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 split into two by the division of Germany, 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 mostly residential, relaxed districts of Charlottenburg, Wilmersdorf and Schöneberg.
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 World War II 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; it had been a separate township developed around the castle. After World War 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 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. While the former district of Schöneberg was merged with Tempelhof in 2001 for administrative reasons, the two areas have little in common and thus Tempelhof is dealt with in our guide on Berlin/Central South.
By public transport
- 1 Bahnhof Zoo ( ). Also accessible via RE1, RE2, RE7, RB14, Bus 100, 200. The station used to be West Berlin's main intercity train station, but now sees virtually no long distance service.
- 2 .
- 3 .
- 4 . not Kurfürstenstraße on the same line. These are two totally different areas!
- 5 .
A lot of bus lines 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.
By intercity bus
- 6 ZOB Berlin. Berlin's central bus station lies in this part of Berlin. Virtually all intercity buses that serve Berlin serve this station. While it has good access to/from the Autobahn, it sits awkwardly between two U-Bahn stops and an S-Bahn stop and the walk from the station to the bus station isn't all that pleasant - local media even pointed out that signposting is misleading, perhaps even deliberately so. The station is neither particularly close to any attractions nor does it have many services to itself that aren't overpriced, shabby or both. On the positive side the city government started a renovation of the 1960s structure in 2016 which will be done by the 2020s.
The area covered in this guide is expansive, but the most popular attractions are almost all near 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. 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.
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. 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, its stops include 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.
U4 - The pride of Schöneberg
A casual glance at a Berlin U-Bahn map reveals two oddities: Line U55 (more on that temporary aberration in the Berlin/Mitte guide) and U4. While U55 is, as mentioned, temporary, U4 has had its current length, layout and station spacing for over a century now and there are no signs of it changing. The question then is: Why?
Back in the early 20th century, the area that is now Berlin was growing rapidly, but it was still a patchwork of independent cities, domains, rural districts and even semi-feudal constructs. Thus it was difficult to plan anything of substance through government fiat. However, at the same time Hamburg or New York had private, money making subway or elevated urban railway companies building the rapid transit system (similar to what Tokyo or Hong Kong have to this day) and in Berlin there was even competition between several companies who'd get to build (and run) the most lucrative stretches. Schöneberg, however, then an independent city of some wealth, was seen as undesirable territory for a subway and no company was particularly keen on dealing with the headache that crossing the city boundary would have meant.
Hence the city government decided to start building on their own. In 1908 construction started and in 1910 all of 2.9 km (1.8 mi) of subway and five stations could be handed over to traffic. While the line was owned by the City of Schöneberg, day to day operations were transferred to the company running the Berlin U-Bahn from day one, so customers noticed little difference between the different lines. 1920 saw the "Groß Berlin Gesetz" which fused Schöneberg into Berlin. While the subway line was deliberately built to the same standards as the rest of the system at the time (current lines U1 through U4) and it was hoped that the expense for the city of Schöneberg would pay back in the form of a connection to the wider subway network, no such thing has come to pass. In the south, U4 actually lost a short stretch of tunnel (never used for passengers) when the Stadtautobahn (A100) was extended in a tunnel, effectively blocking any potential southern extension and while an extension in the north is technologically feasible, the Berlin city government points to empty coffers and there is no Schöneberg city council to push for it these days. Thus Germany's third U-Bahn by order of opening is almost forgotten these days but it still does what it did since 1910 - serve the good people of Schöneberg day in, day out.
The U4 is a short line contained 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 at night, 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, but shopping around a bit can get you bikes for even less.
- 1 Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace), Spandauer Damm 10-22 (U7 to Richard-Wagner-Platz or Bus 109/M45 to Luisenplatz/Schloss Charlottenburg), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Apr-Oct: Tu-Su 10:00-17:30; Nov-Mar: Tu-Su 10:00-16:30. One of the oldest buildings in Charlottenburg and actually the reason for the whole city to be built. €10, reduced €7.
