This story originally appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.
Berlin conjures ideas of late-night, underground clubs, an edgy music scene, independent streetwear designers and more than a dash of punk. But despite its sometimes gritty, brutalist architecture and avant-garde tastes, the city is home to perfectly designed hotels, elegant local designers and of course, a quirky local flair that you’ll immediately fall for.
What to Pack
Transport your essentials in a minimalistic titanium suitcase from German brand Rimowa, which may include a trendy Acne Studios leather jacket with a fur-lined collar or a classic, yet versatile jean, like these from Grlfrnd.
Acne Studios Velocite jacket, $2,700, acnestudios.com
Grlfrnd Karolina cropped high-rise skinny jean, $245, modaoperandi.com
Rimowa essential trunk in gloss white, $980, Rimowa in New York, +1 212 758 1060, rimowa.com
What to Buy
There’s no shortage of cool designers based in Berlin. A cashmere turtleneck from Iris von Arnim is almost a right of passage for those who visit the city (the German designer has been making cashmere sweaters for over 40 years)—visit KaDeWe department store to browse her collection. Pair it with a piece from Lilian von Trapp’s sustainable jewelry line, made of recycled 14K gold, delicate enough for everyday wear and chic enough for a dinner at Pauly Saal’s in the bustling Mitte neighborhood, while a bright pump from Aeyde is perfect for dancing the night away at Victoriabar.
KaDeWe department store is Germany’s most iconic shopping destination, with Bauhaus-style interiors you can’t miss
Iris von Arnim Lawrence cashmere sweater, $695, irisvonarnim.com
Aeyde Sara sunny heel, $375, aeyde.com
Lilian von Trapp Grid bracelet in 14K recycled yellow gold, $3,340, lilianvontrapp.com
Where to Go
Here, the nightlife starts late and ends at sunrise so prepare yourself for a night of barhopping on Torstrasse with a hearty dinner at Grill Royal. To recover from a night of Berliner Weisse, Berlin-based jewelry maker Lilian von Trapp recommends brunch on the rooftop terrace of Hotel de Rome. Next, take a trip to Kreuzberg neighborhood to visit König Galerie, a former brutalist church. Art in all mediums, including massive installations and paintings, live within the towering structure for a wonderfully haunting experience.
Where to Stay
Hotel Zoo is a Berlin staple for out-of-towners and locals alike thanks to designer Dayna Lee’s reimagining of the century-old hotel, now fitted with funky decor and bespoke furnishings.
Photos Nalies 2017, Derek Hudson 2016, ZUUMEO GmbH