A cosmopolitan scene in a large, trendy city
Berlin offers an extraordinary variety of shopping possibilities in large shopping centres, department stores, smaller shops or elegant boutiques. If you love classic designer fashion, are hunting for bargains, or seeking out the latest fashion trends, you will certainly get your money’s worth in Germany’s capital city. Important information for shoppers from out-of-town: shopping in Berlin is a bit different from shopping in other German cities. The fact that the city was divided for so longer by the Berlin Wall has resulted in there not being here is a single city centre or pedestrian zone here. Instead, there are many shopping areas in addition to the two most famous, the Kurfürstendamm and Friedrichstraße, which, for to keep it simple, can be divided into City West and City East.
Shopping in City West
Brand-new in City West is Bikini Berlin, open since April 2014. Germany’s first concept mall is located directly adjacent to the Zoological Garden and targets a sophisticated audience conscious of the latest trends and styles. Three storeys offer fashion, lifestyle, restaurants and pop-up shops run by some of the city’s great young designers. The highlight: the 7,000 m2 rooftop terrace. Open to everyone, the terrace overlooks at the monkey enclosures at the zoo. Stretching between Zoo and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Bikini Berlin is the ideal place to start exploring the many shopping options in City West, since both Kurfürstendamm and Tauentzienstraße are within walking distance.
The Kurfürstendamm (also known as Ku´damm) and Tauentzienstraße are Berlin’s most celebrated shopping promenades in the western part of the city. The Kaufhaus des Westens, in short KaDeWe, is located at Wittenbergplatz in Schöneberg and is the largest department store in mainland Europe: here, those enamoured with luxury will find much more than their wide range of ladies’ and gentlemen’s international designer label fashion. The cosmetics, jewellery, books, CDs, tableware and home accessories on display extend over six storeys. The speciality foods section is one of the store’s highlights and a must, and not just for tourists.
Along Tauentzienstraße, price-conscious shoppers will find several international chains such as Zara, H&M and Benetton and numerous hits for sport fans such as Niketown and Adidas and its new trendy line adidas NEO.
At the western end of the Ku´damm, you can find exclusive designers such as Lagerfeld, Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger. Between Uhlandstraße and Adenauer Platz, luxury labels such as Bulgari, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Gucci are located side-by-side. The quiet side streets on the left and right of Uhlandstraße possess plenty of charm, too. In the magnificent fin-de-siècle buildings you will find elegant boutiques with an exclusive range of fashion and design, as well as chic cafés and restaurants.
The newly renovated Haus CumberlandKudamm N° 195. You can dress yourself from head to toe with the current collection and accessories from Swedish designer Filippa K, on offer at Schlüterstraße 50. Filippa K has a total of four stores in Germany, with another branch at Alte Schoenhauser Straße 11 in Mitte.
The Neue Kranzler-Eck on Joachimstaler Straße connects Kurfürstendamm and Kantstraße, the second largest shopping street in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district. It runs from Breitscheidplatz to Amtsgerichtsplatz and, together with Neue Kantstaße, forms the connecting axis between the Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) and the Funkturm (Radio Tower) at the Messegelände (Berlin Exhibition Centre). Between Uhlandstraße and Savignyplatz you can find many home accessories stores. Suarezstraße offers antique shops. In the Stilwerk, approximately 50 interior decoration and designer shops of the upmarket sector are represented, including Bang & Olufsen, Bulthaup and Ligne Roset. In contrast, Savignyplatz provides shopping enthusiasts and passers-by with a colourful and varied selection of small shops, galleries and restaurants.
Kantstraße crosses Wilmersdorfer Straße. The area from Schillerstraße to the S-Bahnhof Charlottenburg has been made into a traffic-calmed pedestrian zone. The section north of the pedestrian zone is characterised by tenement buildings with small retail shops. A particular highlight is the Rogacki Delicatessen which is famous throughout Berlin for its fish products.
