Charlottenburg is a tourist’s paradise with precious historical sites, opulent museums and theatres, fine wining and dining and excellent shopping. Undoubtedly, the glamorous tree lined boulevard of Kurfürstendamm is the heart of modern day Charlottenburg, but there is so much more to the neighborhood than just shopping and champagne.
The northern part of Charlottenburg is dominated by the former summer palace of Prussian Queen Sophia Charlotte. Dating back to 1705, Charlottenburg Palace provides a vivid sense of Prussian life. The palace’s untouched rooms; porcelain displays and general grandeur make it well worth the visit.
In the south west of Charlottenburg you can enjoy a stroll along Kurfürstendamm’s finely manicured streets and see how the other half lives. Women in ankle length fur coats and diamonds walk pampered pooches past elegant apartment buildings, while luxury cars glide silently past high-end boutiques and department stores. Long established tailors, milliners and shoe makers maintain a brisk trade while the hottest and newest of trends are yours for the asking at the Bikini Berlin concept mall.
The towering ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church retain the stories of tragedies past and a stroll through the old and new parts of the church give a palpable sense of the impact the war had on Berlin.
No city is complete without a Chinatown and Berlin’s version sprawls along Kantstrasse. Traditional food from many different regions is served and if your Chinese is good enough you can ask for the ‘special menu’ reserved for true connoisseurs of Chinese food.
Charlottenburg is porcelain and antiques, crumbled churches and bullet holes, the very latest sneakers and the most expensive furs, steaming plates of chinese food and currywurst on every corner. It’s old Berlin making nice with the new and it’s full of surprises for those ready to explore.