Talking shop: Berlin's coolest stores
As well as everything else Berlin has to offer, it's no surprise that this edgy, effortlessly cool city also boasts some of Europe's hippest stores. Prepare to part with that holiday cash.
Gorgeously located in a 19th century former post office just a shopping bag's swing from Hallesches Tor station (yeah, we know - the clue's in the name), Hallesches Haus is packed with practical, stylish homeware and accessories that somehow manage to look even more enticing in the lofty, vaulted space.
A communal feel is fostered by the acclaimed onsite canteen, with seating set aside for the laptop-wielding brigade.
Hallesches Haus: Tempelhofer Ufer 1, 10961 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Fri, 10am -7pm; Sat, 10am - 6pm; Sun (lunchroom only) 10am - 5pm
Andreas Murkudis 81
One of Berlin's first concept stores, and still among the best, Murkudis 81 is tucked away in an easily-missed courtyard off busy Potsdamer Strasse.
The spacious surroundings are as much a highlight as the goods themselves; a serene, minimalist space for designer items ranging from accessories to hand-picked fashion.
In recent years, owner Andreas Murkudis has added further Berlin outposts to his retail offering, and although the newer shops almost inevitably lack the wow factor of the original, they're certainly worth checking out for more inspired, Berlin style.
Andreas Murkudis: Potsdamer Straße 81, 10785 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 11am -7pm
The Store X
An emporium located within the Berlin branch of Soho House is bound to score high in the style stakes, and The Store X doesn't disappoint with its hip interiors carefully filled with an on point range of fashion, accessories, music, books and art.
Integrated eating spot 'The Store Kitchen' provides breakfast and lunch options for those who simply can't tear themselves away from the seductive retail offering.
The Store X, Berlin: Torstraße 1, 10119 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 10am -7pm
Berlin abounds in high-end designer fashion stores, but revered menswear emporium Darklands remains in a class of its own.
Its location in a grittily urban courtyard belies the spacious, all-white interior that provides a perfect backdrop for some of the world's most coveted fashion labels.
Exclusivity reigns here, with Darklands' reputation allowing it to stock garments that are almost impossible to find elsewhere.
Darklands: Lindower Straße 22 Hinterhaus, 2.OG / Courtyard, 2nd floor, 13347 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 12pm -7pm
This vast warehouse filled with covetable salvage is one of Berlin's most amazing stores - a Blade Runner-esque collection of vintage fittings, rescued neon and thousands of other items that would look oh, so cool in your home.
Prices aren't exactly budget, but even if you're unable to splash plenty of cash, Urban Industrial is well worth visiting for its unique products and fabulous setting.
Urban Industrial: See info below
Update: Urban Industrial are leaving their current premises, with the new location yet to be confirmed. Check the website for details.
Revered Berlin label Bless always does things differently, and their long-running apartment/store provides an aptly unique shopping experience.
A spacious Prenzlauer Berg flat showcases an array of covetable Bless products (many of which feature in the collections of art and design museums), skilfully integrated into living areas that make you feel like you're shopping in a super-chic, yet welcoming home.
Domestic bliss and retail heaven combined.
Bless Apartment: Oderberger Strasse 60, 10435 Berlin
Opening times: Wed-Fri, 4pm - 8pm; Sat, 11am - 6pm and by appointment
Berlin is renowned for its buzzing art scene, and this huge, multi-storey emporium of arts and crafts supplies is the stuff creative types dream of.
From pens, paint and paper to specialist products for complex projects, the vast, well laid-out selection is unmatched in Berlin, and probably most other world cities besides.
Modulor: Prinzenstraße 85, 10969 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Fri, 9am - 8pm; Sat, 10am - 6pm
Rather like the Bless store (above), Aptm takes the concept of a domestic living space furnished with some of the most desirable objects you're ever likely to encounter.
The huge, loft-like apartment showcases an enviable range of furnishings, homewares and accessories, all selected with an impeccable eye.
Aptm also doubles as an events space, so you'll need to make an appointment to stop by to shop.
Aptm Berlin: Lindower Str. 18, 13347 Berlin
Opening times: by appointment
Tucked away in a courtyard off Oranienstrasse, Voo Store's artfully raw interiors are arrayed with an impressive range of designer fashion, homeware and books that are likely to please even the most demanding style-seekers.
Inhouse cafe Companion Coffee serves up what's widely regarded as one of Berlin's best brews, so pop in for a caffeine hit as well as some serious browsing.
A second branch of the Voo Store has recently opened in Bikini Berlin (below), bringing a second dose of cool to the city's west.
Voo Stores Berlin: Oranienstraße 24, 10999 Berlin / Budapester Straße 38-50, 10787 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 10am - 8pm
A mall with a difference, Bikini Berlin styles itself as an alternative shopping experience at the heart of bustling Berlin west.
The requisite credentials are certainly in place: it's housed in one of the city's most emblematic post-war buildings, and the spacious, newly designed interior offers chic stores alongside quirky pop-ups (as well as more mundane outlets and eateries). Added benefits include rooftop areas and stunning vistas over the adjacent zoo.
Yet perhaps inevitably given its multi-trader format, Bikini has struggled to compete with the city's coolest shopping highlights - although the recent addition of a stylish food court and growing influx of destination stores helps to cement its reputation as the hippest arcade you're ever likely to visit.
Bikini Berlin: Budapester Straße 38-50, 10787 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 10am - 8pm / Kantini food court, 9am - 9pm
Although this Berlin store doesn't quite fit the mould of others on our list - it's smaller and more intimate, for a start - the wonderful range of products makes it a definite shopping destination.
From offbeat ceramics and linens to vintage finds or grooming essentials, this Prenzlauer Berg store definitely puts some of the soul back into shopping - and at surprisingly reasonable prices.
Soul Objects: Prenzlauer Allee 24
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 11am - 7pm
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