home. After spending a month exploring, here are my favorite Berlin souvenirs and gifts plus where to go shopping in Berlin to find them.
My Favorite Berlin Souvenirs and Gifts
Don’t go to Berlin and come back with something generically German! Berlin has a distinct culture and history, and as such there are so many great Berlin souvenirs that are important to the city and the greater region. Here are my favorites.
Ampelmann Souvenirs, the Little Green Man that Could
You’ll see him every time you go for a walk in East Berlin or other parts of East Germany. The Ampelmännchen, or Ampelmann, the green man on the traffic lights, was designed to help workers in Communist East Germany get excited for the work day ahead. And he was such a success that he is one of the few things that East Germany and East Berlin fought to keep after the reunification.
More than just a silly traffic symbol, he and his newly introduced partner, Ampelfrau, are keeping a bit of East Germany alive in the modern era. And you can even find them splashed on some of the most beloved Berlin souvenirs available in the city. It’s hard to see either of them and not smile, while at the same time reflecting on the past sixty years of history the country has endured.
Where to Shop in Berlin: Ampelmann opened several stores in Berlin to the delight of many. They have three locations, including their flagship store on Unter den Linden.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: If you’re already back home and missed out, don’t fret! You can find ample Ampelmann gifts online (see what I did there). Order a copy of Ampelmann – From Traffic Signal to Cultural Icon which you can read while sipping from your Ampelmann mug while wearing your Ampelmann t-shirt. Ladies can pick up this Ampelmann t-shirt in a ladies’ cut.
Berlin Wall Souvenirs
It’s impossible to visit Berlin and not learn about the legacy of the Berlin Wall, from its erection to what happened in the aftermath of its coming down. I remember learning about the fall of the Berlin Wall as a little girl, and my father received a piece of the wall as a gift. The world seemed so much larger back then, and I was awestruck that a piece of the wall from Germany was sitting in my home in Oklahoma.
Today you can pick up all kinds of Berlin Wall souvenirs and gifts. These can be anything from t-shirts to signs to mugs like those in the picture above. Just keep use and display of these objects respectful, as they commemorate the people’s triumph over their oppression.
Where to Shop in Berlin: You can find Berlin Wall souvenirs for sale in many parts of the city. I especially liked the selection available at the Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstrasse. You do not need to buy a ticket to the museum if you are only interested in visiting the gift shop.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: You can actually order a piece of the Berlin Wall online and reproduction Berlin Wall signs and have them shipped directly to your house. If you’re keen for more information about the wall and its repercussions, check out Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall and Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
Explore Your Inner Harry Potter at Zauberkönig
Looking for a unique Berlin shopping experience? Check out Zauberkönig on Hermanstrasse in Neukölln. This shop has been helping the aspiring magicians, wizards, and witches of Berlin since 1884. Inside you will find tricks for beginners, as well as advanced pyrotechnics for those with some serious magic skills. They also have a fabulous wig collection and rental costumes, if you’re in need of a quick costume or change.
While they sell many items that would make great gifts for children, I enjoyed perusing the shelves and exploring their collection of vintage magic tricks.
Where to Shop in Berlin: Zauberkönig is located at Hermannstraße 84-90. Check their hours beforehand, as they aren’t open all day.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: This is an experience you can only have while shopping in Berlin, but if you absolutely need to order something, you can reach out to them and see if they can help you out. Visit their website (German only) for contact information.
Tickle Your Fancy with Berlin Jewelry
Whether shopping for yourself or looking for a Berlin gift for loved ones back home, jewelry is always a great way to go. Jewelry that’s both beautiful and wearable can help you remember your trip every day. I still have a handmade bracelet I bought in Montreal five years ago and I wear it nearly daily.
My personal tastes tend toward the beautiful and simple, which is why I was swooning while window shopping at promobo while walking between Christmas markets. However, if you’re on the hunt for jewelry in Berlin, you will find many opportunities to shop. Just try to find something made in Berlin (or at least by a German company).
Where to Shop in Berlin: Promobo has three Berlin locations. Check their website for addresses and hours.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: If you left without finding that perfect bauble, you can shop their selection of gifts and jewelry online.
A Cuddly Berlin Bear
No doubt that you’ll see many bears while walking around the city. They’re everywhere! And that’s no coincidence. It’s because a bear has been used as a symbol of Berlin since at least the 13th century. While linguists and historians can’t decide on exactly why the bear became a symbol of the city, residents don’t care. All they know is that the Berlin bear has been around for nearly a thousand years, and here’s to a thousand more!
This means that if you pick up a cuddly teddy bear to take home or give as a gift, it’s not a generic gift. It’s an important symbol of the city and a perfect Berlin gift!
Where to Shop in Berlin: You will find bears absolutely everywhere.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: Of course you can find teddy bears everywhere, but if it’s not from Berlin then what’s the point, right? Another option is to order t-shirts with the Berlin bear on them.
Smell like the Essence of Berlin…Seriously
This perfumery offers something I didn’t know anyone would ever want, to smell like the “Essence of Berlin.” As strange as that sounds, I don’t think I associate the smell of cities with something I’d want to spray on my neck, they have a beautiful store in Nikolaiviertel.
I tested the perfume, and it smelled really good. Not at all like a city street. So if you’re looking for something uniquely Berlin, you can’t get more unique than a perfume bottling the city’s essence.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: Not surprisingly, this is a unique-to-Berlin shopping experience and can’t be ordered online. You could always reach out to them directly if you find yourself in a Berlin perfume emergency.
Berlin Pop Art Inspirations
The artist Sabine Welz has a wonderful store which celebrates cities using beautiful and colorful pop art designs of landmarks, architecture, transportation, and city symbols. She has created works on over a hundred cities, but her only location, for now, is in Berlin. I even got to meet her when I went to the store!
