There are now 67 shopping centers in Berlin with two more opening this year. That raises the question: where to go? Here are my recommendations for which centers to visit and why!
Galeries Lafayette (Mitte)
If you fancy designer brands and a little French flair, you should go to the Galeries Lafayette on Friedrichstrasse. Originally from Paris, it was opened in Berlin a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and brought a great deal of French charm to the city. The glass façade looms high and creates an unusual architecture, which is characterized by its central glass funnel. All around, four-storey fashion, shoe and jewellery labels are distributed by various designers and the delicatessen in the basement is simply délixieux.
Schönhauser Allee Arcaden (Prenzlauer Berg)
Compared to many other Berlin shopping centers, the arcades in Prenzlauer Berg are rather small and concise, with the tenant mix including the most popular high-street brands including drugstores, bakeries and fashion shops. The direct connection to the S-, U- and tramways quickly connects the scheme to the rest of the city.
Bikini Berlin (Charlottenburg)
Located in close proximity to Gedächtniskirche and Zoo Palast, the Bikini offers both hotel area and shopping facilities. The center boasts numerous boutiques, flagship stores and service providers. The special features in this mall are the small juxtaposed wooden boxes and the pop-up stores, both creating a really exciting and unique design! In addition to the tenant mix and modern layout, the center has excellent views; from the green roof terrace, there is a great view over the center of Berlin and there is also a long window overlooking the monkeys in the zoo!
Das Schloss (Steglitz)
Das Schloss opened in 2006 and comprises more than 80 stores! The wide variety of shops attracts a range of customers and with Schlosstraße being one of the main streets of Stegliz, the center enjoys high levels of footfall! The main differentiator for Das Schloss is the large ceiling area which has a modern projection with various animations including clouds, the universe, and often exhibitions.
Hackesche Höfe (Mitte)
The complex is in the historical Scheunenviertel area of Spandauer Vorstadt in Mitte, directly on the Hackescher Markt. This is not a classic shopping center, but those looking for more specialized shops and brands will find it here. The open-topped areas offer an escape from busy major shopping streets and welcome relaxed shopping trips. There is also a cinema and a theatre in the courtyards, which together with their history make the courtyards one of the most beautiful sights in the capital.
Kaufhaus des Westens (Schöneberg)
Of course, the most famous department store in Germany should not be missed. The KaDeWe is the largest department store in Europe – history and glamor of the house bring visitors and tourists from all over the world to the sight on Wittenbergplatz. Especially known for its impressive delicatessen at the top, the five-storey center offers everything your heart desires, and for the bigger budget, one can consult one of service staff individually and have clothes or suits tailor-made.
Mall of Berlin (Mitte)
In September 2014, Berlin’s shopping mall opened its big doors very successfully. The huge building unites 270 shops in a large building complex on Leipziger Platz. A large food hall houses over 30 restaurants and on the three floors are designer stores, popular fashion labels, accessories and shoe stores – something for everyone. In the large covered courtyard, there are always musical events and celebrity visits.
Stilwerk is a modern interior design department store with three branches in Germany. Behind the striking glass façade are a number of designer shops that offer unique pieces. Professional interior designers offer assistance with all steps between planning and installation and are available for consultation. The roof terrace of the building also offers numerous events and can be rented out for private parties.
From the outside, the Alexa shopping centre is a rust-red block at Alexanderplatz – very eye-catching, the architects’ aim was to create an art deco feel. Not only fashion, jewellery and shoes are on sale here: the selection ranges from pharmacies, drugstores, toy shops, technology and sports equipment. The top floor offers activities such as bowling and a miniature world, and the Food Court serves food from all over the world. To the rear, the Alexa has a freely accessible terrace, which, especially in the summer months, encourages many visitors to enjoy the view.
Gesundbrunnencenter is in the North of Berlin, in the heart of Berlin’s Wedding district, directly next to the train station. The center hosts an array of tenants from value retailers to luxury designers – appealing to a wide audience. This gives the large center on the S-Bahn a feeling of multiculturalism and thus reflects an essential aspect of Berlin.