Die Hackesche Hofe
Inspiring, quaint & beautiful, Hackesche Hofe is a cluster of eight communicating courtyards, each eclectic and art nouveau that holds a cocktail of theaters, bars, cafes, fashion, accessories, lifestyle stores and residential flats. Take the S-Bahn train to Hackesche Makt station and you will find yourself in the liveliest areas of reunified Berlin. Playing host to several art galleries, cafes and studios, the area exudes a bohemian spirit. Just off the station on Rosenthalerstrasse you will be greeted by this heritage building on the corner. On offer are stores like Brandy & Melville, Berlin Fashion Network (BFN Concept Store), the iconic Ampelmann store among many others.
For the Art Hunter, this is sort of the birthplace of Berlin’s gallery scene. Key pioneers such as Eigen+Art, Neugeriemschneider, Kunst-Werke, Sammlung Hoffmann & Me Collectors Room call HH their home.
You can read more about HH from their official site ( albeit in german).
While you are here, don’t forget to explore the surrounding streets of the Hackersche Makt - Alte Schonhauserstrasse, Munzstrasse, Mulackstrasse & Torstrasse. On Neue Schonhauserstrasse are stores like Cos, 14 oz., Diesel, Made in Berlin (a great vintage fashion store) and many cool stores. On Munzstrasse is Acne & Boss Orange Concept Store while the butterflysoulfire & Cotelac stores are on Mulackstrasse.
I was staying at the Melia Berlin, bang in the center of Mitte, right on the river and next to the Friedrichstrasse S-Bahn & U-Bahn stations. The location afforded me great walks and instant shopping gratification. The room had views to the new All Saints and Super Dry Store. I was in this area last about a year & a half ago and was extremely pleased to see the addition of Cos, Galleries Lafayette, Massimo Dutti, MTWTFSS Weekday etc on this stretch. There is plenty of information on places to shop at on Freidrichstrasse, so will rather recommend picking up a quick bite from the S-Bahn and indulge in a little people watching at the square over looking this post industrial building.
I met my friend Katarina Mi in the evening and we walked around Mitte, stopped at a cute little bar attached to an open air theater for a quick beer (flavored to perfection with something green, Katarina tried looking up the English translation and there was none) right on the river, followed by some more walking, stopping at a great Doner place where we each devoured a rather large durum, then some more walking and finally finishing off with one of those flavored vodka drinks in a bottle. Katarina drew my attention to one of the most common stereotypes of young Berlin, that of a tee & jeans clad teenager, wielding a slouched fabric tote and drinking the latest fad ‘Bionade’ an organic lemonade.
Stereoptypes aside I did think the solid tee in a plush jersey with a statement denim or skinny chinos made for a nice understated cool look. Add a scarf, a washed overshirt or a cardigan or a great looking leather jacket to finish the look.