Many people find it hard to choose from thousands of different souvenirs that can be bought in Germany. If this is the case with you, then we can help you find the right souvenirs that will impress your friends back home.
You may want to avoid buying something from Germany and seeing it being sold in your neighborhood department store. Most people want to bring home an authentic German souvenir that will not leave any doubt that they are from Germany. In this article, we will give you an idea of where to look for the best souvenirs and what are the souvenirs that you should be looking for.
Are you ready?
If yes, Great!
Where to Go First?
If you want to see great finds while you are in Germany, head to the town of Schwarzard or “Black Forest.” We are not only talking about the chocolate gateau with cherries on top but we are also talking about the actual place where the cake originated. The Black Forest is just a 7-8 hour drive from Berlin. You can commute using public transportation or drive your own car to get there.
What Happens When You Get There?
The fun starts with choosing what souvenirs to buy. Here are some tips of what is considered as an authentic German souvenir.
1. Beer Stein
Every beer drinker will appreciate the distinct experience of drinking from a beer stein. There are others who believed that the brew actually tastes better when the beer is coming from these traditional German mugs. Beer Steins come in a variety of glass, porcelain, stone, wood, silver or even pewter make. Germany is the home of the famous Oktoberfest which is an important part of the Bavarian culture. Numerous visitors drink large quantities of beer during the event. If you can’t take home a beer, you might want to get the Beer Stein instead.
Hand-carved beer steins from the Black Forest can also be perfect when you are drinking beer with your friends at home. Beer steins can make you and your friends feel that you are drinking beer in Germany without actually leaving your home. You can choose to buy 4 or more different designs that have unique lids on top. Beer steins are perfect gifts for your friends or families who love drinking beer. There are a lot of ornamental beer mugs that are sold in the Black Forest. The most special ones are personalized hand-carved beer steins that are made by the locals. Choose beer stein mugs that have hand-painted Bavarian landscapes and townscapes. They are pleasing to the eye and you can use them as a display on your living room.
2. Cuckoo Clocks
This is the most important souvenir that you can bring home. The cuckoo clock originated in the Black Forest. In fact, the town is popular because of the cuckoo clocks that serve as one of the cultural icons of Germany. You can call yourself a certified German tourist when you have bought a unique hand-carved cuckoo clock set from Batten-Wurttemberg.
The Black Forest is the heart of the German timber industry. It is so named because when one explores the forest, the shadows of tall trees and pines seems to give the forest a dark ambiance. You should find high-quality German timber that is used for making the cuckoo clocks.
There are several clocks that you can choose from:
Chalet clocks – These clocks are popular for their human-inspired designs, and figurines. The clock usually shows Black Forest houses and depending on its size, it can portray an entire manor or just a simple hut. You can get chalet cuckoo clocks that have movable drinkers and lumberjacks at work.
Carved Clocks – This clock shows the artistry and the mastery of Black Forest carvers from the Black Forest, The clock brings an old traditional feeling to its owners. The Linden wood is primarily the wood of choice and a frame of leaves is usually carved at the top. A carved owl or a stag is sometimes used for hunter cuckoo clock versions.
Shield Clocks – This is a rare find and you should congratulate yourself if you are able to find a maker of authentic shield clocks. Shield clocks have very elaborate hand-painted designs. The motif is usually comprised of flowers or a rural scenery painting. These hand-painted gifts can grace your living rooms or dining rooms giving it an authentic German atmosphere.
There are a lot of German Cuckoo clocks that are for sale all over the world. However, getting a cuckoo clock from the original place where it came from can be an unmatched experience. Aside from the beauty that cuckoo clocks can bring to your house, you will be able to look at it and remember exciting memories from your trip to Germany.
It is believed that Nutcrackers serve as watchdogs that guard your family against danger and evil spirits. They can of different sizes and shapes and they are popular hand-carved wood souvenirs. Most of the time, nutcrackers are made after the images of Kings, soldiers and authorities of the past. Nutcrackers have often grim looks on them to ward off evil spirits.
Nowadays, they come after the images of Santa Claus, popes, Santa Claus, and other professions such as nutcracker doctors and architects. If you are most people, you might enjoy the nutcrackers’ authentic and colorful costumes, whimsical expressions, and enigmatic charms.
One nutcracker myth says that a lonely wealthy farmer is having difficulty in cracking nuts. He offered a reward to the villager who can come up with the best solution to solve the problem. Everyone drew on their own professional expertise in order to crack the nuts. A carpenter said that a saw should be used to open the nuts. However, it was the puppet maker who solved the problem by building a lever-mouthed doll with a strong jaw. If you love the German culture, you can bring home one of the Nutcrackers. They are also Christmas-themed which can serve as perfect hand-carved wood decorations.
4. Hand-Carved Wooden Figurines or Hummel Figurines
The Black Forest has a rich world of fairy tale and folklore. After all, this is one of the settings of most of the fairy tales made by the Grimm brothers. You can buy collectibles such as wood handicrafts that depict people, animals, and sceneries. You can buy authentic wooden gnomes, farmer holding farm animals, men holding a beer mug and a lot more.
Things that you should look for when choosing a hand-care wooden figurine are the following:
Quality – Choose a Black Forest hand-carved wooden figurine that is the first rate. Figurines from the Black Forest are now becoming collectors’ items. When centuries-old carvings appear on the market, they are often snatched up by collectors quickly.
Signatures – Look for a carving that contains a signature. You can consider yourself as the luckiest person in the world if you are able to find a figurine that was hand-crafted by the Huggle family of carvers.
Figurine’s Carved Subjects –The bear is the most common animal depicted in wood carvings. If you were able to find an authentic dog figurine, you can sell it in an auction with 2-3 times the price of the bear.
5. Antique Furniture
Germany is an old place and it traded with other Renaissance countries such as Italy and France. You can find authentic furniture in Germany that may not be available in your country. It can be up to you if buying furniture while you are on vacation is a good idea. But if you have found the perfect furniture that is centuries old, you might find that it is well worth the investment.
Antiques are rare to find, and often, the German families who own them have a hard time letting them go since the furniture might be a heritage from their ancestors. Usually, the furniture is hand-carved with elaborate designs, and pictures of popular German houses on them. Getting antique furniture from the Black Forest can also serve as an investment since they are made from hard timber.
After Buying Your Hand Craft Wooden Souvenir
If you are asking what’s next after you find the perfect souvenir for you, then the answer is to enjoy your trip to the fullest. The Black Forest has a rich culture and a variety of activities to offer. You can visit the nature park with its grandiose views and mysterious lakes. Hike, or drive through the lush landscape that you can find in this rural town Eat the popular gateau which is present in nearly every restaurant in the place. Try the Black Forest’s sausages and pork dishes. When you are staying in an inn, look for artworks or furniture that you can bring home.
The most important thing is just to simply relax and have fun. You can bring your loved ones so they can choose their own souvenirs and make wonderful memories with you. Everything on a vacation should be fun and filled with happy memories.