A lit­tle rain can have its bright side. Annabelle Mallia uses it as an ex­cuse to go hit the shops.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

A spring shower is the per­fect ex­cuse to hit the shops.

The num­ber of mu­se­ums in Berlin is said to out­weigh that of rainy days. Even so, come spring­time Berlin does have the oc­ca­sional sprin­kle to keep it one of the green­est cities in Europe. But don’t let it put a damper on your sight­see­ing plans. In­stead, stop in first at these shop­ping des­ti­na­tions to pick up some es­sen­tials. Um­brel­las at Der Schir­m­macher (Kieler Str. 6, www.schir­m­, are made to last. Now part of a dy­ing trade, owner Rolf Lippke and his fam­ily have been cre­at­ing and re­pair­ing brol­lies for more than 130 years. From artsy prints to ba­sic Ber­liner black re­in­forced with durable car­bon fiber, you’ll soon be danc­ing in the rain. Now that your head's cov­ered, let's pro­tect your be­long­ings from rain­drops with the sig­na­ture Berlin hip­ster mes­sen­ger bag, per­fect for this time of year. Check out the orig­i­nal eco-friendly con­cept from Swiss com­pany Fre­itag (Max-Beer-Str. 3, www. fre­, mak­ing bags from used truck tar­pau­lins, dis­carded bi­cy­cle in­ner tubes, and seat belts, or lose your­self in the end­less color com­bi­na­tions from MilkBer­lin (Alte Schön­hauser Str.13, www.milkber­ For an ul­tra-con­tem­po­rary look, pick the in­ter­change­able-front-flap op­tion from Ta(u)sche (Raumer­str. 8, www., made from tear-re­sis­tant, coated polyester fab­ric. Shop­ping malls are great when the weather is not. The new­est one in town is the Mall of Berlin (p. 20), while an­other fa­vorite is the de­signer con­cept mall Bikini Berlin (p. 19), with a view of the zoo. If com­mer­cial cen­ters aren’t your thing, head to Mu­lack­straße, where lo­cal de­sign­ers and their bou­tiques are lined up one af­ter the other. Check out de­signer vin­tage store Das Neue Schwarz (no. 38, www.das­ for a pre-loved spring coat. And for one of the last re­main­ing food mar­ket halls from the 19th cen­tury, make your way to Mark­thalle Neun (Eisen­bahn­str. 42-43, www.mark­thal­ Home to the Hei­den­peters mi­cro­brew­ery and tra­di­tional Sironi bak­ery from Mi­lan, they also host reg­u­lar themed events and the pop­u­lar Street Food Thurs­day event. On rainy days, sit­ting back with a good book or catch­ing up on your travel jour­nal writ­ing is also in or­der. The freshly baked bagels at Shake­speare and Sons ( Warschauer­str. 74, www.shakes­ draw as much of a crowd as the store’s ex­ten­sive se­lec­tion of English clas­sics and best­sellers.

The grand in­te­rior of the Mall of Berlin. In­set, be­low: bag by Ta(u)sche.

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