City West is the heart of former West Berlin and even after reunification it represents the main retail center of Berlin — all the best and most expensive shops are located here. The area also includes some landmarks of great historical and cultural interest, as well as a large number of accommodation and entertainment options.
After Berlin was effectively split into two, the West Berlin had to develop a city centre of its own, as most of the historic centre (Mitte) remained on the eastern side. Thus came about an unlikely city centre carved out of previously mostly residential, relaxed districts of Charlottenburg, Wilmersdorf, Schöneberg and Tiergarten.
The obvious centre became the area close to the Zoologischer Garten train station, which became the main train station for West Berlin, extending southwards towards the Kurfürstendamm (known popularly by the contraction Ku'damm in southern Charlottenburg. This has always been the traditional retail centre of Berlin, cemented by the construction of the enormous iconic department store KaDeWe at one end, and remained so all through the years of West Berlin, seeing much modern construction filling in the gaps left by the War and updating the neighbourhoods to ever-changing standards. This remains the area of Charlottenburg you absolutely need to visit for luxury shopping (or window-shopping).
Further north from the Ku'damm area is where the Schloss Charlottenburg is located, the beautiful castle and open park from which the district got its name, originally being a separate township developed around the castle. After the WW I Charlottenburg had a large, wealthy Russian scene, due to the refugees from St Petersburg after the Russian revolution which had given rise to the area's nickname - "Charlottograd".
South of the Ku'damm is the cozy residential district of Wilmersdorf, which is mostly overlooked by tourists but cherished by its inhabitants for its relaxed and comfortable living conditions. Wilmersdorf has always been a middle and upper class inner city villa and apartment house area. It is quieter but has nice restaurants and cafes. About 80% of Berlin's Jewish population (estimated 25,000 people) — now mostly of Russian descent — live in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
KaDeWe itself marks the eastern border of Schöneberg, which extends farther south and east towards the main north-south railway line crossing Berlin. Schöneberg has all the properties of a dense 19th-century residential district, with narrow streets connecting large plazas and tree-lined avenues. Schöneberg is the traditional centre of the gay scene in Berlin. Today the borough is gentrified and very popular with young families and middle-aged singles. Renovated old apartments with stucco are pretty common
Tiergarten is the district extending northwest from the Zoologischer Garten train station, taking its name from the large park that covers most of its area, which in turn takes its name from the world's largest zoo in its southern end, close to the train station. Despite being the world's largest zoo, it is only a fraction of the Tiergarten park. On the outskirts of the park there are many different little neighbourhoods of varying characters, detached from each other by the park. Therefore, some of the Tiergarten areas closer to Mitte are described in the guide to that district, as they are better connected with it.
By U-, S-Bahn and Regional-Express
- Bahnhof Zoo ("Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten") RE1, RE2, RE7, RB14, S5, S7, S75, U2, U9, Bus 100, 200
- Wittenbergplatz U1, U2, U3
- Savignyplatz S5, S7, S75
- Kurfürstendamm U1, U9 - (not Kurfürstenstraße on the same line. These are two totally different areas!)
- Adenauerplatz U7
A lot of buslines drive all the way down the Ku'Damm. Especially when it rains (or snows in winter) or to get a first impression, it's very convenient to use the buses.
U-Bahn lines U7 (Eisenacher Str.). U1, U2, U3, and U4 (Nollendorfplatz) cross the borough on the north and the south.
The area covered in this guide is expansive, but the most popular attractions are almost all centred around the Zoologischer Garten train station and the Ku'damm, and thus easily within walking distance. If you want to visit the outlying ones, you may want to use Berlin's excellent public transportation system - the U-Bahn, S-Bahn and the bus networks. Do note that West Berlin, unlike East Berlin, had its tram network dismantled and you will find no trams here. You may also be tempted by the area's relaxed character to bike, but be mindful that physical infrastructure for bikers is not so well developed. Parking spots are scarce and parking garages expensive, so getting around by car is the least favorable option.
In lieu of the dismantled tram system, West Berlin is served by a number of MetroBus lines, which are often operated using the iconic (and very tourist-friendly) double-decker buses. They follow the most important thoroughfares and continue to other districts. Most of them start at Zoologischer Garten or another important train station in a different district. MetroBus lines are marked orange on all public transportation maps and signage and have a two-digit designation preceded by an "M". For fare purposes, there are no different from any other bus line or means of public transportation.
Apart from MetroBuses, West Berlin is also served by a number of regular bus lines. The largest number thereof also start at the Zoologischer Garten train station and meander through the districts, with more stops and longer headways than the M-lines.
Some of the lines most useful for sightseeing purposes (both on board of the bus or as means of getting about between points of interest) are described below.
Ku'damm - lines M19 and M29
Your best bet to explore the Kurfürstendamm is to take a double-decker bus along it and enjoy the views from the upper deck, hopping on or off to take side excursions. While there are many companies offering sightseeing tours on their privately-owned buses, you will be just as fine buying a BVG public transit pass and using lines M19 and M29, both of which are operated almost exclusively using double-decker buses and running every 10 minutes each, stopping many times along the Kurfürstendamm.
Line M29 is of particular note, as it continues further east along the picturesque Landwehrkanal and Leipziger Strasse to "Checkpoint Charlie" in Mitte, and then further to the funky district of Kreuzberg. Line M19 goes to the less savoury environs of Mehringdamm, so do mind the stop Wittenbergplatz (it is also an U-Bahn station) at the KaDeWe where the lines divert from each other.
