City Shopping

City Shopping: 11 essential shopping spots in Berlin

BERLIN – GERMANY

Berlin is a vibrant city full of young artists and can-do creativity.

 

There is an overriding attitude of tolerance from both Berliners and visitors alike, and a general hedonistic feeling of anything goes.

With its low rents, Berlin attracts residents from eclectic cultures and this diverse pulse is tangible in every district. The city is in permanent flux, with businesses constantly opening, closing and changing location.

Most go for the nightlife and the art – Berlin is a fantastic place to soak up culture. Large subsidies enable more than 200 museums/exhibition halls and around 400 galleriesto survive here.

 

In terms of its own history and heritage, the phenomenon of Ostalgie– East Berlin nostalgia – is rife among hip young designers.

Those interested in an immersive experience hire an original GDR Trabant car and tour the city, stroll along the Karl Marx Allee – a street full of Socialist architecture built during the Cold War– and stay at the Ostel, a hotel with rooms decorated with original GDR furniture.

 

Key areas – Overview

 

Be aware that Berlin is huge – nine times the size of Paris – and that seeing one area in its entirety may take one day or longer.

Mitte

The most important area, a hot spot for the movers and shakers in the youth retail and art scenes. Upscale Friedrichstrassehouses designer department stores. Mitte alone may take up to two days to cover in detail.

 

East Berlin Neighbourhoods

Prenzlauer Bergis a laid-back creative neighbourhood with plenty in the way of kidswear.

Kreuzbergis a hipster area akin to New York’s Williamsburg, with creativity pulsating down by the River Spree.

Friedrichshainis a destination to discover the unique side of Berlin’s subculture, creativity and music scene.

 

West Berlin

Charlottenburgis an elegant, sophisticated and moneyed area with established boutiques and restaurants. Berlin’s main shopping boulevard, Ku’damm is located here.

 

Shopping by district

 

Mitte

A hot spot for the movers and shakers in the youth retail and art scenes. Upscale Friedrichstrasse houses designer department stores.

 

Fact file

Mitte is a large area and can take up to two or three days to explore alone.

Remember Berlin is a city that sleeps late – generally shops do not open until 11am.

 

 

Hackesche Höfe

Begin at Hackesche Höfe, a cluster of eight art nouveau courtyards holding a mix of theatres, cafes, galleries, offices, flats and a few stores. Head inside for Berlinerklamotten– offering 130 independent fashion and accessories brands from Berlin.

On Neue Schönhauserstrasse you’ll find a concentrated cluster of denim brands. Mavi, Pepe Jeans, Diesel, Replayand Miss Sixtycan all be found here. G-Staris a few streets away.

The Copenhagen-based Wood Woodstore on Rochstrasse is a standout for great streetwear and accessories.

Münzstrasse

This cool stretch is home to adidas Performance store, WESC, Swatch, Lacoste, Converse, American Apparel, Gasand Swedish brand Acne Jeans. The Hugo Boss Orangeflagship stocks menswear and womenswear lines.

Keep your eyes peeled for a passage just off the street into the courtyard home of Andreas Murkudis’three shops. AM1 houses designer menswear, AM2 is stocks brands such as Martin Margiela and AM3 is the place for Schiesser Revival underwear line. Next door’sSmart Travellingoffers up bikinis, luggage and travel guides.

At the top of the street, Ulf Haines‘ high-end designer concept store offers a cool mix of art, interior, womenswear, menswear, accessories and magazines.

Carry on further up Rosa-Luxemburg Strasse for the futuristic Mikitadesigner sunglasses store before venturing up Memhardstrasse to concept store Apartment– it may look like a vacant office from outside, but venture downstairs and you’ll find a wealth of edgy fashion by Undercover, Rick Owens and others.

Eat

Zoefor reasonably priced, excellent food – there are two chefs, one cooking the Asian half the menu, the other looking after the Mediterranean side.

Mulackstrasse

This hot street houses upmarket retail that blends art with fashion – Bless, APCand Starstylingare all standouts.

Womenswear boutique Schwarzhogerzeiloffers up a mix of designer labels, while Berlin-based designer Leyla Piedayesh’s store LALA Berlinstocks fine separates hand-knitted in Germany. At the top of the street is Swedish fashion company Filippa K.

Alte Schönhauserstrasse

Highlights here include the fantastically tiled Vansshop for cool skater fashion and sneakers, Buffalo London‘s trendy shoe shop, Trippenshoes, Onitsuka Tigerand American Apparel.

You’ll also find Lee,Pro Danse– stocking Capezio shoes and other professional dancewear – Flip Flopfor holidaywear and shoes, Claudia Skoda– good for menswear knits – and the Ricardo Castillianoshoe store.

