Shopping in Germany: Berlin and Munich
Shopping In Germany
Germany has a reputation for craftsmanship and this is reflected in the quality of locally-made goods. Traditional German buys include porcelain, handicrafts, toys, timepieces, beer steins, nutcrackers and cutlery, not to mention Mercedes and BMW cars.
Shopping In Berlin
Berlin has cast off its image as a drab center of intrigue to emerge as a shopping centre for fashion, antiques, furniture and home accessories. The most august shopping locale is Kurfurstendamm (Ku’damm). Most of the city’s premier clothes shops, boutiques and department stores are located on this famous thoroughfare.
A parvenu to the upmarket Berlin shopping scene is the new Friedrichstrasse. It’s a mile long thoroughfare which features a lot of design shops, car shops, coffeehouses (with the inevitable Starbucks) and the Galleries Lafayette. The nearby Unter den Linden features several boutiques, located mainly between Friedrichstrasse and the Brandenburg Gate.
A must-see is a legend from the cold war days, the Kaufhof on Alexander Platz. Once the haunt of communist bigwigs from Moscow and other soviet bloc countries, nowadays it’s just a big old department store.
Kreuzberg with its many shops and flea market is the place to browse junk items, second-hand books, and second-hand clothes. For more offbeat items, the second-hand stores and art boutiques around Hackescher Market are the places to go.
Shopping In Munich
The shopping scene in Munich has revamped recently. Modern Munich is a place where you’ll find celebrated brand names and designer goods alongside traditional Bavarian crafts such as beer steins and Tyrolean hats. Hyper modern shopping malls such as the Fünf Höfe have given the city an edgy modern glitter. However the old die hards such as Beck and delicatessen Dallmayr and Kafer still attract legions of faithful customers.
Munich downtown’s pedestrian zones are the best places for a shopping adventure. The major one is the Kaufingerstrasse, a two-kilometer pedestrian zone running from the railway station to Marienplatz and north to Odeonsplatz. All the chain stores are located here. For a more interesting shopping experience, the streets around the Marienplatz offer some small stores, while the pedestrian zone between Marienplatz and Karlsplatz offer the famous brand name clothing and shoe outlets. For international luxury items, head for Maximilianstrasse. Celebrated local fashion designer Rudolph Moshammer also showcases his creations here.
If you want to escape the Bavarian chill, head for the Olympia Shopping Center in the Northwest of Munich close to the Olympic Stadium. This is Munich’s biggest mall and it features lots of clothes stores, shoe stores, general department stores, drug stores, music shops and food courts.
Schwabing, north of the university is the place to peruse Bavarian antiques. The small shops around the Viktualienmarkt and at Türkenstrasse, Theresienstrasse, and Barerstrasse are very interesting and you may get lucky.
The Sunday flea market at Kunstpark Ost is a great place for second hand bargains.
Most stores in Munich are open from 08:00 – 18:30 from Monday to Friday and from 07:00 to 14:00 on Saturdays.