The 20 BEST Souvenirs from Germany

From the bustling, modern cities like Berlin to the storybook villages along the Romantic Road, like Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany offers so many memorable experiences. To remember your visit to this incredible country, we’ve laid out our favorite and best souvenirs from Germany to bring home from your travels.

From traditional handicrafts steeped in centuries of tradition to edible souvenirs reflecting Germany’s cuisine, let’s dive into the best German souvenirs to consider buying on your trip. 

What to buy in Germany | Top 20 German Souvenirs

We have traveled to Germany several times. It’s one of our favorite countries! And we have personally purchased many of the souvenirs on this list. Each one offers a unique glimpse into the country’s heritage and character.

German souvenirs you can eat or drink

There are a lot of different foods and drinks that Germany is known for, so naturally quite a few of the best souvenirs from Germany are edible and delectable. 

Heart-shaped cookie

heart shaped cookies hanging in a vendor booth at Oktoberfest in Munich Germany
These heart-shaped cookies, frequently sold at festivals and Christmas markets, are one of the best souvenirs from Germany.

Heart-shaped cookies, known as “Lebkuchenherzen” in German, hold a special place in the country’s culinary culture and traditions. 

These sweet gingerbread treats are often intricately decorated with colorful icing and adorned with heartfelt messages, making them popular gifts during festivals and fairs, particularly during Oktoberfest and Christmas markets. Lebkuchenherzen symbolize affection, friendship, and celebration, embodying the festive spirit of German gatherings. 

The beautifully designed cookies with their heartfelt messages are often bought as gifts or German souvenirs. While they are edible, and taste ok, they are often harder than normal gingerbread cookies and are often kept in their original wrapper to be hung as a decoration or displayed as a memento from your time spent in Germany. 

German cheese

The Netherlands may be world famous for its cheese, but don’t discount some of the many notable German cheeses when looking for edible souvenirs from Germany. 

Emmental cheese stands out as a delicious representation of the country’s cheese-making. Characterized by its distinctive holes, Emmental boasts a nutty flavor and creamy texture that delights cheese enthusiasts worldwide. 

Another renowned German cheese to consider is Camembert, which originated in France but has been masterfully crafted in Germany for centuries. Additionally, Limburger cheese is a popular addition to German cuisine, renowned for its pungent aroma and bold flavor. 

BUY A GERMAN CHEESE ASSORTMENT

Haribo gummy bears

holding up Haribo goldbaren in Germany
Whether you buy them as a German souvenir to eat at home or simply eat a bag while you’re in Germany, Haribo products purchased in Germany are the best!

Haribo is a famed and beloved German candy company. While you can buy Haribo products in the United States and around the world, the Haribo Golden Bears sold in Germany hold a special distinction compared to those found in other countries. 

The Golden Bears made and sold in Germany boast a slightly different recipe and taste profile tailored to local preferences. The Haribo Golden Bears sold in the United States are actually made in Turkey. While those sold in Germany, are made in Germany, and include one extra flavor – apple!

The Haribo gummy bears sold in Germany also seem to have a softer texture and are made with real fruit juice and natural flavors rather than artificial colors and flavoring. While you can buy them online, they are going to cost you much more than they do if you buy them from a convenience store in Germany.

As such, the Haribo Golden Bears sold in Germany are a must try, especially for fans of the gummy candy.

Chocolate 

German chocolate is known for its exceptional quality and rich flavor. 

German chocolatiers have perfected their craft over generations, resulting in a diverse range of delectable treats. Whether it’s smooth milk chocolate, intense dark chocolate, or creamy white chocolate, German chocolate will delight your palate with its velvety texture and balanced sweetness. 

What sets German chocolate apart is its dedication to using premium ingredients, such as fine cocoa beans sourced from around the world, fresh dairy products, and natural flavorings. From iconic brands like Ritter Sport and Milka to local artisanal chocolatiers producing handcrafted pralines and truffles, German chocolate makes for a thoughtful gift to bring home from Germany. 

While Belgian chocolate is often considered the gold standard and has become something the country is famous for, in the realm of confectionery, German chocolate is cherished by sweet lovers worldwide.

Beer

a hofbrau beer from Munich germany
Hofbrau is one of the most popular beers from Germany.

If there is one country in the world where you will want to drink the beer and bring home the beer, it is Germany! 

German beer holds a revered status worldwide, celebrated for its unparalleled quality and longstanding history. In fact, the oldest brewery in the world is located in Germany. 