 Eat

The always packed Monsieur Vuongrestaurant here offers delicious, reasonably priced Asian food. Cheap and tasty pizza for €1 Pizza Primois at the top of the street. Otherwise head up the street towards Prenzlauer berg I Due Forni, a bustling, unpretentious Italian popular with locals.

Nearby

The designers at Kleine Hamburger Strasse’s Konkused to work for Vivienne Westwood. The shop’s directional interiors make it especially inspirational. On Sophienstrasse fishbellyoffers sexy lingerie by Berlin-based designer Jutta.

Make your way up to Torstrasseand walk the stretch between Rosenthaler Platz and Oranienburger Tor stations. Its lined with great, cheap record storesand more hip galleries, i Pigasus polish poster gallery.

A cluster of happening art galleries, such as Amerika, and bars can be found on Brunnenstrasse, just north of Rosenthaler Platz U-Bahn.

Eat

Kuchisushi restaurant on Gipsstrasse offers Japanese nouvelle cuisine in a sleek atmosphere with a Tatami lounge and chill-out garden.

For high-class food, head for shiro i shiro, in the cool boutique hotel Lux 11. It may be one of the most expensive restaurants in Berlin, but the delicious Japanese concept food and stunning white minimalist interior make it worth a visit.

Friedrichstrasse

In another part of Mitte, the long stretch of Friedrichstrasse, once parallel to the Wall, is now lined with upscale department stores and shopping malls.

Big German brands Hugo Bossand Escadaboth have flagships on this street and you’ll also find a smattering of mid-market stores including H&M and Evelin Brandt, but it is French department store Galeries Lafayettethat is the main draw – don’t miss the agnès b.concession and the gourmet foodhall.

Head next door through the basement Friedrichspassage and bypass cheap and chic interiors store Dom, for Quartier 206, a beautifully appointed mall-cum-department store with concessions by top international luxury brands – from Manolo Blahnik to Prada. There is also an excellent cosmetics/beauty department, stationery store and beautiful flower shop.

Afterwards, walk over to Gendarmenmarkt for The Corner Berlin, a high-end luxury concept store/café offering to-die-for Christian Louboutinshoes, designer fashion by Roland Mouretand Ralph Lauren, as well as coffee table books, music and films.

Nearby Strange Fruitoffers up “next generation” fashion design by edgy international brands such as Opening Ceremony and Cassette Playa, as well as Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, in an upmarket, minimal setting.

Inspiration

 

The art galleries on Auguststrasseare anchored by the KW Institute, an unmissable art venue for excellent contemporary art exhibitions.

Not far from here, Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museumis one of the best cultural attractions. Designed as a bursting star of David, the interactive museum features long intersecting halls that symbolise Jewish history.

Alexander Platz, the centre of former East Berlin, boasts the famous Fernsehturm, or TV tower, which dominates the skyline from miles away and has become a symbol of Berlin. For a view that’s out of this world take the lift to the top and have a drink in the revolving restaurant.

Also a short walk away is the Museumsinsel (Museum Island)on the river Spree. Check out either the Altes Museumor the Alte Nationalgalerie. The former, designed by famed 19th century German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, shows mostly moving exhibitions, while the latter has a large display of 19th century paintings.

 

Where to eat

Kuchi
Gipsstrasse 3 
Tel: +49 (0) 30 28 38 66 22

I Due Forni
Schönhauser Allee 12

Monsieur Vuong
Alte Schönhauserstrasse 46
Tel: +49 (0) 30 3087 2643

Pizza Primo
Alter Schonhauser Strasse 31
Tel: +49 (0) 30 2408 8454

Shiro I Shiro
Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 11
Tel: +49 (0) 30 9700 4790

Zoe
Rochstrasse 1
Tel : +49 (0) 30 2404 5635

 

 

 

East Berlin Neighbourhoods

While Mitte is the focus for retail, the East Berlin neighborhoods boast great nightlife and cosy, community appeal.

 

Prenzlauer Berg – kidswear and second-hand

 

Just north of Alexanderplatz is Prenzlauer Berg.

Much is made of the fact that this leafy neighborhood has Germany’s highest birth rate – young families are simply everywhere you look.

The area is crisscrossed with streets lined with cafes, gourmet delis and boutiques selling a mix of mid-market fashion, accessories and gifts.

On the weekend Kollwitz Platz hosts a lovely organic food market in the mornings and a clutch of secondhand stores –

Begin at Senefelderplatz metro. Here you’ll a number of outstanding vintage stores – Memoryfor retro fashion and accessories and OG 107, specialising in museum-quality army clothing, accessories and old regalia. The owner regularly collaborates with costume designers on films and theatre productions – schedule an appointment to view 2nd floor clothing galleries full of old Bavarian outfits.

Make your way up to Galerie Kollaborativat Saarbrücker Strasse 25 for good contemporary art exhibitions.