On the eastern end, the last stop on the Kurfürstendamm is Hallensee (an S-Bahn station) for both lines. From there, M19 continues towards the Gruenewald forest, while M29 ends up in the Schmargendorf district.
Schloss Charlottenburg - lines M45, 109, 309
The Schloss Charlottenburg area is quite removed from Ku'damm and Zoo. There are three bus lines stopping in front of the Schloss:
- M45, which starts at the Zoo train station and follows the fastest, if not exactly interesting, route via the Ernst-Reuter-Platz
- 109, which also starts at the Zoo train station, but follows a more spectatcular (and longer) route down the Ku'damm, turning north at Alexanderplatz. 109 then continues to the Tegel Airport.
- 309 has a shorter route 109, starting at U-Bahn station Wilmersdorfer Straße across Sophie-Charlotte-Platz and going north up the Schloßstraße. It does not got to the Tegel Airport.
Schöneberg - M46, M48 and M85
The M46 takes you from the Zoo train station to Schöneberg via Wittenbergplatz (KaDeWe), Viktoria-Louise-Platz and stopping at Rathaus Schoeneberg. The last stop within Schöneberg is the Schöneberg S-Bahn station, useful if you are arriving on a train from Schoenefeld airport.
The M48 and M85 traverse Schöneberg from south to north along a different route than the M46, on the eastern side of the district. They can be a quick way to get back on the U-Bahn line or continue to Mitte - both stop at Potsdamer Platz, from where M85 goes to the Hauptbahnhof and the M48 to Alexanderplatz via Leipziger Straße. Both are quite scenic rides.
No less than six U-Bahn lines stop within the City West area - all of the available ones except for U5, U55, U6 and U8. That said, U1 and U2 are the only ones that are of much use to most tourists. Do note that none of the U-Bahn lines follow the Ku'damm - all of the U-Bahn stations on or near the Ku-damm are for lines crossing the street.
The oldest U-Bahn line runs eastwards from Uhlandstraße, stopping at the Kurfürstendamm, Wittenbergplatz (KaDeWe), Nollendorfplatz, Kurfürstenstraße (do not confuse it with Kurfürstendamm!) and Gleisdreieck, and then continues into Kreuzberg and Friedrichshein. It is entirely underground within City West, but runs overground over 19th-century railway viaducts from Gleisdreieck eastwards.
U2 is one of Berlin's most useful lines for tourists, stopping at many important transit hubs at points of interest. Within City West, it stops in. al. at Sophie-Charlotte-Platz (Schloßstraße), Bismarckstraße (Wilmersdorfer Straße), Deutsche Oper, Zoologischer Garten train station, Wittenbergplatz (KaDeWe), Nollendorfplatz and Gleisdreieck. It then continues to Potsdamer Platz, Stadtmitte (Friedrichstraße) and Alexanderplatz, and then further to Prenzlauer Berg and Pankow in East Berlin. The stretch between Wittenbergplatz and Potsdamer Platz is overground, with some of the most brilliant views one can catch from the U-Bahn in Berlin.
U3 is not of much use to most tourists. It takes inhabitants of southwestern outskirts of Berlin and of Wilmersdorf to Wittenbergplatz and Nollendorfplatz, where it terminates, and where one can change to U1, U2, U3 or the MetroBuses to go to Mitte or the Zoo train station.
The U4 is a short line contained entirely within City West, whose development was stopped back in early 20th century and which is of limited use even to Berliners. You can use it to travel between its only five stations at Nollendorfplatz, Viktoria-Luise-Platz, Bayerischer Platz, Rathaus Schöneberg and Innsbrucker Platz (where you can change to S-Bahn trains travelling on the circular route). U4 runs entirely underground and, unlike other U-Bahn lines, is not replaced by a bus service in nighttime, when it does not run.
The U7 is Berlin's longest underground line, connecting the western and southeastern extremities of the city. The stretch within City West, entirely underground, is on the outer border of the area, so it is most useful as a means of getting to City West from said outskirts than to getting around. Of the important points of interest, it stops at the Wilmersdorfer Straße and Bayerischer Platz.
U9 traverses West Berlin from south to north, stopping at the Zoologischer Garten train station (change possible to U2) and the Kurfürstendamm (change to U1). Otherwise, the stops in Wilmersdorf are not much of tourist use, although you can change to U3 and U7 along the way.
U-Bahn stations of note
- To arrive at the central bus station, get off at the U- and S-Bahnstation Kaiserdamm (U2) / Messe ZOB ICC (S41, S42, S46) and follow the signs.
- If you want to ride a bus the entire length of Ku'Damm, you can get off at U-Bahn Wittenbergplatz (U1 - U3) or S-Bahn Halensee (S41, S42, S46) (east to west or vice versa).
- To get to Schloss Charlottenburg (palace), exit U-Bahn station Sophie-Charlotte Platz (U2) and busline 309 or Richard-Wagner-Platz (U7) and busline M45.
- Exit U-and S-Bahn station Zoologischer Garten (U2, U9, S5, S7, S75) for the city zoo, the Gedächtniskirche, the Tauentzienstraße (main shopping street) and/or a short walk to Ku'Damm. Friends of the Berlin partner city, Los Angeles, can walk right to the Los Angeles friendship place.