Brewing beer is a time-honored tradition originally perfected by monks and passed down through generations. The Reinheitsgebot, or German Beer Purity Law, dating back to 1516, ensures that only hops, malt, water, and yeast, are used in the brewing process, resulting in beers of exceptional taste and consistency. 

Whether you’re bringing home the popular Hofbrau beer or beer from smaller breweries such as Erdinger – brewed in the town of Erding (which is also home to Therme Erding the largest thermal spa in Europe), each time you drink your German beer, it will take you back to the lively beer gardens that Germany is known for.

German Wine

If you prefer wine instead of  beer, Germany is esteemed for its exceptional wine, as well. 

Riesling is the flagship grape variety of Germany. It produces a white wine that is both dry and sweet. Moreover, Germany’s cool climate and steep vineyard slopes along the river valleys of the Rhine, Mosel, and Main contribute to the production of Pinot Noir and other varieties. 

Whether enjoyed as a crisp apéritif or as a companion to hearty cuisine, German wines make for great souvenirs from Germany or gifts for the wine lover in your life. Pair your German wine with cute German-themed wine charms and a Wines of Germany book, and you’ve got a great gift idea.

German spices and condiments

a plate of sausage with German condiments and vegetables
German condiments make for a great accompaniment to sausage, pretzels, or other German meals.

Some of the most popular spices and condiments to bring home from Germany include mustard, paprika, and curry powders, each reflecting the country’s culinary flavor profiles. 

German mustard, particularly varieties like Düsseldorf and Bavarian sweet mustard, are renowned for their bold flavors that add the perfect kick to sausages, pretzels, or sandwiches. 

Paprika, both sweet and spicy, is another staple in German cuisine, adding depth and color to dishes like goulash and sauerbraten. Additionally, curry powders, prized for their aromatic blend of spices are sometimes used to season meats and vegetables. Although more frequently associated with Thai dishes or Indian cuisine, currywurst is a popular German dish seasoned with these aromatic powders.

These spices and condiments not only capture the essence of German gastronomy but also provide an opportunity for home cooks to infuse their dishes with the rich flavors of the country, making them popular and cherished souvenirs for food enthusiasts and travelers alike.

Tea

different teas from Germany
You can buy all types of tea in Germany, depending on your personal preference.

Germans love their tea almost as much as the British! 

Tea holds a special place in German culture, where it is cherished as a comforting beverage enjoyed throughout the day. Despite Germany being more commonly associated with beer and coffee, tea consumption is widespread and a part of daily routines for many. 

While they don’t have their own variety of tea like, say, Morocco (fun fact: Moroccan tea is the0 national drink – but I digress.) Germans do enjoy classic black teas and often add a splash of milk. Herbal and fruit infusions, known as “Kräutertee” and “Früchtetee,” are also immensely popular.

During your trip to Germany, try a few different types of tea, and consider bringing some home as German souvenirs.

Other unique souvenirs from Germany

Understandably, you may want to bring home a token of Germany that you can keep forever rather than eat. Here are a few other popular German souvenirs to consider.

Lederhosen or a dirndl

a little girl in a dirndl
Our daughter in her dirndl on the way to Oktoberfest in Munich

Whether you are visiting Munich for Oktoberfest or just want to take home an authentic Bavarian souvenir, lederhosen and dirndls make for unique souvenirs from Germany. 

Considered traditional Bavarian attire, these iconic garments are primarily worn for festivals and special occasions. 

Lederhosen, typically worn by men, are crafted from leather suede. These shorts are often accompanied by suspenders with embroidery or embellishments that reflect Bavarian culture.

Similarly, dirndls are traditional Bavarian dresses consisting of a bodice, blouse, full skirt that comes down to or below the knees and an apron. The bodice is often tightly fitted and laces or cinches up in front. The accompanying blouse worn underneath can be made of lace or another matier with short sleeves. 

A symbol of regional identity and timeless elegance, these traditional outfits make for some of the best souvenirs from Germany. Whether purchased to be worn during Oktoberfest in Munich or to recreate the travel feeling with a themed Oktoberfest party at home, this authentic piece of Germany will serve as cherished reminders of your travels and experiences in Germany.

Cuckoo clock

a cuckoo clock
Cuckoo clocks originate from the Black Forest of Germany and make for wonderful keepsakes. | Photo by Aritha from Pixabay

A cuckoo clock makes for another splendid gift from Germany. Originating from the Black Forest region, these intricately crafted clocks symbolize German craftsmanship at its finest. 

With their unique design and captivating mechanism, cuckoo clocks not only serve as functional timekeepers but also as exquisite pieces of art. The melodic cuckoo bird call, echoing through the wooden frame, adds a touch of whimsy and nostalgia to any space. 

