If you want to experience some of the best shopping options in Berlin, from the Berlin’s farmer’s markets and their German delicacies to the vintage frills and luxury wares, we have a few suggestions where you should start looking. Shopping in Berlin is a mixture of a number of different elements, these include the local, the traditional, and even some craft and originality.
Unlike many other cities that we have discussed before, there is no distinctive shopping center to Berlin. This means that the best thing you can do is just to start walking. You should expect to find some of the finer things in the least expected places. Because it has a massive DJ population and relatively cheap overheads, you should also expect a thriving record shop scene in Berlin.
If you go west, on Kurfürstendamm, you can find some of the more conventional shopping options. These include the flagship Uniqlo and an Apple store that both opened in 2014. The Friedrichstrasse in the east offers a similarly upmarket selection. Even though Berlin has become increasingly popular, you should be aware that you are probably not going to do much shopping on a Sunday. This might seem particularly strange to people who have become accustomed to major cities being open seven days a week, but local laws do not permit it.
In order to increase hygiene standards and replace the traditional outdoor varieties, there were 14 covered municipal markets that were originally opened for business in the 19th century. Most of them disappeared though, and this listed building was going to be sold to developers in 2009. However, the launching of a campaign to save it by a trio of local residents managed to save the Markthalle.
A few years after being saved from being knocked down, the Markthalle opened with a great deal of fanfare and it offers locally sourced meats and beautiful heritage vegetables. You can also find the outstanding Heidenpeters microbrewery here, with a massive selection of beers and Milan’s traditional Sironi bakery has a home here too.
KaDeWe is short for the Kaufhaus des Westens. It was one of the better luxury Berlin department stores, and one of the few that was restored to its former glory after World War II. This is why it has become synonymous with the economic boom that Western Germany experienced. It is continental Europe’s largest department store and it offers a large range of high-end designers. In recent times, it has started to shed some of the ‘stuffy’ atmosphere by bringing in some younger labels as well.
There is a massive sixth floor that is entirely dedicated to food, meaning you can find grocers, patisseries, butchers, and delicatessens. From prepared food to take away to a place to eat, the sixth floor is the perfect place to fuel up for another shopping frenzy.
Even though there are a number of young Berlin designers that are getting their start here, Don’t Shoot The Messengers (DSTM) is certainly the definitive Berlin look. Originally started by Canadian-born Jen Gilpin, it shows a great deal of local influences. The beautiful boutique is certainly worth your time if you stop in for a visit, and the prices here are surprisingly affordable. Those who shop here even have the Lady Gaga seal of approval who was shown wearing DSTM lingerie (and little else) during her Berlin release party for her latest album.
What has developed into a cultish following with an impeccable product selection and ironic catalogue once started as a counterpoint to cheap mass production. Manufactum was founded by a high profile Green Party politician in 1988 and it has continued to develop ever since. The development has been the same since its opening, with a focus on sustainable materials, classic designs, and high production quality.
There are eight Manufactum stores spread throughout the country, and it has an online shop that is popular throughout the United States and Western Europe. The product line itself is extensive as well. Everything sold here is chosen for its durability. With proper care, the type of work boots that you could find here will last you a lifetime. The prices do certainly reflect that. Then again, you should expect to pay for quality.
This Schöneberg institution is one of the best farmer’s market that you are going to find in a city that is renowned for its thriving farmer’s market community. The Winterfeldt market teems with life twice a week in the area surrounding the St. Matthias Kirche.
There are more than 250 stalls available that focus on high-end gastronomic produce. The emphasis here is seasonal and local. You can find some amazing ingredients such as edible flowers and wild herbs, locally-made salamis, and foraged mushrooms. You can also find plenty of vendors who are not only looking to sell their product, but are also offering prepared food.