Klausenerkiez in Charlottenburg
An easy-going, small-town feeling in the middle of Berlin: In the area surrounding Schlossstraße in Charlottenburg, the clocks tick even slower. Between Lietzensee and Schloss Charlottenburg, Sophie-Charlotten- and Schloßstrasse, you will find charming cafés, quaint pubs, small antique shops, and relaxed residents enjoying the laid-back atmosphere of the Klausenerkiez neighbourhood.
Boulevard of dreams
The Schlossstraße in Charlottenburg is one of the district's most iconic sights. More than 70 metres wide, the long boulevard features a wide sidewalk lined with green grass and large trees which shade the lawn for avid boule players. Previously a potato field during the post-war era, Schlossstraße is now Charlottenburg's central promenade, and of course features the unparalleled view of the Charlottenburg palace. But the palace isn't the area's only attractive feature. If you venture just beyond the Schlossstraße, you will find a quaint and picturesque Charlottenburg neighbourhood.
Strolling away from commercial brand giants
The numerous second-hand shops and retailers in the Klausenerkiez invite you to take leisurely strolls through the picturesque streets. Mass production is not to be found here, but lovers of the unique will certainly find what they are looking for. The music antiquarian's shop at Knobelsdorffstrasse 32 displays small instruments, vinyl, and CDs from past decades, while the whimsical thrift shops on Nehringstrasse tempt with antique jewellery, furniture, books, and vintage clothes. "Think sustainable and buy sustainable" is the motto here. And in the middle of it all, walkers with a desire to buy will always come across inviting shops with children's clothes, far Eastern textiles or coffee specialities that are definitely worth a visit.
Royal Wonder Gardens
Many people know Charlottenburg Palace as the setting for one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Berlin. From the end of November, you can sip mulled wine and nibble on roasted almonds in the impressively illuminated forecourt. But few people know what is hidden behind the palace: an enchanting garden with artistic flower arrangements, extensive sunbathing lawns, winding paths, a glittering lake, babbling brooks, its own peninsula, ornate bridges, and hidden buildings. On the 55 hectares of land, you can easily spend half a day walking, picnicking, dozing and relaxing.
Open-air enjoyment on the Schloßstrasse
As the name suggests, the Schloßstrasse leads to Charlottenburg Palace in the form of an impressive boulevard. While strolling along the central promenade with a view of the palace dome, taking a break on benches or playing boules, numerous beer gardens and restaurants with green outside areas invite you to linger and enjoy culinary delights. Sitting under the chestnut trees, you can enjoy freshly tapped beer, white wine spritzers, and freshly prepared German specialities. Lovers of Italian or Austrian cuisine will also get their money's worth in one of the cosy restaurant-gardens.
If you cross the Kaiserdamm at the lower edge of the Klausenerkiez, you are greeted by the still relatively unknown Lietzensee. Huge weeping willows, lush green riverside meadows, romantic parks, beautiful walking paths and a popular beer garden (Bootshaus Stella), which serves its guests on a jetty, characterize the surroundings of the sickle-shaped lake, which can be circumnavigated on foot within a good half hour and attracts more and more water lovers to the west. The only downer: unfortunately, the Lietzensee is not a swimming lake, but this does not detract from its beauty and attraction.
Old Berlin pub culture
Friendly gentlemen playing cards; newspaper-reading local luminaries; young hipsters who want to escape the crowded scene bars in Kreuzberg: In the quaint pubs of the Klausenerkiez, young and old, residents and travellers alike come together to enjoy a pint. One of the most popular beer taverns is the Goldesel, in which international beers and freshly made sandwiches are served over the highly frequented bar. But you can also pass the night in the Linde or Kleiner Kneipe, where you can quench your thirst with skilfully tapped beers and a large selection of schnapps while conversing with other pub guests.
At the upper end of Schlossstraße, three important Berlin museums await art lovers: the Museum Berggruen, the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection, and the Bröhan Museum. Changing exhibitions showcase a wide range of art - from old masters to the young avant-garde, from fine arts to antique ceramics. After a long day of sightseeing, you can enjoy coffee and cake in the artfully furnished café of the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg (Café Kunstpause).
The Klausenerkiez eludes the fast-moving trends so typical of Berlin. The local butchers or pharmacists have been around for many years serving faithful local customers. Der Brotgarten, Berlin's first organic bakery, has been selling its healthy baked goods for over 40 years, while two streets away at Ebert's Schuhreparatur, cobblers have been mending shoe soles since 1948. Passers-by frequently greet each other in the streets, chatting briefly - a more than pleasant change in the anonymous everyday life of a big city.