Best spots to shop 'til you drop

Andrea Schulte-Peevers

By , Local Expert, Berlin
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Berlin is a great place to shop, and we're definitely not talking malls and chains. The most famous and longest retail spine is the Kurfürstendamm in western Berlin, but it’s no secret that for the best buys you have to hit the imaginatively curated indie boutiques scattered around its distinctive neighborhoods. It is they who best reflect the city's zest for life, individual style and aspirations, and a bottomless entrepreneurial spirit. And isn’t it much more fun to flaunt some unique outfit or accessory you won’t find on the high street back home?

In fact, the only thing typical about the Berlin look is that there is no...  Read more »

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    For over a century, KaDeWe has been the go-to department store for all things luxe. The food hall is out-of-this-world.

    Local Expert Tip: "For the quintessential KaDeWe experience, join locals for champagne and a bite during lunchtime at one of around 30 nosh stops in the Food Hall. "

  • 2

    Flohmarkt am Mauerpark

    This flea market is one of Berlin's best hunting grounds for cool souvenirs.

    Local Expert Tip: "Come early for the best selection or late for the best prices. Numerous food vendors provide global sustenance from strudel to samosas to waffles and langos (Hungarian 'pizza'). "

  • 3

    Galeries Lafayette

    Power shoppers, label bunnies and food fanciers love this luxe lair imported from France.

    Local Expert Tip: "Galeries Lafayette is part of the Friedrichstadtpassagen shopping complex, which also includes the dazzling Art Deco Quartier 205 (linked to Lafayette via a subterranean passageway), and Quartier 206 which is anchored by a three-story sculpture by John Chamberlain. "

  • 4

    Kantstrasse Design District

    This strip is a home decorators nirvana with super-sized showrooms where even day-to-day items have a zany twist.

    Local Expert Tip: "On Saturdays, Stilwerk offers free child care for customers' tots, so you can browse without worrying about little Timmy knocking over that expensive vase."

  • 5

    Türkenmarkt BiOriental

    Berlin goes Bosporus at this bustling farmers' market where bargains abound.

    Local Expert Tip: "To score the best bargains, show up just before closing time when vendors try to unload their most perishable wares. Quality may no longer be tops, but if you're lucky, you get to lug home an entire crate of avocados for a mere euro. "

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    If you want to bring home that sassy Berlin look, stock up here on fashion and accessories by local up-and-comers.

    Local Expert Tip: "There are plenty more fashion-forward indie boutiques in the same neighborhood, so you can turn your visit here into an extended shopping spree, then recuperate over a strong cuppa joe at one of the many cute caf�s in the neighborhood. Barista, Bonanza Coffee Heroes and Morning Glory are recommended."

  • 7

    P & T - Paper & Tea GmbH

    Tea lovers will have no problem sourcing fine and rare leafy treats at this chic store.

    Local Expert Tip: "For a full immersion in tea culture, sign up for a tea seminar (in English upon request)."

  • 8


    Pottery Barn graduates with a penchant for tradition will go wild at this pretty pad packed with hand-fashioned whimsies for home and hearth.

    Local Expert Tip: "The seven-floor office building, called Haus Hardenberg, that shelters Manufactum is considered one of the most accomplished in 1950s Germany. Next to the store is Manufactum brot& butter, a gourmet store and bistro perfect for refueling. "

  • 9

    1. Absinth Depot Berlin

    The peerless absinthe collection will transport you back in time in no time.

    Local Expert Tip: "Ask about absinthe tastings held in the woodsy parlor in back of the store. Groups of five to 10 people can book a private session, individuals can sign up for a regularly scheduled degustation via the website."

  • 10

    Saint George's Bookshop

    The 'mother' of Berlin's English-language bookstores is a bibliophile's gem.

    Local Expert Tip: "If you can't find the book you're after, ask for it to be ordered before 5pm and pick it up the next day. They also have a cool buy-back program where you get 50% store credit for bringing back any used book you bought here. Free Wi-Fi, too."



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