- The rest of Ku'damm can be easily reached via U-Bahn station Kurfürstendamm (U1, U9), Uhlandstraße (U1) or Adenauerplatz (U7).
The east-west S-Bahn track cuts through the City West, while the ring one follows the Stadtring on the outer rim of City West.
Both lines running the east-west track, the S5, S7 and S75, follow the same route through City West. West from the Hauptbahnhof, they stop at Bellevue (the station next to the Federal President's residence Schloss Bellevue, not accessible by U-Bahn), Tiergarten (station on the outskirts of the Tiergarten park, without much tourist use), the Zoologischer Garten train station, Savignyplatz, Charlottenburg (the S-Bahn station over Wilmersdorfer Straße) and cross the ring at Westkreuz. The S7 then follows to Grunewald and Wannsee, while the S5 to Spandau. A shorter line called S75 finishes its run at Westkreuz.
You can find racks with bikes for rent next to most hotels, as well as some cafes, bars and restaurants. The going rate across Berlin is €10-12 per day.
- Siegessäule (Victory Column), Großer Stern. Want to feel like one of the angels in Wim Wenders' classic film Der Himmel über Berlin (a.k.a. Wings of Desire)? Climb to the top of Gold-Else, as the statue of Victory on the top of the Victory Column is known. Just don't jump off if you're not actually an angel. Else was moved to her present location by the Nazis, but was originally built to commemorate Prussian military prowess in the wars against Denmark (1864), Austria (1866) and France (1870-71). Five roads run into a traffic circle called Grosser Stern, in the center of which is the Siegessäule. Else is visible from much of the city district known as Tiergarten. At the base of the statue are reliefs of war scenes representing the conflicts which this monument memorializes. The Allies forced Germany to take those panels down in 1945, but they were remounted in 1984 and 1987. Currently closed for renovations.
- Schloss Bellevue (Bellevue Palace). official residence of the President of Germany since 1994
- Zoological Garden (Zoologischer Garten), Hardenbergplatz 8 or Budapester Str.. The largest zoo in the world, both in terms of number of species (1500) and animal population (14,000). Price: €13, Zoo & Aquarium: €20, students: €10 / €15, Children 5-15 years: €6,50/ €10, family ticket: €35/ €50.
- Aquarium, Budapester Straße 32. Over 9000 animals are presented on three storeys Price: €13, students: €10, family ticket: €35.
- Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung. Klingelhöferstraße 14.
Building designed by Walter Gropius. Inside a museum, library, cafe and shop. Open 10AM-5PM, Tu closed. Sa, Su, Mo €7/€4; We, Th, Fr €6/€3.
- Kulturforum. A collection of most important and architecturally impressive cultural institutions, including many museums and galleries, that was built in West Berlin next to the wall separating it from the Berlin historic centre, which remained in the East along with the original cultural institutions of Berlin. It falls administratively into Tiergarten, but is described within the Mitte district guide, along with neighbouring attractions on the former East Berlin side and those created after the reunification.
- Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery), Potsdamer Straße 50. During the necessary renovations, the Neue Nationalgalerie is expected to be closed in 2015 for aprox. 3 years. Spectacular building by Mies van der Rohe contains its own collection and temporary.
- Gemäldeglerie (Old Master Paintings), Matthäikirchplatz. Tue – Fri 10:00 - 18:00 o'clock, Sat + Sun 11:00 - 18:00, Thu 10:00 - 20:00. Admission € 10, Concessions € 5, area ticket € 12 / € 6.
- Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings), Matthäikirchplatz. Tue – Fri 10:00 - 18:00 o'clock, Sat + Sun 11:00 - 18:00. The largest collection of graphic art in Germany. Admission € 6, Concessions € 3, area ticket € 12 / € 6.
- Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts), Matthäikirchplatz.
- Regierungsviertel/Spreebogen. The area to the north of Tiergarten, along the bow of the river Spree (Spreebogen), is home to the German federal institutions such as the parliament (Bundestag, in the historic Reichstag building) and the federal government, as well as the new central train station (Hauptbahnhof) across the river. Those are all described in our the guide to Mitte, as they are within walking distance from the Brandenburg Gate and more connected to that district than the rest of Tiergarten
- Bendlerblock, Stauffenbergstraße 13 - 14 (Entrance is through the commemorative courtyard), ☎ +49-30-26 99 50 00. Mon. - Wed. and Fri 9AM - 6PM, Thurs. 9AM - 8PM, weekends and holidays 10AM - 6PM. The Bendlerblock building complex has long held ties to the German military, first serving as the offices of the Imperial German Navy and today housing the Berlin offices of the Ministry of Defense. It was here where, on July 20, 1944, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and other officers led a coup that sought to remove Hitler and the Nazis from power. They ultimately failed and were summarily executed in the courtyard, where a memorial stands for these men who are considered German heroes. Inside the building you'll find the German Resistance Memorial Center, a permanent exhibit dedicated to the July 20 plot and other individuals in the German resistance. Admission and guided tours are free of charge.
- Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtnis-Kirche). This church in Breitscheidplatz is a memorial to Kaiser Wilhelm, and one of Berlin's most famous landmarks. Thick walls and plain decor mark it as neo-Romanesque, but with what's left of the Gedächtniskirche, it's tough to distinguish it as any one style. Allied bombing left only one tower standing on November 22, 1943, but a new location for worship designed by Egon Eiermann was completed in December 1961 (it's the octagonal structure with blue stained glass windows). There is a small memorial museum beneath the tower filled with artifacts from the original church, which was built from 1891-95 to architect Franz Schwechten's specifications.