 

If you’re pressed for time, head straight to the junction of Kastanienallee and Fehrbellinerstrasse. Here you will find Extrafein, a sleek minimal shop selling on the pulse fashion – currently its stock includes Surface to Air and other trendy Scandinavian labels. Across the street, Pale Blue Eyessells similar fare.

Further up, Kwikshopkiosk has an excellent, edited selection of simple design objects and fashion items, as well as maps and guides to Berlin. If you’re thirsty, buy an icy bottle of beer through the store’s window to the street.

Head further on to Oderbergerstrasse. This unmissable stretch houses a number of second-hand shoe shopsas well as the fantastic Kauf Dich Glücklich, where you can buy the retro furniture you sit on as well as waffles and ice-cream sundaes with chocolate sprinkles.

Paul’s Boutiqueand its great selection of “first class second-hand” menswear. Freistil Berlinstylish womenswear boutique offers a selection of international brands and rare second-hand boots from the 70s and 80s.

Moving on, retro furniture shop Magasinon Lychenerstrasse is an out of the way gem worth discovering.

After this, go to Raumerstrassefor the SupaLife kiosk– a small creative hub for people, ideas, books, graphics, exhibitions and inspiration. The popular Tausche Taschendown the road offers handbags with changeable covers.

Eat

Head to Kollwitzplatzfor Anna Blume, one of the best places for cake in Berlin. For more substantial fare, Gugelhofspecialises in food from the Alsace region (so good that former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder took Bill Clinton there).

The cosy Pasternak, named after the Russian poet, serves classic Russian fare and icy vodka. Live piano gives the place a romantic, warm atmosphere.

If you’re looking for interiors inspirationyou’ll find stores along Kollwitzstrasseand Husemannstrasse. For fantastic vintage sunglasses and frames, head east across Prenzlauer Allee, to Brillenagenturon Marienburgerstrasse. Sunday’sMauerpark flea marketis another great source of inspiration.

If you’re researching kidswear, Helmholtzplatzis another central focal point of this friendly, laid-back neighbourhood. Plenty of child-focused retail clusters around the tree-lined square. Don’t miss Kakao, a chocolate café and store on Dunckerstrasse.

Inspiration

Finally, if you want some culture to round off your time in Prenzlauer Berg, check out the KulturBrauereiat the northern end of Knaackstrasse. The former brewery has been converted to house a cinema, galleries and artists’ studios, a food market, bars and cafes. NBIis one of the hottest clubs in the city.

 

Friedrichshain – streetwear

 

This small, up-and-coming neighbourhood offers streetwear stores and the odd vintage store and sweet cafe. The area is quite large and if you plan to wander the streets discovering shops, you’ll need at least a day to explore. To get here, walk from Samariterstrasse U-Bahn.

The best retail is clustered along Simon-Dach-Strasseand Wühlischstrasse.

Top streetwear stores here include Big Brobotand Kickback– at both you’ll find a mix of streetwear brands, accessories, design books, toys and footwear.

On Sundays, an untouristy flea market takes place on Boxhagener Platz. The perfect morning/early afternoon rummage can be followed with a hearty buffet brunch at Fargo.

Eat

Refuel with a hot chocolate chai and cake at Oliviaor munch a salad at Kaufbar, an eclectic café/bar filled with art, design and retro furniture – all for sale.

Further afield – and requiring special trips – are F95, a concept store by the creative team of the Premium Fair Berlin selling high-end denim and fashion and Berlinomat, a mecca for design-loving tourists. You’ll find clothing, accessories, furniture, jewellery, home accessories, stationery and wallpaper by more than 100 Berlin designers under one roof.

At night-time, hedonists flock to Berlin’s best nightclub – Berghain/Panorama.

 

Kreuzberg – cool nightlife, streetwear boutiques

 

A hip area akin to New York’s Williamsburg, with creativity pulsating down by the River Spree.

Kreuzberg covers a large area, but has three neighborhoods of significant interest. Two in East Kreuzberg and one in West Kreuzberg.

East Kreuzberg

 

More of a cool nightlife destination, Kreuzberg has some of the best bars in Berlin. The area is home to the city’s Turkish community, as well as those drawn by cheap rents and its underground, bohemian vibe.

In terms of retail you’ll find a handful of streetwear shops catering to punks and rockabillies – Depot 2 and Core Tex are two. Both can be found on Oranienstrasse.

Get off at Kottbusser Tor U and walk up to the street. It’s worth knowing that the bohemian Café le Bateau is the best spot to hang and watch the world go by and the hipsters roll past. The bar SO36 comes alive in the evening.

At weekends the tacky, yet achingly hip Ankerklause by the bridge gets packed with locals. There are a handful of illegal bar/music spaces that are always opening and closing on Skalitzerstrasse – West Germany and Festsaal Kreuzberg host good bands.

One street along, Möbel-Olfe is great for watching people and enjoying the good music and fun atmosphere.

