What to Do in Berlin’s Charlottenburg Neighborhood
Although long known for its hipster edge, today's Berlin is starting to seem downright grown-up. Having lost most of its city center during World War II, it will never have the preserved-in-amber beauty of Paris or Amsterdam, but there's one part of town that has maintained a long-standing refined atmosphere. Charlottenburg is home to grand buildings including Charlottenburg Palace, and is dotted with elegant townhouses, as well as cultural sites like the German Opera House. Because of this, many visitors (and even locals) associate the neighborhood with a more stuffy, quiet personality than its east side counterparts. But Charlottenburg and its surroundings offer its own brand of Midcentury, casual cool, with fun and funky places to eat, shop, and stay that ri Mitte or Kreuzberg a run for its money. Just check out these five spots below for proof.
Bikini Berlin, adjacent to the Berlin Zoo, is a concept mall with a diverse selection of ever changing pop-up shops, concept stores, flagship openings, specialty eateries and consumer novelties. Their marketplace includes 20 'boxes' that can be rented for up to one year, ensuring a continuous turnover of retail offerings. Be sure to check out Bikini Berlin's rooftop terrace, with views directly over the Zoo.
C/O Berlin is a top international photography museum, with exhibitions from the likes of Annie Leibovitz, Nan Goldin, Martin Parr and Peter Lindbergh. Formerly located in the old imperial post office in Mitte, C/O was required to relocate. Their new home is in Amerika-Haus in the west, in a sleek, airy building designed by Bruno Grimmek in the late 1950s.
For the uninitiated, this iconic Berlin street food — fried sausage topped with ketchup seasoned with curry powder — is a creation to behold. There is something beautifully, boldly bland to it, an altogether likable badness. For the price of two orders of Currywurst with mayonnaise-topped fries our stomachs were convinced we'd really been to Berlin. And we never had to eat it again.
A branch of the well-known German housewares and lifestyle retailer Manufactum, Brot & Butter is housed inside the seven-story Hardenburg at Ernst-Reuter-Platz, built in the 1950's. The shop is the brand's gourmet food emporium, selling a variety of specialty items, including pastas, wines and spirits, humanely-raised meats, and coffee produced in sustainable areas. The shop also has its own bakery, producing homemade breads and sweets, as well as a small deli, serving sandwiches and lunch plates.
Built in 1889 as a private residence, transformed into a hotel in 1911 and now revitalized by American design team Ted Berner and Dayna Lee, Hotel Zoo is an iconic venue with an eye for the future. A true luxury hotel, elements of whimsy and fantasy bring this place to life. From your suite, visit their Living Room to warm your hands by the fire before heading to their scenester-studded Grace Bar for a cocktail.