We wanted to explore Hackeschermarkt after hearing from friends that they have some really lovely shops in the courtyards areas of the apartment buildings. The courtyards of Hackeschermarkt are famous and i can see why. When you go inside it’s like getting transported into another world different from that of the streets of Berlin. It’s like a maze with wonderful things to discover.
Hackeschen Höfe & Rosenhöfe
Hackeschermarkt is made up of different Hofs or Courtyards that have amazing restaurants, cafe and specialty shops. Hof means courtyard.
The Hackesche Höfe represent the largest, enclosed courtyard area of Germany and were put under a preservation order in 1972. The courtyards located across from the Hackeschen Market were opened on 23 September 1906. As is the case in many of Berlin’s courtyards, the building complex consists of offices, businesses, factories (especially in the first courtyards) and flats.
When the Hackesche Höfe were being renovated in the 1990’s, this concept was successfully implemented again. Today, the eight courtyards between Rosenthal and the Sophienstraße provide 27.000 square metres for 40 industrial enterprises, cultural institutions and flats.
Oxymoron Restaurant Bar
Before heading in we wanted to grab a quick bite to eat and decided on Oxymoron. BIG MISTAKE. The place is lovely and would be great if we were not in a hurry and just wanted to have coffee and dessert or have a few drinks. But we wanted to have an early dinner before walking around. We ordered a ciabatta and pasta thinking that these are usually quick food to prepare. The waiter told us that there was a 10-15 minute break in the kitchen, and we said, that should be fine. Thinking that maybe we would have a drink of water, chat, and get our food in 25-30 minutes since these are quick orders. I don’t know what happened, maybe there was a mix-up when the kitchen changed hands because our pasta came out more than an hour later and it wasn’t even that warm. The food was good, but it wasn’t worth the 1+ hour of time that we lost. I will not go back to Oxymoron for sure. Bad and slow service is not worth the premium prices they charge.
We tried to forget the bad experience in Oxymoron by walking around and enjoying the beautiful courtyards in the lovely light of dusk. The people who live in these aparments are so lucky! For those who love to create their own accessories/jewelry, PERLIN, a bead shop is worth checking out. Because many of the beads are specialty beads, old pieces or made with silver or gold, so they are not cheap. There are some which are still affordable, like aluminum and brass findings that don’t fade. I got these 2 aluminium pieces that I plan to make into earrings.
The shop on the left of PERLIN below is called Loo & 1 Seife. It a wonderful shop for handmade soaps and, bath & body products. They even high-quality shaving soaps and brushes for men! This is a place for all things cute and pretty for the bath! I didn’t know where to look first – I was hyperventilating with all the awesome stuff!
There were several shops that sold leather bags and clothing. The leather stores are of quite high quality, and understandably the prices are higher than average. I also enjoyed looking around an art gallery and a bookstore.
This was my first time inside an AMPELMANN SHOP – can you believe? The Ampelmann is an iconic symbol in Berlin because it is unique in the world. And the Ampelmann shop is where one can find some souvenirs of Berlin’s Ampelmann where the pedestrian traffic light symbols can be found on everything from a T-shirt to a dog collar.
The East German pedestrian traffic light symbols, or‚ ampel men’ are Berlin born and bred. They came into being on October 13th 1961 when, in response to the growing threat of road traffic accidents, the traffic psychologist, Karl Peglau , introduced the first pedestrian signals to the GDR capital. And so the vehicle traffic light, which had directed traffic alone up to that point, was joined by the pedestrian traffic light. Its design was psychologically conceived, because road-users react more quickly to appealing symbols.
I absolutely love this shop called PROMOBO. It’s a specialty gift shop with a wealth of unique and cleverly designed items. As you know from my previous posts of Fred and Friends items, I am a sucker for clever design. I was in absolute heaven when I was browsing this shop.
I indulged myself in some wooden post-cards, which I plan to DIY into art for our home. They may be expensive post cards at €3.50 but if framed, then they make for cheap pieces of art that would make great keepsakes of Berlin! I am still brainstorming on my plan.
I like how there are people just sitting in benches or under the trees and just chillin’. Berliners know how to enjoy your time outdoors and without having to tweet or facebook everything – it’s something I should definitely start adapting. I seem to have a hard time letting go of habits I learned in Jakarta, where everyone seems to always be online, ALL the time. I know it’s not nice but old habits die hard. I was in that world where we would see entire tables in a restaurant with it’s occupants all on their phones instead of having a conversation with each other. Berlin is so refreshing to me, because it’s the opposite of Jakarta in so many ways.
The end of Hackescher Höfe led to Rosehöfe. I thought the building with it’s mint green and pale pink color was so interesting and whimsical! The shops and cafes all looked so appealing to me! I would like to go back and spend more time here, maybe have coffee in the cafe with some Movenpick ice cream? I found this designer shop, GARDEROBE, nice and the selection of coats pretty amazing. They are a bit expensive but if you dig in there are more affordable buys. Let me clarify: affordable for the quality, because these high quality fur coats wont ever be cheap. I was sad to leave because we had to get going. I will definitely be back to explore more of Rosehöfe.
- Hackeschermarkt Shopping – Berlin.de
- Die Hackeschen Höfe official website
- Hackeschen Hoefe Tourist Guide – Oh Berlin
How to get there:
- It is just off the S-Bahn Station Hackescher Markt in Berlin Mitte
- CLICK HERE to see the location Map
Rosenthaler Str. 36, 10178 Berlin
Tel: 030 / 4000 66 80 • Fax: 030 / 247 246 72
Mo – Sa 11:00am – 08:00pm