City West in Berlin
City West is the heart of former West Berlin and even after reunification it represents the main retail center of Berlin all the best and most expensive shops are located here. The area also includes some landmarks of great historical and cultural interest, as well as a large number of accommodation and entertainment options.
The Ku'damm (short for Kurfürstendamm) is the center of the area, it consists of the main shopping streets and the Tauentzienstrasse and Fasanenstrasse, which are adjacent to the Ku'Damm. City West is composed of four boroughs: Charlottenburg, Wilmersdorf, Schöneberg and Tiergarten.
Charlottenburg used to be the heart of West Berlin and stretches between the Ku'Damm, jointly shared with Wilmersdorf, and the Charlottenburg Palace in the north. The southern part of the district is one of the wealthier areas of Berlin with posh villas and apartments. The northern part is a nice living area. Charlottenburg was the center of the former West Berlin and was well built-up after the war. Today it's mostly an upmarket shopping and living area for city slickers. After the WW I Charlottenburg had a large, wealthy Russian scene, due to the refugees from St Peterburg after the russian revolution which had given rise to the area’s nickname, "Charlottograd".
Wilmersdorf has always been a middle and upper class inner city villa and apartment house area. It is quieter but has nice restaurants and cafes. About 80% of Berlin's Jewish population (estimated 25,000 people) now mostly of Russian descent live in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
Schöneberg is the traditional center of the homosexual scene in Berlin. Today the borough is gentrified and very popular with young families and middle-aged singles. Old renovated apartments with stucco are pretty common. You can start to walk from U-Nollendorfplatz and head directly to the Winterfeldmarkt (lovely market, open Saturday from morning until early afternoon, all year, on Wednesday there is a smaller market). It is not the main center but the district townhall was the main townhall for West Berlin during the Cold War. The freedom bell (a present by the American people) and several memorials from that time, can be found here. On 9th November 1989, Helmut Kohl (Bundeskanzler from 1983-1998) and Willy Brandt (former Bundeskanzler) cheered from the main balcony as they saw the end of the Berlin Wall. The townhall is an emotional place for most people in Berlin (especially West Berlin).
Tiergarten is, besides a borough, a large park separating the district from Mitte.
By U- or S-Bahn
- Bahnhof Zoo ("Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten")
- Kurfürstendamm (not Kurfürstenstrasse on the same line. These are two totally different areas!)
A lot of buslines drive all the way down the Ku'Damm. Especially when it rains (or snows in winter) or to get a first impression, it's very convenient to use the buses.
U-Bahn lines U7 (Eisenacher Str.), U1, U2, U3, and U4 (Nollendorfplatz) cross the borough on the north and the south.
Charlottenburg is considered the heart of former West Berlin and stretches from the ICC convention center in the west to Ku'Damm (Kurfürstendamm) in the east. Public transport or a bike are often ideal modes of transportation in this area since parking spots are scarce and parking garages expensive. The city bus system (BVG) covers Wilmersdorf extensively, with its the northern-most parts being served by the S- and U-stations Heidelberger Platz or Fehrbelliner Platz.
- To arrive at the central bus station, get off at the U-and S-Bahnstation Kaiserdamm (U2) / Messe ZOB ICC (S41, S42, S45) and follow the signs.
- If you want to ride a bus the entire length of Ku'Damm, you can get off at U-Bahn Wittenbergplatz (U1 - U3) or S-Bahn Halensee (S41, S42, S45) (east to west or vice versa).
- To get to Schloss Charlottenburg (palace), exit U-Bahn station Sophie-Charlotte Platz (U2) or Richard-Wagner-Platz (U7).
- Exit U-and S-Bahn station Zoologischer Garten (U2, U9, S3, S5, S7, S75) for the city zoo, the Gedächtniskirche, the Tauentzienstraße (main shopping street) and/or a short walk to Ku'Damm. Friends of the Berlin partner city, Los Angeles, can walk right to the Los Angeles friendship place.
- The rest of Ku'damm can be easily reached via U-Bahn station Kurfürstendamm (U1, U9), Ulandstraße (U1) or Adenauerplatz (U9).
- To reach the former center of West Berlin, get off at S-Bahn station "Zoologischer Garten."
