Out & About in Bielefeld

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Below are a few recommendations for upcoming events from our local Bielefelder PollyEster
Italian:The next Italian Stammtisch (organised by an Italian student group called ACID) will be on Thursday 28.02.13 at 8 p.m.  Where? New World – Ritterstraße 22 33602 Bielefeld (behind Thalia bookshop, near Cafe Kaffeeklatsch) For further information.
It has become quite a large group by now, most of the people there speak Italian and English, some Greek or Spanish, and they
meet every few weeks at different pubs around town (or organise visits to the opera or the christmas market).
Flohmarkt: You might think it is far too cold, but this one is indoors at the Forum Boge on March 8th. Last time, there were loads of people,
live music and a lot of weird objects. It starts at 8 p.m. – Another indoor flea market is at Kurz Um (near Siegfriedplatz) on Saturday March 2nd, this one starts at 10 a.m.
Cinema: “Django unchained” is down to two screenings a week at the Lichtwerk now, but the Kamera is showing “Lincoln” and The Master” in
English with German subtitles on Sundays and Tuesdays. The Offkino has a Japanese screening of “Afterlife” on March 15th, it starts at 8.30 p.m.
Theatre: On Wednesday, there will be two performances of “Much ado about nothing” at 3.30 and 7 p.m. by TNT theatre Britain (in English) at the “Theaterlabor im Tor 6”, one of the many free theatres in Bielefeld. Admission is 16 Euros or 10 Euros for concessionary tickets. To get there, take
tram 3 to stop “August-Schroeder-Strasse”, it is not far from the Youth hostel or Real supermarket. The programm offers dance performances
amongst other things, something you can enjoy without any language skills at all.

Niekamp Theater Kompany“, a lovely puppet theatre, has one bilingual play (in English and German): “Jack and the beanstalk/Cinderella”
on March 16th. I’ve been there a few times during the “Nachtreise freier Theater”, which is a very good way to see little bits of productions all over town. This one is an evening performance for adults, admission is 18, 22 or 24 Euros. To get there, take tram 4 until “Landgericht”.

Bielefeld Brunch


Looking for something to do on a weekend morning? Food may be a good option, especially if it’s a Sunday. We recently tried a great place for brunch (the Kachelhaus), so I wanted to share and see what other places we could gather for yummy brunch suggestions.

Kachelhaus – the Sonntagsbrunch Buffet is 15 euros, and it’s open until 3. You can also order individual dishes from the menu. The interior is really spacious and it didn’t get too loud, even though there were a fair number of customers there. My cappuccino was delicious, and we got a free plate of eggs – we’re still not sure why we got them, but they were really good!

Cafe Berlin – We like going here for both meals and drinks with friends, since the waitstaff are so nice. Many speak some English if you need help understanding the menu. We had one waitress who went out of her way to help us figure out what kind of eggs our friend was ordering – phrases like “sunny side up/Speigelei” are a good example of things that you don’t know that you don’t know until you’re in the moment where you need to know them 🙂 The website is currently down as of this posting, but they are located near Siegfriedplatz. I’m not sure if there is ever a brunch buffet or if they are open on Sundays, but they serve breakfast until 4. The menu includes “English breakfast,” bagel sandwiches and traditional German bread + meat + spreads.

Mellow Gold – no buffet, but breakfast served at the table. Friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere.

Alex Brasserie – has both breakfast and brunch buffets. Two locations in Bielefeld – one across from the Rathaus and one in the Altstadt.

Bernstein (website plays music) – I haven’t eaten here, but many people have recommended it. Sunday brunch is open from 10-2:30. It’s 17 euros and includes a glass of Prosecco. It’s located in the same building as the SportSheck in Jahnplatz.

Milestones – Again, I have not yet had the Milestones brunch, but I’ve heard it’s great. It’s also a great place for drinks and dinner, especially during the summer months when you can eat outside.

What other places offer a good breakfast or brunch buffet?

About Our Blog


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

There’s Moore to Bielefeld than Meets the Eye

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Last week in our trailing spouses art collective meeting, Patty asked us to create out own personal advertisement for what we liked best about living in Bielefeld to cheer us up over the winter months, (see We HEART Bielefeld ). The idea was, the more over the top the better! So here goes:


My niece Madeleine gets an earful

My niece Madeleine gets Moore of an earful

In my opinion, one of the best things to do in Bielefeld is to visit the Henry Moore statue “Oval with Points” in the Sculpture Garden of the Kunsthalle (the main art museum).

First of all, it won’t cost you a cent. You can admire it from afar, circle it slowly, eye it warily, stroke it, hug it and put your head between the points and become part of the sculpture itself. Seriously, there is no limit of the fun to be had with this sculpture. And if you are lucky, you may draw a crowd with your antics.


