Shopping in Stuttgart

grocery shopping fresh produce

Stuttgart is a mod­ern city with a full range of shop­ping options. In this arti­cle we’ll point you to some key shop­ping areas and offer a few tips regard­ing par­tic­u­lar­i­ties about shop­ping in this area of Ger­many.

Shopping Malls

There are sev­er­al siz­able malls in and around Stuttgart.

  • Bre­uninger – Mark­t­strasse 1–3, 70173 Stuttgart
  • Bre­uninger­land – Tilsiter Strasse 15, 71065 Sin­delfin­gen
  • Das Ger­ber – Sophien­strasse 21, 70178 Stuttgart
  • Mer­ca­den – Wolf­gang-Brumme-Allee 27, 71034 Böblin­gen
  • Mila­neo – Mailän­der Platz 7, 70173 Stuttgart
  • Schwaben­Ga­lerie – Schwaben­platz 7, 70563 Stuttgart

You can also find shops for every kind of goods all along the Königstrasse (which trans­lates to “King Street”). This busy shop­ping street runs 1.2 km (0.75mi) from Stuttgart’s main train sta­tion all the way through downtown. This is one of Germany’s longest pedes­tri­an shop­ping street and is lined with depart­ment stores, bou­tiques, restau­rants, and con­ve­nient seat­ing areas.

One key dif­fer­ence between Ger­many and many oth­er coun­tries is that near­ly all shops are closed on Sun­days. Many shops also close rel­a­tive­ly ear­ly in the evening. The shop­ping malls occa­sion­al­ly have spe­cial shop­ping nights dur­ing which all the shops stay open until mid­night.

Pharmacies and Drugstores

If you’re used to Amer­i­can drug­stores, which sell every­thing from pre­scrip­tion med­ica­tions to toi­letries to greet­ing cards to can­dy, then com­ing to Stuttgart will require a bit of an adjust­ment. In Ger­many, as in most of Europe, there is a sep­a­ra­tion between phar­ma­cies (Apotheke) and drug­stores (Drogerie-Markt). Phar­ma­cies are usu­al­ly fair­ly small since the focus is on med­i­cine. You buy both pre­scrip­tion and over-the-counter drugs by ask­ing for them from the phar­ma­cist. You can also buy a lim­it­ed range of beau­ty and well­ness prod­ucts inside a phar­ma­cy. Drug­stores are where you can buy all your toi­letries, as well as baby sup­plies, make­up, and some health foods. (For greet­ing cards you’ll need to go to a gift shop or post office, and can­dy is best pur­chased at a super­mar­ket or a spe­cial­ty shop.) The most com­mon drug­store chains are Ross­mann and dm.

Grocery Shopping

Stuttgart has a large vari­ety of stores where you can get your gro­ceries. If you like to go to a large super­mar­ket with a wide selec­tion, you should try Rewe, Ede­ka, Kau­fland, or Real. For low­er prices and a rotat­ing selec­tion of sea­son­al items, check out Lidl, Aldi, Net­to, and Bonus. Organ­ic or “Bio” gro­ceries are also a pop­u­lar choice in Stuttgart. Although all gro­cery stores have some organ­ic prod­ucts, shop at Naturgut or Alnatu­ra for a ful­ly organ­ic expe­ri­ence.

Online gro­cery shop­ping is very uncom­mon in Ger­many: only Rewe offers an online order­ing and home deliv­ery ser­vice via their app (avail­able from the Apple Store or Google Play Store). Oth­er super­mar­kets offer an online look at the week’s dis­count­ed items, and some also have the pos­si­bil­i­ty to order non-gro­cery items online. How­ev­er, only Rewe gives the con­ve­nience of fill­ing your online shop­ping cart with food either for pre-assem­bled pick­up in store or sched­uled deliv­ery right to your door.

There are many small­er shops and spe­cial­ty food stores in Stuttgart. For exam­ple, a Met­zgerei is a butcher’s shop, where you can buy not only meat but also pre­pared dish­es like Maultaschen. Obst- und Gemuse­han­dler are green­gro­cers that may also sell some oth­er local prod­ucts like herbal infu­sions. There are week­ly out­door mar­kets all over Stuttgart where local sell­ers set up trucks or stands with fresh pro­duce, meat, cheese, and baked goods.

You may notice some par­tic­u­lar­i­ties about gro­cery shop­ping in Stuttgart. If you want a shop­ping cart, you’ll need to put a 50 cent, 1 Euro, or 2 Euro coin into a slot to release the cart. Most shop­pers bring their own bags to car­ry away their gro­ceries, although you can also pay for paper, reusable plas­tic or cloth bags. Ger­man cashiers strong­ly pre­fer you pay with exact change when pay­ing with cash, and if you hand them a large bill they are like­ly to ask you if you have change or some­thing small­er. For­tu­nate­ly, most super­mar­kets accept pay­ment with cred­it card (includ­ing not just Mas­ter­Card and Visa but also Amer­i­can Express, Apple Pay, and Google Pay). There is also an expec­ta­tion that you will move on quick­ly after the cashier has scanned all your items. You should pay and then move your gro­ceries quick­ly off the end of the lane. There are some­times coun­ters off to the side where you can fin­ish pack­ing your items more secure­ly for the trip home.

Most impor­tant­ly, all gro­cery stores in Stuttgart are closed on Sun­days except for the Ede­ka inside the air­port. They are also closed on nation­al hol­i­days, so you’ll want to be care­ful about shop­ping ahead par­tic­u­lar­ly when there is a Mon­day hol­i­day! How­ev­er, ser­vice sta­tions always have a few con­ve­nience items, and many restau­rants and bak­eries are open on Sun­days.

Bakeries

A big advan­tage of liv­ing in Ger­many is that fresh bread and oth­er baked goods are read­i­ly avail­able from local bak­eries. In Stuttgart there are many chains as well as own­er-oper­at­ed bak­eries, and they offer a much high­er qual­i­ty (and fresh­er) prod­uct than what you can buy in the super­mar­kets. You can get to know many local and sea­son­al spe­cial­ties since bak­eries change their selec­tion through­out the year to reflect region­al favorites for that time. Bak­eries are also a great place to meet for a cof­fee and a chat with new friends! Be aware that most bak­eries only accept cash pay­ments, though.