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As trailing spouses, we know what it’s like to arrive in Germany with little time to prepare and sometimes even zero knowledge of the language. To help, we’ve created this blog as a resource for all newcomers to Bielefeld. Though we are all learning German in one way or another, the working language of our group is English; to that end, we try to compile resources that are especially helpful for both foreign spouses and English-speakers. Often, we simply share recommendations and tips about places that we enjoy in the area. These may just be places where we’ve had good experiences, such as a local café, or they may also be places where English is spoken, such as doctor’s offices or other service providers. This isn’t intended to be an all-inclusive guide to Bielefeld; rather, we want to highlight what the “official” guides may miss, and put a special emphasis on what’s useful for a new foreigner to know. If you know of something great that we don’t have here, please leave us a comment! You can also send us an email to trailing.spouses (@) gmail.com

Vegan Restaurant

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Jacobs vegan restaurant has recently opened on Am Bach 12 in the Altstadt. They aim to offer healthy food with an emphasis on local and organic. They also offer gluten free dishes. And if you are on the go they offer a take out service with biodegradable boxes.

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English books

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TKMaxx  in Jahnplatz is a useful place to find English cooking and craftbooks. You have to pop in regularly as their stock is always changing but I have found several good books there. For example Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver all at a discounted price too. They currently have several copies of one of my favourite cooks books – Apples for Jam for only 7 euros. In the kids toy section they have English story, activity and sticker books too.

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Locked out?

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Here you can find a list of locksmiths in Bielefeld. Thanks for the tip Elias!

German Taxes

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Ever wondered where all your money goes in taxes? Here is a useful guide in English explaining the tax system in Germany. You can also find a quick one page overview here

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Bielefeld Wimmelbuch

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Bielefeld has it’s own Wimmelbuch! These are popular German ‘looking at’ books, full of detailed scenes for kids to explore. My kids enjoyed recognising all the places in Bielefeld. I love all the details for example Supertram in Siegfriedplatz below.

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Bielefeld Markets

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Starting this Thursday April 2nd will be a new weekly evening market at Klosterplatz from 16:00 to 20:00 with local produce, bread, flowers and a beer garden. Should be a nice place to meet after work once the weather warms up.

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Other markets in Bielefeld:

Kesselbrink – Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays 7:00 – 13:00

Alte Markt  – Flowers and fruit Wednesdays and Saturdays 9:00 – 14.00. Friday 9:00 – 14:00 flowers only.

Siegfriedplatz – Wednesday and Fridays 7:00 – 13:00

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Cafe Kunstwerk

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We visited the new Café Kunstwerk above Café Knigge on Obernstraße in the Altstadt. It has an interesting shabby chic villa meets art deco style. There are good views from the big window across to the church opposite. They do cakes, smoothies and light dishes.  A cozy spot in the center of town to relax.

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