German TV personality Tanja Bülter has lived in Berlin for 18 years. Almost every day she discovers new cafés, exhibitions and trendy locations. Here are her tips for the West of the city.
Admittedly, in Berlin, some things take longer (and I don’t mean the construction of the new airport)! With a diameter of 45 kilometers, the city is simply big. For this reason, you should know exactly what you want to see, especially when here on business without much free time.
Berliners are known for being moody, but above all, they are proud of the capital. “And that’s a good thing, too” (freely adapted from former Mayor Wowereit). I have lived in this metropolis of almost 4 million inhabitants, which is in a constant metamorphosis, for 18 years. To be more precise, on the legendary Kurfürstendamm.
Let’s start with accommodation. There are two hotels that I can recommend in which you are well located to start a day’s tour of West Berlin! Last year, one of Berlin’s hippest hotels opened near me: Provocateur, an exclusive design hotel! The Ellington Hotel, a listed building from the Golden Twenties with an elegant atmosphere, is in good hands for those who like it a bit more sophisticated and larger.
Just to get a feeling for Berlin, I recommend an hourly booking with Blacklane to see the most beautiful corners. My driver and I start at my front door, passing the famous Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which is framed by “lipstick with powder box”. That’s what the Berliner calls the two new buildings around it.
Behind it appears probably the coolest shopping mall of the city: Bikini Berlin. There are plenty of pop-up stores, tasty, trendy food and designer stores. A few kilometres further on, the huge Kaufhaus des Westens department store (KaDeWe). Almost everything can be bought here: ideal to buy a souvenir or to indulge in the shopping frenzy. And how perfect it is that thanks to my Blacklane-driver I don’t have to worry about a parking space.
My shopping bags get their own place in the big Blacklane trunk and past the Goldelse (Victory Column) into the green. Because that’s also something Berlin can do: provide relaxation! After all, the Berlin air is world-famous, with an ode written to it in 1904 by Paul Linke. Few other large cities have as many green spaces as the German capital (around 6,400 h). After only a 15-minute drive, we arrive in the Grunewald. I stroll past the beer garden and restaurant “Chalet Suisse” to the Jagdschloss Grunewald hunting lodge. It is the oldest preserved Hohenzollern lodge in Berlin. It was built in 1542 by Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg.
If you want to know something about the old inhabitants of the castle, you should definitely take a guided tour. But beware: it gets a bit creepy!
Now I have to hurry because I have a hairdresser appointment on Schlüterstrasse. It is not far from the Kudamm and offers a lot of trendy restaurants. Brand new and totally hyped is the Funky Fish from Duc Ngo – probably Berlin’s most important gastronomer (by the way without cooking training). In the Haarwerk I get the perfect styling at Ayse Auth. She and her twin sister Hatice are currently the most famous hairdressers in Germany (after Udo Walz).
Finally, my chic limousine heads for my favourite place, Walter-Benjamin-Platz, which looks like a huge Italian piazza. Here, sun worshippers always splash around the fountain. And of course, it’s excellent for people watching. After stressful days I always come down here with a glass of wine or coffee. There is always a holiday feeling – bella Berlin! So lieb ick Dir!