In recent years all the hype around Berlin has been mostly about the former Eastern part of Berlin as well as the areas of Kreuzberg and Neukölln. But something changed in recent month and all of a sudden new exciting things are popping up in the old West of Berlin. In our New West Berlin tour we want to explore some of those, along with some classics, around and inside the freshly renovated Bikini quarter.
The Aquarium at Zoo Berlin is an absolute classic. It's one of the biggest of its kind and is home to huge variety of species, both inside the water and in terrariums. You'll find everything your underwater heart desires, from colorful clown fishes to sharks, from turtles to mantas, from jelly fish to seahorses. Upstairs you will also find reptiles and insects, but the fishtanks are really the highlight here.
The Bikini Berlin is a brand new shopping mall complex next the the zoo in West Berlin. It's in old building that used to host a variety of things in the past but had been in reconstruction for many years. Unlike every other shopping mall in Berlin this one is not focused on mainstream brands and highstreet fashion, but on local designers and brands as well as a selection of renowned contemporary international labels. You'll find everything from fashion, interior design, books, design electronics and much more. There are also some cafes and bars integrated into the mall and a lovely rooftop terrace garden.
AM+ is one of the three concept stores for fashion, lifestyle and interior inside of Bikini Berlin by popular Berlin-based shop owner Andreas Murkudis, brother of celebrated fashion designer Kostas Murkudis. Embedded into the slick boutique in yellow and concrete you'll find brands such as Stella McCartney for Adidas, Acne, A.P.C., Hay, Perret Schaad, Yumaki, Ina Seifart, Tom Dixon and many more.
This concept store is the first point of retail by the Live Networking for Fashion & Art (LNFA) organisation. It's probably the most interesting shop inside of Bikini Berlin as it features a lot of local fashion labels such as Esther Perbandt, Barre Noire, The Shit and many more. It's the best opportunity to shop many local designs in one place. They also have jewellery, accessories and shoes as well as some interior design products.
Gestalten Pavilion Store & Cafe
The Gestalten Gallery is the second shop of the popular Berlin-based publishing house Gestalten which is focused on high class design, architecture, fashion and typography books. Apart from the obvious their new space at the topfloor of the Bikini Berlin has a strong focus on international interior design and home accessories. They have a beautiful selection of products for all the parts of your house and you will have a hard time leaving without buying anything. There is also a nice cafe attached to the store that stretches out over the rooftop terrace in the summer.
Helmuth Newton Foundation / Museum für Fotografie
The Helmuth Newton Foundation inside the Museum for Photography is one of the top galleries for photography as it doesn't only host changing exhibition by legendary Newton, but also the work of other amazing photographers such as Greg Gorman, Alice Springs, and Francois-Marie Banier. Located across from the train station Zoologischer Garten it's really easy to reach and should be on the list of itineries of every photography lover.
Located in the top floor of the 25h Design Hotel as part of the Bikini Berlin building ensemble the NENI Berlin has quite the privileged spot. The airy interior makes you feel like you sit inside of a grow house, probably because there is an actual growhouse in the middle of the restaurant. The kitchen offers a variety of contemporary dishes such as steak, fish and veggetarian meals. The best part is the view directly onto the zoo that is behind the building.
Located in the top floor of the 25h Design Hotel the Monkey Bar earns its name from the view directly into the gorilla compound of the zoo. A playful interior with lots of colorful cushions and seats around the beautiful bar with lots of plants and flowers makes this a very cosy option for a late night drink or cocktail with a spectacular view over the city. There is also a terrace facing the famous ruin of the Gedächtniskirche, one of the main monuments of West Berlin.