Whether displayed in a cozy home or an office, a cuckoo clock from Germany is sure to bring joy each time the little door opens and the bird appears making his distinctive call to notify you of the hour.

Stein

a man wearing lederhosen and holding a stein
A stein not only complements traditional Bavarian attire, it makes for a great souvenir from Germany.

Beer steins are without question one of the most popular souvenirs from Germany. These special beer mugs are ornate, sturdy and have roots tracing back to the Middle Ages. 

Featuring intricate designs, often depicting scenes from German folklore, history, or nature, beer steins are not only functional mugs but also pieces of art that reflect the German heritage. 

Additionally, the traditional association of beer with German culture adds to the appeal of steins as souvenirs. 

Christmas ornament 

A Christmas store in Rothenburg ob der tauber where you can buy Christmas ornaments and other German souvenirs
The beautiful Christmas store where we purchased our Christmas ornament as a German souvenir.

Germany is one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe

The Christmas markets in Germany, known as Christkindlmarkts, encapsulate the festive spirit of the holiday season. 

Visitors to Christkindlmarkts are greeted by an enchanting aroma of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine and rows of stalls selling handcrafted ornaments and other souvenirs. 

Christmas ornaments are popular souvenirs at these festive markets. Whether it’s traditional glass baubles, intricately carved wooden figurines, or delicate porcelain ornaments, the selection is bound to captivate and inspire. Take your time browsing through the stalls adorned with twinkling lights and decorations to find the perfect ornament to adorn your Christmas tree or to give to loved ones. 

Even if you aren’t visiting Germany during the holiday season, you can find Christmas stores in many German cities and even smaller villages, like the storybook village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, where you can take home a Christmas ornament any time of year.

Beyond their decorative appeal, these ornaments become more than just a transaction; they become a memory and keepsake from your holiday in Germany.

SHOP FOR CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS FROM GERMANY

Piece of the Berlin Wall

a piece of the berlin wall in a display case
Real or a fake? Berlin wall pieces are popular souvenirs, but most are not authentic.

Buying a piece of the Berlin Wall as a souvenir from Germany is not just acquiring a meaningful memento; it’s acquiring a piece of history, a symbol of resilience, and a testament to the triumph of hope over division. 

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the end of an era of separation and oppression, ushering in a new chapter of unity and freedom for Germany and the world. Owning a fragment of this iconic barrier serves as a powerful reminder of the struggles endured and the victories achieved in the quest for democracy and human rights. 

It’s important to note, however, that most Berlin Wall pieces you’ll find in shops and online are fake. We purchased ours from the Muer Museum at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, which is the official museum about the wall. Is our German souvenir real? We hope so, since it came from the official museum. But even if it isn’t, it starts interesting conversations anytime someone sees it displayed in our house. 

Use your own judgment, but if you want to buy a fragment of the wall (real or fake) you can find them online.

Teddy Bear or Plush Lion

a bavarian lion dressed in lederhosen and a teddy bear in a dirndl
Visiting Germany with kids? A plush teddy bear or lion make for great souvenirs for kids.

If you don’t want to spring for pricey lederhosen or dirndls, you can opt for a cuddly plush toy adorned in traditional garb. 

While the teddy bear isn’t uniquely German, this beloved plush toy is just as popular in Germany as it is elsewhere in the world. 

Along with a teddy bear, buying a plush lion, specifically from the Bavarian region is a wonderful way to bring home something from Germany that your kids will love.

Nutcracker

a vintage nutcracker from germany
Handmade nutcrackers are colorful decorative pieces that are popular keepsakes from Germany. | Photo by V2osk from Unsplash

Nutcrackers are other popular souvenirs from Germany, particularly during the Christmas season. 

Originating from the Erzgebirge region in the 17th century, these wooden figurines have become symbols of German holiday traditions. Carved with meticulous attention to detail and often adorned with colorful paint and elaborate costumes, nutcrackers captivate the imagination. Although they have decorative appeal, nutcrackers also serve a practical function, as they truly can be used to crack open nuts. 

Whether displayed as part of a holiday décor or collected as cherished keepsakes, nutcrackers make beloved German souvenirs sought after by visitors from around the world.

SHOP FOR AUTHENTIC GERMAN NUTCRACKERS ON ETSY

Magnet

a magnet from Germany displayed on a magnet board
If you collect magnets from your travels, then a magnet is a must-buy souvenir!

A magnet will always make our list of the best souvenirs from Germany or any other country, primarily because we personally collect them from each place we visit. 

