5. Living in Marburg (Food, Shopping, and Free Time)

5.1 Living arrangements
5.2 Mensa
5.3 Supermarkets
5.4 Other Food Stores
5.5 Farmers Markets
5.6 Eating establishments
5.7 Kneipen, Bistros, Cafés
5.8 Shopping for Items other than Food
5.9 Was ist los in Marburg?

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5.1 Living arrangements

The Auslandsamt (Section: 4.5) will place you in student housing run by Studentenwerk (Section: 4.2). You will get a private room of about 14 m2 (150 ft2) and will share a kitchen and bathroom the people on your floor. The most common arrangement of floors is 12 to 16 single rooms with one kitchen and two bathrooms. The other arrangement is a WG (Wohngemindshaft) where 4 to 7 people share one kitchen and one bathroom.

Each private room contains a bed, desk, two chairs, a small table, a sink, a medicine cabinet, a book shelf, and a closet (some rooms have an additional desk lamp). You will also get a set of sheets and a blanket (these can be changed several times during the semester). For the kitchens Studentenwerk provides a locker for each person, refrigerators for the floor, a sink, hot plates, and usually an oven. Things to cook in and eat on are provided by the residents. The offerings of kitchen equipment therefor vary will the floor.

For a listing of all Studentenwerk dorms, locations, room sizes, and rent see Section 12.1.

5.2 Mensa

The University has two main Mensas: one downtown across the river from the Hörssaalgebaude complex and one on the Lahnberge next to the Klinikum. The downtown Mensa has several small cafés for drinks and both Mensas have small cafeterias (on the ground floors of both buildings) which are open longer then the larger dinning areas. For hours of operation see Section: 12.2.

For lunch both Mensas offer three menus, a daily special (Tagegreich), and a Tellergreich. The menus very in their content and price. The cheapest is Menu 1 (3.50 DM) and the most expensive 3 (4.80 DM). These usually are sometime of meat dish. Menu 2 (4.00 DM) is always meatless, but not always free of animal products (they do sometimes use milk products and eggs). Menus 2 and 3 come with three additional items: side dishes, bread, or fruit; in any combination of your choice. Extra side dishes cost .90 DM each. The Tagsreich varies with its offerings. It costs 2.70 DM and does not include any side dishes. Both Mensas offer the same Menus and Tagsreichs, Tellergreichs differ. Drinks are of course extra. They cost 1.40 DM for soda, 1 DM for mineral water, and 1.50 DM for juice. Save money and bring your own drink.

You can also find convenient food and beverage in the smaller Mensa in the Hörshallgebaude (downtown) and in the basement of Geowissenstaft (on the Lahnberge, Hans-Meerwein-Str.). Most of the larger buildings also have some variety of food and drink vending machines (cash only here). For open Hours see Section: 12.3.

Payment in the downtown Mensa in the large dining hall is only with something called a U-Key. You can get these at the booth in between the main staircases right off of the main entrance (open during lunch). There is a 20 DM deposit and you put 10 DM on for the first bit. You add money with the machines located around the Lobby. In a pinch you can put money on it in the payment line. You can also use this key at the other cafés in the Mensa and at the one in the Hörsaalgebäude. All food on the Lahnberge is cash only, no U-Key allowed.

Like Baker the food quality at the Mensas very. But overall it is good for mass prepared food. You get a decent amount of food for a reasonable.

5.3 Supermarkets

The cheapest way to eat is to cook for yourself. You will probably find however that you will not have time to cook lunch (bag lunches work) and will only have breakfast and dinner back in student housing.

The supermarkets in Marburg can be split into three categories. One is your typical German corner grocery story convenient, decent prices, but a limited selection. Examples of these are Plus (Bahnhofstr.), HL Markt (Wilhelmplatz), and NahKauf (Schützenstr.). Another is limited selection, but cheat prices discount grocery store. These would be your Aldi (Gutenbergsstr.) and Lidl markets ( am Krummbogen). Last are your larger stores with more selection and reasonable prices. Ha We Ge (Universitätesstr, Ketzerbach, and Wehrde Einkaufcentrium) and Co-Op (Rosenstr.). The one that is just expensive and has stuff you canít find at the other places is the supermarket at Ahrens (Universitätesstr).

The first category will have most basic food items just not many choices. They are good for convenient shopping. The prices at the larger stores however are really about the same and sometimes less. Here you also find a better selection of bottled drinks (including cases) and fresh produce (the Ha We Ge on Universitätesstr. and the one in the Wehrda Einkaufcentrum are good for fresh produce). The discount places are good for packaged meats and cheeses, canned foods, snacks, and cheap wine. If you really canít find that odd item try a small specialty food shop or Ahrens.

The best way to handle caring groceries home is with cotton sacks. They are cheap for 1 DM at any checkout, are reusable (they last forever), and can be used for everything from carrying books to being used as pot holders. Paper or plastic bags are also available and sell for .20 - .30 DM. They donít give you bags in Germany. Most of the time you bag for yourself as well.

Important: If you want to use a cart have a 1 DM coin. If you donít have one use the money changer in the Unversitätesstr. Ha We Ge (the only one in town). Other method is to give 1 DM (two 50 Pfennig pieces work as well) to someone about to put their cart back. When buying products in bottle and jars, you will often have to pay a deposit (Pfand) refundable upon return of the vessel.

5.4 Other Food Stores

Marburg has a few Bioladen comparable to natural food stores in the States. Here you will find organically grown produce, other produces such as flour, bread, spices, beans etc. and related items. Many of them also specialize in environmentally friendly produces of various types. Locations are Gutenbergstr., Bahnhofstr., and Ketzerbach. Ha We Ge also has a selection of Bioproduckte.

