Shop It Like It's Hot

With sum­mer weather fi­nally here, it’s high time to stroll, browse, and win­dow-shop your way through some of Ber­lin’s most in­ter­est­ing shop­ping neigh­bor­hoods. Hilda Hoy tells you where.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS - BY HILDA HOY

Shop your way through Ber­lin, from the gen­teel bou­tiques in Char­lot­ten­burg to the hip, min­i­mal­ist stores in Mitte.

First-time vis­i­tors to Ber­lin are of­ten sur­prised to dis­cover how spread out the city is, and how each of its many dis­tricts and neigh­bor­hoods has its own uniquely dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter, his­tory, and even aes­thetic. This holds true even when it comes to shop­ping. The gen­teel bou­tiques of west-end Char­lot­ten­burg are a pretty stark con­trast to the hip, min­i­mal­ist bou­tiques in Mitte, not to men­tion the starkly mod­ern shop­ping cen­ters in Ber­lin’s bud­ding com­mer­cial core. Lest you get over­whelmed by the wide breadth of Ber­lin’s shop­ping scene, it’s best to fo­cus your at­ten­tion on one neigh­bor­hood at a time. Read on to dis­cover our top three des­ti­na­tions.

1 IN THE MITTE OF IT ALL There’s a rea­son the area of Mitte around Hack­escher Markt and Rosen­thaler Platz is so popular with shop­ping fans: th­ese neigh­bor­hoods of­fer close-set streets of con­cen­trated shops where you can browse to your heart’s con­tent with­out hav­ing to walk too far. Start across from S-Hack­escher Markt sta­tion, where Ja­panese life­style brand Muji (Hack­escher Markt 1) has a spa­cious flag­ship store stock­ing ev­ery­thing from high-qual­ity wardrobe ba­sics to func­tional de­sign ob­jects for the home to sta­tionery that will in­spire you to start keep­ing a jour­nal, pronto. Round the cor­ner into Neue Schön­hauser Straße, a short street chock­ablock with cloth­ing and footwear shop­ping op­tions like a bou­tique from Span­ish shoe­maker Camper (No. 11) and a Birken­stock store (No. 6), the ul­tra­com­fort­able Ger­man san­dals mak­ing a fash­ion come­back. You’ll also find The Kooples, Sis­ley, and Week­day (Nos. 11, 12, and 17), co­quet­tish French lin­gerie from princesse tam-tam (No. 16), plus up­mar­ket chains like & Other Sto­ries and COS (Nos. 15 and 20). Even Karl Lager­feld has his Karl bou­tique here (No. 8). There are plenty of op­tions for men, too. 14 oz. at Neue Schön­hauser Str. 13 car­ries a well-cu­rated se­lec­tion of re­fined ca­su­al­wear for fash­ion­able gents, as does the Ben Sher­man bou­tique (Rosen­thaler Str. 31). For some­thing truly spe­cial for the man in your life, don’t miss the flam­boy­ant bowties, suits, and ac­ces­sories from Herr von Eden (Alte Schön­hauser Str. 14).

With a wide va­ri­ety of tasty cafés and restau­rants to choose from, you’re now at the per­fect junc­tion to take a break and re­fuel. Mamecha (Mu­lack­str. 33) is a calm­ing spot for a pot of Ja­panese tea and a bento box, Zeit für Brot (Alte Schön­hauser Str. 4) has good cof­fee, quiches, and tasty sand­wiches, while

YamYam (Alte Schön­hauser Str. 6) has spicy Korean soups and dumplings.

Af­ter­ward, head west along Torstraße, where fans of hip ur­ban­ite fash­ion can have their fill at SOTO and No. 74 (Torstr. 72 and 74). Pop across the street to visit

Grober Unfug too, the best comic book store in the city (No. 75). Once you’ve reached Rosen­thaler Platz, make a sharp right and head up­hill into the Pren­zlauer Berg dis­trict, filled with plenty of small, cute shops for brows­ing, like Kauf Dich Glücklich (Kas­tanien­allee 54) and Kwik­shop (Kas­tanien­allee 54). If you make it all the way up to Oder­berger Straße, you’ll be re­warded with some great sec­ond­hand stores stock­ing retro chic.

