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Kaufhaus des Westens, meaning "Department Store of the West", bore the name even before the Berlin Wall divided Berlin into geographically separate sectors. Founded in 1905, the store was bought by Hermann Tietze in 1927. Presently, Kaufhaus des Westens or KaDeWe is a shopping haven for both locals and tourists from all over the world. The food hall on the top floor is legendary and is worth a visit in itself. KaDeWe offers an incredible variety of items, attracting visitors in droves.
Kaufhof on Alexanderplatz is one of East Berlin's oldest and best-known department stores. Spread over five floors, the store has an enormous selection of goods similar to those in KaDeWe in West Berlin. Kaufhof's prices are generally more reasonable than its western rival. You are sure to find anything and everything, that you would require in kitchen, garden, home or office. Be it fresh groceries or daily essentials, everything at Kaufhof has a moderate price and good quality.
Located on Hermannplatz, where Kreuzberg meets Neukolln, Karstadt was one of the most revolutionary buildings to be constructed in Berlin before the World War I. Opened in 1929 as Europe's biggest department store, it had its own underground station and Art Deco twin towers that were strikingly reminiscent of a Manhattan skyscraper. Wartime bombs left little of its original grandeur intact, yet it was promptly rebuilt and is still one of Berlin's most popular shopping destinations. The interior is sorted according to themes like fashion, living and personality. The basement contains a gourmet food hall - a great contrast to the gastronomic environment outside on Hermannplatz, which is dominated by dodgy doners, greasy sausages and the inevitable Big Mac.
This branch of the famous Parisian department store adds a touch of Mediterranean elegance to the German capital. Situated on Friedrichstraße, eastern Berlin's premier shopping street, the store offers the latest fashions from designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin. The design of the building, with its sunlit interior and glass roof, is stunning, another reason for a visit. The food hall in the basement is in the same league as KaDeWe's legendary food department and is a great place to come and sample a couple of fresh oysters.