Berlin’s Prince of Streets

The centre of activity in the western part of Berlin, and one of the city’s best known shopping boulevardes is the 3.5 km (2 miles) long Kurfürstendamm, which is mostly called the Ku’damm by Berliners.

Named after the Prince-Electors of old Brandenburg, its nickname has been readily adopted by the locals, who seem to have a habit of irreverently renaming every street and building in the city.

No matter which name you wish to call it, that fact is that along this wide boulevard you’ll find the best hotels, restaurants, theatres, cafes, nightclubs, shops, and department stores in all of Berlin.

Despite competition from the East’s up-and-coming shopping areas around Friedrichstrasse and Hackescher Markt, Ku’damm has maintained its image as the place to shop and stroll. The liveliest section is between Breitscheidplatz and the fashionable Fasanenstrasse.

Although it is the most elegant and fashionable spot in Berlin, and a very pleasant stroll thanks to its lines of plane trees, Ku’damm, in keeping with the rest of Berlin, combines chic with sleaze in places.

Beginning as a humble bridle path which provided access across swampy land, this attractive street now boasts exclusive stores where you can window shop as you roam along this boulevarde, including those bearing such iconic names as Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jil Sander and Gianni Versace.

Kurfürstendamm is easy to reach by public transport, which is the best way to negotiate Berlin, as it has its own U-Bahn station, is connected by several bus routes, and is just a short walk from Zoo Station.

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