Controversy arose after the war over the various options presented by the half-ruined cathedral - should it be torn down completely and rebuilt? Or should the destroyed sections be left standing as a memorial, like the infamous Frauenkirche in Dresden? (Firebombed with the rest of Dresden by the Allies, only now is the Frauenkirche finally undergoing reconstruction). The four major sections of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedachtnis-Kirche (central space, foyer, new tower and chapel) surround the ruined tower of the old church bridge and show the time gap between old and new. Mosaics and other remnants from the old church serve as a monument against war.
- Museum für Fotografie (Museum for Photography), Jebensstraße 2 (S+U-Bahn „Zoologischer Garten“). Open: Tue. – Sun. 10AM–6PM, Thu. 10AM–10PM. Admission: €8,-, discounted: €4,-, young people up to the age of 18 free. Guided Tours every Thu. 6PM and Sunday 4PM
- Käthe Kollwitz Museum, Fasanenstraße 24. Open: daily 11AM-06PM. Price: €6, reduced €3. – Käthe Kollwitz's reputation as a social activist who used art as a means to express her support of pacifism was hard-won. Her son was killed in the World War I, after which her art took a turn for the morose. When her grandson was killed in World War II, her art became even darker and more brooding as she contemplated the huge loss of life Germany had suffered. Both her own personal losses and those of the nation affected her art. After the war, ever-present artistic themes for Kollwitz - death, violence, war, misery, guilt and suffering - took shape as the drawings, prints, sculptures, original posters and woodcuts housed in this museum.
- The Story of Berlin, Kurfurstendamm 207-208. A multimedia museum documenting Berlin's history. You can also visit an underground bunker with room for 3000+ people.
- Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace). One of the oldest buildings in Charlottenburg and actually the reason for the whole city to be built.
- Museum Berggruen, Schloßstraße 1 (Near Charlottenburg Palace). Also known as "Picasso und seine Zeit", this not so large, but precious museum hosts a very good collection of paintings and sculptures signed by Picasso, Klee, Matisse, Giacometti, and others from the first decades of the 20th century.
- Bröhan Museum, Schloßstraße 1a. A small but interesting collection of decorative arts from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods
- Collection Scharf-Gerstenberg, Schloßstraße 70 (Bus M45, 309 „Schloss Charlottenburg“). Open Tue. – Sun. 10AM-6PM. A museum dedicated to surrealist art. Admission Museum Berggruen + Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg: € 10, discounted: € 5, young people up to the age of 18 free..
- Savignyplatz. S-Bahn Savignyplatz station - Small park in the heart of West Berlin. Great place to chill on a sunny day. There are many great cafés and restaurants nearby.
- Berlin sculpture, Tauentzienstraße. Once part of the Skulpturenbulevard project, this sculpture was made for the 750th anniversary of Berlin. It consists four steel tubes looping but not touching each other, symbolizing the division of the city.
- Plötzensee Memorial Center (Gedenkstätte Plötzensee), Hüttigpfad, 13627 Berlin-Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf (Beusselstrasse S-Bahn station, then take a 10-min walk or the bus 123 to Gedenkstätte Plötzensee), ☎ +49 30-3443226. 9-4PM daily. An eerie memorial to victims of the Nazi regime built on the place of a former execution room, where nearly 2900 people where put to death between 1933 and 1945. No admission fee.
- Berliner Funkturm und Messehallen (Radio Tower Berlin and Messe)), Messedamm 22. €5 to tower viewing platform.
- Haus des Rundfunks (House of Broadcasting), Masurenallee 14. Designed by Hans Poelzig in 1929 it's the first self-contained broadcasting house in the world and it is still in use today.
- Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium). Built by Hitler for the 1936 Olympic Games, it is one of the better examples of Nazi-era neoclassical architecture and is still used for sporting events. The Olympic Stadium is where African-American athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals, showing once again the fallacy of Hitler's Aryan superiority theory. It is the home of the most successful soccer/football team of Berlin, Hertha BSC, and between 2000 and 2004 was renovated for the FIFA World Cup in 2006. A visit to a Bundesliga football match can be safely recommended, as football is a main ingredient of German public life. (Matches start Saturday 3:30PM or Sunday 5PM; be there at least half an hour earlier.)
The neoclassical architecture is supposed to remind the viewer of the splendors of Greece or Rome and of the universally-acclaimed great civilizations; it was thus intended as another part of Nazi propaganda. By reusing time-tested architectural components, such as columns, instead of pushing forward with a genuinely modern twentieth-century, entirely new architectural concept, did they think their designs would garner more positive attention? To the west of the Stadium itself is the Maifeld with the Langemarck hall and the Olympic Stadium Bell Tower - Glockenturm , (with an exhibition by the German Historical Museum and an observation deck) both of which can be visited. There is an amphitheatre as well, but mostly closed to visitors.
For a glimpse at the Olympiastadion in its original state, rent Leni Riefenstahl's movie Olympia. Riefenstahl has been accused of purposefully producing propaganda for the Nazis, though in her autobiography she denies it. There is no argument, however, that she is an excellent filmmaker. Though the Nazis may have helped fund some of her productions, Riefenstahl's artistic vision is undeniable. Combined ticket to the stadium and Glockenturm costs €7 (€5 reduced).