The large Turkish market stretches for nearly a half a mile on Maybachufer, on the south side of the Landwehrkanal (canal). It’s open every Tuesday and Friday from 12noon to 6pm.

 

A separate area of Kreuzberg activity is clustered around ultra-hip Schlesischestrasse neighbourhood, accessible by the Schlesische Tor U. Redeveloped warehouses along the River Spree’s old East Harbour house MTV and Universal, while in the evening the area’s nightlife and riverside beach bars pulse.

The dramatic Spindler & Klatt restaurant on the river is a draw for a glamorous crowd, as is the stunning club Watergate, where one dance floor has a glass front at water level.

During the day you’ll find a smattering of boutiques – the best here is Florinda Schnitzel, a Berlin label run by Heike Ebner. Her cute and edgy designs have a nostalgic twist – think eastern block uniform meets Black Forest.

Also of note are Süd, a retro furniture store, which sells 20th-century design classics and Killerbeast, which mixes hardcore punk elements with girly chic, plus kidswear to match.

Also in the area is Borderline a well stocked skate and board store for both men and women. Seventh Sense, on the side street, Falckensteinstrasse, stocks gifts from all over the world, but quirky as opposed to ethnic. Barbie Deinhoff’s bar, a cult, rather camp bar dedicated to Barbie the diva and is a popular hangout at night. They also sell hot pants and underwear printed with fun slogans, such as Help! or Barbie Lives.

For another experience altogether head to Heinz Minki’s beer garden. This wild and wandering garden is full of surprises and retro furnishings. Like a walled orchard, there are plenty of trees, roses and shade but no menu as such – it’s more for drinks and snacks.

Inspiration

For a touch of art there is East Side Gallery and Triestesse. Hot gallery Peres Projects is also an unmissable spot for contemporary art.

West Kreuzberg

 

If you have more time, you could explore West Kreuzberg – most retail is on and around Bergmannstrasse.

Standout stores include été clothing for skaters/boarders – selling Roxy, Volcom and Vans – Colours a vintage store stocking old Bavarian dirndls and Knopf Paul, a famous button store.

Eat

The walls of kitsch German restaurant Austria are covered with antlers. The menu is laden with – no surprises – traditional German fare, but the meat and wine are both organic. For sushi, head to Sumo.

West Berlin

 

West Berlin

Charlottenburg – luxury chains and mid-market stores

Charlottenburg’s intellectual feel, tree-lined streets and turn-of-the-century apartment blocks are reminiscent of New York’s Upper East Side.

The whole area lies behind the main shopping artery of Kurfürstendamm (Ku’Damm). Mommsenstrasseis the key thoroughfare with side streets branching off, and then the pocket around Niebuhrstrasseand Savigny Platzare also lined with boutiques and cafes.

Over two shopping miles flow into one another through Charlottenburg. For kidswear to activewear and everything in between, head to Kurfürstendamm (Ku’damm) and Tauentzienstrasse, between Adenauer Platz and Wittenberg Platz.

Luxury brands along this stretch include Chaneland Escada, while the mid-market store mix runs from American Appareland H&Mto Zara.

German brand flagship stores include Aignerand Bogner. German leather goods manufacturers Goldpfeiland MCMare also present.

Berlin’s great department store KaDeWeis noteable for its large beauty, accessories and intimates areas.

Eat

The legendary food hall is an excellent place to stop for refuelling.

Other department stores include Peek & Cloppenburgand the less upmarket Wertheimand C&A.

Heading off the grand boulevard, the stretch of Kantstrassefrom Savigny Patz to Uhlandstrasse, is where to head for the best interior stores in Berlin.

Especially noteworthy is Stilwerk, a contemporary designer interiors mall, with nearby options include Form+design(kitchens from Bulthaup among others), Lothar Heubelfor a French country style and Dopo Domanifor sleek modern Italian furniture and quirky accessories.

Located out on its own on Suarezstrasse, Spitzeis the top vintage store in Berlin.

The city’s best patisserie, Albrechts, is located down Fasanenstrasse just on from the literature museum.

Inspiration

 

Two prominent landmarks in Kantstrasse are the Theater des Westens, which sits just around the corner from the Savoy hotel and was a favourite haunt of Henry Miller and Greta Garbo. The Delphiis a former 1920s dance hall that now hosts the Berlin Film Festival, Der Berlinale.

Camera Workgallery features temporary exhibitions by renowned photographers such as Diane Arbus and Irving Penn. The Helmut Newton Foundationhouses a permanent display of the famous German photographer’s work

 

Interiors

Dopo domani
Kantstrasse 148

Form+design
Kantstrasse 147

Stilwerk
Kantstrasse 19

 

Vintage

Spitze
53 Suarezstrasse

 

Where to eat

Albrechts Patisserie
Fasanenstrasse 29

KaDeWe
Tauentzienstrasse 21-24

BERLIN – GERMANY

Berlin is a vibrant city full of young artists and can-do creativity.