- A good place to start exploring Charlottenburg is at S-Bahn station "Savignyplatz." This area includes many popular cafes, bars, restaurants (including fast food), bookshops and boutiques.
Walking south from the Schöneberg centrally located Winterfeldplatz you´ll find Goltzstr with lots of small bars and cafes. Restaurants provide all sorts of food and prices are low, especially compared with other locations in the "touristy" center of Berlin. Around Eisenacher Str (extension of Goltzstr.) you´ll find even more bars and cafes situated in the basement of nice old houses. During WW II this part of Berlin was not destroyed by bombs as much as other parts of Berlin, so you can get an impression of what 19th century Berlin's architecture looked like. If you walk along Grunewaldstrasse to the west, you´ll reach "Bayrischer Platz" and around it the "Bayerisches Viertel" (with many streets named after Bavarian cities), which was destroyed a lot more during WW II (about 60%). Somewhere around there Albert Einstein lived once. You´ll find several memorial signs providing information about the Nazi-regime's rules against gays and Jews.
- Siegessäule (Tiergarten) (Victory Column). Want to feel like one of the angels in Wim Wenders' classic film Der Himmel über Berlin (a.k.a. Wings of Desire)? Climb to the top of Gold-Else, as the statue of Victory on the top of the Victory Column is known. Just don't jump off if you're not actually an angel. Else was moved to her present location by the Nazis, but was originally built to commemorate Prussian military prowess in the wars against Denmark (1864), Austria (1866) and France (1870-71). Five roads run into a traffic circle called Grosser Stern, in the center of which is the Siegessäule. Else is visible from much of the city district known as Tiergarten. At the base of the statue are reliefs of war scenes representing the conflicts which this monument memorializes. The Allies forced Germany to take those panels down in 1945, but they were remounted in 1984 and 1987. Currently closed for renovations.
- Schloss Charlottenburg  — Charlottenburg palace. One of the oldest buildings in Charlottenburg and actually the reason for the whole city to be built.
- Grunewaldturm— Historic observation tower in the forest near the big Havel River.
- Gedächtniskirche— One of the most famous churches in town and a reminder of World War II.
- Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium).  Built by Hitler for the 1936 Olympic Games, it is one of the better examples of Nazi-era neoclassical architecture and is still used for sporting events. The Olympic Stadium is where African-American athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals, showing once again the idiocy of Hitler's Aryan superiority theory. It is the home of the most successful soccer/football team of Berlin, Hertha BSC, and between 2000 and 2004 was renovated for the FIFA World Cup in 2006. A visit to a Bundesliga football match can be safely recommended, as football is a main ingredient of German public life. (Matches start Saturday 3:30PM or Sunday 5:00PM; be there at least half an hour earlier.)
The neoclassical architecture is supposed to remind the viewer of the splendors of Greece or Rome and of the universally-acclaimed great civilizations; it was thus intended as another part of Nazi propaganda. By reusing time-tested architectural components, such as columns, instead of pushing forward with a genuinely modern twentieth-century, entirely new architectural concept, did they think their designs would garner more positive attention? To the west of the Stadium itself is the Maifeld with the Langemarck hall and the Olympic Stadium Bell Tower, Glockenturm , (with observation deck), both of which can be visited. Known for its beer, it is said that 99% of the locals are drunk on a daily basis.
For a glimpse at the Olympiastadion in its original state, rent Leni Riefenstahl's movie Olympia. Riefenstahl has been accused of purposefully producing propaganda for the Nazis, though in her autobiography she denies it. There is no argument, however, that she is an excellent filmmaker. Though the Nazis may have helped fund some of her productions, Riefenstahl's artistic vision is undeniable.
Museums and Galleries
- Bröhan Museum  - a small but interesting collection of decorative arts from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods
- Museum Berggruen, Schlossstraße 1 . Near Charlottenburg Palace. Also known as "Picasso und sein Zeit", this not so large, but precious museum hosts a very good collection of paintings and sculptures signed by Picasso, Klee, Matisse, Giacometti, and others from the first decades of the 20th century.
- Kolbe Museum . A museum dedicated to the Berliner sculptor.
