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Ten Ways To Get The Most German Out Of Your Big Apple Experience

Like German culture and German food, but don’t want to spend money on an overseas flight? No problem, just head to New York! Here are 10 spots in the Big Apple that will give you German literature, history, architecture, and beer – everything Deutsch you could want!

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The German Embassy worked together with the German Book Office, which is headquartered in New York, to give you a taste of Germany while you are visiting NYC!

Deutsches Haus at NYU

Located in the beautiful Washington Mews in Greenwich Village, Deutsches Haus is a part of New York University and is New York’s leading institution for culture and language of the German-speaking world. Since 1977, it has provided New Yorkers with a unique forum for cultural, intellectual, and artistic exchange with Germany, Austria, and Switzerland through its three pillars: the language program, the cultural program, and the kids program.

Keep an eye open for their events, which are particularly nice when they are held outside in the summer!

42 Washington Mews

New York, NY 10003

Friedrich von Schiller Bust

This bronze portrait bust depicts German dramatist, poet, and historian Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805), and was the first sculpture installed in Central Park. A gift of New York’s German-American community, the bust was dedicated in November 1859, the centennial of Schiller’s birth, during a three-day festival in New York commemorating Schiller.

Sculpted by C.L. Richter, the piece is based on an earlier marble bust sculpted by German artist Heinrich Dannecker in 1805. In 1955 the bust was moved from its original location in Central park’s wooded Ramble to its present site on the Mall opposite the Bandshell, and its fragile brownstone pedestal was replaced with a more durable granite base. In 1992 the Central Park Conservancy adopted the Schiller Monument.

Central Park, at the Mall near the Bandshell

Brooklyn Bridge

Katharina Rapp

Called the "eighth wonder of the world" when it opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the largest suspension bridge of its day. German immigrant John Roebling designed the 3,460-foot-long bridge, which he claimed reflected "the perfect equilibrium of nature." When Roebling died in an accident, his son Washington continued his work.

While the Brooklyn Bridge reflects the optimism and entrepreneurial spirit of the late 19th century, it also required individual tenacity and sacrifice. Washington Roebling supervised the project to completion despite fires, accidents, industrial corruption, and flagging popular support. Although work on the project crippled him, he lived to see the bridge praised for its grace and utility. The tall span with its Gothic arches still impresses tourists, artists, and writers alike.

Wankel’s Hardware Store

Wankel’s Hardware Store opened on Third Avenue in 1896, when the neighborhood was still predominantly German. Established by Bernhart and Elizabeth Wankel, second generation German-Americans, it served primarily construction workers and tradesmen. At the time, the most popular item sold was a simple wooden bucket that laborers used to carry beer home from the area’s German breweries. Much has changed over the years, and today you won’t find any wooden beer buckets in the store’s inventory. However, Katherine Wankel, the great-granddaughter of Bernhart and Elizabeth, maintains this family operation.

1573 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10128

Goethe-Institut Library

Marco Polifka

The Goethe-Institut New York Library is one of the few German-language lending libraries in the United States. It has over 7,000 volumes, including books (one-quarter of which are in English), audio books, DVDs, CDs, newspapers, and magazines. Located on Spring Street and equipped with cozy sofas and chairs, it is a beautiful place to enjoy German literature and a great view of NoLita at the same time.

72 Spring Street, 11th Floor

New York, NY 10012, USA

First German Baptist Church

The First German Baptist Church was organized in 1846 to serve the large number of German immigrant families living in "Klein Deutschland" ("Little Germany"). In 1866, Julius Boekell designed a fanciful Romanesque-style edifice for the congregation to meet in, with a gabled façade, two narrow towers, and many windows. Some sources state that the new church was opened in 1869. The German congregation merged or ceased to exist sometime after 1920. In 1926, the building became the Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of St. Volodymyr, and three onion domes were added. In 1962, St. Volodymyr moved to the Upper West Side, and the building was acquired by Congregation Tifereth Israel (Glory of Israel), known as the "Town and Village Synagogue," a Conservative congregation founded in 1949.

336 East 14th Street near First Avenue

New York, N.Y. 10003

72 Spring Street, 11th Floor

New York, NY 10012, USA

Glaser’s Bake Shop

Opened by John Glaser in 1902, and now run by grandson Herb, the old-time German bakery specializes in pumping out Bavarian almond, cherry spritz, and gingerbread men; in short, Glaser's is a holdout. The original white tile floors survive. Apothecary-style wood cabinets panel the darkish rectangular interior. It's a real neighborhood joint: cash only, no delivery. Baked here is a colorful assortment of kids' sugar cookies, wafer-thin chocolate, and cinnamon swirls, and chocolate chunk and chocolate pecan brownies, dense and coated beneath with a sugary glaze.

1670 First Ave.

New York, NY 10128

Segments of the Berlin Wall in Paley Park

Alex Lopez

Nestled in a small Midtown plaza at 520 Madison Avenue is an unexpected piece of history. Five sections of the Berlin Wall, in total measuring 12 feet high and 20 feet long, have been on display here since 1990. Dazzling work by German artists Thierry Noir and Kiddy Citny cover the wall's western-facing side. The eastern side, meanwhile, remains a blank slab of concrete—a reminder of the oppressive political regime in the former East Germany. At first glance, this artifact appears to be just another public mural; it goes largely unnoticed by the office workers who sit in the park on their lunch break.

East 53rd Street (bet. Madison and Fifth Aves.)

Manhattan, NY 10022

Berlyn Restaurant

Not very traditional, rather a modern take on German cuisine, this restaurant mixes it up with Brooklyn specialties. The German owners, Ursula and Jonas Hegewisch, have created a cozy and quirky atmosphere, partly owed to the Gartenzwerge (garden gnomes). Try the warm apple strudel, it’s amazing.

25 Lafayette Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11217

Black Forest Brooklyn

Fort Greene residents Ayana and Tobias Holler grew up in a small town in the rural Black Forest region of southwestern Germany, but their paths never crossed there. It was much later, when they had both moved to Brooklyn, that they met and fell in love. As a tribute to their love, to their Black Forest roots and their Brooklyn home, they now bring you Black Forest Brooklyn – an authentic German Indoor Biergarten and Kaffeehaus, located in a unique 1-story building at 733 Fulton Street, an exciting new addition to the Fort Greene bar and restaurant scene.

If you’re rooting for the German team, this is the place to watch the Word Cup!

733 Fulton St

Brooklyn, NY 11217