Berlin Shopping Tips by Turtleshell

Berlin Shopping: 236 reviews and 293 photos

Various shops and cafés: Kastanienallee - Alternative Shopping Alley

Exit at Eberswalder Str. subway station (U2, 5-7 minutes from Alexanderplatz), and the first thing you'll probably see of Kastanienallee is a coffeehouse: "An einem Sonntag im August" ("On a Sunday in August"). A café with a name as relaxed as this has to be in the borough of Prenzlauer Berg. While this is true, it's also the most original part of Prenzlauer Berg. Here, gentrification did not have the same effect on street life as one could witness at say around Kollwitzplatz. In the mid-90's basically no-one of the locals here was older than 30, and every second looked as if he or she had contributed to an MTV movie clip minutes ago. Hence, Kastanienallee (Chestnut Alley) is sometimes still referred to as "Casting Alley".

Gentrification notwithstanding, Kastanienallee is kind of an alternative shopping alley that still has much of it's original grungy character. Rather than Benetton, Douglas and other usual (and predictably boring) suspects, you'll find 2nd hand stores, weird T-shirts, even more weird furniture shops and specialized record stores. Among loads of bars and coffeehouses.

Ever wondered why health /organic food stores always seem to attract people wearing hippie sandals? Here's one with an interior that could be described best as "Japanese techno".

Another shop called "Kwik" (see link) sells a variety of items through kind of a "drive-through" counter. The idea is, that you can not simply enter the shop, try this, try that and then buy something or leave, but actually have to tell the lady behind the counter what you would like to try or have.

Charlie the barber offers "minimal haircut" every friday from 6 - 10 p.m: "Pay want you want".

(Continues below)

What to buy: One coffeehouse provides loads of newspapers to those having a coffee. What's so special you ask? The news are quite old news. Imagine you enter a café and there's some guy sitting with a newspaper which lead story reads "Allied forces land in the Normandy" - or something along that line.

Two more tips: Oderberger Str. is a crossroad you should not miss. Same goes for the beautiful Zionskirche.

But remember: Kastanienallee and Oderberger Str. form a refugium for the near-extinct Prenzl'berger Bohemian. It's not a place for everyone, let alone for those who won't leave their house without make-up or tie.

Directions: Eberswalder Str. subway station. Difficult to miss, really.

Theme: Other


Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 13, 2007
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Zeppelin Mode (Men & Women): Spend 600 EUR and look like David Bowie or better

You're never leaving your house without a tie? You believe adidas, Nike and baggy pants indicate great taste? Ok, shop elsewhere.

Zeppelin Mode are two shops, one in the forner western part, one in the former eastern part of the city, that offer pricey casual wear (and suits). At a first glance, you could take their shirts, jackets and trousers as H&M off-the-peg clothing, but then you notice that the fabric looks more valuable and the cut is a lot better.
Especially their women's clothes sometimes look posh, which is sad, but mostly they celebrate a strong understatement. There's often a bit retro in it, although, from what I have seen, they fortunately did not jump on the "let's-reanimate-the-70s" bandwagon.

If David Bowie would still live in Berlin, I'm confident he'd shop here.

What to pay: Shirt: EUR 100
Trousers: EUR 200
Jacket: EUR 300
Suit: EUR 400+

Address: Savignyplatz 4 and Oranienburger Strasse 87

Directions: S-Bahn station Savignyplatz or S-Bahn station Hackescher Markt.

Theme: Men's Clothes

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 11, 2007
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