WHAT DOES KADEWE STAND FOR?
Kaufhaus des Westens or KaDeWe for short, basically translates to Department Store of the West (Berlin) was founded by Adolf Jandorf and opened on March 27, 1907. This 2013 photo is by Jörg Zägel & is how it looked exactly when we moved to Berlin in June of 2013.
RIMOWA SHOPPING TIPS
One of the things that I find curious is that German brand RIMOWA (pronounced RI-MO-VA because W in German is pronounced like a V) in Germany has very little stocks. It’s usually 1 per color per size. Unlike in Asia or the Philipines where there will be several pieces per color & size. So it’s all about luck.
Another thing that’s good to know is that only the ALUMINUM RIMOWA is made in Germany. The plastic and hybrid are made in the Czech Republic and other EU countries. The aluminum line is more weather-/water-resistant, higher quality wheels/locks & heavier. However if it gets damages, they can hammer it back down.
The HYBRID is a good mix of the ALUMINUM & PLASTIC. It has the same locks, wheels & corners as the ALUMINUM, but has a plastic body. The seal is also weather-/water-resistant. It’s lighter than the ALUMINUM, but heavier than the PLASTIC.
When it comes to luggage shape, I cannot recommend the TRUNK enough! Pictured above in yellow, it is really the best size & configuration when buying RIMOWA because:
- It can accommodate more luggage than the original one that opens like a book
- It’s more convenient because it occupies less space when you open it, perfect for traveling in EU or Japan where space is limited
If I could have all my RIMOWAs transformed into a TRUNK, I would. But we will use what we have until they die. You can see the types we have in the bottom of this post.
This is arguably my favorite Berlin brand. It’s super iconic. We were told that it’s what Angela Merkel would give as state gifts & that the German diplomats used it because it’s so sturdy.
You cannot compare KPM which uses hardpaste porcelain with fine bone china brands like Wedgewood etc that uses softpaste porcelain. What’s the difference? KPM despite being very fine & thin can actually be placed inside an oven & not break. The ones that don’t have the gold detailing of course, because those can melt inside the oven. I’m not recommending that you do, but I’m just saying that is a testament to how hardy & sturdy it is compared to the usual fine bone china.
My favorite is the Kurland Collection in all white because despite being designed in the 1700s, the style is so modern & chic! Each KPM piece is handmade in Berlin. If there are any gold details, it’s real gold so the prices can be totally shocking!
During this trip we were gifted by our dear friends M & J with a teacup & saucer set. I’ve been dreaming of one since we left Berlin. It was my regret not buying one before leaving. On my next trip I plan to get myself the iconic Kurland Currywurst dish that shows how Berliner like to eat their favorite fastfood snack. I can only dream of having the 30pc dinner set & the cereal bowls!
Another favorite German brand of mine is Zwilling. You have to make sure it’s the one with the twin icons and that it’s made in Germany, not China. Because they have affiliates or I think the ones that are sold in the USA are already made in China.
Having tried WMF to compare, I can say that for cutlery my Zwilling ones keep their sheen and don’t show scratching as much as our WMF ones. The set I’ve had since 2010 are still what we use daily at home and still look like new!
When it comes to knives and manicure sets, Zwilling for me as the best quality & longevity! They last a loooong time. We of course use sharpeners to maintain, but German made Zwilling blades are the best.
THE SCANDI SECTION
Another section I just love visiting is the Scandinavian home section. Scandinavian furniture for me are a great investment because the value increases over time. Here they are selling the same Eames Eiffel Rocking Chair that we purchased before leaving Berlin. I am happy to say that the cost has already doubled so it was a great investment.
Of course, I cannot really take home any of these big furniture items or breakables, but I just love to browse & see all the that gorgeous design.
A new thing at KaDeWe is their OUTLET section, where they have their clearance or sale items at a huge discount. Definitely worth checking out for thrifty shoppers like me.
One thing that I highly recommend to foodies is to visit the top floor of KaDeWe because it is absolute food heaven. One can dine on the best caviar and champagne, or have some delicious pastas and almost any other food you can think of. It’s really a treat to people watch here too!
2 hourse wasn’t enough for sure, but I was happy we made it to KaDeWe.
Original Berliner Currywurst but I’ve never eaten there. The reviews aren’t great. It’s better to cross the street & eat in WITTY’S Bio Currywurst am Wittenbergplatz for delicious AND organic currywurst!
The iconic Ampelmann pedestrian crossing lights here is another iconic Berlin image: Pink Pipes that crisscross the city. Want to know what they are for? CLICK HERE to see! Sometimes the pipes are in a different color too.
If you love Mexican and are in this area, Dolores Mexican Restaurant in Wittenbergplatz is another favorite of ours.
An iconic site to see when in this area is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. It’s like the Barcelonas Sagrada Familia… always under construction.
Open Mon to Thurs & Sat 10am–8pm • Friday 10am–9pm • Sun CLOSED
Tauentzienstraße 21-24, 10789 Berlin, Germany