A little rain can have its bright side. Annabelle Mallia uses it as an excuse to go hit the shops.
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.schirmmitcharme.de), 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. freitag.ch), 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.milkberlin.com). For an ultra-contemporary look, pick the interchangeable-front-flap option from Ta(u)sche (Raumerstr. 8, www. tausche.com), 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.dasneueschwarz.de) 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.markthalleneun.de). 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.shakesbooks.de) 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.