Berlin Shopping Walk (Self Guided), Berlin

An international city with a reputation for style, Berlin is a shopping paradise. Whether it is international designer fashion, unusual hip-style ideas or a cheap bargain that you're after, you’ll be sure to find the right thing at Berlin's multiple department stores, modern shopping malls, luxury designer shops, high-end boutiques or small handcraft manufactures. Follow this guide to some of the best places to shop in the German capital and discover the city’s endless shopping possibilities reflecting a broad range of styles, tastes and creative ideas.
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Berlin Shopping Walk Map

Guide Name: Berlin Shopping Walk
Guide Location: Germany » Berlin (See other walking tours in Berlin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: Daniel
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Mall of Berlin
  • Friedrichstrasse (Frederick Street)
  • Quartier 206
  • Galeries Lafayette
  • Ritter Sport Bunte SchokoWelt (Colourful Chocoworld)
  • Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus
1
Mall of Berlin

1) Mall of Berlin

Located in Leipziger Platz, not far from Potsdamer Platz, the Mall of Berlin is a relatively new addition to the city, completed in 2014. It sits on the grounds of the once famous Wertheim department store, which in its heyday epitomized luxury shopping in Berlin, and as such represents an elegant new shopping paradise extraordinaire, upholding the long-lasting shopping history of Berlin offering a sophisticated ambiance with a well-rounded mix of retail, gastronomy, housing, hotel and office space. The venue's architectural highlight is the plaza in the center under a vast curved glass roof, from which one can enjoy a terrific view of the House of Lords of Prussia (seat of the German Federal Council).

With 270 retail outlets spread over four floors, a huge food court, and a matching ample underground car parking (fit to accommodate more than 1,000 vehicles), this is the biggest shopping center in the German capital. The stores have long opening hours and specialize in fashion, electronics, housewares, souvenirs, and toys. The available range of coffee shops, restaurants and fast food outlets make it a convenient one-stop location for almost all shopping needs.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Friedrichstrasse (Frederick Street)

2) Friedrichstrasse (Frederick Street)

Friedrichstrasse (Frederick Street) is a 3.3-kilometer thoroughfare, the core of the Friedrichstadt neighborhood. Named after Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, this vibrant boulevard has been the hive of activity since before WW2, replete with expensive restaurants and hotels, high-end stores and renowned theaters, such as Berliner Ensemble, Admiralspalast and Friedrichstadt-Palast. After the war, for decades, Friedrichstrasse epitomized the division of the German capital, firmly entrenched in East Berlin.

One of its main attractions is the landmark border crossing to the former American sector, commonly known as Checkpoint Charlie, a stark reminder of the city once ruled by the victors in WW2. Today, a replica of the original Checkpoint Charlie booth is just a tourist sight surrounded with posters and information points detailing the aftermath of the war and the subsequent division. Nearby, is a small museum and exhibition dedicated to Berlin wall. Past Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstrasse slowly turns into a business area.

Ironically, the West Berlin part of Friedrichstrasse is a quiet, slightly crumbly neighborhood, whereas the former Communist section is now one of the city's most glamorous areas – a fashion mile reuniting many famous brands – packed with innumerable shopping centers and boutiques, both high-end and moderately priced. Among these are the Friedrichstadtpassagen arcade selling international designer clothing and home decor, as well as the French department store Galeries Lafayette. Also, there is Dussmann Kulturkaufhaus, an enormous “culture store” carrying a choice of international literature, music and more.

As well, there are some really good pubs, bars and restaurants to be found on Friedrichstrasse and the nearby streets, serving Mediterranean, Asian, Italian, German and other cuisines. Eateries like Bocca di Bacco or Grill Royal, near the Spree River bank, are Berliners' favored meeting spots to have a bite.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the most frequented shopping areas of Berlin, home to many international, luxury and high-street brands, as well as flagship stores of fashion, design, cosmetics, jewelry, books, and upscale home decor. Friedrichstrasse is hard to avoid if you're exploring downtown Berlin, and is most definitely well worth checking out, be it for the history attached to it or, if you're not a history fan, for the modern architecture and vibrant atmosphere.

Tip:
Shops at Friedrichstrasse follow the rules for retail trading hours in Germany, and accordingly are usually open from 10:00am to 8:00pm, though some may open or close at an earlier time.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Quartier 206

3) Quartier 206

Friedrichstrasse (French Street) has always been one of the premiere shopping streets in Berlin, even during the days of DDR (Socialist East Germany) when it was a members-only club for proletariat elite. The street has since been revitalized and is now open to all, providing they don't mind paying top-Euro for the imported Italian and French designer stuff. The latter is offered in rich supply at the individual boutiques making up the elegant Art Deco fashion and lifestyle department store, called Quartier 206, conveniently located next to the Galeries Lafayettes upscale French supermarket in Friedrichstrasse.