- 2 Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtnis-Kirche), Breitscheidplatz. 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 22 November 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? The four major sections of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtnis-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.
- 3 Museum für Fotografie (Museum for Photography), Jebensstraße 2 (S+U-Bahn „Zoologischer Garten“). Tu-Su 10:00–18, Th 10:00–20:00. Admission €8, discounted €4, young people up to the age of 18 free. Guided tours every Th 18:00 and Su 16:00.
- 4 Käthe Kollwitz Museum, Fasanenstraße 24, 10719 Berlin, ☎ . Daily 11:00-18:00. 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. Her own 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. Adults €7, reduced €4, under 18 free.
- 5 The Story of Berlin, Kurfurstendamm 207-208. A multimedia museum documenting Berlin's history. You can also visit an underground bunker with room for over 3000 people.
- 6 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.
- 7 Bröhan Museum, Schloßstraße 1a. A small but interesting collection of decorative arts from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods
- 8 Collection Scharf-Gerstenberg, Schloßstraße 70 (Bus M45, 309 „Schloss Charlottenburg“). Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. A museum dedicated to surrealist art. Admission Museum Berggruen + Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg: €10, discounted: €5, young people up to the age of 18 free..
- 9 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. Linger over a coffee here and watch people passing by.
- 10 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.
- 11 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), ☎ . daily 09:00-16:00. 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. free.
- 12 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 soccer match can be safely recommended, as soccer is a main ingredient of German public life. (Matches start Saturday 15:30 or Sunday 17:00; 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 20th-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).
- 13 Berliner Funkturm und Messehallen (Radio Tower Berlin and Messe)), Messedamm 22. Tower viewing platform: M 10:00–20:00, Tu–Su 10:00–23:00, limited access during trade fairs. 150 m high lattice tower with open-air observation deck 124 m above ground. Tower viewing platform: €5, concession €2.80.
- 14 Haus des Rundfunks (House of Broadcasting), Masurenallee 14. Designed by Hans Poelzig in 1929, it is the first self-contained broadcasting house in the world and it is still in use today.
- 15 Unité d'Habitation. The building by Le Corbusier from 1957 stands close to the stadium. It is one of the manifestations of an important architect of the 20th century. You can see a building that influenced the way of designing modern residential blocks all over the world.
- 16 Georg Kolbe Museum, Sensburger Allee 25 („S-Bahn Heerstraße“). A museum dedicated to the Berliner sculptor.
- 17 Christi-Auferstehungs-Kathedrale (Russian Orthodox cathedral of the Resurrection of Jesus). 1938
- 18 Rheingauviertel. at the Rüdesheimer Platz
- 19 Grunewaldturm (Grunewald Tower). Historic observation tower in the forest near the big Havel River.
- 20 Teufelsberg (S Heerstraße and S Grunewald are both about 2.5km (30min walking) away). A man-made hill of about 120m in the Grunewald, created after Second World War from debris of the city. On top there is the Field Station Berlin, a former US listening station. Inside the building complex you can see lots of graffiti art. The hill can be accessed without any restrictions and is free, however, the building complex is surrounded by fences and requires a ticket (tours are available as well).
- 21 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 14:00-15:00.
- 22 Viktoria Luise Platz (U4 „Viktoria Luise Platz“). Features stately old houses and a good night time hot spot.
- 23 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 World War 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.
- 24 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 World War 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.
- 25 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.
- 26 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. On the main balcony in 1963 U.S. President John F. Kennedy made his famous statement, 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!’. On 10 November 1989 Helmut Kohl (chancellor (Bundeskanzler) 1982-1998) and Willy Brandt (former Bundeskanzler and mayor of Berlin) cheering the crowd as they saw the end of the Berlin Wall the night before. The town hall is an emotional place for most people in Berlin (especially West Berlin).