2 GET MALLED In con­trast to the many small bou­tiques around Rosen­thaler Platz, the area of Mitte around Friedrich­straße and Pots­damer Platz is dom­i­nated by big shop­ping cen­ters, mak­ing this the per­fect des­ti­na­tion for high-pow­ered shop­pers. Start on Friedrich­straße, where the French Ga­leries Lafayette depart­ment store and shop­ping com­plex Quartier 206 have their home (Nos. 76 and 71). The lat­ter houses ex­clu­sive bou­tiques like Moschino and Etro within its daz­zling,

"The gen­teel bou­tiques of Char­lot­ten­burg are a stark con­trast to the hip, min­i­mal­ist bou­tiques in Mitte."

Art Deco-style in­te­rior, plus the two-level De­part­mentstore Quartier 206, which car­ries a care­ful se­lec­tion of fash­ion and cos­met­ics brands from around the world. Just a short walk away is the enor­mous Mall of Ber­lin, which opened to much fan­fare last au­tumn on the very spot where the largest shop­ping cen­ter in all of Europe stood at the turn of the past cen­tury. With four sprawl­ing lev­els and nearly 300 shops, the Mall of Ber­lin boasts fash­ion, elec­tron­ics, cos­met­ics, food, and fun to keep shop­pers en­ter­tained for hours. Liebeskind, Navy­boot, In­timis­simi, Lau­rèl, 7 For All Mankind, and menswear em­po­rium Worm­land are just a few of the out­lets to look for here. For a meal break that’s miles above your av­er­age food court find, treat your­self to a de­lec­ta­ble steak from the Beef Gril­lClub by Hasir.

3 THE BEST OF THE WEST

While the shop­ping area around Friedrich­straße is still rel­a­tively new, out west is where Ber­lin’s shop­ping his­tory was made. The ven­er­a­ble Kaufhaus des Westens – or KaDeWe (Tauentzien­str. 21-24) for short – dates back to 1907 and is not only Ber­lin’s old­est shop­ping des­ti­na­tion, but also the most lux­u­ri­ous. To­day, the eight-story be­he­moth is still a must-see – even non­shop­pers will find plenty to love in KaDeWe’s fa­mous food hall, where the oys­ter counter is a fa­vorite spot amongst in-the-know gour­mands.

There’s much more to dis­cover in this area than just KaDeWe, how­ever. Tauentzien­straße and ad­join­ing Kur­fürs­ten­damm – or Ku’damm as the lo­cals call it for short – are both big shop­ping boule­vards, with the lat­ter es­pe­cially known for its lux­u­ri­ous ten­ants: Burberry, Rolex, Prada, Louis Vuit­ton, and Chanel (Nos. 183, 184, 186, 56-57, 188-189) are just some of the up­per-crust bou­tiques you’ll find along this street, while the new con­cept mall BIKINI HAUS is just around the cor­ner on Bu­dapester Straße. With­out break­ing the bud­get, you can also pick up some sweet lo­cal sou­venirs at the Leysi­ef­fer (No. 218) cho­co­la­terie, check out the lat­est youth trends at the big Ur­ban Out­fit­ters flag­ship (No. 19), or in­dulge in some plant-essence-based beauty prod­ucts at the Aveda life­style sa­lon (No. 26A). When it’s time to take a much-de­served break, skip the Star­bucks and go for one of the area’s el­e­gant, old-fash­ioned cof­fee houses in­stead. Af­ter­noon tea at the op­u­lent Grosz comes with three tiers of sweet and sa­vory del­i­ca­cies (No. 193–194), while the nearby Café im Win­ter­garten Lit­er­aturhaus (Fasa­nen­str. 23) is an el­e­gant, old-fash­ioned spot for cof­fee and strudel or a light lunch.

A short walk north of the Ku’damm is Sav­i­gny­platz, a stately lit­tle square sur­rounded by res­i­den­tial streets teem­ing with up­scale shops. Check out Bri­tish men­sand wom­enswear at Chelsea Farmer’s Club (Sch­lüter­str. 50), Mediter­ranean trends at the 0039 Italy bou­tique (Sch­lüter­str. 51), rare and ex­quis­ite teas at Pa­per & Tea (Bleib­treustr. 4), and beau­ti­ful photo books in the shops un­der the train arches at S-Sav­i­gny­platz sta­tion.

Top: Mall of Ber­lin, Zeit für Brot, and Filippa K. In the mid­dle row is the chic De­part­mentstore Quartier 206. Bot­tom: Au­gust­straße in Mitte,

Ber­lin's shop­ping dis­trict.

Pho­tos from top: The Kaiser-Wil­helmGedächt­nis-Kirche in the back­ground of the Ku'damm. Be­low that is the stylish Swedish cloth­ing brand Filippa K. On the bot­tom, the Ur­ban Out­fit­ters flag­ship store on Ku'damm.

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