Shopping in Frankfurt
Shopaholics will find their every need catered for in Frankfurt’s excellent retail districts. There are the usual large department stores, as well as specialist handicrafts shops, so whether visitors are after a souvenir or just want a bit of retail therapy, the city doesn’t disappoint.
Many shops along Zeil sell the typical local gift, the ebbelwoi (apple wine) carafe, called bembel, which comes with matching glasses. International brands can be found in the streets leading off the main thoroughfare. Goethestrasse is known for its exclusive designer clothing and jewellery boutiques. Oeder Weg and Berger Strasse offer just the opposite - small but interesting bargain and curiosity shops in which to rummage.
Antiques can be found in the streets around the cathedral. Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse has the best delicatessens, fish shops, markets and wine merchants in town and the Kleinmarkthalle on Hasengasse is full of international delicacies. For something unusual, Comica, Stiftstrasse, offers comics, graphic novels and related memorabilia.
A flea market is held every other Saturday 0900-1400 either in Sachsenhausen, on the south side of the Main, or at Frankfurts's East Harbor. Head here for vintage relics and treasures that are unlikely to be found on the main shopping streets. An excellent produce market can be found on Saturday 0800-1700 and Thursday 1000-2000 on Konstablerwache Square, which is ideal for self-catering visitors. Another popular produce market is held on upper Berger Strasse between the clock tower and Saalburgstrasse on Wednesday 0800-1830 and on Saturday 0800-1600. The produce market on Schillerstrasse takes place on Friday 0900-1830.
The pedestrian street, Zeil (from Hauptwache to Konstablerwache), is the city's major shopping street and is lined with well-known department stores. The shopping centre MyZeil, Zeil 106, attracts visitors with around 100 shops, restaurants and cafés.
The largest shopping centres in Frankfurt are the Nordwest Zentrum, Walter-Möller-Platz 2, the Hessen Centre, Borsigallee 26 and the Isenburg-Zentrum, Hermesstrasse 4. The Skyline Plaza Frankfurt, Europa-Allee 6, has 170 shops, restaurants and a spa. A large shopping centre close to Frankfurt is the Main-Taunus-Zentrum in Sulzbach.
Large city centre stores and supermarkets are open Monday to Friday 0900/1000-2100 and Saturday 0900-2100. Smaller shops close at 1830 on weekdays and at 1400 on Saturday. All shops are closed on Sunday.
For souvenirs, make a beeline for Roemer, Frankfurt’s main square. Small trinket shops dot the perimeter, with stalls also selling the usual array of key rings, fridge magnets, postcards and tea towels. These classic bits and bobs feature Frankfurt’s Dom Cathedral, pictures of the Main and other key city landmarks. Tourist information centres also sell souvenirs.
VAT is currently at 19%. Travellers who live outside the European Union can obtain a tax refund (www.globalblue.com) on goods bought in Germany by submitting the purchased goods and the original receipt to the customs office at the airport. The export certificate should then be taken to any one of five counters after the security check, where a cash refund is obtained. Note that a small fee will be charged on all refunds.