5.5 Farmers Markets

The Farmers Markets in Marburg can be found at three locations: Behind the Elisabethkirche, at the Marktplatz in front of the Rathaus, and on Frankferterstr. All of them run from 8 a.m. to about 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Here you can find most fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, meats, breads, confectioneries, and some gourmet items. Even though most of the people are food sellers and not farmers, the stuff is fresh. Prices are usually comparable with Ha We Ge. The only time the food is questionable is in cold weather and the produce freezes. Organic produce and products are also available.

5.6 Eating establishments

The first thing you should know about restaurants in Marburg is that they are just was expensive as anywhere else in Germany. The usually price for an entree are from 12 to 22 DM, add on 2 - 6 for a beverage or desert, and the bill for one person is about 12 - 30 DM. So unless you are rich you cannot eat out all of the time on a meager student income.

There are nice lower priced alternatives. Imbisse offer decent prices, a popular choice is the Donner Kebab (prices range from 5-6 DM) or French fries (3-4 DM). Pizza places have a nice variety of Italian food. A normal sized pizza (the size of a regular dinner plate) will run from 6-11 DM, depending what you want on it. Also many cafés have food menus. Many times here you can find a nice selection for less than 12 DM a dinner with beverage. Auflauf also has reasonably priced meals.

Most of the restaurants and Cafés post their menus outside, so you can get an idea of what a meal will cost you. If you want to eat there just go in and find a place to sit down. I have not seen a restaurant in Germany with a "Please wait to be seated" sign. Popular places start filling up at about 9:00, go early if you want seating for a group. Usually you have to ask when you want to pay the bill. You then pay the server at your table. A tip is not usually expected since it is included in the price of the meal, but if you want to just round total up to a convenient number (15% would be extremely generous).

Good restaurants include: Auflauf (Steinweg 25), Mexicalies (Biegenstr.), Mahahrata (Biegenstr.), Bißtro (Elisebethstr.), Destille (Neustadt 25)Ö The Marbuch has a good listing of eating and drink establishments (Section: 7.2).

5.7 Kneipen, Bistros, Cafés

There are quite a large number of these types of establishments in Marburg. Some people even go to the extent of calling Marburg a Kneipenstadt. Each one has its own unique atmosphere and given the number you will probably find a few that you like with the right combination of atmosphere and drink offerings by the end of the year. Most have food offerings but there are just as many that are really just drinking establishments. With food: Café News (Reitgasse 5), Les Journaux (Elisabethstr. 14), Grünhaus (Neue Kasselerstr. 4), Café Barfuß (Barfüßerstr 23), Yol (Schützenstr. 33) and Krokodil (Weidenhäuserstr. 25) are recommended. Just for something to drink: Hinkelsteins (Markt 18), Blues (Weidenhäuserstr. 97), and Cavete (Steinweg 12) are favorites. There are certainly many other places in Marburg to fit all tastes, look in the Marbuch (Section: 7.2).

5.8 Shopping for Iitems other than Food

You will probably not need to buy any kitchen items since most floors will have some communal pots and pans. But if you do, Woolworthís and TEKA (both on Bahnhofstr.) are the best places to find cheap, medium to low quality items. If you canít find what you need there try Ahrens on Universitätsstr.

For personal care items try Idea drug stores on Elisabethstr. and Baarfüßerstr. or Ha We Ge. If you canít find the items there try at a pharmacy, they abound in Marburg. Good prices on offices supplies can be found at TEKA, Woolworthís, and Pen&Paper (Steinweg). Reasonably priced clothing can be found in C&A in the SchloßCenter on Universitätesstr. Many types of stores are in the Oberstadt and in the Wehrda Einkaufcentrium (take the 3 bus to the stop of the same name).

5.9 Was is los in Marburg?

Many Marburg students will answer "Nichts" to the above question. At least some of the other students will say this. For them Marburg is perhaps too small, but for an exchange student it is just the right size. For a town its population Marburg has much to offer. You will find that there is much more to do in Marburg than in Huntingdon.

This city has much to offer outside of the University. In the German tradition Marburg as many clubs (Vereine and Verbände) in many areas. These are founded by members of the community and everything from sports (American football to hiking) to music (folk to classical, vocal and instrumental) is offered. These are private organizations of people who get together just for the enjoyment of the activity. To join you just call or show up to see what it is all about, usually new members are welcome. You can find listings for these groups in the Marbuch (Section 7.2), Tips & Hinweise (Section 7.3), and from signs posted around town. Many sports are also offered through the University (Section 7.3).

You will find that Marburg has many music and theater offerings as will. The Marburger Schauspiel and other groups present plays regularly (some smaller groups welcome new participants see the Marbuch). Concerts of all types of music are offered on a regular basis in churches, the Stadthalle, at KFZ, and Café Trama. See Section 7.1 for locations of event listings.

Marburg has many movie theaters that offer mostly dubbed American films. But you can find German and other foreign films as well. Some special movie events are the Wednesday English (not dubbed in German) films at Studio. Also at Studio the Summer Film Festival offers many good and popular films, old and new. Another summer event is the Summer Open-Air Film Fest, popular films are shown outside in the Schloßpark. Café Trama has a film every Wednesday as well (listings are in Café Trama own event calendar). The Studentischer Filmclub Marburg e.V. (Phone 06421 14260) put together a nice classic film selection each semester. The screens in Marburg are located at the beginning of Biegenstr., on Schwanallee, and on Steinweg. The schedules for all of the main theater are published in a weekly flyer.

If you are in the mood for a party atmosphere Marburg has its share. You will find that almost every weekend there is a party somewhere. Near the end of the semester they are also during the week. For someplace to go you can find a Kneipe or if you want to dance go to Kult or Lager. Signs for parties are posted all over the University buildings and the dorms.

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