Founded in 1907, the 'Department Store of the West' (Kaufhaus des Westens) is the largest of its kind in continental Europe.
It has a huge range of name brand clothing and other merchandise from around the world and the 6th floor food hall is reason enough to visit - the gourmet foodstuffs and exotic produce will be sure to tempt the tastebuds in between dressing room forays.
Monday - Friday:
9.30 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
By bus: Take the number 119, 129, 146, 185 or 219 bus and get off at the Wittenbergplatz bus-stop.
By underground: Take the U 1, U 2, or U 15 underground line and get off at the Wittenbergplatz underground station.
By foot: The Bahnhof Zoo station is about 7 minutes away by foot. And it only takes 5 minutes to get to the Kurfürstendamm.
KaDeWe means "Kaufhaus des Westens" (Shopping center of the West). This biggest shopping center of the continent (excluding England I believe) was opened in 1907, and sells just about anything. It's pretty crowded though.
What to buy: Anything
What to pay: Probably a lot?
The KaDeWe is just as much a part of Berlin as the Brandenburg Gate, the Gedächtniskirche and the Television tower. On the other hand, the Berlin atmosphere, Parisian perfumes and the unique flair of the metropolis make their mark on the image of our store. The KaDeWe is the largest department store on the European continent. The choice and spectacular assortment of goods turn a shopping spree in the KaDeWe into an unforgettable experience.
The original building was designed by the architect Emil Schaudt. He endowed the building with everything a department store needs: generous proportions, functionality and atmosphere. The entire inner architecture radiates lightness and elegance. High above the roofs of Berlin, a glass-domed restaurant invites you to stop and enjoy. You can soar up through the open-roofed atrium in modern panorama elevators to the glass dome.
What to buy: 60,000 square metres (equivalent to the Olympic stadium plus 4 football fields)
over 380,000 articles of merchandise
2,400 members (70% female) including 100 trainees
The most popular department at KaDeWe is the delicatessen floor. It is the gourmet´s Mecca. The discerning palate can choose from around 33,000 different products in this, the largest food-hall in Europe.
about 1,300 different sorts of cheeese
about 400 types of bread and rolls
about 1,200 sorts of sausages
about 2,400 wines from 5 continents
KaDeWe is a bit of an icon. With it being largest department store in continental Europe, you could spend hours browsing here.
By the way, KaDeWe is short for Kaufhaus des Westens, which means Department Store of the West.
What to buy: Check out the food hall - it's amazing.
What to pay: That totally depends on the size of your wallet!
As we walked through the doors in Kaufhaus des Westens or KaDeWe for short, we were greated with an enormous Christmas Tree with the finest decorations, this was followed by more of the same, unfortunately the cost of some of the decorations was almost as outrageous, buy hey I dont want to sound like scrooge :)
Floor after floor of clothes etc etc etc, tried to get presents for our children, named makes and again prices were high, we enjoyed a good mooch and my credit card was unused.
I'm sure the experience was hightened because of the Christmas decorations, because normally I wouldnt give a dept store a second glance, but maybe because of its grande exterior Kaufhaus des Westens bucks the trend.
What to pay: I would say higher than average, but theres more choice
The special thing is that in this department store is the former and present glory of the wealthy and wannabe rich represented most. It is an escape from reality and also a big entertainment for many.
Everything you can consume, can be bought. Especially the food department on the upper level seems to be a Gourmet Temple, where you can indulge in delicacies from all over the world.
Compare the KaDeWe to the atmosphere in an department store at Alexanderplatz! It is different. It gives an idea of the atmosphere it must have been during the 1920ties, where there have been many deparment stores like this....
Look at the webside for opening times!
What to buy: Food department on 5th floor has everything available which someone imported into Germany. All brands seem to be there. Relax and enjoy the world going by at a champagne bar or a seafood place for example.
What to pay: much more than average
This huge, not very pretty, grey building on my picture housed very elegant and the biggest department store in Germany and in Europe founded in 1907 and called KaDeWe.
It was pretty crowded on Saturday early afternoon, so we had to wait a minute to get into an elevator/lift. It was really huge store and after searching woman's clothes store we coudn't find lifts for a while.
On the ground floor we found a lot of parfumeries, ReiseCenter (travel center) and departmens with Samsonite and other bags for travelers. Hmm... Samsonite suitcases were 10-20% more expensive than the same ones in Poland.
On the last 6h fllor in huge deli there were packages of Berlin gifts (food and drinks: sweets, champagns, wine + Berlin bear - mascot) at a price above 100.00 ? each. The most expensive wine costed 298.00 ? for a bottle of French Bordeaux from 1944: Chateau Latour, Pauillac.