- Unité d'Habitation. The iconic building by Le Corbusier from 1957 stands close to the Stadium. It is one of the manifestations of an architectural icon of 20th century. You can see a building that influenced the way of designing modern residential blocks all over the world.
- Georg Kolbe Museum, Sensburger Allee 25 („S-Bahn Heerstraße“). A museum dedicated to the Berliner sculptor.
- Christi-Auferstehungs-Kathedrale (Russian Orthodox cathedral of the Resurrection of Jesus). 1938
- Rheingauviertel. at the Rüdesheimer Platz
- Winterfeldplatz (U1, U2, U3, U4 „Nollendorfplatz“). Places with markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays are popular with locals at Winterfeldplatz. Buy a coffee and browse amongst the stalls; this is a place to unearth hidden gems. Breakfast is served usually until 2-3PM.
- Viktoria Luise Platz (U4 „Viktoria Luise Platz“). Features stately old houses and a good night time hot spot.
- Akazien-/Goltzstraße (U1, U2, U3, U4 „Nollendorfplatz“). Restaurants abound here, with cuisines ranging from Afghan to Nepalese and Thai. prices are low, especially compared with other locations in the "touristy" center of Berlin. Around Eisenacher Straße (extension of Goltzstr.) you´ll find even more bars and cafes situated in the basement of nice old houses. During WW II this part of Berlin was not destroyed by bombs as much as other parts of Berlin, so you can get an impression of what 19th century Berlin's architecture looked like.
- Bayerischer Platz. The Bayerischer Platz is the center of the Bayerisches Viertel ("Bavarian district", with many streets named after Bavarian cities), which was destroyed a lot more during WW II (about 60%). Somewhere around there Albert Einstein lived once. You´ll find several memorial signs providing information about the Nazi regime's rules against gays and Jews.
- Planetarium am Insulaner, Munsterdamm 80. In the very southeast of Schöneberg, there are daily shows for children and grown-ups alike. Projection is into a drawn Berlin skyline. Several guided tours to the obervatory daily with sky observation, conditions permitting.
- Rathaus Schöneberg. The district town hall was the main town hall for West Berlin during the Cold War. The freedom bell (a present from the American people) and several memorials from that time can be found here. The main balcony saw Kennedy 1963 giving his famous words All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’ an on November 10th 1989 Helmut Kohl (chancellor (Bundeskanzler) from 1983-1998) and Willy Brandt (former Bundeskanzler) cheering the crowd as they saw the end of the Berlin Wall the night before. The townhall is an emotional place for most people in Berlin (especially West Berlin).
- Lie in the grass and unwind at Lake Lietzensee, especially if you are with children - most of Charlottenburg children know and love the playground there.
- Linger over a coffee at Savignyplatz and watch people passing by.
- Do a boat tour on the Spree River or the Landwehrkanal - many of them start or end at Charlottenburg.
- Visit the zoo. Ask for the price of a one-year pass; it will save you money if you visit more than twice.
- Grips Theater, e-mail: email@example.com. Famous children's theater with a light political touch, European recognition for the musical Linie 1.
- For luxury goods visit Ku'Damm (Kurfürstendamm) and Fasanenstraße. Kurfürstendamm is especially a must visit, between Adenauerplatz and Joachimsthaler Platz (nearly two kilometres), as it boasts a whole range of luxury stores (and hotels and restaurants.)
- For flagship stores and all the big stores head to the extension of Ku'Damm, the Tauentzienstraße.
- KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens), ☎ +49 30 2121 0, fax: +49 30 2121 2620. Tauentzienstraße 21-24, - the largest department store on the European Continent at Wittenbergplatz has it all. Be sure to check out the food department at the sixth floor, where you can find anything from a baked chicken to a champagne brand bar. Be aware that on the weekends, this place can get quite crowded.
- The main pedestrian area of the district (and even Berlin) is Wilmersdorfer Straße. Start at Bismarckstraße, walk down the pedestrian zone, cross Kantstraße, walk underneath the railroad, and enter the Bio Company store on the right hand side of the road - it was the first supermarket-style "bio" product store in Berlin whose owner once upset the idealists at Kreuzberg by admitting that she wanted to make money with the store.
The City West is a very good place for quality and is bursting with a big variety of styles and cuisines.
- Café Sur, ☎ +49 30-782 04 39. Akazienstraße 7. Deli that serves a delicous Mediterranean breakfast.
- Cafe Bilderbuch, ☎ +49 30-78 70 60 57. Akazienstraße 28. Cafe that is stocked with hundreds of books to rest and relax. Good cakes and sometimes on Sunday "Tanztee" (nipping tea and dancing) occurs.
- Miss Honeypenny, Winterfeldstrasse next to Winterfeldplatz. Offers good a la carte breakfast
- Potemkin, Viktoria Luise Platz. Russian restaurant that offers good breakfast varieties and a Sunday buffet. Also a popular coffee/cake break
- Montevideo, Viktoria Luise Platz. Offers breakfast sets from around the world and also good lunch offers that attract the local residents
- Charlottchen, Droysenstraße 1, ☎ +49 30 324 47 17. Buffet breakfast and institution for parents and prepared for children of all ages, indoor play room!
- Grüne Lampe, Uhlandstraße 51, ☎ +49 30 88 71 93 93. Excellent Russian breakfast buffet.