 

There is an overriding attitude of tolerance from both Berliners and visitors alike, and a general hedonistic feeling of anything goes.

With its low rents, Berlin attracts residents from eclectic cultures and this diverse pulse is tangible in every district. The city is in permanent flux, with businesses constantly opening, closing and changing location.

Most go for the nightlife and the art – Berlin is a fantastic place to soak up culture. Large subsidies enable more than 200 museums/exhibition halls and around 400 galleriesto survive here.

 

In terms of its own history and heritage, the phenomenon of Ostalgie– East Berlin nostalgia – is rife among hip young designers.

Those interested in an immersive experience hire an original GDR Trabant car and tour the city, stroll along the Karl Marx Allee – a street full of Socialist architecture built during the Cold War– and stay at the Ostel, a hotel with rooms decorated with original GDR furniture.

 

Key areas – Overview

 

Be aware that Berlin is huge – nine times the size of Paris – and that seeing one area in its entirety may take one day or longer.

Mitte

The most important area, a hot spot for the movers and shakers in the youth retail and art scenes. Upscale Friedrichstrassehouses designer department stores. Mitte alone may take up to two days to cover in detail.

 

East Berlin Neighbourhoods

Prenzlauer Bergis a laid-back creative neighbourhood with plenty in the way of kidswear.

Kreuzbergis a hipster area akin to New York’s Williamsburg, with creativity pulsating down by the River Spree.

Friedrichshainis a destination to discover the unique side of Berlin’s subculture, creativity and music scene.

 

West Berlin

Charlottenburgis an elegant, sophisticated and moneyed area with established boutiques and restaurants. Berlin’s main shopping boulevard, Ku’damm is located here.

 

Shopping by district

 

Mitte

A hot spot for the movers and shakers in the youth retail and art scenes. Upscale Friedrichstrasse houses designer department stores.

 

Fact file

Mitte is a large area and can take up to two or three days to explore alone.

Remember Berlin is a city that sleeps late – generally shops do not open until 11am.

 

 

Hackesche Höfe

Begin at Hackesche Höfe, a cluster of eight art nouveau courtyards holding a mix of theatres, cafes, galleries, offices, flats and a few stores. Head inside for Berlinerklamotten– offering 130 independent fashion and accessories brands from Berlin.

On Neue Schönhauserstrasse you’ll find a concentrated cluster of denim brands. Mavi, Pepe Jeans, Diesel, Replayand Miss Sixtycan all be found here. G-Staris a few streets away.

The Copenhagen-based Wood Woodstore on Rochstrasse is a standout for great streetwear and accessories.

Münzstrasse

This cool stretch is home to adidas Performance store, WESC, Swatch, Lacoste, Converse, American Apparel, Gasand Swedish brand Acne Jeans. The Hugo Boss Orangeflagship stocks menswear and womenswear lines.

Keep your eyes peeled for a passage just off the street into the courtyard home of Andreas Murkudis’three shops. AM1 houses designer menswear, AM2 is stocks brands such as Martin Margiela and AM3 is the place for Schiesser Revival underwear line. Next door’sSmart Travellingoffers up bikinis, luggage and travel guides.

At the top of the street, Ulf Haines‘ high-end designer concept store offers a cool mix of art, interior, womenswear, menswear, accessories and magazines.

Carry on further up Rosa-Luxemburg Strasse for the futuristic Mikitadesigner sunglasses store before venturing up Memhardstrasse to concept store Apartment– it may look like a vacant office from outside, but venture downstairs and you’ll find a wealth of edgy fashion by Undercover, Rick Owens and others.

Eat

Zoefor reasonably priced, excellent food – there are two chefs, one cooking the Asian half the menu, the other looking after the Mediterranean side.

Mulackstrasse

This hot street houses upmarket retail that blends art with fashion – Bless, APCand Starstylingare all standouts.

Womenswear boutique Schwarzhogerzeiloffers up a mix of designer labels, while Berlin-based designer Leyla Piedayesh’s store LALA Berlinstocks fine separates hand-knitted in Germany. At the top of the street is Swedish fashion company Filippa K.

Alte Schönhauserstrasse

Highlights here include the fantastically tiled Vansshop for cool skater fashion and sneakers, Buffalo London‘s trendy shoe shop, Trippenshoes, Onitsuka Tigerand American Apparel.

You’ll also find Lee,Pro Danse– stocking Capezio shoes and other professional dancewear – Flip Flopfor holidaywear and shoes, Claudia Skoda– good for menswear knits – and the Ricardo Castillianoshoe store.

 Eat

The always packed Monsieur Vuongrestaurant here offers delicious, reasonably priced Asian food. Cheap and tasty pizza for €1 Pizza Primois at the top of the street. Otherwise head up the street towards Prenzlauer berg I Due Forni, a bustling, unpretentious Italian popular with locals.

