Looking for a great gift or souvenir from Germany? Here are 8 German gift ideas, both cliche and quintessential, all made in Germany. You can pick them up in Germany or (if you don't want to pack them) buy online and send it home. From shoes to books to toys, these quality German products will always be appreciated.
01 of 07
The cuckoo clock is THE signature gift from Germany. These pendulum-regulated clocks originated in the Black Forest and can be identified by their intricate wood carving and cuckoo's call on the hour.
You can spice this gift up by choosing a more contemporary model. The cuckoo clocks of today come in bold colors and modern designs and some are even made out of stainless steel.
Top Tips for Buying a Cuckoo Clock in Germany:
- Clocks are generally as traditional carved (railroad station house, nature and hunter styles) or chalet (house or a Biergarten).
- Authentic clocks are made in the in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest region) and certified by the Verein die Schwarzwalduhr (VdS or Black Forest Clock Association)
- 8-day clocks (large weights) need to be wound once a week, 1-day clocks (smaller weights) should be wound once a day.
- Quartz clocks are generally not traditional and may not be authentic
02 of 07
What German product is more well-known than the oft-maligned Birkenstock? Sure, Germans sometimes wear them with socks and they are nott necessarily the hippest shoeware, but they stand the test of time. These sandals have been manufactured in Germany since 1774. With their contoured cork and rubber foot bed, they conform to your feet, making them one of the most comfortable shoes on earth.
And just because the Birkenstock has a long history, that does not mean it hasn't adjusted to the future. "Birks" have become more trendy and come in fresh colors like plum, stone blue, passion flower, and iridescent silver. They have also ramped up their traditional 2-strap style and they now come in a variety of designs - some even forgoing the traditional sandal.
03 of 07
Also on our list of best toys made in Germany, these lovely stuffed animals from Steiff not only put a smile on children's faces, but also on those of worldwide collectors. The Steiff Teddy Bear is made only out of the finest materials, such as actual felt, mohair, and alpaca. The real bears also come with the authentic Steiff trademark, the original "button in ear" that keeps imitations at bay.
Fans of the toy that find themselves in Munich should set aside time for a day trip to the factory in Giengen (about 90 miles west). Here you can play in the interactive toy museum and observe the workshops where the plush toys are still created by hand. Finish your visit by shopping at the largest Steiff shop in the world. Who can resist a shop full of teddy bears?
04 of 07
The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales include such classics as Schneewittchen (Snow White), Aschenputtel (Cinderella), and Rotkäppchen (Little Red Riding Hood).
Give this story book to a child or the young at heart. No matter what age, it is always magical to conjure up the Germany of old times with its mysterious forests, romantic castles and medieval villages.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Give the gift of beauty and well-being. Women from all over the world love Dr. Hauschka's natural skin care from Germany.
Dr. Hauschka follows a holistic approach to skin care and only uses sustainable, organic ingredients plus all their products are free from preservatives. A personal favorite is their rose day cream.
06 of 07
Designed on drawings of the German nun, Maria Innocentia Hummel, every porcelain character is handcrafted. This process takes several weeks and makes every figurine unique – and definitely popular.
The figures became popular in the 1930s, particularly after the end of World War II as American soldiers stationed in West Germany sent the figurines home as gifts. There is even a Hummel Museum in Illinois and you might recognize the figurine (or a hundred) from your grandmother's shelves.
The German factory closed down in 2008, making these collectibles more valuable than ever.
07 of 07
The German Rail Pass is a practical gift for anybody who wants to explore Germany. With this pass, you can travel throughout Germany for 4 to 10 days within a period of one month, and even make stops in Austria and Switzerland. You can purchase the German Rail Pass at any train station or travel agency in Germany, or online.