- Käthe Kollwitz Museum. Käthe Kollwitz's reputation as a social activist who used art as a means to express her support of pacifism was hard-won. Her son was killed in the first World War, after which her art took a turn for the morose. When her grandson was killed in World War II, her art became even darker and more brooding as she contemplated the huge loss of life Germany had suffered. Both her own personal losses and those of the nation affected her art. After the war, ever-present artistic themes for Kollwitz - death, violence, war, misery, guilt and suffering - took shape as the drawings, prints, sculptures, original posters and woodcuts housed in this museum.
- The Story of Berlin . A multimedia museum documenting Berlin's history. You can also visit an underground bunker with room for 3000+ people.
- Museum Scharf-Gerstenberg. A museum dedicated to surrealist art. Was to be reopened near Charlottenburg Palace in 2008.
- Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtnis-Kirche). This church in Breitscheidplatz is a memorial to Kaiser Wilhelm, and one of Berlin's most famous landmarks. Thick walls and plain decor mark it as neo-Romanesque, but with what's left of the Gedächtniskirche, it's tough to distinguish it as any one style. Allied bombing left only one tower standing on November 22, 1943, but a new location for worship designed by Egon Eiermann was completed in December 1961 (it's the octagonal structure with blue stained glass windows). There is a small memorial museum beneath the tower filled with artifacts from the original church, which was built from 1891-95 to architect Franz Schwechten's specifications.
- Controversy arose after the war over the various options presented by the half-ruined cathedral - should it be torn down completely and rebuilt? Or should the destroyed sections be left standing as a memorial, like the infamous Frauenkirche in Dresden? (Firebombed with the rest of Dresden by the Allies, only now is the Frauenkirche finally undergoing reconstruction). The four major sections of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedachtnis-Kirche (central space, foyer, new tower and chapel) surround the ruined tower of the old church bridge and show the time gap between old and new. Mosaics and other remnants from the old church serve as a monument against war.
- Winterfeldmarkt— The markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays are popular with locals. Buy a coffee and browse amongst the stalls; this is a place to unearth hidden gems. Breakfast is served usually until 2-3PM.
- Viktoria Luise Platz— Features stately old houses and a good night time hot spot.
- Akazien-/Goltzstrasse— Restaurants abound here, with cuisines ranging from Afghan to Nepalese and Thai.
- Goya— Historic building opposite Nollendorfplatz. Originally a theater but now revamped as a club for 30+ generation.
- Lie in the grass and unwind at Lake Lietzensee, especially if you are with children - most of Charlottenburg children know and love the playground there.
- Linger over a coffee at Savignyplatz and people watch.
- Do a boat tour on the Spree River or the Landwehrkanal - many of them start or end at Charlottenburg.
- Visit the zoo. Ask for the price of a one-year pass; it will save you money if you visit more than twice.
- Plötzensee Memorial Center (address: Hüttigpfad, 13627 Berlin-Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf) (directions: Beusselstrasse S-Bahn station, then take a 10-min walk or the bus 123 to Gedenkstätte Plötzensee) 030-3443226
price: No admission fee
open: 9-4pm daily
An eerie memorial to victims of the Nazi regime built on the place of a former execution room, where nearly 2900 people where put to death between 1933 and 1945.
- For luxury goods visit Ku'Damm (Kurfürstendamm) and Fasanenstrasse. Kurfürstendamm is especially a must visit, between Adenauerplatz and Joachimsthaler Platz (nearly two kilometres), as it boasts a whole range of luxury stores (and hotels and restaurants.)
- For flagship stores and all the big stores head to the extension of Ku'Damm, the Tauentzienstrasse.
- The main pedestrian area of the district (and even Berlin) is Wilmersdorfer Strasse. Start at Bismarckstraße, walk down the pedestrian zone, cross Kantstraße, walk underneath the railroad, and enter the Bio Company store on the right hand side of the road - it was the first supermarket-style "bio" product store in Berlin whose owner once upset the idealists at Kreuzberg by admitting that she wanted to make money with the store.
- Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) , Tauentzienstraße 21-24, tel 030 2121 0, fax 030 2121 2620 - the largest department store on the European Continent at Wittenbergplatz has it all. Be sure to check out the food department at the sixth floor, where you can find anything from a baked chicken to a champagne brand bar. Be aware that on the weekends, this place can get quite crowded.