Nearby

The designers at Kleine Hamburger Strasse’s Konkused to work for Vivienne Westwood. The shop’s directional interiors make it especially inspirational. On Sophienstrasse fishbellyoffers sexy lingerie by Berlin-based designer Jutta.

Make your way up to Torstrasseand walk the stretch between Rosenthaler Platz and Oranienburger Tor stations. Its lined with great, cheap record storesand more hip galleries, i Pigasus polish poster gallery.

A cluster of happening art galleries, such as Amerika, and bars can be found on Brunnenstrasse, just north of Rosenthaler Platz U-Bahn.

Eat

Kuchisushi restaurant on Gipsstrasse offers Japanese nouvelle cuisine in a sleek atmosphere with a Tatami lounge and chill-out garden.

For high-class food, head for shiro i shiro, in the cool boutique hotel Lux 11. It may be one of the most expensive restaurants in Berlin, but the delicious Japanese concept food and stunning white minimalist interior make it worth a visit.

Friedrichstrasse

In another part of Mitte, the long stretch of Friedrichstrasse, once parallel to the Wall, is now lined with upscale department stores and shopping malls.

Big German brands Hugo Bossand Escadaboth have flagships on this street and you’ll also find a smattering of mid-market stores including H&M and Evelin Brandt, but it is French department store Galeries Lafayettethat is the main draw – don’t miss the agnès b.concession and the gourmet foodhall.

Head next door through the basement Friedrichspassage and bypass cheap and chic interiors store Dom, for Quartier 206, a beautifully appointed mall-cum-department store with concessions by top international luxury brands – from Manolo Blahnik to Prada. There is also an excellent cosmetics/beauty department, stationery store and beautiful flower shop.

Afterwards, walk over to Gendarmenmarkt for The Corner Berlin, a high-end luxury concept store/café offering to-die-for Christian Louboutinshoes, designer fashion by Roland Mouretand Ralph Lauren, as well as coffee table books, music and films.

Nearby Strange Fruitoffers up “next generation” fashion design by edgy international brands such as Opening Ceremony and Cassette Playa, as well as Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, in an upmarket, minimal setting.

Inspiration

 

The art galleries on Auguststrasseare anchored by the KW Institute, an unmissable art venue for excellent contemporary art exhibitions.

Not far from here, Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museumis one of the best cultural attractions. Designed as a bursting star of David, the interactive museum features long intersecting halls that symbolise Jewish history.

Alexander Platz, the centre of former East Berlin, boasts the famous Fernsehturm, or TV tower, which dominates the skyline from miles away and has become a symbol of Berlin. For a view that’s out of this world take the lift to the top and have a drink in the revolving restaurant.

Also a short walk away is the Museumsinsel (Museum Island)on the river Spree. Check out either the Altes Museumor the Alte Nationalgalerie. The former, designed by famed 19th century German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, shows mostly moving exhibitions, while the latter has a large display of 19th century paintings.

 

Where to eat

Kuchi
Gipsstrasse 3 
Tel: +49 (0) 30 28 38 66 22

I Due Forni
Schönhauser Allee 12

Monsieur Vuong
Alte Schönhauserstrasse 46
Tel: +49 (0) 30 3087 2643

Pizza Primo
Alter Schonhauser Strasse 31
Tel: +49 (0) 30 2408 8454

Shiro I Shiro
Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 11
Tel: +49 (0) 30 9700 4790

Zoe
Rochstrasse 1
Tel : +49 (0) 30 2404 5635

 

 

 

East Berlin Neighbourhoods

While Mitte is the focus for retail, the East Berlin neighborhoods boast great nightlife and cosy, community appeal.

 

Prenzlauer Berg – kidswear and second-hand

 

Just north of Alexanderplatz is Prenzlauer Berg.

Much is made of the fact that this leafy neighborhood has Germany’s highest birth rate – young families are simply everywhere you look.

The area is crisscrossed with streets lined with cafes, gourmet delis and boutiques selling a mix of mid-market fashion, accessories and gifts.

On the weekend Kollwitz Platz hosts a lovely organic food market in the mornings and a clutch of secondhand stores –

Begin at Senefelderplatz metro. Here you’ll a number of outstanding vintage stores – Memoryfor retro fashion and accessories and OG 107, specialising in museum-quality army clothing, accessories and old regalia. The owner regularly collaborates with costume designers on films and theatre productions – schedule an appointment to view 2nd floor clothing galleries full of old Bavarian outfits.

Make your way up to Galerie Kollaborativat Saarbrücker Strasse 25 for good contemporary art exhibitions.