You can find a long list of her Berlin motifs here. If there’s something you want that she doesn’t have, she will even work with you to make something custom.
Where to Shop in Berlin: Her shop is located at Rudolstädter Strasse 127 near Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: You can order pre-made or custom Berlin art (or any other city you desire) from Sabine’s website.
Something from the Palace
If you’re going to be exploring some of Berlin (and Potsdam’s) beautiful palaces, you’ll more than likely end up in one of the gift shops at some point. Full of exquisite reproduction jewelry, historically-inspired patterns, and fabulous busts, I couldn’t help but drool over almost everything I saw in the gift shop at Charlottenburg. They even had wines from the former royal vineyards.
Where to Shop in Berlin: While touring Charlottenburg, Sansouci, the Belvedere, or any of the city’s other palaces, simply save yourself some time to peruse the gift shop before you end your visit.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: If you simply don’t have room in your suitcase for that bust of Kaiser Wilhelm, you can order many of the palaces’ souvenirs and gifts in their online shop.
Locally Made Ceramics
Bring home a bit of Berlin’s reputation for beautiful design in the form of clean, simple, and beautiful ceramics. While window shopping in Neukölln, I came across this gorgeous little ceramics studio. While I can’t find a website for them online, they’re located on Warthestr. (If you can find their website, leave it in a comment and I’ll update the post).
Where to Shop in Berlin: Argke Studio is on Warthestr near the Hermanstrasse Station. Another local ceramics studio in Berlin is the Jojo Corväiá Keramik Studio Berlin.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: While I can’t find a way to order from Argke Studio online, you can shop from Jojo Corväiá Keramik Studio Berlin on their website.
Um…There’s Always Room for Cheese
Depending on how long your journey home is, consider bringing home a taste of local cheese. While this may not make it back on a transatlantic flight, you can always opt to eat it as soon as you’re back in your hotel room. If you’re in town in November, you might even be able to attend Cheese Berlin, the city’s annual cheese festival. While many German kinds of cheese aren’t specifically from Berlin, you can explore them in some of Berlin’s specialty cheese shops.
Where to Shop in Berlin: Allgäuer Käseladen in Prenzlauer Berg, Markthalle Neun, and Peppis Käse Lager are just a few of the great cheese shops and markets where you can find fabulous German (and European) cheese to take home.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: Since this might be the hardest Berlin memento to bring home with you, you might learn which German cheeses you adore while in the country and then order more once you’re home. You can find Quark, Tilsit, and Limburger online and order them so they’re waiting for you at home. You can even order a gift box of an assortment of German cheeses for yourself or a gift for someone else (although I can’t ever bring myself to give away cheese).
Something Warm and Cozy
If you didn’t put enough warm clothing and winter accessories on your Germany packing list, you can always pick up something beautiful and practical on your trip. This serves the dual purpose of helping you to enjoy your trip and not freeze, while also serving as a great Berlin memento once you’re back home. Pick something that you know you’ll continue to use, preferably something a little bit more special than you’d typically buy for yourself. Maybe opt for a nicer fabric or an elegant color.
Where to Shop in Berlin: These alpaca scarves were for sale at the Christmas Market at Gendarmenmarkt, but you can find beautiful winter scarves, gloves, and hats all over the city.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: This is one that you’ll need to pick up in the city, otherwise, your scarf will just be a generic scarf. However, if you’re looking for what items you need to bring with you to dress for winter in Berlin, check out the winter section of my Germany packing list.
DDR & East Germany Souvenirs
If you’re looking for a Berlin souvenir that harkens back to the days of the DDR, there are more options than just Berlin Wall souvenirs. You’ll find East German flags, t-shirts, hats, and all kinds of other souvenirs for sale at small, independent souvenir stands around the city. Seriously, you can’t miss them.
Where to Shop in Berlin: DDR MuseumThese stands are everywhere, but you can also shop at the gift shop.
Typical Kitsch & Collectibles
If you always pick up a hat, tote bag, magnet, spoon, bell, or some other memento from every city you visit, you’ll have an easy time finding them in Berlin. There are tons of souvenir stands on Unter den Linden by the Brandenburg Gate, but really you’ll find any typical, collectible souvenir throughout the city.
Where to Shop in Berlin: Literally all over the city, but you can’t go wrong looking for traditional kitschy souvenirs on Unter den Linden.
Shop Berlin Souvenirs Online: If you forgot to pick up something for your collection, you can find almost everything online. There are Berlin magnets, shot glasses, and even Berlin souvenir plates on Amazon.
5 Things to Pack for Berlin
I have an entire post on exactly what to pack for Germany, but here are five things you absolutely need to have with you in your suitcase.
- The Lonely Planet Germany guidebook for your trip. I’ve been looking for a hard copy here since I don’t like getting stuff delivered to me in Bulgaria, and I can’t find one. Definitely get your guidebook ahead of time.
- An Unlocked Cell Phone so that you can use a German sim card to navigate the city.
- Melatonin if you’ll be traveling transatlantic and your sleep schedule will be disrupted.
- Universal Outlet Adapters if your appliances are from North America or the UK or any part of the world that uses outlets different than continental Europe.
- Travel Insurance Policy information, because things happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance when in cities like Berlin where there are pickpockets that target tourists.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance when participating in outdoor activities. Even in the cities, though, you’ll be happy when you’re able to replace your stuff if it’s lost or stolen.
More about Traveling to Berlin, Germany
- Germany Packing List
- 21 Things to Know Before Traveling to Germany: Tips & Advice
- Exploring Wartime Berlin (Podcast Episode)
- 10 Reasons to Travel Germany in Autumn
- How to Get from Berlin to Dresden on the Cheap & Hassle-Free
- How to Get from Dresden to Berlin
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