The City West is a very good place for quality and is bursting with a big variety of styles and cuisines.
- Café Sur, Akazienstraße 7, tel 030-782 04 39. Deli that serves a delicous Mediteranean breakfast.
- Cafe Bilderbuch Akazienstraße 28, tel 030-78 70 60 57. Cafe that is stocked with hundreds of books to rest and relax. Good cakes and sometimes on Sunday "Tanztee" (nipping tea and dancing) occurs.
- Miss Honeypenny Winterfeldstrasse next to Winterfeldplatz. Offers excellent a la carte breakfast
- Potemkin Viktoria Luise Platz, Russian restaurant that offers good breakfast varieties and a Sunday buffet. Also a popular coffee/cake break.
- Montevideo Viktoria Luise Platz, offers breakfast sets from around the world and also good lunch offers that attract the local residents
- Tulum, a big variety of (Tex-) Mexican food (good bargain) and nice cocktails are served in this restaurant in Wilmersdorf (Am Volkspark 85). Mainly younger crowd.
- Vapiano (address: Augsburger Str. 43) (directions: On the Joachimsthaler Str. right next to Karstadt on the Kudamm)
price: 5-9€ for a meal
Very popular international chain with Italian food (pizza, pasta & salads) with an interesting approach of self-service. You receive a magnetic card and order directly from one of the cooks. They prepare the meal in front of your eyes. The menu is also available in English and the entire staff speaks English.
All noodles and the pizza dough is self-made and fresh. The Vapiano's guests can vary from business men to students.
- Schweighofer's Weimarer Str 12  tel: +49 0303130127. Excellent Austrian restaurant with a great atmosphere. It is decorated as Austrian living rooms. Very generous portions, but you are welcome to share a course between more people as a starter or desserts. Mains are around 15 Euro. Try the brettljause or tafelspitz, which come highly recommended.
- Lusiada- Portuguese restaurant famous for its mussels, Ku'damm 132a (5min walk from S-Bahnstation Halensee), 10711 Berlin, tel 030-891 58 69.
- Good Friends- Original Chinese food in Berlin, Kantstr. 30 (cnr. Schlüterstr) tel 030-312 24 88 Beware that it's real Chinese style, which may differ from the European "Chinese taste"
- Block House -  a number of restaurants in Berlin, where you can taste wonderful steaks.
- El Dorado (address: Kurfürstendamm 203-205) 030 88 92 65 82
This restaurant is a great steak house, serving sublime Spanish cuisine. Seating is available outside.
- Bellucci (address: Brandenburgische Str. 135) 030 28 03 22 33
Great Pizzas and professional service. Not a family restaurant, but kids are welcome and well cared for.
- Buddha house Akazienstr. 27, tel 030-70 50 99 59. Mixture of Nepalese and Thai food/ You can reserve traditional tables (sitting on cushions, not on chairs).
- Gottlob Akazienstr. 16, tel 030-78 70 80 95. Italian inspired kitchen with excellent weekend buffet or a la carte breakfast.
- Papaya Hauptstr. 159, tel. 030-814 94 254. Good Thai restaurant with original dishes from Isaan and consistent to that interior
- Ypsilon Hauptstrasse 163, tel 030-782 45 39. Serving tasty Greek dishes with a good wine selection to match. Has a big biergarten for the balmy summer nights and plays live Greek music on Friday and Saturday.
- Shayan (address: Goltzstrasse 23) 2-15-15-47
price: Lunch €7-10
This is a family run Iranian restaurant with excellent Persian cuisine. Marinated lamb kebabs and the vegetarian khoreshteh esphinaj (stew) are recommended. Don't forget to order the delicious tea at the end of your meal!
- Schöneberger Weltlaterne, Motzstr. 61 near VL-Platz, Very traditional Bavarian kitchen & beers
- Wiesenstein, Viktoria-Luise-Platz 12a, +49-30-219 12 405 Excellent Schwäbisches Food with good Schwaben wines in nice surrounding and neat garden
- Mar y Sol- Tapas and Spanish food, Savignyplatz 5, 10623 Berlin, tel 030-313 25 93.