A play on black-white marble intersected by skylights, Quartier 206 sets luxury fashion against a background of world-class architecture designed by the celebrated New York firm I.M. Pei, Cobb, Freed & Partners (creators of Louvre Pyramid), and is one of the top-notch shopping locations in Berlin. Exclusive boutiques of Quartier 206 invite professional shoppers and fashion groupies to spend hours wandering through this par excellence venue of three interlinked street blocks, browsing through a phenomenal range of international designer couture, including the likes of Etro, YSL, Gucci, and Valentino. Not limited to just fashion, accessories, cosmetics and jewelry, the store features several home designers, flowers, arts, books, and a full-service restaurant.

Tip:
Make sure to stop by the designer outlet in the basement, called %, where seasonal merchandise is sold at great discounts.
4
Galeries Lafayette

4) Galeries Lafayette

Sitting at the corner of Friedrichstrasse (Frederick Street) and Französische Strasse (French Street) in Berlin, Galeries Lafayette is a striking cone-shaped atrium distinguished by its modern glass facade. Designed by Jean Nouvel, this highly visible four-story building is a branch of the luxurious Parisian department store that has been providing French flair to the German capital since 1996. Right from the outset, this exclusive palace of style has been focused primarily on high-fashion clothing and accessories for ladies, men, and children, as well as cosmetics and beauty products from French and international brands.

Downstairs, at the basement, there is a paradise for gourmets, featuring delicacies from every region of France, with bistros and fine foods featured in rich supply. Here, alongside fine wines and cheeses, visitors can enjoy many other authentic French delicacies, such as the famous pastry macarons and more. Events like fashion shows, readings, and wine seminars are held at Galeries Lafayette on a regular basis. Also, next to the gourmet section, there is "Librairie Francaise", a bookshop offering publications in the French language.
5
Ritter Sport Bunte SchokoWelt (Colourful Chocoworld)

5) Ritter Sport Bunte SchokoWelt (Colourful Chocoworld)

Ritter Sport - Colourful Chocoworld is what makes Berlin a chocolate capital and, if you ever wanted to delight yourself and/or your kids with a mix of sweet chocolate and entertainment, this is the place to go! Even architecturally, this three-floor building with nearly 1,000 square meters of space is worth seeing from a distance and, once inside, you will find the chocolate fragrance so hard to resist. But just as with many things German, there is a strict order to follow while enjoying this place.

First off, all visitors – big or small – must visit the Chocolate Path to learn about the Ritter Sport brand, from raw materials to the finished panel, so as to be able to apply this new knowledge in the Chocolate Workshop next. There, kids and adults may create their own custom-made chocolate bar, using select ingredients, with the help of a professional chocolatier to turn their idea into reality.

The whole process takes about 30 minutes. Before the chocolate is ready, you'll have to pay at a cash register on the far side of the counter. Once paid, you'll get a white card for each bar ordered to be shown to the candy maker. Creating larger bars is possible too, but takes longer than 30 minutes – so advance order is recommended.

While waiting, you can relax at the on-site ChocoCafé with a cup of coffee, tea or delicious hot chocolate drink along with some cakes or pastries – all made with Ritter Sport Chocolate Bars, or enjoy the “History and Making of Chocolate” exhibit upstairs. Otherwise, you can shop for the multitude of chocolate flavors (hazelnuts, smarties, gummy bears, chilli, brownies or strawberries, to mention but a few) that no sweet tooth can resist, or perhaps some non-chocolate goodies too.

The place is absolutely perfect for kids, especially if you're caught in the rain, and will make a great stop on your Berlin Weekend Getaway.

Tip:
The workshop lasts an hour and 15 minutes and costs 9 Euros per person; maximum 16 persons is allowed. Advance registration via online portal is necessary.
6
Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus

6) Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus

A bookstore that is more than just a bookstore, Dussmann is a true heaven for every “Bücherwurm” (bookworm). This self-style "department store of culture" feels like a playground for book lovers in a sense that its five floors (7,000 sq meters of space) are packed to the brim with books on every thinkable topic: history, politics, fantasy, science, philosophy, economics, books for kids and comics. Alongside publications in German, there is a large choice of titles in English (the largest in Berlin!) separated in a two-floor section, called The English Bookshop, plus in French and many other foreign-languages, including rare ones, like Korean and Russian.

In fact, Dussmann has all the media under one roof. Other than literature, it carries massive and incredibly comprehensive selection of DVDs, CDs and even vinyl records, featuring all the greatest names in classical music, like Bach, Mozart, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Rubinstein, plus Jazz, Pop and other genres fit to satisfy every melomaniac. On top of that, here you can find movies, audio-books, music scores, gifts, stationery and other merchandise (e.g. posters, collectible toys, notebooks, K-pop books and magazines). The prices are reasonable and selection is plentiful.

The store is open from 9am to midnight (closing at 11:30pm on Saturdays and all day on Sundays), so you can easily browse the shelves for hours and forget the time, but must be careful not to spend all your money here, too. Another terrific aspect is the friendly staff and lots of places to read and sit, plus a very cute on-site cafe.

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