Berlin May 2024 – Shopping



Berlin Trip: 23 – 27 May 2024
See also the posts on Berlin June 2023 for more food and travel and recommendations.

In writing this post I used the word delightful multiple times, and had to resort to my Chambers Thesaurus to find alternative words. The summary is this: shopping in Berlin is really…(use any of the words in the list below).



On our previous trip we visited all the major museums, which left us little time to do any shopping. This time I was keen to look around the shops. Not being familiar with the retail landscape I only had Galeries Lafayette (Friedrichstraße 76-78, 10117 Berlin) and KaDeWe (Tauentzienstraße 21-24, 10789 Berlin) on my list. In both, I only visited the cookware and food sections. KaDeWe was particularly engaging as they stock most of the international kitchenware brands, plus home-grown German brands which do not always make an appearance elsewhere.



In KaDeWe I bought a baking tin and some tubenausdrücker (ausdrücker = expresser and literally this is a tube expresser). I have plastic tubenausdrücker from around 20 years ago which is still in use. These new stainless steel ones should last an equally long time. You have no idea how useful this is until you use one.


A tubenausdrücker from Küchenprofi, which was founded in Germany in 1923 (shop online here)


This is a rehrückenform baking tin from RBV Birkmann (no delivery outside of Germany, but feast your eyes on the bakeware on their website). Rehrückenform literally means ‘saddle of venison shape’ and you can see from the cake I made that it resembles a rolled loin of venison tied with string. However the translation on the box simply says ‘half round loaf pan’. Sometimes things are so lost in translation.



We chanced upon a very large bookshop on our walk along Friedrichstraße (Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus, Friedrichstraße 90, 10117 Berlin). This is an excellent one-stop shop for English-language books, guidebooks, music, games, souvenirs and beautiful stationary.



Mr Gochugaru loves marzipan and the children usually gift him a box every year at Christmas. Specifically, this is chocolate-coated marzipan from Niederegger  based in the German town of Lübeck.



The Niederegger stand at Galeries Lafayette


I love tea and paid a visit to Paper and Tea (Alte Schönhauser Str. 50, 10119 Berlin and also at KaDeWe) to purchase some herbal teas


Ampelmännchen are the red and green traffic light men on Berlin’s road crossings. Its roots lie in the former East Germany and you can read about its beginnings here. The Ampelmann store is dedicated to Ampelmännchen merchandise. If you can think of an item, there is most likely an Ampelmännchen version of it.

I only bought one small item at the Ampelmann flagship store (Unter den Linden 35, 10117 Berlin)


 Gifts featuring Ampelmännchen at the Dussmann bookstore


I have only worn socks from Falke since discovering they are labelled L and R. It is very gratifying to have socks that conform to the shape of each particular foot. Their flagship store is in Kurfürstendamm (Kurfürstendamm 36 10719 Berlin), near to KaDeWe. The staff were very helpful and knowledgeable.



For something different to the two main shopping streets of Friedrichstraße and Kurfürstendamm, I can recommend Hackesche Höfe (enter through the arched entrance at 40 Rosenthaler Straße, 10178 Berlin). This is a series of eight connected courtyards featuring a mixture of fashion, art, food and souvenir shops. We spent a very pleasurable hour here and this reminded me of Covent Garden before it became commercialised with brand-name shops.


The first courtyard as you enter Hackesche Höfe


I am only going to feature two photos from the many that I took in the shops here.

Top: if ever you need to feel the safety of being strapped into your airline seat (when actually out of the seat), consider these safety buckle belts. For similar aviation belts hand-made in the UK see Retailored.

Bottom: for those who love Christmas decorations and are not fearful of busy hands and curious pets breaking them, Inge-Glas Manufaktur is your dream shop.



I am flying to Malaysia tomorrow and need to finish this post, and will continue with more on Berlin when I have settled into life in Kuala Lumpur. Before I go, here are some Berlin shopping tips:

  1. It never occurred to me to get the VAT refunded on my purchases but if you reside outside of the EU, you can ask for a tax refund on your purchases. However, there is a minimum spend of €50.01 in each receipt, and the handling fee is extortionate. Maybe only consider this if you buy a Rolex watch or something similar.
  2. Bigger shops in Berlin accept cash and cards, but smaller cafes only take cards. If you can, carry a debit card (we like Monzo) which has no currency conversion charge.
  3. If you only have patience for a few coins, make them €1 or €2 as you will need them to use the lockers at all the museums and art galleries. The rest of the small change can be placed in charity donation boxes at shops or in BA’s envelopes for Flying Start.