- Eiffel- Good French restaurant with good value business lunch sets and interesting dinner variations, Ku'damm 105 (3min walk from S-Bahnstation Halensee), 10711 Berlin, tel 030-891 13 05.
- 12 Apostel- Excellent Italian food and one of the best pizzas in town, Bleibtreustr. 49 (oppsite S-Bahnstation Savignyplatz), 10623 Berlin (in Charlottenburg, tel 030-312 14 33) and Hohenzollerndamm 33 in Wilmersdorf. Branches in Steglitz and Mitte.
- Kuchi Kantstr. 30, 10623 Berlin, +49 30 31507815. One of the best sushi restaurants in Berlin. Also serves good pan Asian dishes.
- Moustache- Excellent cuisine franchise next to the river, for the expatriate French in Berlin, Galvanistr. 12, tel 030-342 30 94 (closed on Sundays).
- Sankt Moritz, , Regensburger Str. 7, Member of "Chaine des Rotisseurs" with outstanding wine card and excellent cuisine in rooms made by German painter. Named "Maitre of the year 2008"
- Café am Neuen See A must-do during the day if the weather is nice. This cafe is more like an outdoor beergarden. Even though it's right in the middle of West Berlin, the "Café am Neuen See" is located in the middle of the Tiergarten next to a small lake. Beers are between 4-5€, giant Pizzas are 8-9€. If you are a (romantic) couple, make sure to rent one of the rowboats and enjoy the silent and romantic scenery.
As nicer the weather, the more packed this place gets. Don't even dream of a place to sit if it's one of the rare, warm Sundays. 
- The LuisenBrau next to Schloss Charlottenburg has excellent brewed beer. You can have either a helles (light) or a dunkles (dark). Although the beer is quite excellent, the atmosphere is quite touristy, and clearly not as antique as it strives to be.
- Coma, Detmolder Str. 61, near U-/S-Bahn station Bundesplatz. Made up with sand on the floor and two pool tables. XL Cocktails will kick you faster than you would think.
- Zur U-Bahn corner of Eisenacher Str/Grunewald St. One of the last old time Berlin bars in the area, and a great place to sit, drink and meet the locals.
- Train Hauptstrasse 159 SB, (00 49 30) 787 5033. As its name suggests, this bar is actually in an old S-Bahn car. Flashy and famous for inspired cocktails served by friendly bar tenders.
- Green Door, Winterfeldstraße 50, tel 030.2152515. One of the best cocktail bars in Berlin with excellent selection of spirits and a stylish decor to match.
- Salut!, Goltzstr next to Grunewaldstr, tel +49 30 746 98 504. Cafe/bar that offers an impressive cocktail list. Cocktails are mixed with fresh juices and matched with quality spirits. 
The club scene of West Berlin is mainly located in Charlottenburg and Kreuzberg. The alternative crowd heads to Kreuzberg, while the mainstream youth of West Berlin go to the Charlottenburg clubs and discos.
- Q-dorf named after the Ku'Damm, this big disco attracts a very young (and drunken) crowd. Rather cheap and usually very crowded with all the stuff you need (or don't want): R'n'B straight from the charts, Eurotrash party music, Mallorca ambiance, beach parties, go-go dancers and so on. Joachimstaler Str.15, near Gedächtniskirche.
- Maxxim, located right next to the Ku'Dorf. A bit more luxurious for the more mature crowd. Mainly R'n'B and house.
- Cascade, similar to the Maxxim, but less r'n'b music, for the wealthy people of Charlottenburg. Nice interior, plays house and 70s/80s. Fasanenstraße 81.
- Havanna, Hauptstraße 30 . Largest Latin music club in town. Dance to the beat when it's open on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
- Gasteiner Hof, Gasteiner Str. 8, tel +49 30 8620 170 . Rooms from €30, breakfast included. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the breakfast is good. Some rooms have shared bathrooms, which can be quite cold at night.
- Jet Pak City, Pariserstr. 58 (U-Bahn: Spichernstrasse), tel +49 30 784 43 60 email@example.com. Award-winning popular hostel. 2-Bed rooms start at €30 per person, sleeping hall starts at €18 per person.