Mon - Fri: 10.00 am - 8.00 pm
Sat: 9.30 am - 8.00 pm
What to buy: Everything was sold there.
What to pay: Rather expensive department store but good quality always costs a lot.
Established in 1907, is now the largest department store on the European mainland, with around 60.000 square meters of shop floor. With a grandiose abundance of goods on eight floors and excellent service, the store is synonymous with up-market shopping. A particular attraction for both Berliners and visitors from all over the world is the legendary delicatessen floor. It is a mecca for gourmets and the largest delicatessen department in Euope. Exhibitions, fashion shows and signings help KaDeWe to combine shopping and culture in a unique way.
What to pay: An awful lot!!!
Multi-floored, all polished glass, marble and chrome. Security guards at the door. Attentive sales clerks, quick to smile, ready to serve you in any way possible...that is KaDeWe!
I think most everyone has to make a tip for KaDeWe if they are creating a Berlin page. It is a well-known shopping facility. I've visited a number of times with a German friend who is absolutely bonkers for imported American foods. The place is always amazingly crowded but mostly with foreign shoppers and residents or tourists, or nouveau rich people as opposed to those who live in the city who are more thrifty. But if you are a visitor or have the funds why not browse inside? The "food court" is excellent, the employees are generally more attentive than at some other shops, its bright, colorful, busy and stylish inside.
Also for those tourists and visitors, if you have purchased items, before you leave see the attendant at the "tax-free" kiosk at the main entrance. If you have your passport or a picture ID like a driver's license they will print out and sign a Global Refund Cheque for to refund the tax on your purchases. No cash refunds in the store, but you must have your cheque stamped before you check your baggage at the airport.
From the brochure they give you: "On leaving the EU show your purchases to Customs officials and have your Global refund cheque stamped within 3 months of purchase. By air, before baggage check-in, by rail ask for information about stamp formailities."
You have to have the customs stamp to get a refund. You can also mail your stamped cheque to Global Refund and get a bank draft sent to you or direct deposit to your card or bank account.
What to buy: Well, certainly they have imports from all over the world. The most expensive clothing, handbags, luggage, make-up, perfumes and colognes and such things. As I said before, one can get the same items or similar for cheaper prices elsewhere. The only thing I really suggest buying here (especially if you are an ex-pat) is the imported food and drink items that might remind you of home.
Occasionally I will buy a few Mountain Dews for example, as one cannot buy them generally here in Berlin, or the rest of Germany either I would imagine. Also if you are planning a special authentic ethnic dinner, etc. you might find the items you need here definitely, instead of trying a half dozen different shops elsewhere in Berlin and still not finding what you need.
What to pay: If you are buying clothes, perfumes, make-up, accessories, or anything it's more expensive here than most other shops in Berlin.
KaDeWe, short for Kaufhaus des Westens, is over 100 years old and is Europe’s second largest department store just after Harrods in London. The store itself has become a tourist attraction with nearly 50,000 visitors a day. That may seem like it would be very crowded, but with 60,000+ square meters, the people are spread out over a large area with seven stories of shopping space.
The original concept for KaDeWe was to bring goods from around the globe to Berlin and sell them under one roof. The store began in 1907 and was an instant success. Today, the success continues and KaDeWe not only offers a wide range of products from around the world, but their service is top-rate.
We visited KaDeWe just to see it – and we were told not to miss the food section upstairs. Hubby and I made our way upstairs and we were amazed at not only the selection and variety, but the personal service. Everywhere we turned there were clerks standing by ready to assist us, whether in selecting a unique piece of produce or just to answer our questions.
I enjoyed the way the food section has little areas set aside from different countries with the products they have from those countries – although I was a bit dismayed at the products that came from the USA (is that really what the US is known for – pancake syrup, chocolate brownie mix, Crisco shortening, and Pop Tarts?). The meat section seemed never ending and the produce section was fresh and inviting. Prices were a bit steep from the normal grocery store, but many of the products have traveled a long way (and there is that unique factor that they are being sold in an upscale shop).
We didn’t really do much browsing in the clothing or household goods sections of the store, but we could see brand names all over the place and lots of people looking around.
KaDeWe was a place I wanted to see and I don’t really need to go back. Those that know me know I am not much of a shopper, so I can’t see myself spending hours and hours in here. But for others that enjoy that sort of thing, you could literally spend the entire day at KaDeWe and still not see everything.
Open Monday - Thursday 10 am to 8 pm, Friday 10 am to 9 pm, and Saturday 9:30 am to 8:00 pm.
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