Whether you buy a city-specific magnet from every place you visit in Germany or a magnet representing the whole country to display on your refrigerator or magnet board, a magnet makes for a great souvenir from any trip. 

Wooden toys

Like nutcrackers, Germany is famous for its wooden toys.

German wooden toys are durable and feel like a throwback to the times of old before plastic became the primary material used to make toys.

Often made with locally sourced wood such as beech, maple, or pine, the wooden toys found in Germany often feature simple designs, free from electronic components or flashy features, allowing for open-ended, imaginative play. 

Whether it’s a classic wooden dollhouse, a wooden stroller for your child’s baby doll, or a charming set of wooden animals, these toys can provide hours of entertainment and can serve as treasured heirlooms passed down through generations.

Gluhwein mug

mulled wine in a glass mug
Mulled wine is a delicious beverage to enjoy at German Christmas markets often served in a glass mug, which makes for a great souvenir. | Photo by Gaby Dyson from Unsplash

Glühwein, known as mulled wine, in English, is a type of spiced wine popular at German Christmas markets that will immediately fill you a warm fuzzy feeling. 

Enjoyed during the winter months at the markets and other gatherings, each sip of Glühwein brings the essence of holiday cheer with its aromatic blend of spices.

A mulled wine mug makes for a fantastic German souvenir, especially when paired with the spice bags to make this delicious beverage at home. These mugs are often clear glass mugs. However, you can always buy a traditional mug with a fun Gluehwein saying. 

A mug makes for a practical souvenir you can use to enjoy hot beverages and a reminder of the joys of your travels, taking you back to sipping mulled wine at a German market in Dresden, Munich, or Nuremberg. 

Ampelmann merchandise

the ampelmann on a crosswalk in Berlin
The Ampelmann is the crossing signal in Berlin and adored throughout the country.

Ampelmann is a beloved figure in Germany, particularly in the nation’s capital of Berlin. With his distinctive green and red hat and playful demeanor, the Ampelmann was originally introduced in East Germany in the 1960s, serving as a pedestrian crossing signal. 

After the reunification of Germany, the Ampelmann symbol endured as a nostalgic reminder of the country’s divided past. Today, the Ampelmann has transcended his role as a traffic signal to become a cultural symbol, adorning various merchandise and German souvenirs.

His cheerful presence resonates with both locals and visitors alike, making the Ampelmann a recognizable figure across Germany.

SHOP FOR AMPELMANN MERCHANDISE ONLINE

Brubaker pyramid 

A Christmas pyramid-  a popular souvenir to buy in Germany and display during the holiday season
A Christmas pyramid is a popular souvenir to buy in Germany and display during the holiday season. | Photo by Ulrike Mai

A Brubaker is one of the more unique German souvenirs because you don’t really see them in the United States. 

These Christmas pyramids from Germany are holiday decorations renowned for their craftsmanship. These traditional wooden structures feature rotating tiers adorned with festive motifs, such as angels, carolers, and nativity scenes, all powered by the heat generated by burning candles.

Brubaker pyramids make for a unique gift or even a souvenir you can display each Christmas as a centerpiece on the holiday table or as a focal point in the home. 

Where to find the best souvenirs from Germany

Teddy Bear store in Rothenburg ob der tauber
A cute souvenir store in Rothenburg ob der Tauber where you can buy German souvenirs for kids.

One of the best spots to browse for souvenirs in Germany is the bustling Christmas markets that adorn cities like Nuremberg, Cologne, and Dresden during the holiday season. These markets not only turn these cities into some of the most notable winter wonderlands in the world, they offer an array of handcrafted ornaments, wooden toys, and delectable treats you can buy. 

For those seeking traditional Bavarian treasures, the quaint shops lining the streets of towns such as Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Bamberg are also great places to find unique German gifts. 

Alternatively, vibrant cities like Berlin and Hamburg boast eclectic flea markets and trendy boutiques, perfect for discovering contemporary designs, vintage finds, and quirky souvenirs that reflect Germany’s modern flair. 

Conclusion | Souvenirs from Germany you’ll want to buy

As you bid farewell to the enchanting land of Germany, laden with memories and souvenirs alike, remember that each trinket carries with it a piece of the country’s rich history and culture. 

Whether it’s a crisp bottle of Riesling or a handcrafted wooden piece, these German souvenirs serve as tangible reminders of the unforgettable experiences you’ve had during your journey.

Do you have a question or comment about these German souvenirs? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your thoughts or your own Germany gift ideas in the comments below.

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