Where and What to shop?
Let's end with an indulgence...
We all love a bit of retail therapy and it's particularly nice to be able to respond to a compliment with “well actually, I got this when I was in Berlin!” Berlin is undoubtedly a rising star on the European shopping front – it's getting better all the time – and you can shop till you drop, whether you're after high-end food and fashion or vintage clothes and antiques picked up at the markets!
So where do you start? Ironically enough, the most dynamic shopping district is located in what was once Communist East Berlin! Friedrichstrasse has turned the tables on downtown West Berlin, the former "showcase of capitalism." Here, the old Huguenot area of the city appropriately boasts the French Galeries Lafayette along with international names such as Donna Karan and Gucci. With three floors of fashion and an excellent food court which surrounds the interior glass atrium, this is the place to go in the area for a variety of delights! http://www.galerieslafayette.de/faq-english/
Continuing up Friedrichstrasse toward the S-Bahn, you'll find the Cultural Department Store Dussmann. Worth popping into for its extensive music selection and three floors of books, including an excellent English-language bookstore on the ground floor. http://www.kulturkaufhaus.de/
The youthful energy of the city is much in evidence in the Scheunenviertel in Mitte, where an enclave of designer boutiques, hip vintage shops and shoe stores have taken hold amid the cafes and galleries to be found the courtyards of the Hackesche Höfe. Head to the station Weinmeisterstraße on the U8, and wander through Tucholskystrasse, Auguststrasse, Neue- and Alte Schönhauser Strasse, and allow yourself to get lost in the network of courtyards... you won't come out empty-handed! http://www.hackesche-hoefe.com/index.php
The western half of the city more then holds its own with the world-famous KaDeWe. Opened in 1907, this luxurious department store boasts 60,000 square meters of sales space and some 2,000 employees, insuring first-class service. We recommend heading to the top floor for the gourmet food market where you can take away ingredients and gifts or eat an extravagant meal in house. http://www.kadewe.de/en/home_english/
The joy of hunting through outdoor markets is also a key feature of shopping life in Berlin. Arts and crafts, Soviet memorabilia, war books and medals, prints, furs, jackets... you really never know what you might find. Below are two of our favorite locations:
Tiergarten, Flea-market, Antiques, Arts & Crafts
Strasse des 17. Juni, Charlottenburg, Tiergarten (S Bahn), Ernst-Reuter-Platz (U2), Open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm
Mauerpark, Flea-market, Food, Crafts and Furniture
Mauerpark at Bernauer Straße 63-64, Prenzlauer Berg, Bernauer Strasse (U8) Eberswalder Strasse (U2), Open every Sunday from 8 am – 5 pm
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