- Café im Literaturhaus, ☎ +49 30 882 54 14. Fasanenstraße 23. Classical style, waiters in livreé.
- Tiergartenquelle, ☎ +49 30-3927615. Bachstr., S-Bahnbogen 482, Mon-Fri 17:00-01:00, Sa-Sun 12:00-01.00, Real German dishes, properly prepared and big. Also some local beers available. €4-12.
- Genazvale, Windscheidstraße 14 (Just south of Kantstraße. Walk one long block west of the Charlottenburg S-Bahn station, then cross Windscheidstraße and turn right.), ☎ +49 176 6 3333 659 (cell), +49 30 45 08 60 26 (land line), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily, 15:00 – open end. Delicious Georgian restaurant with pretty decor including Georgian rugs, some of them depicting ancient Georgian churches, and old photographs of people in traditional Georgian garb, and a sound track of pleasant Georgian music. The sampler menus are great but provide a tremendous amount of food and will easily feed 3 people. The restaurant is pretty large, so if they cannot give you a reservation, it can be worthwhile to show up, anyway. Sampler menus for 2 people cluster around €34, separate main dishes are around €12, litres of wine are also in the teens, as are shots of Tscha-Tscha (Georgian grappa) and other liquors. The online menu has accurate content, but prices have not been updated.
- Vapiano, Augsburger Str. 43 (On the Joachimsthaler Str. right next to Karstadt on the Kudamm). 10AM-1AM. International chain with Italian food (pizza, pasta & salads) with an interesting approach of self-service. They prepare the meal in front of your eyes. The menu is also available in English and the entire staff speaks English. €6-10 for a meal.
- Schweighofer's, ☎ +49 303130127. Weimarer Str 12. Excellent Austrian restaurant with a great atmosphere. It is decorated as Austrian living rooms. Very generous portions, but you are welcome to share a course between more people as a starter or desserts. Try the brettljause or tafelspitz, which come highly recommended. Mains are around €15.
- Lusiada, Kurfurstendamm 132a (5min walk from S-Bahnstation Halensee), ☎ +49 30-891 58 69. Portuguese restaurant famous for its mussels
- Good Friends, Kantstrasse 30 (corner of Schlüterstrasse), ☎ +49 30-312 24 88. Original Chinese food in Berlin. Beware that it's real Chinese style, which may differ from the European "Chinese taste"
- Block House. A number of restaurants in Berlin, where you can taste wonderful steaks.
- El Dorado, Kurfürstendamm 203-205, ☎ +49 30 88 92 65 82, fax: +49 30 88 92 65 83. This restaurant is a great steak house, serving sublime Spanish cuisine. Seating is available outside. €13-19.
- Bellucci, Brandenburgische Str. 135, ☎ +49 30 28 03 22 33. Great Pizzas and professional service. Not a family restaurant, but kids are welcome and well cared for.
- Restaurant Angkor Wat, Paulstraße 22, ☎ +49 30-393 39 22. Mo-Fr. 6PM - midnight & Sa-Su noon-midnight. Very good Cambodian restaurant with authentic style. Lunch & dinner sets are excellent values.
- Buddha house, ☎ +49 30-70 50 99 59. Akazienstr. 27. Mixture of Nepalese and Thai food/ You can reserve traditional tables (sitting on cushions, not on chairs).
- Gottlob, ☎ +49 30-78 70 80 95. Akazienstr. 16. Italian inspired kitchen with excellent weekend buffet or a la carte breakfast.
- Papaya, ☎ +49 30-814 94 254. Hauptstr. 159. Good Thai restaurant with original dishes from Isaan and consistent to that interior
- Ypsilon, ☎ +49 30-782 45 39. Hauptstraße 163. Serving tasty Greek dishes with a good wine selection to match. Has a big biergarten for the balmy summer nights and plays live Greek music on Friday and Saturday.
- Shayan, Goltzstraße 23, ☎ +49 2-15-15-47. This is a family run Iranian restaurant with excellent Persian cuisine. Marinated lamb kebabs and the vegetarian khoreshteh esphinaj (stew) are recommended. Don't forget to order the delicious tea at the end of your meal! Lunch €7-10.
- Schöneberger Weltlaterne, Motzstr. 61 near VL-Platz. Very traditional Bavarian kitchen & beers
- Wiesenstein, Viktoria-Luise-Platz 12a, ☎ +49 30-219 12 405. Excellent Schwäbisches Food with good Schwaben wines in nice surrounding and neat garden
- Ixthys, Pallasstraße 21. A tiny authentic Korean restaurant.
- Ousies (Taverna Ousies), Grunewaldstr. 54, 10825 Berlin (U4 / U7 Bayerischer Platz), ☎ +49 30 216 79 57. One of the best Greek restaurants along town. Always wise to make a reservation, sometimes a bit noisy. €€.
- Mar y Sol, Savignyplatz 5, ☎ +49 30-313 25 93. Tapas and Spanish food
- Eiffel, Ku'damm 105 (3min walk from S-Bahn station Halensee), ☎ +49 30-891 13 05. Good French restaurant with good value business lunch sets and interesting dinner variations.
- 12 Apostel, ☎ +49 30-312 14 33. Excellent Italian food and one of the best pizzas in town, Bleibtreustr. 49 (oppsite S-Bahnstation Savignyplatz), 10623 Berlin (in Charlottenburg, and Hohenzollerndamm 33 in Wilmersdorf. Branches in Steglitz and Mitte.
