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Berlin's Top 10 : Kurfürstendamm

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After years of decline, the Kurfürstendamm, or Ku’damm for short, has once again become a fashionable hot spot. Breathtaking architecture, elegant boutiques and a lively scene with street artists around Breitscheidplatz have made this shopping boulevard Berlin’s most attractive and – at 3.8 km (2.5 miles) – also its longest avenue for strolling.

Tourist information

  • Neues Kranzler-Eck, Kurfürstendamm 21

  • 10am–8pm Mon–Sat, 10am–6pm Sun

  • 030 25 00 25

Story of Berlin

Europa-Center

  • Tauentzienstr. 9

  • 24 hours (shops: 10am–8pm)

  • 030 348 00 88

  • www.24EC.de


When Ku’damm was no more than a log road

In 1542, today’s magnificent boulevard was just a humble “Knüppeldamm”, or log road. It served the Electors as a bridle path, linking the town residence (Stadtschloss) and their hunting lodge (Jagdschloss). It was not until 1871 that the area around the Ku’damm developed into a fashionable “new west end”. Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had the boulevard modelled on the Champs Elysées in Paris, and requested that his statue be erected in the street as a thank you. So far, however, the Berliners have failed to oblige him.


Only a few cafés in the Ku’damm have survived: the most charming is Café Wintergarten in the Literaturhaus at the southern end of Fasanenstraße.


It is best to avoid Ku’damm on Saturday mornings when the boulevard is teeming with locals and tourists out on shopping trips.


Ku’damm: www.kurfuerstendamm.de



Top 10 Sights
  1. Breitscheidplatz

    Here, in the heart of the city, artists, Berliners and visitors swarm around J Schmettan’s globe fountain, known by locals as “Wasserklops” (water meatball).

  2. Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche

    One of Berlin’s most haunting symbols, the tower of the original church – destroyed during World War II – stands in the centre of Breitscheidplatz, serving as both memorial and reminder of the terrors of war.

  3. Europa-Center

    The oldest shopping centre in West Berlin, originally opened in 1962, is still worth a visit. You will find a variety of shops, including a grocery store, a cinema and fashion boutiques.

  4. Neues Kranzler-Eck

    This glass and steel skyscraper was built in 2000 by the architect Helmut Jahn. The legendary Café Kranzler was retained as a bar in front of the office block. You will also find the tourist information centre here.

  5. Fasanenstraße

    A small street off Ku’damm, Fasanenstraße with its galleries, expensive shops and restaurants is one of Charlottenburg’s most elegant areas.

  6. Ku’damm-Eck

    This hotel and business complex (2001) has endowed the boulevard with new splendour.

  7. Lehniner Platz

    The square is home to the Schaubühne, built as Universum cinema in 1928 by Erich Mendelsohn, converted in 1978.

  8. The Story of Berlin

    This interesting multi-media show takes visitors on a tour of 800 years of Berlin’s history – from the Great Elector to the capital of Prussia, from Willy Brandt to the Fall of the Wall. Underneath the museum a nuclear bunker can be visited.

  9. Galerie Brusberg

    This Neo-Classical building provides a glimpse of Ku’damm’s erstwhile splendour.

  10. Iduna-Haus

    The remarkable turreted house at this street corner is one of few bourgeois houses preserved from the late 19th century. The richly ornamented, gleaming white Art Nouveau façade has been lavishly restored.

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