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November 2014
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The future is West Berlin

West Berlin © Ludovic Bischoff

Go west, young boy! Head for West Berlin, to discover the new Berlin, which is all-happening and up-and-coming. It is hard to image that until a few years ago, this bourgeois area was still and lifeless. But today, the Kurfurstendamm, main boulevard of the Charlottenburg district, which is often referred to as the Champs-Elysées of Berlin, has a new sense of charm. This is where you will find the legendary Schwarzes Café, open 24/7. Have a copious breakfast or snack at 5am, set against a most colourful nightlife. As for the Delphi, this is an old yet charming 1920s art-house cinema, the only one in the city whose film posters are painted by hand, like in the good old days…Do a quick tour of the mythical Kadewe, a sort of local Galeries Lafayette with an unmatchable food-court. But linger a little while at Bikini Berlin, the cooler, funkier younger sibling, which opened its doors this year. This is a shopping centre for urbanites, uniting designer boutiques in an elegant building that trumps the Berlin Zoo. Have a cup of coffee in front of the great bay windows and coo over the baboons playing outside. Then, head off an explore the 19 “boxes” rented by young designers. These little cubes are rented from three months up to a year, giving these creators the chance to establish themselves without paying extortionate rent on a boutique…as for the larger retailers, Gestalten is a must-visit for smart and cool objects. And in Supermarket, the super cool concept store founded a few years back in Belgrade, treat yourself to a feast in the middle of a type of new look Conran Shop. And don’t forget to check out the 25 Hours hotel, a cavern of German coolness, which has settled itself next to Bikini. In the ‘urban jungle’ atmosphere of the Monkey Bar, this spot offers up a superb view over the area and the zoo…In a word, Kurfurstendamm just grows more and more appealing. How do we know? The CO Berlin, the local contemporary photography centre has just established itself here, a stone’s throw from the Bikini Centre. Co Berlin has leaves Mitte behind for the West side. It is this that convinces the remaining sceptics that this really is the area to watch…

www.schwarzescafe-berlin.de
www.delphi-filmpalast.de
www.bikiniberlin.de
www.co-berlin.org
www.25hours-hotels.com

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