According to long tradition, the shopkeepers of Tønder -- dressed in old-fashioned costumes -- arrange a pedestrian-zone market in the center of town July 17 and 18. On Saturday, the final market day, there are live music and drinks in the main square, Torvet. Another shopping adventure occurs on August 1, when there's a feast in the pedestrian zone. Shops remain open until 10pm, offering amusements to visitors, with plenty of food and drink, climaxed by a concert in the main square.
On Tuesday and Friday, local vendors sell fish, fruit, cheese, and fresh vegetables in the main square. We always like to gather the makings for a picnic here, to be enjoyed later in the marshland surrounding Tønder.
For such a small town, Tønder has a large number of specialty shops. Many Germans drive across the border to shop here. Various gifts and souvenirs can be purchased at Andersen & Nissen, Storegade 26 (tel. 74-72-13-42).
Back in 1671, Det Gamle Apotek (The Old Pharmacy), Østerg 1 (tel. 74-72-51-11; www.det-gamle-apotek.dk), opened as a pharmacy. But today it's been converted into one of the best Danish handicrafts shops in the area, although the landmark antique structure was left as it used to be, just restored. Even the medicine jars and pharmaceutical equipment are intact, except instead of headache remedies and cures for the gout, you get Danish glassware, handmade ceramics, and various other quality crafts. Din Grønne Skobutik, Østergade 3 (tel. 74-72-48-93), features one of the best collections of women's shoes in town, everything from high heels to the kinds of boots a woman might want for treks through the marshes and forests of Denmark.
Gaveboden, Østergade 10-12 (tel. 74-72-58-29), sells sweaters -- the kind of garments that ward off the fog and damp of a Danish winter yet still manage to make a wearer look appealing. Specialties of the store include alpaca, Angora, and woolen tops with unusual patterns, including plaids. There's even a scattering of garments by Finnish designer Marimekko.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.