- 27 Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart (Museum for the Present), Invalidenstraße 50-51 (S+U Hauptbahnhof), ☎ . Tu W F–Su 10:00–18:00, Th 10:00–20:00. Museum for Contemporary Art located in former Hamburger Bahnhof train station. Big halls filled with artworks made since 1960s. In 2004 Rieckhallen, former Lehrter Bahnhof, was opened and now provides exhibition space for the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection. Free public guided tours (in English): Sa and Su at 12:00. €10, concession €5, under 18 years free. Free entry for everyone every first Thursday of the month from 16:00-20:00.
- 1 Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bismarckstraße 35, 10627 Berlin (U Deutsche Oper), ☎ (infos), (tickets). Classic opera house of West Berlin.
- 2 Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Kurfürstendamm 153, 10709 Berlin (U Adenauer Platz), ☎ (general office), (box office). Modern theatre.
- 3 Theater am Kurfürstendamm. Popular theatre with TV celebrities in modern plays.
- 4 Schiller Theater.
- 5 Theater des Westens (Theatre of the West), Kantstraße 12 (U+S Zoologischer Garten), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A historic theatre in the former West Berlin, only musicals today.
- 6 Grips Theater, Altonaer Straße 22, 10557 Berlin (U Hansaplatz), e-mail: email@example.com. Famous children's theater with a light political touch, European recognition for the musical Linie 1.
- 7 Kant Kino, Kantstraße 54, 10627 Berlin (U Wilmersdorfer Straße), ☎ . One of the few old cinemas (founded 1912) left in Berlin's western city. Mostly non-mainstream European movies.
- 8 Schlossgarten Charlottenburg (inside the Charlottenburg Palace) (Bus M45, 309: „Luisenplatz“ or „Klausenerplatz“, the nearest train station is Sophie-Charlotte Platz on the U2). The green areas of the park is free, so you can go there to have a walk even if you are not interested in the palace. It covers a large area and you can get in from the entrance just near the "New Pavillon" (Neuer Pavillon a.k.a. Schinkelpavillon) placed on the right of Luisenplatz.
- 9 Lietzensee-Park. 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.
- 10 Spreefahrt, Schlossbrücke Charlottenburg. Do a boat tour on the Spree River or the Landwehrkanal - many of them start or end at Charlottenburg. €13-30.
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.
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.
- 1 KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens), Tauentzienstraße 21-24, ☎ , fax: . 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. On the weekends, this place can get quite crowded.
- 2 Arminiusmarkthalle, Arminiusstraße 2-4. Sun closed. A market hall offering a mix of stalls with fresh and ready to eat produce (butchers, bakeries, delicatessen, etc.), and cafes and bars.
- Philatelic Post Office, Goethe Straße 2 (U2 Ernst Reuter Platz). For collectible stamps. They generally speak English. From the Deutsche Post.
City West is a very good place for quality and is bursting with a big variety of styles and cuisines.
- 1 Café Sur, ☎ . Akazienstraße 7. Deli that serves a delicious Mediterranean breakfast.
- 2 Cafe Bilderbuch, ☎ . Akazienstraße 28. Café that is stocked with hundreds of books to rest and relax. Good cakes and sometimes on Sunday "Tanztee" (nipping tea and dancing) occurs.
- 3 Miss Honeypenny, Winterfeldstraße next to Winterfeldplatz. Offers good a la carte breakfast
- 4 Potemkin, Viktoria Luise Platz. Russian restaurant that offers good breakfast varieties and a Sunday buffet. Also a popular coffee/cake break
- 5 Montevideo, Viktoria Luise Platz. Offers breakfast sets from around the world and also good lunch offers that attract the local residents
- 6 Charlottchen, Droysenstraße 1, ☎ . Buffet breakfast and institution for parents and prepared for children of all ages, indoor play room!
- 7 Grüne Lampe, Uhlandstraße 51, ☎ . Excellent Russian breakfast buffet.
- 8 Café im Literaturhaus, ☎ . Fasanenstraße 23. Classical style, waiters in livrée.
