Shopping in Berlin: Friedrichstraße and Ku’damm
Shopping in Berlin may not be top priority for tourists but still it was a must for La Moda to check out the city’s main districts for fashion. So, off we went on an adventure train ride to Berlin’s most popular shopping artery Kurfurstendamm, or Ku’damm as locals call the place.
Yet after almost getting lost and ending up in Hamburg, we decided to simply opt for the equally popular and relatively more upscale shopping avenue called Friedrichstraße. Glad that we were able to finally roam around this long street, we walked and walked through the alleys that spoke of grand neo-classical European architecture modernized by an array of elite fashion brands.
Considered as the Upper East Side of Berlin where Quartier 207 or Galerie Lafayette will stun walking tourists with its all-glass facade, Friedrichstraße is indeed a shopping paradise for fashion afficionados.
Aside from its important historical sightseeing points and the gigantic blocks offering this season’s hottest sartorial choices, Friedrichstrasse is also perfect for checking out art deco forms, posh cafés and small specialty shops.
But of course, we did not give up on our goal to reach Ku’damm. We’d advise learning how to get there by train. This popular shopping haven in Berlin is clearly known for KaDeWe, a huge mall offering more than 200 famous fashion brands.
From electronics to food, from fashion to home accesories, KaDeWe has it all. It might be one of the best malls in Berlin, but coming from a city shopping malls are considered cultural centres, let’s just say we’d be quite challenging to truly impress.
Nonetheless, we explored Ku’damm and found out why it became Berlin’s major shopping district. It actually has H&M, Zara and a selection of other high street brands, flashing out in their window displays that four-letter word that attract residents and tourist alike: SALE. No wonder it’s the place to be for shopping.
Discount shopping may be the reason why people flock Ku’damm, but for us, the district is better enjoyed for its hustle and bustle. The city noise that wrapped around the magnificent architecture of this side of Berlin made it more appealing than any other.
Take for example the beautiful array of grand residential houses, extravagant street corners and posh manors that speak of olden history. Whether you’re busy shopping for discounts or simply people watching by the side streets, Ku’damm is still worth a moment of your time in Berlin.
Friedrichstraße and Ku’damm may be the well-known shopping districts in Berlin, yet we discovered that it’s also fun to check out the flea markets and bargain shops in the city. Most of these are open only during weekends so better check with your hotel’s concierge before planning on having a go.
The flea night market by Alexanderplatz was quite filled with kiosks offering pashminas, accessories and other vintage stuff. There were also food stalls and street performers for the guests’ entertainment.
On the other hand, the side street shops on Unter den Linden, Berlin’s most popular boulevard, would also delight tourist shoppers. Aside from bargain second hand books and accessories, we found a unqiue buy in summer time: a fur hat reminiscent of Angelina Jolie’s Evelyn Salt offered at 35 euros which we managed to haggle down to 15.
It was an amazing opportunity to check out these shopping districts. In addition to the amusing finds and huge discounts, the avenues provide a wonderful experience to go sightseeing and people watching.
Fly direct to Berlin via airberlin from €410 or AED 2,200. To book a flight or for more information, visit airberlin.com.
Where to stay: Want contemporary accommodation with a tourist attraction right in the middle of the hotel lobby? Radisson Blu Berlin is your best bet. Located just a stone’s throw away from the city’s cultural and shopping districts, Radisson Blu boasts the Aquadom, the world’s largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium in the hotel’s atrium.
For those who want the classic hotel with an old-world aesthetic and divine guest service, The Ritz-Carlton Berlin at the Potsdamer Platz is the go-to option for fine holidaymakers. A five-minute walk from hotel leads to many of Berlin’s most glorious spots, including the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate).