Charlottenburg Palace, the former capital of Prussia, is an elegant palace set in the heart of Charlottenburg. The royal residence of the Hohenzollern family, the palace is filled with rooms open to the public. Stroll through an extravagant jewellery collection, paintings on walls and a stunning view of the sprawling garden. Nearby, there is also the Museum Berggruen, home to the city’s biggest collection of works by Pablo Picasso. Historical Charlottenburg boasts the stunning Theater des Westens, built in 1896, the nearby Schiller Theatre, built 1907 and the immaculate Deutsche Oper Berlin, which was built 1912 (destroyed in WWII) and was rebuilt 1961. This is an essential for history buffs.
Pfauinsel (Peacock Island) is set in Berlin’s south west district on the River Havel. Perfect for a day trip for those who love to peruse forests and woodlands, the island has a magical castle and is filled with peacocks. The palace was built by Friedrich Wilhelm II in 1797 as a place for the king to relax after his boat trips. In 1924, the island was turned into a conservation area, which is now part of UNESCO World Heritage. Peacocks do wander around the island, as well as frogs and water buffaloes. You can get to the island from Wannsee S-Bahn station with a bus and ferry ride.
This must-visit coffee house is the former home of film noir actress Henny Porten before it became a gambling house during the Weimar Republic. Since opening as a Viennese coffee house in 1978, Café Einstein still retains the youth of its former years with stately style and stellar cappuccinos.
3 Minutes Sur Mer
This old school wooden-paneled restaurant has an open kitchen with vintage prints on the walls. Classic French bistro fare for lunch offers fish and meat plates paired with tasty desserts.
This concept mall just celebrated its one-year anniversary. Set in a former office building on Budapester Strasse, Bikini Berlin is where you can find extensive shopping options and great eateries (including a steakhouse, burgers and a pizzeria). The back of the building overlooks the Berlin Zoo, while inside offers shopping options like Adidas, while the “Bikini Boxes” on the main floor hosts new designers for a rotating, temporary showcase. Watch out for the spring festival every May, their balloon art and shopping nights, they’re always doing something new here.
Berlin’s local book publishing house Gestalten has opened their own “pavilion” at the top of Bikini Berlin (it’s really more of a café hybrid bookstore). They feature over 250 brands in total, including housewares and new design items. Their magazine selection boasts Scandinavian style magazine alongside Berlin art publications. Of course, they carry the latest from Gestalten books. The cake is difficult to resist – try the Belgian waffles or the French toast for a fruity breakfast.
Known as the luxury shopping destination for the city, this hotspot has been open since 1907. Lined with well-known brand names like Gucci and Prada, it is perfect for its gourmet treats in a rooftop restaurant with floors of brands and boutiques. This is the ultimate shopping palace to spoil your loved one with a pair of shoes or a new outfit.
Photos courtesy of KaDeWe, Cafe Einstein, Charlottenburg Palace, Gestalten, Bikini Berlin and Chris in Berlin.