- 9 Tiergartenquelle, Bachstr., S-Bahnbogen 482, ☎ . M-F 17:00-01:00, Sa Su 12:00-01:00. Real German dishes, properly prepared and big. Also some local beers available. €4-12.
- 10 Genazvale, Windscheidstraße 14 (Just south of Kantstraße. Walk one long block west of the Charlottenburg S-Bahn station, then cross Windscheidstraße and turn right.), ☎ (cell), (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.
- 11 Vapiano, Augsburger Str. 43 (On the Joachimsthaler Str. right next to Karstadt on the Kudamm). 10:00-01:00. 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.
- 12 Schweighofer's, ☎ . 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.
- 13 Lusiada, Kurfurstendamm 132a (5min walk from S-Bahnstation Halensee), ☎ . Portuguese restaurant famous for its mussels
- 14 Good Friends, Kantstraße 30 (corner of Schlüterstraße), ☎ . 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.
- 15 El Dorado, Kurfürstendamm 203-205, ☎ , fax: . This restaurant is a great steak house, serving sublime Spanish cuisine. Seating is available outside. €13-19.
- 16 Bellucci, Brandenburgische Str. 135, ☎ . Great pizzas and professional service. Not a family restaurant, but kids are welcome and well cared for.
- 17 Restaurant Angkor Wat, Paulstraße 22, ☎ . M-F 18:00-00:00; Sa Su 12:00-00:00. Very good Cambodian restaurant with authentic style. Lunch & dinner sets are excellent values.
- 18 Agni, Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 1, 10553 Berlin, ☎ . M-F 11:00-15:00 and 18:00-22:00; Sa Su and holidays 18:00-22:00. Excellent Indian food.
- 19 Bahadur - Tandoori Grill & Currys, Sigmaringer Strasse 36, 10713 Berlin, ☎ . Excellent Indian food.
- 20 Buddha house, ☎ . Akazienstr. 27. Mixture of Nepalese and Thai food/ You can reserve traditional tables (sitting on cushions, not on chairs).
- 21 Gottlob, ☎ . Akazienstr. 16. Italian inspired kitchen with excellent weekend buffet or a la carte breakfast.
- 22 Papaya, ☎ . Hauptstr. 159. Good Thai restaurant with original dishes from Isaan and consistent to that interior
- 23 Ypsilon, ☎ . 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.
- 24 Shayan, Goltzstraße 23, ☎ . 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.
- 25 Schöneberger Weltlaterne, Motzstr. 61 near VL-Platz. Very traditional Bavarian kitchen & beers
- 26 Wiesenstein, Viktoria-Luise-Platz 12a, ☎ . Excellent Schwäbisches Food with good Schwaben wines in nice surrounding and neat garden
- 27 Ixthys, Pallasstraße 21. A tiny authentic Korean restaurant.
- 28 Ousies (Taverna Ousies), Grunewaldstr. 54, 10825 Berlin (U4 / U7 Bayerischer Platz), ☎ . One of the best Greek restaurants along town. Always wise to make a reservation, sometimes a bit noisy. €€.
- 29 Mar y Sol, Savignyplatz 5, ☎ . Tapas and Spanish food
- 30 Eiffel, Ku'damm 105 (3min walk from S-Bahn station Halensee), ☎ . Good French restaurant with good value business lunch sets and interesting dinner variations.
- 31 12 Apostel, ☎ . 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.
- 32 Kuchi, Kantstr. 30, ☎ . One of the best sushi restaurants in Berlin. Also serves good pan Asian dishes.
- 33 Moustache, Galvanistr. 12, ☎ . closed on Sundays. Excellent cuisine franchise next to the river, for the expatriate French in Berlin.
- 34 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".
- 35 Daitokai, Tauentzienstr. 9-12 (Europa Center 1st Floor), ☎ . 12:00-15:00 (kitchen closes 14:00) and 18:00-00:00 (kitchen closes 22:00). The best teppanyaki grill in town.
- 1 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.
- 2 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.
