Shopping in Berlin: A Local’s Guide
Style-wise, Berliners pride themselves on their idiosyncratic sense of liberality and urban cool. Fluid, individual and no-nonsense, a common Berlin ‘uniform’ is notorious for its embrace of anything black, shapeless and street-chic. However, you’d be foolish to think the city’s shopping options end there. Broad-minded and tolerant, there is a seemingly endless freedom to wear what you want in this city, including everything from neon rave wear to haute couture.
As a self-confessed shopping addict, to me Berlin is the epitome of originality: the city is a chameleon, headlining unique and unseen trends while fostering young talent – the ultimate place to go when you want something innovative or unfamiliar. So here it is, my local’s Guide to Shopping in Berlin.
Guide to Shopping in Berlin:
Voo Store plays host to Fashion Week’s finest attire. Über-chic hipster brands are juxtaposed alongside more established international designers, coalescing in a gallery ambiance of style and urban grit. You’ll find cutting-edge items, local pieces, as well as a covetable collection of art books, publications, and accessories. To top it off, they also boast some of Berlin’s best bean thanks to Companion Coffee situated in the same building.
Address: Oranienstraße 24, Kreuzberg
Closest public transport: U Kottbusser Tor (U1, U8)
Hallesches Haus is a general store, lunchroom and event space all rolled into one. It’s situated in the historic Postamt 61 building along the Landwehr Canal and offers an eclectic range of homewares, art fittings, fixtures, and furniture.
Inside the offering is a carefully curated collection of all things gorgeous. Household necessities such as scissors and dustpans side alongside more novel items like air plants, pot hangers, and jewelry.
Address: Tempelhofer Ufer 1, Kreuzberg
Closest public transport: U Hallesches Tor (U1, U6)
As far as department stores go, the Kaufhaus des Westens is the crème de la crème of Shopping in Berlin. With a long and illustrious history, this monolithic center is the second largest in Europe and welcomes around 45,000 visitors each day. Make an afternoon of it by heading to the top floor for champagne, oysters and a great view of the city.
Address: Tauentzienstraße 21-24, Schöneberg
Closest public transport: U Wittenbergplatz (U1, U2, U3) or U Kurfürstendamm (U1, U9)
If vintage, pre-worn and repurposed is your thing, then you need to factor in a visit to PICKnWEIGHT. A vintage chain with stores across Germany, this is ground zero for thrift shopping. As you might have deciphered from the shop’s name, they sell their garments by weight. Unlike many vintage retailers these days, you’ll find plenty of bargains, in addition to books, music and their signature brand of renewed items: (RE) COLLECTION.
Offering virtually any item of clothing possible, PICKnWEIGHT also boasts their own cafe with Springbok coffee to keep you focused while trawling their wares and gives you a boost on your shopping in Berlin adventure.
Address: Bergmannstraße 102, Kreuzberg
Closest public transport: U Mehringdamm (U6, U7)
Situated in a heritage listed 1950s office building, Bikinihaus is a concept mall providing a range of ever-changing brands and pop-up retailers, each contained in individual ‘boxes’. Located in the city’s west, Bikini Berlin rethinks the traditional shopping model and offers an engaging, eclectic and stimulating experience.
Address: Budapester Straße 38-50, Charlottenburg
Closest public transport: S&U Zoologischer Garten (S5, S7, S75 & U1, U2, U9)
With a complex history, this 1920s heritage listed building has seen itself employed as a department store, Nazi Youth leadership headquarters, and Communist Party’s Central Committee. Comprising a hotel, members-only club, and swoon-worthy rooftop pool, Soho House is more than simply a place to shop. Named The Store, you’ll find all of your shopping needs satiated with the eclectic edit of fashion, furniture, music, art, and books, alongside delectable food.
Address: Torstraße 1, Mitte
Closest public transport: Metro Tram stop: Mollstr./Prenzlauer Allee (12, M1, M2, M4, M5, M8, M10)
Hackesher Markt & Hackesche Höfe
The Hackescher Markt district is located around the S-Bahn station of the same name. Thanks to its position adjacent Museum Island, the area is frequently flooded with sightseeing tourists, but it also offers some unique designer boutiques, independent labels, vintage shops and larger chain stores.
If you have time, check out the neighboring Haus Schwarzenberg (Rosenthaler Straße 39), which contains street art, the Anne Frank museum and fascinating local ateliers.
Address: Rosenthaler Straße 40-41, Kreuzberg
Closest public transport: S Hackescher Markt (S5, S7, S75)
Mitte is unquestionably the fashion epicenter of Berlin. Take a few hours out of your day and wander the streets north of Weinmeisterstraße to discover conceptual boutiques, urban streetwear, art galleries and young independent labels.
From Vivienne Westwood’s concept label Worlds End to an apothecary-esque Absinthe purveyor, Mitte truly has something for everyone who is on a mission to go shopping in Berlin.
Address: Mulackstraße, Münzstraße, Alte Schönhauser Straße, Weinmeisterstraße & Sophienstraße
Closest public transport: U WeinmeisterStr. (U8) or U Rosa-Luxemburg Platz (U2)
Mall of Berlin
When it comes to malls, I have to admit, I’m not a big fan – they’re large, soulless, homogenous, and to top it off they all boast labyrinthine floor plans and too much air-conditioning. However, Berlin’s weather is infamous for being less than accommodating to the outdoor shopper, and during winter an indoor mall offers a welcome respite from the snow, wind, and rain. Enter Mall of Berlin: a retail behemoth that offers 270 boutiques and is every shopping lover’s dream.
Address: Leipziger Pl. 12, Mitte
Closest public transport: S&U Potsdamer Platz (U2)
If you are visiting Berlin in December, make sure to check out some of the traditional German Christmas Markets all over the city for some unique souvenirs, delicious snacks and a Glühwein or two.
Of course, in a city as changeable as Berlin you only have to peek around a corner to discover fresh and unique finds – saunter, stroll and sightsee, I bet you’ll find something new. Have you visited Berlin? Let me know where your favorite shopping haunts are in the comments below!
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