The glamorous heart of former West Berlin remains one of Berlin’s most coveted neighborhoods and the city’s premier retail destination.
Once its own autonomous city, Charlottenburg has been a central and defining district of Greater Berlin since 1920. During the Cold War era, Charlottenburg became the center of West Berlin and it has remained a prominent business, cultural and retail district in the years following reunification. Spend a day exploring the upscale boutiques lining Berlin’s most notable promenade, Kurfürstendamm. Visit the many museums and galleries that have helped make Charlottenburg such a popular destination.
To begin your exploration of Charlottenburg, take the train to Bahnhof Zoo, not an animal zoo, but one of Berlin’s major transportation hubs. Many of the city’s aboveground and underground rail systems traverse Charlottenburg, along with Berlin’s network of double-decker buses, which provide great views of the region.
Visit Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace) to admire its baroque and rococo architecture and stroll around its landscaped gardens. Constructed in the 17th century, it remains the largest palace in Berlin and a major neighborhood attraction. Venture across the road to find two of the city’s most important collections of art. Visit the Berggruen Museum for works of modern art by Picasso, Klee and Matisse and stop at the Bröhan Museum to see breathtaking examples of art nouveau and art deco works.
Allow time to tour C/O Berlin, the city’s premier photography museum. The gallery is housed in the former American House, a building rich with its own history. Walk a few minutes north to see the works of one of Germany’s most famous fashion photographers at the Helmut Newton Foundation.
Bring children to the historic Berlin Zoo, which is located in the sprawling Tiergarten park. Enter through the Lion Gate or Elephant Gate and discover more than 18,000 animals and educational displays.
Charlottenburg is a culinary destination as much as it is a cultural one. Enjoy traditional German cuisine or stop at Berlin’s unofficial Chinatown on Kantstraße to sample Taiwanese noodles and fried duck. Find kneipen (traditional bars) in the area, where you can relax after a day on your feet. Visit neighboring Wilmersdorf within the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf borough.