Known for its iconic, revolutionary history and cutting-edge arts and culture, Berlin is a city beloved like no other. You’re just as unique, and so are your loved ones. This winter is the perfect opportunity to show your favourite people how much you care with a gift from the iconic capital – or just treat yourself to a slice of the city. Here are 11 of the best Berlin shops stocking incredible goodies you won’t find anywhere else – each a treasure trove of exciting one-of-a-kind products made in Berlin.
1. Scrub up with a city souvenir from Dearsoap
Swap the classic toiletries gift set for a quirky gift from Berlin’s own designer soap company. Getting showered in bath-based gifts can be a great thing – when they come from one of Berlin’s most creative small businesses. Berlin-born founder Sylvia Woelki has created a selection of stunning, quirky soaps inspired by city legends – like her bear-shaped bar, the Berliner Bär, and the incredible Showertower. Struck by inspiration while walking around the city, Woelki designed a soap that’s now an icon in its own right: shaped like the city’s famous TV Tower on Alexanderplatz, complete with a jaunty red cord where the spire should be, perfect for hanging up in the shower. Sylvia’s mission statement is to make her customers smile – and her towering achievement will look perfect hanging in your bathroom or in a loved one’s stocking this winter.
Where: Suarezstraße 53, Charlottenburg
2. Take a sip on the wild side with Mumpitz
Berlin is known for its avant-garde history – and Mumpitz are throwing it back to the city’s iconic roaring Twenties with their drinks with a difference. Schnapps meets smoothie and fruit meets botanicals in a unique tipple that’s 22% alcohol, 70% fruit, 100% vegan and 100% natural. Each Mumpitz flavour is inspired by a figure from Berlin’s bold past and the thrills of the 1920s – choose from characters like scandalous it-girl Anita Berber, heavyweight boxer Franz Diener, and Magnus Hirschfeld, a researcher known as ‘Dr Sex’. Head to their store and pick up a bottle for a friend or loved one who likes to drink responsibly and live like there’s no tomorrow.
Where: Salon Babette events space, Karl-Marx-Allee 36, Mitte
3. Browse souvenirs from the new visitBerlin tourist information centre at the Humboldt Forum
The magnificent Humboldt Forum has finally opened its doors, and it’s well worth the wait. visitBerlin’s new tourist information centre has pride of place in this iconic building, but it’s not just advice and expertise for city visitors that we have to offer. The centre stocks a selection of books and postcards of the city that make a special gift for someone who may not live in Berlin but keeps the vibrant city in their heart.
Where: Humboldtforum, Mitte
4. Discover the power of dreams at DIM Die Imaginäre Manufaktur
‘The Imaginary Factory’ – as its name means in English – is the stuff that dreams are made of. Established in the late 1990s, its founders’ dream was simple but stirring: to design new products that blind and visually impaired people could make. The result is an inclusive workplace where people with visual impairments work alongside their sighted colleagues to produce lasting quality goods in Berlin and neighbouring Brandenburg, using locally sourced raw materials – all for a business that’s still going strong. It sounds too good to be true, but you can pick up a piece of this reality in Berlin today. DIM’s quality wooden toys and brushes are particularly worth a look.
Where: Oranienstraße 26, Kreuzberg
5. Celebrate urban design with s.wert
Urban architecture and design are what inspire the team behind s.wert – a design company whose dream is to showcase the built environment in all its glory. And few cities have bags of beautiful buildings like Berlin. s.wert’s products draw on vintage transport posters for their unique designs, created in Berlin and manufactured in Germany. Head to their store in Mitte and pick up a local love letter to the city for your home or to gift someone who’s lost their heart to Berlin as much as you have, too.
Where: Brunnenstraße 191, Mitte
6. Take a new look at life with eyewear from ic! Berlin
See the city through fresh eyes with a pair of new frames from ic! Berlin, a premium eyewear company selling handmade spectacles crafted in the capital. The company’s ethos is all about feeling free to be yourself – a spirit that Berlin has celebrated throughout its modern history and is reflected in ic!’s incredible designs. Capture a little of that revolutionary ideal with unconventional eyewear from the city’s new pioneers.
Where: Münzstraße 5, Mitte
7. Take a trip to the cutting edge with Trippen
Founded in 1991, Trippen’s mission was to combine cutting-edge design with sustainable shoes to create an aesthetic that embodied the spirit of a newly reunified Berlin. Their shoes take the classic comfortable rubber sole and present it in a playful split design that recalls the divided city and cuts a striking figure. Thirty years on, their iconic approach has seen them achieve global cult status. Pick up their latest model or customise a pair of shoes to suit you with the ‘Made for You’ service for the ultimate Berlin-inspired treat for your feet or a loved one’s.
Where: Hackesche Höfe, Rosenthaler Strasse 40/41, Mitte
8. Shop fantastic ceramics from Kühn
Located in a former apothecary dating back a couple of hundred years, Kühn Ceramic does homeware like no other. Its irreverent and modern take on ceramics is reflected in the topsy-turvy world of its store, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and the eclectic mishmash of influences that go into a selection of products that’s very stylish, very fun, and very Berlin. Pick up a unique piece of pottery.
Where: Yorckstraße 18, Kreuzberg
9. Discover a piece of DDR design history at Dederon
Dederon Design is a Berlin business celebrating an unsung hero of former East Germany. An artificial fibre similar to American perlon, ‘dederon’ hit the German Democratic Republic in the 1950s and became a popular material for carrier bags to replace the traditional fabric bags women previously carried. On arriving in Berlin in the early 2000s, art historian Melanie Thamm from Lower Saxony was surprised to discover older women carrying bags she’d never seen before – and decided to give them a 21st-century design update. The result is a new cult item that’s even made it onto shelves in former West Germany. Pick up a piece of repurposed history at Melanie’s boutique.
Where: Muskauer Straße 45, Kreuzberg
10. Embrace your inner child and join Die Kleine Gesellschaft
This wonderful children’s boutique in family-friendly Prenzlauer Berg invites you to discover wonderful toys from European toy brands such as Deco and Schleich, as well as smaller independent brands, in a cute fairytale setting. The perfect spot to while away time with the little ones or come up with Christmas gift ideas for a favourite family member.
Where: Rykestraße 41, Prenzlauer Berg, with branches on Friedrichstraße and in BER
11. Go for a ride with HAWK Bikes
Mountain biking pioneers and all-round cycling maestros HAWK Bikes dispense expertise and state-of-the-art bikes from their showroom near the iconic Hackescher Markt in Berlin-Mitte. If you’re looking to upgrade your bike for the new year’s commute or treat the cyclist in your life to the gift of a lifetime, the team at HAWK have a keen eye for what will work for you. Two wheels very good indeed.
Where: Oranienburger Str. 1-3, Mitte