Shopping Hours

Shopping hours may come as a bit of a surprise to newcomers.

Forget Sunday — nothing is open. If you haven't been organized you'll need to go to a gas station or train station (only the main station!) to get milk and staples!

As of March 2010, no alcohol may be sold in kiosks, supermarkets or gas stations in Baden-Württemberg after 10 p.m.. This does not apply to restaurants and bars.

The only exception for Sunday shopping are the bakeries and flower shops — many of which are open on Sunday mornings.

Most larger shops and chain stores in Karlsruhe are open 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday in the center of town. Some stores remain open until 10 p.m. on Thursdays - especially those in the ECE Center and Post Gallerie.

Smaller shops will close at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Hair salons are traditionally closed on Monday.

In the suburbs and villages shops are likely to be closed on Wednesday afternoon and close around 1 p.m. on Saturday. Many of the larger supermarkets found on the edge of suburbs and villages are open until 9 or 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

On the bright side, reasonably priced restaurants are plentiful.

There are occasional "Late Night Shopping" evenings and "Sunday Shopping" (Verkaufsoffene Sonntag) days during the year which can vary from town to town, suburb to suburb and even shop to shop.

Taxes (Mehrwertsteuer)

Depending on what you purchase, the tax on the object will be either 7 or 19%. This is already calculated into the final price, so what you see on the price tag is what you pay. The breakdown of the price + taxes can be seen on your receipt.

Shopping Carts

In grocery stores, if you would like to use a shopping cart you need to have either a plastic chip or a one euro coin to release the cart. When you return the cart, you will get your chip/coin back. Most grocery stores have smaller baskets to use while shopping - these stay in the store.

Shopping Bags

In grocery stores, you need to pack the groceries in bags yourself. The bags can be purchased in the store (usually at the check-out counter) or you can bring your own. If you have larger purchases, place all the groceries back in the shopping cart. After you have paid, move out of the way and pack the groceries in bags or other containers.

There is a general movement in Europe to eliminate plastic bag usage. Reuse your bags when possible or remember to carry a bag with you when you go shopping.

Most stores, even clothing stores, now charge a fee for a plastic bag.

Shopping Areas

The main shopping street in Karlsruhe is the Kaiserstraße. There are many smaller stores just off this street, so take the time to explore. Two indoor malls are the Post Gallerie at Europaplatz and ECE Center at Ettlinger Tor.

Each Karlsruhe neighborhood also has a selection of independent and chain stores.


Food and Markets

Besides the daily outdoor food markets, food from specific countries can be found in specialty stores — in Karlsruhe, there are specialty stores for Asian, Spanish, Italian, Turkish and more. Karlsruhe is also home to a number of full-service organic (Bio) supermarkets.