- Kuchi, Kantstr. 30, ☎ +49 30 31507815. One of the best sushi restaurants in Berlin. Also serves good pan Asian dishes.
- Moustache, Galvanistr. 12, ☎ +49 30-342 30 94. closed on Sundays. Excellent cuisine franchise next to the river, for the expatriate French in Berlin.
- Sankt Moritz, Regensburger Str. 7. Member of "Chaine des Rotisseurs" with outstanding wine card and excellent cuisine in rooms made by German painter. Named "Maitre of the year 2008"
- Daitokai, Tauentzienstr. 9-12 (Europa Center 1st Floor), ☎ +49 30-2618090. noon-3PM (kitchen closes 2PM) and 6PM-Midnight (kitchen closes 10PM). The best teppanyaki grill in town
- Café am Neuen See. A must-do during the day if the weather is nice. This cafe is more like an outdoor beergarden. Even though it's right in the middle of West Berlin, the "Café am Neuen See" is located in the middle of the Tiergarten next to a small lake. If you are a (romantic) couple, make sure to rent one of the rowboats and enjoy the silent and romantic scenery. The nicer the weather, the more packed this place gets. Don't even dream of a place to sit if it's one of the rare, warm Sundays. Beers are between €4-5, giant Pizzas are €8-9.
- Brauhaus Lemke am Schloß (formerly Luisen-Bräu) (Next to Schloss Charlottenburg). Excellent brewed beer. You can have either a helles (light) or a dunkles (dark). Although the beer is quite excellent, the atmosphere is quite touristy, and clearly not as antique as it strives to be.
- Coma, Detmolder Str. 61 (near U-/S-Bahn station Bundesplatz). Made up with sand on the floor and two pool tables. XL Cocktails will kick you faster than you would think.
- Green Door, Winterfeldtstraße 50, ☎ +49 30 2152515. One of the best cocktail bars in Berlin with excellent selection of spirits and a stylish decor to match.
- Green Mango (karaokebar), Bülowstrasse 56/57 (U2 Bülowstr./ U7 Yorkstr.). The biggest karaokebar in Europe and they also have 150.000 karaoke playback.
- Leydicke, Mansteinstrasse 4. from 6PM. One of the famous Berlin watering holes with a wide range of fruit wines, being drunk in nearly unchanged setting for the last 100 years. If the party gets started, among the best places in Berlin. Dangerous, when you come back to the fresh air.
- Salut!, Goltzstr next to Grunewaldstr., ☎ +49 30 746 98 504. Cafe/bar that offers an impressive cocktail list. Cocktails are mixed with fresh juices and matched with quality spirits.
- Train, Hauptstrasse 159 SB, ☎ +49 30 787 5033. As its name suggests, this bar is actually in an old S-Bahn car. Flashy and famous for inspired cocktails served by friendly bartenders.
- Zur U-Bahn, corner of Eisenacher Str/Grunewald St. One of the last old time Berlin bars in the area, and a great place to sit, drink and meet the locals.
The club scene of West Berlin is mainly located in Charlottenburg and Kreuzberg. The alternative crowd heads to Kreuzberg, while the mainstream youth of West Berlin go to the Charlottenburg clubs and discos.
- Q-dorf, Joachimstaler Str.15 (near Gedächtniskirche). Named after the Ku'Damm, this big disco attracts a very young (and drunken) crowd. Rather cheap and usually very crowded with all the stuff you need (or don't want): R'n'B straight from the charts, Eurotrash party music, Mallorca ambiance, beach parties, go-go dancers and so on.
- Maxxim (located right next to the Q-dorf). A bit more luxurious for the more mature crowd. Mainly R'n'B and house.
- Cascade, Fasanenstraße 81. similar to the Maxxim, but less r'n'b music, for the wealthy people of Charlottenburg. Nice interior, plays house and 70s/80s.
- Havanna, Hauptstraße 30. Largest Latin music club in town. Dance to the beat when it's open on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
- Amstel House Berlin, Moabit, Waldenserstr. 31 (near U-Bahn station Turmstraße), ☎ +49 30 395-4072, e-mail: email@example.com. A newly refurbished guest house in an Art Nouveau style building. Four-bedded dorms from € 12/person/night. Single and twin rooms en-suite also available..
- Gasteiner Hof, Gasteiner Str. 8, ☎ +49 30 8620-170. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the breakfast is good. Some rooms have shared bathrooms, which can be quite cold at night. Rooms from €30, breakfast included..
- Jet Pak City, Pariserstr. 58 (U-Bahn: Spichernstrasse), ☎ +49 30 784 43 60, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Award-winning popular hostel. Double rooms start at €30 per person, sleeping hall starts at €18 per person..
- Jugendgästehaus Berlin International, Kluckstr. 3, ☎ +49 30 261-1097, e-mail: email@example.com. Central location near Potsdam Square with quiet surroundings. Four-bed rooms start at € 23.50 (depending on age), ten-person-dormitories start at €15, all overnights including breakfast and bedsheets. HI-Hostel-membership required, international guests may also pay €3.10 extra for an overnight membership.£.
- Cityhostel Berlin, Glinkastr. 5-7, 10117 Berlin, ☎ +4930238866850, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Three Little Pigs Hostel, Stresemannstr 66, 10963 Berlin (S Anhalter Bahnhof, Kreuzberg), e-mail: email@example.com. 13.
