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Berlin: Pick up authentic GDR souvenirs at Ostpaket

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Ostpaket Berlin
Ostpaket sells East German goods for those with a case of "Ostalgie." Photo: Roboppy

The television tower, or Fernsehturm, at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz was one of the proud symbols of the former East Germany. Then it is perhaps fitting that its shadow falls upon a store specializing in products from the GDR.

Ostpaket, located across Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse from the train station in the Berlin-Carré shopping center, sells a combination of popular GDR brands that withstood the economic transition and are still for sale today, as well as items that were produced in such excess under the planned economy that they remain as leftovers, even after nearly two-and-a-half decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Ostpaket Berlin meats

A jarring selection of preserved meats. Photo: Roboppy

Here, among other tasty treats, you can pick up a jar of the famous Spreewald pickles, perhaps best enjoyed before boarding your next plane. For your loved ones back home, try the multi-colored chicken-shaped hard-boiled egg holders, spiced soaps, fine textiles such as handkerchiefs, or traditional wooden toys – all still produced in Germany’s “new states.” Unlike the rest of the tourist-oriented stores cluttering the street, you can be certain that every souvenir from Ostpaket was really made in Germany.

Ostpaket is located on the second floor (German: 1.OG.) of the Berlin-Carré shopping center, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 13, in the rear above Kaiser’s. Open for your shopping pleasure Monday-Friday, 9-19, Saturday 9-18.

About the author

Hilary Bown

An academic by training, a writer by day, and a Cheapo by heritage, Hilary Bown's meagre means and insatiable travel appetite have helped her sharpen her "no-budget travel" skills across the European continent over the past decade. At home in Berlin or on an adventure abroad, you'll find her in sandals, riding the bus, reading novels while walking, drinking the local wine, writing out postcards with a felt-tip pen, and browsing the shelves of the supermarket and hardware store. Find her unique blend of travel adventure and tested advice at Less Than a Shoestring.

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