- 3 Green Door, Winterfeldtstraße 50, ☎ . One of the best cocktail bars in Berlin with excellent selection of spirits and a stylish decor to match.
- 4 Green Mango (karaokebar), Bülowstraße 56/57 (U2 Bülowstr./ U7 Yorkstr.). The biggest karaokebar in Europe and they also have 150.000 karaoke playback.
- 5 Leydicke, Mansteinstraße 4. from 18:00. 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.
- 6 Salut!, Goltzstr next to Grunewaldstr., ☎ . Cafe/bar that offers an impressive cocktail list. Cocktails are mixed with fresh juices and matched with quality spirits.
- Train, Hauptstraße 159 SB, ☎ . As its name suggests, this bar is actually in an old S-Bahn car. Flashy and famous for inspired cocktails served by friendly bartenders.
- 7 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.
- 8 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.
- 9 Havanna, Hauptstraße 30. Largest Latin music club in town. Dance to the beat when it's open on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
- 10 Heideglühen, Seestraße 2 (S-Bahn: S41,S42 Beusselstraße, Bus: 106,123, N26,TXL). Sheltered open-air location at the waterside right across from the Westhafen harbor with techno, house, electro DJs.
- 11 Maxxim (located right next to the Q-dorf). A bit more luxurious for the more mature crowd. Mainly R'n'B and house.
- 12 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.
- 1 Amstel House Berlin, Moabit, Waldenserstr. 31 (near U-Bahn station Turmstraße), ☎ , 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..
- 2 Gasteiner Hof, Gasteiner Str. 8, ☎ . 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..
- 3 Jet Pak City, Pariserstr. 58 (U-Bahn: Spichernstraße), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Award-winning popular hostel. Double rooms start at €30 per person, sleeping hall starts at €18 per person..
- 4 Meininger Hotel Berlin Central Station, Ella-Trebe-Straße 9 (It's next to the Central Station - just 50 m to walk (S-Bahn: Hauptbahnhof)), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Double Rooms start at €39 per person, dormitory starts at €21.
- Three Little Pigs Hostel, Stresemannstr 66, 10963 Berlin (S Anhalter Bahnhof, Kreuzberg), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. €13.
- 5 TRYP Berlin am Ku'damm (formerly Grand City Hotel, hotel Imperial), Lietzenburger Straße 79-81 (U-Bahn "Uhlandstraße"), ☎ . One of the hotels in Lietzenburger Straße, parallel to the Ku'damm.
- 6 Hotel Pension Rotdorn, Heerstr. 36, ☎ . Ideal for visitors of the fairground. Small and reasonably priced hotel with large garden and wonderful ambiance.
- 7 Hotel Pension Am Park, Sophie-Charlotten-Str. 57-58, ☎ . Fairground in walking distance. Small house, personal, individual atmosphere.
- 8 Hotel Pension Bismarck, Bismarckstraße 70, 10627 Berlin, ☎ . Small, familiar run house with personal ambiance.
- 10 Hotel Alexander, Pariser Str. 37, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Very clean and friendly hotel in a nice neighborhood. Doubles $80.
- 11 Ku'Damm 101, Kurfürstendamm 101, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Three-star hotel for business travellers 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 terminals in the lobby.
- 12 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.
- 14 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").
- 16 Dormero Hotel Berlin Ku'damm, Eislebener Straße 14, ☎ . Located in a quiet corner of City West, this cozy hotel features a very good restaurant.
- 17 Schlosshotel im Grunewald, Brahmsstraße 10, 14193 Berlin, ☎ . Tucked away near the Grunewald Castle, this ultra luxe exudes charm and indulgence, and with the interior styled by Karl Lagerfield, you can be assured of a stylish setting. 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 national soccer team during the World Cup 2006.
- 18 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.
- 19 Waldorf Astoria, Hardenbergstraße 28, ☎ . 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.
- 20 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 architectural statements along the Kurfurstendamm. It was launched as the Concorde Berlin, and 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.