If you live in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, for example, where the Local Council recently sold their Henry Moore statue to the highest bidder to pay off some debt, you are welcome to come here and enjoy our statue. Especially those of you who live in one of the tower blocks on Stifford estate where the statue used to stand; Henry Moore had you in mind, the ordinary folk, when he sold it to the council cut price. Perhaps we can ask the wealthy citizens of Bielefeld if they would cough up the money to pay for your flights over here.


Perhaps your local statue has been stolen, and sold for scrap? Like the reclining nude from the Henry Moore estate Hertfordshire worth 3 million, which was melted down for scrap in 2005 for a mere 1,500 pounds.


And, if you are from the London Borough of Greenwich where you statue was taken away after a 25-year loan, only to mysteriously appear again during the Olympics, we promise you, our one isn’t going anywhere in a hurry.


The Bielefelders are generous by nature and will happily share their Moore  with you.  Perhaps you can find a few locals willing to link arms with you to form a circle of solidarity around the statue.

Come to Bielefeld. Discover Moore. !!!


We HEART Bielefeld

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For our Trailing Spouses Art Collective, we each created our own personal advertisement for what we liked best about living in Bielefeld. The theme could also be interpreted in an ironic or playful way. As the idea was to cheer us up in these gloomy winter months and be as positive as possible about our adopted city. So the more over the top the better! Here are a few of our ‘ads’.

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Cheryl designed these book marks inspired by the recent snow, thunder and hail storm last week.


Piia is in love with the new Stadtbahn and made this picture inspired by a Finnish artist from her home country (Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s BIL aktie BOL poster advertising an automobile retailer in the 1907.)


Patty’s entertaining ad took inspiration from Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom brochure.

Directions to Bielefeld’s IKEA


The good news: Bielefeld does have an IKEA. The less-good news: it’s not the easiest to get to if you don’t have a car and are new to the area. I remember that we had to search on the internet for a long time and compile information from a few different websites before we came up with a plan for how to get there using public transport.

  • Take the number 1 tram towards Senne. Get off at Brackwede Kirche.
  • Walk down Hauptstrasse, continuing in the same direction that the tram was going.
  • Take the first right onto Berliner Strasse. On the right side of the street, you will see a waiting lane for buses. Hopefully yours is already there – it’s the 123 and it says IKEA on the marquee. If you’re not sure, you can always ask the driver, since “IKEA” is one of those great, internationally-recognized words.
  • It’s a short ride there (probably less than ten minutes). You’ll get off on the same side of the street as the IKEA. To go back to town afterwards, just wait at the same bus stop, since this line runs on a loop. It’s a slightly longer ride back.

It looks so easy when it’s written out in these short steps, but we had never taken the bus before and there is no way to tell where the bus stop actually is. We thought it would be right at the tram stop, but it’s actually hidden around a corner 🙂 We only went to IKEA once, on a Saturday, and it was not very crowded on the bus. I wouldn’t worry about not having room for your bags if you are planning on buying a lot. However, you can also do home delivery if you are buying larger furniture pieces. I’d recommend leaving early in the morning to allow some travel time and to avoid the crowds that only get bigger as the day goes on – the store opens at 10 am.

For more on how public transportation works in Bielefeld, see Reka’s recent post.

Sparrenburg Castle

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On this blog, we like to highlight things that newcomers might not know about Bielefeld. However, we shouldn’t neglect the obvious! And so, here are some photos from a recent trip to Bielefeld’s biggest attraction: Sparrenburg Castle.


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It was very cold but actually sunny, despite the fact that it was February. It’s a beautiful site and even a popular sunbathing spot during the warmer months – I’ve seen crowds of people lying on the grass during a rare warm weekend in October. Despite the temperature, it was a nice time to visit. There were only a few other people there, so it was quiet and empty, making it easier to admire the sheer size of the stone structure (such as in the last photo). Between April and October you can pay a small fee to climb to the top of the tower and take in more of the surrounding area. It’s also home to a medieval festival over the summer.

‘Discovering Bielefeld’ course

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I was excited to hear about Claudia Niederhaus’ course (in English!) at the VHS.  ‘Discovering Bielefeld’ starts on Feb 28th for 12 weeks, Thursdays 10:00 – 11.30 am.  For both newcomers and locals wanting to explore, learn more about Bielefeld and practice their English. Native English speakers very welcome too. The class will meet around Bielefeld and discuss topics such as art, culture, history, religion and the English community. Visits include the Kunsthalle, Natural History Museum, Ravensberger Spinnerei, Tierpark Olderdissen and Stadttheater.