- Aparotel (address: Osnabrükerstrasse 7) (directions: U-bahn Mierendorffsplatz) +49 30 364078800 firstname.lastname@example.org
Free WiFi and a kitchenettes in the rooms. Has a cozy restaurant that turns into a lively bar at night.
- NH Berlin City West, Bundesallee 36/37, tel +49 30 86 00 40 . Good location in the City West, has lots of rooms.
- Berlin Lodgings +49 (0)30 5471 3890 [mailto:email@example.com"
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- Ramada Plaza Berlin, Prager Strasse 12, tel. +49 30 236 2500 . Located in inner city living area with own boarding house.
- Grand City Hotel Berlin Kudamm (Ex Hotel Imperial) Lietzenburger Straße 79-81, 10719 Berlin, tel +49 30 - 88 00 50, . The Hotel Imperial is a perfect starting point to explore the heart of Berlin City West and a shopping tour at the KuDamm as well as the famous department store KaDeWe. Ideally situated with quick connections to Potsdamer Platz or the Hackescher Markt area – all destinations are easy to reach. The nearest U-Bahn station, 'Uhlandstrasse', is a three minute walk from the hotel.
- Best Western Hotel President +4930219030  is a four star 182 hotel located in walking distance to the famous KaDeWe, Kurfürstendamm, Europa Center & the Zoological Garden. Free wireless internet, sauna, steam bath, fitness room, coffee, tea, hot chocolate & more.
- Hotel Pension Enzian Hortensienstr. 28, 12203 Berlin, tel +49 30 - 832 50 75, . A friendly, family run hotel with large double bed rooms. Small hotel with a wonderfull, personal atmosphere. Within 1 minute foot distance is a S-Bahn station, a supermarket and a very good spanish restaurant. Good breakfast, unbeatable service, wireless is 4 Euro per day.
- Hotel Pension Rotdorn Heerstr. 36, 14055 Berlin, tel +49 30 - 30 09 92 92 . Ideal for visitors of the fairground. Small and reasonably priced hotel with large garden and wonderful ambience.
- Hotel Pension Am Park Sophie-Charlotten-Str. 57-58, 14057 Berlin, tel +49 30 - 3213485 . fairground in walking distance. Small house, personal, individual atmosphere.
- Hotel Pension Bismarck Bismarckstraße 70, 10627 Berlin, tel +49 30 - 3127582 . Small, familiar run house with personal ambience.
- Hotel Domicil (address: Kantstr. 111a) +49 30 - 329 030
Fairground directly connected. Kudamm, Savigny place in walking distance. view over the city. private Hotel with best care and perfect public transport connection. Famous Charlottenburg shopping sites around.
- Hotel Alexander (address: Pariser Str. 37) +49 (0)30-88 71 65-0 email@example.com
price: Doubles $80
Very clean and friendly hotel in a nice neighborhood
- Ku 'Damm (address: Kurfurstendamm 101) 49-30-52 00 55-0 firstname.lastname@example.org
Three star hotel for business travelers with a sense of lifestyle and design. Wi-fi available for a small fee (€1.90 per hour, €3 for two hours, etc) or free internet from two free terminals in the lobby.
- Swissotel . Brand new and stylish design hotel direct at the Ku'Damm. Just a step away from anything in the City West and offers good weekend rates. One of the best hotel restaurants in town.
- Steigenberger . Los-Angeles-Platz 1. Located at a quiet square near Kurfürstendamm.
- Hotel Q . Outstanding new design hotel in a side street of the Ku'Damm. Famous for the architecture and design. Very popular.
- Louisa´s Place, . Small but luxurious hotel directly at Kurfürstendamm.
- Brandenburger Hof . Located in a quiet corner of City West, this cozy hotel features a very good restaurant.
- Schlosshotel im Grunewald . May be the luxury hotel with the greenest surroundings in Berlin, a step away from the hectic part of the city. Was home to the German football team during the World Cup 2006.
- Excelsior Hotel Berlin  is located in one of the city west in walking distance to the famous Kurfuerstendamm and KaDeWe, commercial areas and the Zoological Garden.
- Mitte is just a few U-Bahn stops off.