KaDeWe: Berlin’s Most Famous Department Store
KaDeWe is short for Kaufhaus des Westens, or “Department Store of the West”, in English. It is Berlin’s answer to Harrods or Macy’s, and a must-see for visitors to the city, especially during the festive period when the ground floor is transformed into a festive grotto. Gourmet Lebkuchen and designer baubles fill the shelves whilst the piece de la resistance – Father Christmas and his sleigh – take centre stage, attracting fans of every age. With real white hair and beard, he has been a permanent fixture at the store for as long as I can remember and, in my opinion, he is Berlin’s best Santa. This year he is sporting a red attire and a ponytail, but when I first saw him he was strolling around in a white and gold gown, his long white hair and beard flowing out behind him. I definitely recommend paying him a visit if you’re having trouble getting into the festive spirit!
Located on the Kurfürstendamm shopping boulevard, KaDeWe is just a short walk from the Hotel Concorde Berlin. You will find everything you would expect to find in a world-class luxury department store: gourmet food, an extensive selection of men’s and women’s fashion, beauty products, home furnishings, cookware, toys…
The store opened in 1907, but KaDeWe feels every bit the modern department store. They are clearly not afraid of change and their selection of products never feels outdated or stuffy. The grand old building is certainly part of its charm, but the reason I, and many other Berliners, shop here, is because I can rely on them to be bang up to date with all the latest trends and present the best products available. Take their recently opened ‘The Loft’ – a world of shoes, accessories and jewellery.
It is a big store, but not overwhelmingly so. Shopping – even at Christmas – doesn’t get more relaxed and, dare I say it, enjoyable than this!