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© visitBerlin, Foto: Mo Wüstenhagen

Christmas shopping on vibrant side streets in City West

Discover the delights of Knesebeckstraße, Bleibtreustraße and Mommsenstraße

Berlin’s City West is a top spot for Christmas shopping. Home to the iconic Kurfürstendamm, Berlin’s biggest and brightest shopping boulevard, it’s a magnet for shoppers. If you prefer a relaxed local feel to bustling malls and department stores, look no further than the side streets off Ku’damm. Knesebeckstraße, Bleibtreustraße and Mommsenstraße – to name a few – are home to handsome old buildings, quirky independent boutiques and delicious foodie treats. Here’s the lowdown on City West’s hidden gems.

Christmas shopping off the beaten track in vibrant City West

 Weihnachtliche Deko im Geschäft Hartog in Berlin
Geschäft Hartog © visitBerlin, Foto: Mo Wüstenhagen

Sure, Ku’damm is incredible – but the side streets that lead off this bold and beautiful shopping boulevard are more than worth a look, too. Branch out from Berlin’s busiest shopping street and step into a world of friendly independent stores, fabulous food and festive fun in a peaceful spot just a stone’s throw from the heart of the action. Lined with charming old buildings, stunning boutiques and cute cafés, Knesebeckstraße, Mommsenstraße and Bleibtreustraße are perfect for Christmas shopping and a leisurely stroll.

If you’re looking to pick up gifts for the fashionistas in your life, you’ve come to the right place: smart City West is Berlin’s capital of chic. Check out Berlin-based label Janet Knaack on Bleibtreustraße, indie clothing store L’Ephemere and super-cute boutique MOOI on Knesebeckstraße (whose name literally means ‘lovely’ in Dutch) for the freshest looks this festive season. Meanwhile, vintage boutique Macy’z on Mommsenstraße has you covered if you’re shopping for sustainable gifts this Christmas.

Smart Knesebeckstraße is a fabulous spot to pick up stunning design and homeware products for the house-proud and style-conscious, too. Hit up Nordic design store Hartog for a little Scandi-style festive inspiration or Küchenladen for classic kitchenware, perfect for keen cooks. Design gallery Jochum Rodgers on Mommsenstraße is the perfect place to browse a curated selection of furniture masterpieces that are true works of art. Homeware heaven can also be found a little further afield on nearby Kantstraße at Living Berlin, a shopping centre dedicated to interior design that plays host to dozens of stores and showrooms.

Bookstore Marga Schöller
Bookstore Marga Schöller © visitBerlin, Foto: Günter Steffen

Of course, there’s no greater gift than great literature – and the area around Knesebeckstraße is full of fantastic independent bookshops curating the best reads. Check out Marga Schoeller, a bookselling institution established in the 1920s, and Bücherbogen on nearby Savignyplatz, for your literary fix. Of course, a ripping yarn isn’t the only entertainment that makes a fantastic Christmas gift – little ones (and grown-ups who are young at heart) will love quality toys and crafts from Tam Tam, a long-established local toy shop.

Culture and entertainment in Berlin City West

A-Trane jazz club in Berlin
Inside the jazz club A-Trane © visitBerlin, Foto: Pierre Adenis

Wherever you turn in City West, you’re sure to find a sight for sore eyes. Once you’ve enjoyed the unmissable stroll down Ku’damm, admiring the incredible Christmas decorations and lighting display, turn off down Knesebeckstraße to marvel at alternative masterpieces in the many art galleries that line the street – from the contemporary Wentrup and GNYP Gallery to Istanbul-meets-Berlin art institution Zilberman Gallery. If the kids need a little entertainment, stop off at the Snow White-inspired adventure playground on Mommsenstraße – a fairytale spot for little ones to frolic in a Berlin winter wonderland. As night falls, culture vultures can take in a jazz concert at the lively A-Trane jazz club on Bleibtreustraße or a fantastic night of musical theatre at the Theater des Westens on nearby Kantstraße.

Food, fabulous food

Cappuccino Berlin
Cappuccino © Getty Images, Foto: Pyrosky

A day’s Christmas shopping takes energy – so start your day exploring the side streets of City West with a cup of coffee and a bite. Enjoy an excellent espresso at minimalist Giro Coffee Bar on Knesebeckstraße, or go big at hip brunch spot What do you fancy love? on Mommsenstraße. Nearby sister spots Coffee Drink Your Monkey or A Never Ever Ending Love Story are another great place to start your day.

For a quick and tasty lunch stop on your shopping trip, look no further than local pizzeria Ali Baba on foodie mile Bleibtreustraße, serving delicious dough-based delights to take away. If you’re looking for a little more German flavour, check out Repke Spätzlerei along the street – its changing menu features southern German cuisine (think spätzle noodles and Flammkuchen) alongside local favourites like currywurst. If you’re looking for a sweet treat for afters, stop by the majestic Princess Cheesecake (the clue is in the name) on Knesebeckstraße, or Nibs on Bleibtreustraße for a delicious cup of cocoa. You can also browse sweet gifts – like their incredible chocolate subscription – while you’re there.

All that shopping is hungry work – we get it. Time to relax afterwards with a delicious dinner at Lubitsch, a classic restaurant on Bleibtreustraße featuring a mouth-watering combination of flavours from Paris, Vienna and (of course) Berlin. Alternatively, head to Marjellchen on Mommsenstraße, a spot specialising in the cuisine of East Prussia, for fine local dining.

Three must-sees:

The festively decorated Kurfürstendamm in Berlin
Kurfürstendamm in winter glow © visitBerlin, Foto: Mo Wüstenhagen
  • Create your own unique Berlin Christmas gifts at ceramics workshop Paint Your Style on Bleibtreustraße – where you can turn pieces of pottery into the perfect present with just a lick of paint and a bit of imagination. Simply pick up one of 450 blank bases to choose from, create and paint your design and have the team turn it into a finished piece in their kiln. The store also hosts workshops to help you hone creative skills like lettering for the perfect artsy day out.
  • Relax after a day’s shopping with a night at the movies at Bleibtreustraße’s independent cinema filmkunst 66. Run by filmmakers with a true love of the silver screen, this atmospheric icon of the Berlin film scene offers an incredible programme of screenings.

Getting there

All roads lead to Ku’damm – and the streets leading off this busy Berlin thoroughfare are incredibly well-connected. Hop on the S-Bahn or U-Bahn to Savignyplatz, a stone’s throw from Knesebeckstraße, or Uhlandstraße station at Kurfürstendamm, to get closest to the action.