- Hotel Berlin Berlin, Lützowplatz 17. A huge hotel occupying and entire block at the Lützowplatz, with many conference rooms and discounts for large parties and conventions.
- Pestana Berlin Tiergarten Hotel, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located next to the Tiergarten park and zoo, in a quiet corner between embassies.
- TRYP Berlin am Ku'damm (formerly Grand City Hotel, hotel Imperial), Lietzenburger Straße 79-81 (U-Bahn "Uhlandstraße"), ☎ +49 30 88 005. One of the hotels in Lietzenburger Strasse, parallel to the Ku'damm.
- Hotel Pension Enzian, Hortensienstr. 28, ☎ +49 30-832 50 75. A friendly, family run hotel with large double bed rooms. Small hotel with a personal atmosphere. Within 1 minute foot distance is a S-Bahn station and a good Spanish restaurant. Serves breakfast, wireless is €4 per day.
- Hotel Pension Rotdorn, Heerstr. 36, ☎ +49 30-3009 9292. Ideal for visitors of the fairground. Small and reasonably priced hotel with large garden and wonderful ambiance.
- Hotel Pension Am Park, Sophie-Charlotten-Str. 57-58, ☎ +49 30-3213485. Fairground in walking distance. Small house, personal, individual atmosphere.
- Hotel Pension Bismarck, Bismarckstraße 70, 10627 Berlin, ☎ +49 30-3127582. Small, familiar run house with personal ambiance.
- Hotel Alexander, Pariser Str. 37, ☎ +49 30 88 7165-0, e-mail: email@example.com. Very clean and friendly hotel in a nice neighborhood. Doubles $80.
- Ku'Damm 101, Kurfürstendamm 101, ☎ +49 30 52 00 55-0, fax: 49-30-52 00 55-555, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: Noon. Three star hotel for business travelers with a sense of lifestyle and design. Wi-fi available for a small fee (€1.90 per hour, €3 for two hours, etc) or free internet from two free terminals in the lobby.
- Swissotel. Brand new and stylish design hotel direct at the Ku'Damm. Just a step away from anything in the City West and offers good weekend rates. One of the best hotel restaurants in town.
- Steigenberger. Los-Angeles-Platz 1. Located at a quiet square near Kurfürstendamm.
- Q!hotel. This hotel makes the most of its small spaces by wrapping them in striking design based on white, black and dark red, as well as geometric curves and concaves. Some rooms have unusual features, such as bathtubs right next to the beds. The name of the hotel is a play on the Ku'damm, ("Q" = "Ku"), as well as the German word for cow ("Kuh", pronounced the same as "Q" or "Ku").
- Louisa´s Place. Small but luxurious hotel directly at Kurfürstendamm.
- Brandenburger Hof, Eislebener Strasse 14. Located in a quiet corner of City West, this cozy hotel features a very good restaurant.
- Schlosshotel im Grunewald. May be the luxury hotel with the greenest surroundings in Berlin, a step away from the hectic part of the city. Was home to the German football team during the World Cup 2006.
- Wyndham Berlin Excelsior Hotel. The ageing Hotel Excelsior became a Wyndham and was afforded a renovation of its common areas and the deluxe rooms. Others remain tired, however, and not always meet guest's expectations. The limited Internet access also does not help the hotel score highly. The hotel faces the green wide Hardenbergstrasse, northwest of the Zoologischer Garten train station, its courtyard side is also overlooking a nice, green area.
- Pullman Berlin Schweitzerhof (Sofitel Berlin Schweitzerhof), Budapester Strasse 25, ☎ +49 30 26960, e-mail: email@example.com. The former Sofitel found a new lease of life as an ultra-modern Pullman. It is located in Budapester Strasse, a relatively quiet upscale street running along the Zoologischer Garten. some distance away from U-Bahn or S-Bahn stations. The hotel is appointed in the beige/brown/ecru theme also found in other Pullmans in Germany.
The rooms facing the zoo offer striking vistas, while the ones on the opposite side face a wall of an office building across the courtyard. Fortunately, there are small lobbies on every floor with views of the zoo and complimentary tea and coffee. All rooms offer a full range of modern comforts, including the possibility to link your devices to the room's audio/video systems. There is free mineral water in the rooms, but do note that the WiFi incurs extra charges over the room prices. €149.
- Waldorf Astoria, Hardenbergstrasse 28, ☎ +49 30 814000 0. The Berlin property of Hilton's uber-luxury chain has some of the best views in Berlin, being located at the upper floors of the Zoofenster tower. The location is also first rate, right between the Gedachniskirche and the Zoologischer Garten train station. That said, the prices are among the highest in Berlin as well. Room rates at €225-5000.
- Sofitel Berlin Kurfurstendamm (formerly Concorde Berlin), Augsburger Strasse 41 (U-Bahn Kurfurstendamm, 500 metres by foot from Zoologischer Garten). The distinctive, multi-tiered wedding cake of a hotel peeks out from behind the Swissotel at the corner of Augsburger and Joachimstaler Strassen, making one of the few remarkable achitectural statements along the Kurfurstendamm. Originally launched as the Concorde Berlin, it became a Sofitel at the start of 2014, retaining pretty much everything but the name - including the simple yet refined decor throughout the hotel and many posh facilities (yet no pool). €116.
- Mitte is just a few U-Bahn stops off.