A visit to Germany’s capital guarantees an exciting mix of the old and the new, as this cosmopolitan city is steeped in history. Much of Berlin’s heritage is, of course, to be found in museums, landmarks and attractions, but you can also get a feel for bygone eras in some of the city’s oldest shops. From an artisanal chocolatier founded in 1890 to a department store with 11 decades of heritage, we’ve selected four of the absolute must-visit historic shops in the city, each of which appeals to the modern traveller while staying true to its past.
If you’re looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, look no further than one of Berlin’s best-loved confectioners, Rausch. Founder Wilhelm Rausch began making tempting chocolates, pralines and truffles in 1890, and his family continues the tradition to this day. Pay a visit to the beautiful store on Gendarmenmarkt square where chocolate lovers can sample some of the finest sweet treats in the city. Only the very best cocoa is used to create the many delightful sweets on offer, from the enticing dark chocolate gingers sticks to the innovative sea salt and rosemary-infused bars.
Rausch, Charlottenstrasse 60, 10117 Berlin, +49 (0)800 030 1918
One of the country’s leading department stores, Kaufhaus des Westens – better known as KaDaWe – is steeped in history. When it first opened its doors in 1907, the idea was to bring a combination of the finest fashions, foods and materials from around the world to the German capital, offering shoppers a previously unheard-of variety of luxurious products. Continuing with this ethos, today KaDeWe is home to an interesting mix of womenswear, menswear, homeware, beauty and dining options. The expansive flagship store also offers luxury services, including beauty rooms, hair salons and wedding and gift services.
KaDeWe, Tauentzienstrasse 21-24, 10789 Berlin, +49 (0)30 21210
Café Einstein Stammhaus
A visit to Berlin isn’t complete without a stop at one of the city’s charming cafés. For something truly special, we recommend Café Einstein, which not only serves home-made pastries, freshly made dishes and coffee, but also comes with a fascinating history. Countless myths and local tales surround the building in which the café is set; the stately villa is believed to have been home to the famous actress Henny Porten as well as a secret club for German aristocrats in the 1920s. It is also one of the few structures in the area untouched by events of the 20th century. Today, the Viennese-inspired eatery combines a charming mix of classic and avant-garde offerings: we recommend the apple strudel.
Café Einstein Stammhaus, Kurfürstenstrasse 58, 10785 Berlin, +49 (0)30 2639 1918
Opened as Markthalle IX in 1891 to provide a more hygienic alternative to the city’s outdoor markets, this listed building was recently given a new lease of life by locals who didn’t want to see the much-loved landmark being sold to developers. Now the indoor shopping hub offers a variety of local produce, including fresh flowers, seasonal fruits, locally sourced meats and souvenirs. The space regularly hosts themed events such as Cheese Berlin, which features a range of artisanal European cheeses on offer, and the ever-popular street-food market on Thursday evenings.
Markthalle Neun, Eisenbahnstrasse 42-43, 10997 Berlin, +49 (0)30 6107 3473