by Jon, Contributing Editor
After being divided into two parts, and finally uniting them in 1990, Berlin has developed itself into a global capital of art, culture and fashion. Even today you can see that its long and ever-changing history is the picture of today’s Berlin and part of its understated charm.
Germany’s capital offers several beautiful boutique hotels, such as Das Stue (Drakestraße 1, 10787 Berlin, Germany) right next to the Berliner Philarmonie. The building used to house the Danish embassy in Germany and the hotel continues the legacy of the estate with its Scandinavian vibe and Danish name:– ‘Stue’ means living room.
A very classic address is the Hotel Adlon Kempinski (Unter den Linden 77, 10117 Berlin, Germany) right next to Brandenburg Gate, a luxury hotel deeply connected to Berlin’s history. It first opened in 1907 under the name Hotel Adlon and quickly became the hotspot for the international jetset scene with guests such as Josephine Baker. Being partly destroyed in WW2, it remained a hotel until the 1970s in East Berlin. In 1997, after years of rebuilding the old palais, Hotel Adlon Kempinski reopened and is today part of the Leading Hotels of the World.
What to do
Berlin is famously known for attractions such as the Berlin Wall with its so-called East Side Gallery, or the Museum Island in the center of the city. When you dig a little deeper, you can find an incredible variety of things to do.
We truly love the gallery Camera Work with photography exhibitions featuring international artitsts such as Patrick & Victor Demarchelier or Louis Faurer. Another incredible Photo gallery is c/oBerlin with exhibitions of international artists and a wide range of photographs.
At Bikini Berlin, a very special mall, you can find various exhibitions and amazing Pop-up stores next to stores and restaurants. The Berlin House of the 25 hours Hotel with its famous monkey bar, is also located at Bikini Berlin.
A definite must do is a stroll along Friedrichststrasse where you can find a mixture of typical Berlin craftmanship stores and international boutiques and jewelers.
Where to shop
The shopping center Kaufhaus des Westens is one of the most famous department stores in West Berlin, comparable to Harrods in London, Bloomingdale’s in New York or Au Bon Marché in Paris. Known to house a distinct selection of both international and German designers, it is known to offer its customers the best service and goods one could wish for. Aside from Fashion, KaDeWe is known for its gourmet floor where you can find selected foods from all over the world.
Between Mulackstrasse and Alt Schönhäuser Straße you will find stores of upcoming designers such as Filippa K.from Sweden and the Berlin based design house LaLa Berlin. Our favourite Concept Store is Department Store 206, which does not only offer an amazing selection of fashion, beauty products and flowers, but also has it’s own bar and café.
When shopping with or for your boyfriend we suggest you to take a look at Soto Berlin.
If you want to find a selection of classic high-end designers combined with upcoming luxury brands, you should definitely check out the Concept Store The Corner. Another definate go-to store is Andreas Murkudis with it’s beautiful minimal design and amazing selection. You should take some time and stroll through the store, you will find amazing products and will go home with a list of new favourite designers.
Where to eat in Berlin
An early start
As you all know, we love breakfast. It is almost our most important meal of the day. So for us, starting early goes along with having a nutritious breakfast.
At District Coffee you can be sure to get the best coffee for starting the day. The interior is so warm and cozy that you will also love to remain there for its entirety.
After hours of sightseeing, shooping and meeting friends we have not seen in a long time, we like to take a little break over lunch and just enjoy our friends.
A definate highlight for us is the Monkey Bar situated in the top floor of the 25hours Hotel. The view above the city is spectacular and the food is amazing. All of you who have tried out Neni’s either in Vienna or Berlin, know what we are talking about.
Dinner with a view
While it is nice to look above the German capital by daylight, the view is even more beautiful in the evening, when the Sun starts to set and you can relax from the day and plan your night out. When it comes to dinner, we have a long list of places we simply love.
If you are in Berlin for the first time, the rotating restaurant in the TV tower is definately worth a try. You will have an incredible view above the city while dining right above the center.
Another definate must-do is the restaurant Katz Orange, which is one of the contemporary food labs. The Pan Roadted Spreewald Lamb is the best I have ever tasted.
For an elegant dinner, we suggest the rooftop terasse of the Hotel de Rome. It is also great if you just want to go there for the drinks. You have to try the Sicilian Negroni.
It feels like that every day there is a new club or bar opening in Berlin which is the newest place to be. We wanted to list a selection of bars which are timeless and contemporary, and where you will definitely feel the modern Berlin spirit.
During summer you should definately take a short stop at Anna Durkes where you can find the best ice cream in town. If you have time, we suggest that you eat it sitting down and along a cup of coffee.
Aside from the urban vibe you find in Berlin, you should not forget to take a stroll through one of its beautiful gardens. It is unbeliveable how many of them you can find there. We truly loved the garden of Charlottenburg Palace even more than the palace itself.
Berlin is truly an amazing city and we can only advise those of you who have not been there, to consider it for your next city trip. If you live in Berlin or have visited it, let us know what your favourite places in town are.