East or West, Berlin Shopping is best!
Shopping is a favourite pastime for Berliners. You don’t have to travel too far to shop and on just the two main shopping streets of Kurfürstendamm and Friedrichstrasse, there are over a dozen large shopping malls.
Kurfürstendamm (also known as Ku’damm) is a huge street running from the Memorial Church to Lake Halensee which marks the beginning of the exclusive “villa district” in the west of Berlin. The top end of Ku’damm is packed with department stores and fashion boutiques, and is paradise for the shopping addict. From Adenauerplatz the stores become more exclusive with designer names from Yves St. Laurent to Jil Sander, all housed in elegant fin de siècle buildings.
Kaufhaus des Westens on Wittenbergplatz, or KaDeWe as it’s popularly known, is one of the famous department store along Kurfürstendamm. With six floors carrying around 1,800 different brands and labels, it is one of the largest stores on the European mainland. On the 6th Floor, looking out over the rooftops of Berlin is KaDeWe’s legendary Gourmet Department offering an exclusive range of culinary specialities for the discerning gourmand. Being in the centre of Berlin, the KaDeWe is easily accessible and there are various means of transportation which will get you there.
Friedrichstrasse links the glory days of the Roaring Twenties with modern architecture. If you’ve been to Berlin during the days of the Cold War, you’d be absolutely amazed at the transformation of this street into an exclusive haven of designer labels. The Checkpoint Charlie signs at the Kochstraße intersection are the only trace and reminder of what this area was like during those times of espionage and counter-espionage.
Whilst the new ultra-smart buildings, offices and coffee shops brings a flavour of New York to the heart of Berlin, Galeries Lafayette at 76-78 Friedrichstraße adds a touch of French elegance to the city.
Potsdamer Platz was a site of massive reconstruction after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The blueprint was to turn Potsdamer Platz back into a commercial centre and into one of the best tourist attractions in Germany. As such you’ll find glitzy towering buildings filled with all kinds of shops and entertainment venues.
The Europa Center on Breitscheidplatz is located directly adjacent to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. The Europa Center provides visitors with more than just a shopping experience. You can enjoy special views of Berlin through their ‘Berlin Windows’ on the 20th floor. And if after all the shopping you’d like to treat yourself to a glass of wine or a traditional glass of bubbly you can enjoy the panorama of Berlin in a very civilized manner.
The great part about shopping in this area is that there are also sightseeing attractions in close proximity like the Brandenburg Gate, remnants of the Berlin Wall, etc. However, if you’re looking for something more quirky, check out the shops in the Kreuzberg, Mitte or Prenzlauer Berg districts.