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From Glitz to Greenspace in Charlottenburg

Chic shopping, bombed-out churches, Tiergarten Park and a rhino or two
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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6.7 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview:  Charlottenburg is the commercial center of West Berlin, known for its high-end shopping and classy cafes.

But the neighborhood's... more »

Tips:  This tour can last half a day if you sate yourself with window shopping and don't visit every point of interest. If you want to really... more »

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Points of Interest

This leafy square is one of the nicest in Charlottenburg. Pick from the abundance of lovely cafes and restaurants, settle into your spot on the terrace or near a window and fill yourself with caffeine and calories before you begin your jaunt through West Berlin.

2. North of Kurfürstendamm

Take in Charlottenburg's lovely architecture, leafy streets and cute--but often expensive--independently owned shops before you hit the neighborhood's famous shopping boulevard, Kurfürstendamm.

Lovers of chocolate won't be able to resist the temptation to stop at Nibs Cacao, a chocolate shop where you can justify any purchase with the... More

Kurfürstendamm: It's glitzy, it's chic and it's got a name nearly impossible for any non-German speaker to say properly. Don't spend your time trying pronounce its full name, just call it Ku-damm like the locals do and spend your Euros on its chi-chi wares instead.

Replete with luxury labels like Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Valentino, West... More

When you need a break from the consumerism of Ku-damm or you just need to give your feet a little break, turn right on to Fasanenstraße and stop at Cafe Wintergarten in Berlin's Literaturhaus, a German literature foundation.

The cafe is located in a lovely Tuscan-style building with a beautiful garden terrace (and indoor seating too),... More

The WWII-bombed spire of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church draws many a tourist, who can contrast the destroyed 1890s-era architecture with the new church, finished in 1963.

This comparison might not have been possible if public pressure hadn't stopped the plans of architect Egon Eiermann, who wanted to get rid of the old spire completely.

... More

If Ku-damm hasn't sated your shopping urges, make a side trip to Kaufhaus des Westerns--or KaDeWe for short--one of largest department stores in Europe.

The name of the department store translates to Department Store of the West and, as the moniker suggests, this was THE place to shop when the city was divided--even Stasi agents use to sneak into... More

Most people arriving in West Berlin get off at Zoo station and have the impression that Charlottenburg is an armpit of sleazy porn shops and greasy fast food restaurants. This badly bombed area of Berlin was rebuilt in the 1960s by uninspired architects. Enough said.

Escape the mediocrity by walking right on Hardenbergplatz toward the entrance of... More

More

New York has Central Park, London has Hyde Park, but Berlin's Tiergarten easily beats both for tranquility and luscious, green flora.

If you've packed some snacks, this is the place to have a picnic. Alternatively, stop at Schleusenkrug, the wonderful beer garden and restaurant on the banks of a part of the Landwehrkanal.

Continue on to the... More

A monument to celebrate the Prussian (German) victory in a war against Denmark, it features a lovely golden angel. Climb to the top for great city views.
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Hours
April-October
Daily 9:30am-6:30pm
November-March
Daily 9:30am-5:30pm

10. Open Air Gas Lantern Museum

Some 90 historical gas lanterns from 12 European countries line paths through the Tiergarten.

A great beer garden on the banks of the Landwehrkanal. Stop here for a refreshing beverage or snack. And for a bathroom break before you get too deep into the Tiergarten.
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+49 30 3139909
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Hours
Daily 10am-12am

This lovely cafe and restaurant is nestled against the Landwehrkanal. It's hard to beat the location and its pizza is pretty stellar too. If the spirit moves you, rent a row boat and work some arm muscles to get around.
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+49 30 2544930
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Hours
Daily 10am-Midnight or later