Even Schlossstraße in the district of Steglitz counts as one of Berlin’s best-loved shopping miles. There are three shopping centres offering paradise for shopping enthusiasts: the Forum Steglitz, the Schloss-Straßen Center on Walther-Schreiber-Platz and the Das Schloss shopping centre at Rathaus Steglitz. Another shopping centre open since 2012: the Boulevard, offering 180 shops over a surface area of 76,000 square metres.
On the border between City West and City East lies the shopping zone surrounding Potsdamer Platz in Berlin’s Tiergarten district. The arcades of the same name, designed by star architect Renzo Piano, are home to approximately 132 specialist shops mainly from the clothing sector over three storeys. A particular highlight for technology fans is the store in the neighbouring Sony Center offering the current range of products from this Japanese company.
The Mall of Berlin will be opening in September 2014 at Leipziger Platz, about a block east of Potsdamer Platz. The new shopping centre is connected to old traditions in Berlin as it is being built on the former site of the 1897 Wertheim department store, once Europe’s largest. It will now link Potsdamer Platz with Friedrichstraße to the east. 270 shops will entice future trend-conscious visitors with high-quality fashion by international brands as well as jewellery, cosmetics and electronics.
Shopping in City East
After the Kurfürstendamm, Friedrichstraße, located in the Mitte district, counts as Berlin’s second most important shopping address. It runs from Oranienburger Tor to Mehringplatz at Hallesches Tor in Kreuzberg. Dussmann, the renowned culture store, located close to the Friedrichstraße S- and U-Bahn stations is a firm attraction for fans of books and music with its huge selection stretching over five storeys; plus, it is open until midnight.
South of this splendid Berlin Boulevard you will find the representative showrooms of car manufacturers, boutiques of exclusive clothing brands and spacious temples of luxury. The Friedrichstadtpassagen are home to the well-known Galeries Lafayette as well as Quartiere 205 and 206, which offer international styles for the fashion elite. Here, pure luxury is offered over a surface area of almost 3,000 square metres: international designer clothes, accessories, jewellery, books, photographic art and flowers. The department store has recently expanded to include the Cabinet, which presents 60 progressive labels.
In Galeries Lafayette you will find French fashion and an in-house delicatessen. But it’s even worth visiting just to gaze at the store’s glass architecture, designed by Jean Nouvel. Very close-by, at Gendarmenmarkt, is The Corner Berlin, one of the trendiest concept stores in the world. It is a mixture of boutique, gallery and café. As well as vintage clothing from Yves Saint Laurent or Chloé, international luxury brands and newcomer fashion, it offers cosmetics, accessories, furniture, technical goods and selected fashion & art books in its range.
An interesting shopping address is the trendy Mitte district, close to Hackesche Markt. The small galleries and fashion boutiques of young international labels and local designers in and around the Hackesche Höfe ranges from distinctive fashion, offbeat shoes, jewellery and accessories to colourful bric-a-brac and amusing gifts. The Rosenhöfe, designed by the Baller architects, with their mix of fashion, design and gastronomy, are also a tempting destination. They link Rosenthaler and Sophienstraße. The Heckmann Höfe, restored with attention to their original detail, located between the former Postfuhramt and the Berlin Synagogue in Oranienburger Straße, are also well worth seeing. This group of end-to-end courtyards leads to Auguststraße. Small shops offer a selection of offbeat design, culture, small businesses and gastronomy. In the Bonbonmacherei, original Berlin Bonbons are boiled traditionally over an open fire.
During GDR times, the shopping centre of the East Berliners was Alexanderplatz. It has largely been renovated and today draws both Berliners and tourists alike. One highlight is the Alexa where you can experience shopping, entertainment and recreation on five storeys – 180 specialist shops over a surface areas totalling 56, 000 square metre. In the immediate vicinity is the Nikolaiviertel which has been renovated in its original medieval style. As well as several interesting museums you can also find numerous small shops here offering souvenirs, arts and crafts and antiques.
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