 

If you’re pressed for time, head straight to the junction of Kastanienallee and Fehrbellinerstrasse. Here you will find Extrafein, a sleek minimal shop selling on the pulse fashion – currently its stock includes Surface to Air and other trendy Scandinavian labels. Across the street, Pale Blue Eyessells similar fare.

Further up, Kwikshopkiosk has an excellent, edited selection of simple design objects and fashion items, as well as maps and guides to Berlin. If you’re thirsty, buy an icy bottle of beer through the store’s window to the street.

Head further on to Oderbergerstrasse. This unmissable stretch houses a number of second-hand shoe shopsas well as the fantastic Kauf Dich Glücklich, where you can buy the retro furniture you sit on as well as waffles and ice-cream sundaes with chocolate sprinkles.

Paul’s Boutiqueand its great selection of “first class second-hand” menswear. Freistil Berlinstylish womenswear boutique offers a selection of international brands and rare second-hand boots from the 70s and 80s.

Moving on, retro furniture shop Magasinon Lychenerstrasse is an out of the way gem worth discovering.

After this, go to Raumerstrassefor the SupaLife kiosk– a small creative hub for people, ideas, books, graphics, exhibitions and inspiration. The popular Tausche Taschendown the road offers handbags with changeable covers.

Eat

Head to Kollwitzplatzfor Anna Blume, one of the best places for cake in Berlin. For more substantial fare, Gugelhofspecialises in food from the Alsace region (so good that former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder took Bill Clinton there).

The cosy Pasternak, named after the Russian poet, serves classic Russian fare and icy vodka. Live piano gives the place a romantic, warm atmosphere.

If you’re looking for interiors inspirationyou’ll find stores along Kollwitzstrasseand Husemannstrasse. For fantastic vintage sunglasses and frames, head east across Prenzlauer Allee, to Brillenagenturon Marienburgerstrasse. Sunday’sMauerpark flea marketis another great source of inspiration.

If you’re researching kidswear, Helmholtzplatzis another central focal point of this friendly, laid-back neighbourhood. Plenty of child-focused retail clusters around the tree-lined square. Don’t miss Kakao, a chocolate café and store on Dunckerstrasse.

Inspiration

Finally, if you want some culture to round off your time in Prenzlauer Berg, check out the KulturBrauereiat the northern end of Knaackstrasse. The former brewery has been converted to house a cinema, galleries and artists’ studios, a food market, bars and cafes. NBIis one of the hottest clubs in the city.

 

Friedrichshain – streetwear

 

This small, up-and-coming neighbourhood offers streetwear stores and the odd vintage store and sweet cafe. The area is quite large and if you plan to wander the streets discovering shops, you’ll need at least a day to explore. To get here, walk from Samariterstrasse U-Bahn.

The best retail is clustered along Simon-Dach-Strasseand Wühlischstrasse.

Top streetwear stores here include Big Brobotand Kickback– at both you’ll find a mix of streetwear brands, accessories, design books, toys and footwear.

On Sundays, an untouristy flea market takes place on Boxhagener Platz. The perfect morning/early afternoon rummage can be followed with a hearty buffet brunch at Fargo.

Eat

Refuel with a hot chocolate chai and cake at Oliviaor munch a salad at Kaufbar, an eclectic café/bar filled with art, design and retro furniture – all for sale.

Further afield – and requiring special trips – are F95, a concept store by the creative team of the Premium Fair Berlin selling high-end denim and fashion and Berlinomat, a mecca for design-loving tourists. You’ll find clothing, accessories, furniture, jewellery, home accessories, stationery and wallpaper by more than 100 Berlin designers under one roof.

At night-time, hedonists flock to Berlin’s best nightclub – Berghain/Panorama.

 

Kreuzberg – cool nightlife, streetwear boutiques

 

A hip area akin to New York’s Williamsburg, with creativity pulsating down by the River Spree.

Kreuzberg covers a large area, but has three neighborhoods of significant interest. Two in East Kreuzberg and one in West Kreuzberg.

East Kreuzberg

 

More of a cool nightlife destination, Kreuzberg has some of the best bars in Berlin. The area is home to the city’s Turkish community, as well as those drawn by cheap rents and its underground, bohemian vibe.

In terms of retail you’ll find a handful of streetwear shops catering to punks and rockabillies – Depot 2 and Core Tex are two. Both can be found on Oranienstrasse.

Get off at Kottbusser Tor U and walk up to the street. It’s worth knowing that the bohemian Café le Bateau is the best spot to hang and watch the world go by and the hipsters roll past. The bar SO36 comes alive in the evening.

At weekends the tacky, yet achingly hip Ankerklause by the bridge gets packed with locals. There are a handful of illegal bar/music spaces that are always opening and closing on Skalitzerstrasse – West Germany and Festsaal Kreuzberg host good bands.

One street along, Möbel-Olfe is great for watching people and enjoying the good music and fun atmosphere.

