1. A walkplatz in Germany.....is this central coble-stoned walking area where the town's main stores are located. Typically, there are a couple of parking garages at the outer ring of a walkplatz, and you walk from your car....into the center of the shopping district.
2. Most towns of any size (say 50k residents) will have a walkplatz. Some towns....like Wiesbaden, will have an extended walkplatz that goes on and on, and on.
3. Don't expect to save money when you shop along the walk-platz. It's generally the same pricing scheme as in the outer part of the town, or on the internet.
4. Typically, you plan this afternoon trip as an excursion. You do two hours of shopping....stop for cake and cake....and wrap it up with another hour of shopping. The truth be told, you may only spend twenty Euro in one afternoon, and a quarter of that, for coffee and cake.
5. The worst time of the year to insist on a walkplatz trip? The month of December, especially on Saturdays. Usually in early spring when the crowds have yet to come out, but spring sales are occurring.
6. Booze and beverages on the walkplatz? Well....yeah. In the heat of summer, you can always stop at a cafe and have a glass or two of wine, or a stein of beer. You might decide to skip the rest of the day for shopping and just sip a beer or two....watching people pass by and daydreaming. Food? Well, if you walk the Heidelberg walkplatz, there's a minimum of forty restaurants along the mile-long area.
7. Christmas markets tend to be built around walkplatz areas around the last of November, and run till the week after Christmas.
8. The owners of stores along a walkplatz are hyper to any large-scale store moving into the area. Once a big-name store closes on the walkplatz, there's usually an attempt by these smaller stores to jump down on the city council and ensure that only loser stores take the place of the old store that closed or left. It's silly, I admit, but they hate competition.
9. Walkplatz areas can be a magnet for homeless people, especially in the summer. It doesn't mean more crime or such on the walkplatz....it's just another class or group of people that you might come to notice.
10. If you wanted a method of observing the newest trends of fashion, design, or weirdness....then I'd advise you to find a bench on a walkplatz, and just sit for an hour. You might be shocked to discover that combat boots can go with just about any attire, or that really bad fashion twenty years ago....is totally acceptable today.