KurfÃ¼rstendamm or Ku’Damm as it is known to the locals is the heart of West Berlin and is the major shopping district in the City, if you like the big names. There are plenty of high street chains that you’ll find in every European capital as well as department stores which have all the top brands. I was in Berlin with my teenage daughter who loves nothing better than to hit the high street with Euros in hand, but if you’ve seen it all before there are some other things in this area to enjoy.
For a low cost sightseeing tour, jump on the public double decker Number 100 bus which will take you right from Alexanderplatz, down Unter den Linden, past the key sights of the Brandenberg gate and Reichstag, through the Tiergarten park and sets you down right in the heart of Kurfurstendamm.
The Blue Glass church
In the centre of the shopping district you’ll find the gorgeous Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church, known for it’s blue glass walls. This must easily be the most photogenic church in Berlin and itâ€™s a chance for a quiet reflection after the retail overload and bustle outside. The church was built in the 1890s and in the war was all but destroyed leaving only the â€˜hollow toothâ€™ of the spire and entrance standing. Out of the ruins, a new church and bell-tower were completed in 1963 using blue glass panels with the giant golden figure of Jesus floating above the altar. I loved the way that each of the blue glass squares is a little stained glass picture in itself with different shades of blue, green and gold making subtle patches of glowing colour in the midnight blue.
The Berlin Zoo
If you have young children, this could be the place to take them for a run around and to gaze at the animals. Our teenage girls enjoyed themselves although I found the zoo a little dowdy and old fashioned myself, having been spoilt by the wonderful zoo in my home town of Bristol.
Street entertainment and street-food
If you want a little street ambiance then buy your currywurst or other street-food from the stalls outside the Kaiser Wilhelm church and then sit down and people watch or take in some performances by the street performers that you’ll find around there. We each sampled different things; as well as the currywurst, there was Thai food and Crepes on offer and a steady stream of breakdancers and entertainers took their place in the square, gathering a crowd of passers by.
Foodie fare at KaDeWe
If Gourmet fare is more your thing then walk down the road to the department store KaDeWe and take the escalators straight to their Gourmet floor which is entirely devoted to food. I’ve been to the food halls at Harrods and Fortnum & Masons in London, but this was something else with fresh food counters, and different displays of speciality and delicatessan food. This could be the place to shop for gifts to take home to your food loving friends and family. There are several places to sit down and sample different food from a bar stool, feeling rather elegant as you sip your wine and try some light lunchtime dishes, or do as I did and try a fresh fruit smoothie.
Photos by Heatheronhertravels
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