The large Turkish market stretches for nearly a half a mile on Maybachufer, on the south side of the Landwehrkanal (canal). It’s open every Tuesday and Friday from 12noon to 6pm.

 

A separate area of Kreuzberg activity is clustered around ultra-hip Schlesischestrasse neighbourhood, accessible by the Schlesische Tor U. Redeveloped warehouses along the River Spree’s old East Harbour house MTV and Universal, while in the evening the area’s nightlife and riverside beach bars pulse.

The dramatic Spindler & Klatt restaurant on the river is a draw for a glamorous crowd, as is the stunning club Watergate, where one dance floor has a glass front at water level.

During the day you’ll find a smattering of boutiques – the best here is Florinda Schnitzel, a Berlin label run by Heike Ebner. Her cute and edgy designs have a nostalgic twist – think eastern block uniform meets Black Forest.

Also of note are Süd, a retro furniture store, which sells 20th-century design classics and Killerbeast, which mixes hardcore punk elements with girly chic, plus kidswear to match.

Also in the area is Borderline a well stocked skate and board store for both men and women. Seventh Sense, on the side street, Falckensteinstrasse, stocks gifts from all over the world, but quirky as opposed to ethnic. Barbie Deinhoff’s bar, a cult, rather camp bar dedicated to Barbie the diva and is a popular hangout at night. They also sell hot pants and underwear printed with fun slogans, such as Help! or Barbie Lives.

For another experience altogether head to Heinz Minki’s beer garden. This wild and wandering garden is full of surprises and retro furnishings. Like a walled orchard, there are plenty of trees, roses and shade but no menu as such – it’s more for drinks and snacks.

Inspiration

For a touch of art there is East Side Gallery and Triestesse. Hot gallery Peres Projects is also an unmissable spot for contemporary art.

West Kreuzberg

 

If you have more time, you could explore West Kreuzberg – most retail is on and around Bergmannstrasse.

Standout stores include été clothing for skaters/boarders – selling Roxy, Volcom and Vans – Colours a vintage store stocking old Bavarian dirndls and Knopf Paul, a famous button store.

Eat

The walls of kitsch German restaurant Austria are covered with antlers. The menu is laden with – no surprises – traditional German fare, but the meat and wine are both organic. For sushi, head to Sumo.

West Berlin

 

West Berlin

Charlottenburg – luxury chains and mid-market stores

Charlottenburg’s intellectual feel, tree-lined streets and turn-of-the-century apartment blocks are reminiscent of New York’s Upper East Side.

The whole area lies behind the main shopping artery of Kurfürstendamm (Ku’Damm). Mommsenstrasseis the key thoroughfare with side streets branching off, and then the pocket around Niebuhrstrasseand Savigny Platzare also lined with boutiques and cafes.

Over two shopping miles flow into one another through Charlottenburg. For kidswear to activewear and everything in between, head to Kurfürstendamm (Ku’damm) and Tauentzienstrasse, between Adenauer Platz and Wittenberg Platz.

Luxury brands along this stretch include Chaneland Escada, while the mid-market store mix runs from American Appareland H&Mto Zara.

German brand flagship stores include Aignerand Bogner. German leather goods manufacturers Goldpfeiland MCMare also present.

Berlin’s great department store KaDeWeis noteable for its large beauty, accessories and intimates areas.

Eat

The legendary food hall is an excellent place to stop for refuelling.

Other department stores include Peek & Cloppenburgand the less upmarket Wertheimand C&A.

Heading off the grand boulevard, the stretch of Kantstrassefrom Savigny Patz to Uhlandstrasse, is where to head for the best interior stores in Berlin.

Especially noteworthy is Stilwerk, a contemporary designer interiors mall, with nearby options include Form+design(kitchens from Bulthaup among others), Lothar Heubelfor a French country style and Dopo Domanifor sleek modern Italian furniture and quirky accessories.

Located out on its own on Suarezstrasse, Spitzeis the top vintage store in Berlin.

The city’s best patisserie, Albrechts, is located down Fasanenstrasse just on from the literature museum.

Inspiration

 

Two prominent landmarks in Kantstrasse are the Theater des Westens, which sits just around the corner from the Savoy hotel and was a favourite haunt of Henry Miller and Greta Garbo. The Delphiis a former 1920s dance hall that now hosts the Berlin Film Festival, Der Berlinale.

Camera Workgallery features temporary exhibitions by renowned photographers such as Diane Arbus and Irving Penn. The Helmut Newton Foundationhouses a permanent display of the famous German photographer’s work

 

Interiors

Dopo domani
Kantstrasse 148

Form+design
Kantstrasse 147

Stilwerk
Kantstrasse 19

 

Vintage

Spitze
53 Suarezstrasse

 

Where to eat

Albrechts Patisserie
Fasanenstrasse 29

KaDeWe
Tauentzienstrasse 21-24

 

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