Kurfürstendamm – where Berlin rose from the rubbles

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Kurfürstendamm is one of the main avenues of Berlin. It started fairly small as a track of logs on a swampy land so the count of Brandenburg could reach their hunting lodges out in Grunewald on the way to Wannsee. The counts title was Kurfürsten hence the name of the street.

Houses along the street

From the humble beginning the road grew into a mighty boulevard and it became a major entertainment center of Berlin. The road was bombed during the second world war so much of the old historic buildings along the road was turned into rubbles. Fortunately for Kurfürstendamm it ended up in the western part of Berlin after the war. And with the German Wirtshaft Wunder (economic miracle) West Berlin quickly changed the rubbles of war with a modern city with all you could want. The natural competitors of Kurfürstendamm could have been Unter den Linden and Friedrichstrasse in the center of Berlin but they had both fallen into the Soviet sector of Berlin so the main entertainment and shopping street of West Berlin became Kurfürstendamm.

Intersection at Kurfürstendamm

The street ends at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche where you also find one of the symbols of West Berlin the first skyscraper of the city which stand at 103 meters with a big Mercedes star on the top – it was the symbol of the wealth and confidence of the western part of the city.

First skyscraper in Berlin

After the city has become reunited Kurfürstendamm has gotten more competition form the center of Berlin when it comes to the entertainment – so apparently the number of cinemas and cafes has gone down – there are still many options for a dinner though. The top end shops have remained so if you are into high end shopping this is the place to go.

Despite the number of high end shops along the streets the hotel prices here are actually lower than what you will find in the center of Berlin. This is one of the reasons why we decided to stay on Kurfürstendamm during our last visit to Berlin. We didn’t care much for the high end shops but there were many nice dining options along the street including Savu which were in walking distance from our hotel.

Mermorial for people disappering during World War II

The area around the street is actually a pretty good base if you want to explore the western suburb of Berlin which we did. The U7 line which stops on Kurfürstendamm at Adenauerplatz is the best option for daytrips to Spandau. To get to Wannsee it is also easy we just had to walk or take bus line 109 to Berlin-Charlottenburg S-bahn station from where there was a train to Wannsee station which would continue to Potsdam.

The main reason we stayed were because we had to catch an early flight from Tegel Airport and staying out here at Kurfürstendamm meant we had a shorter trip to the airport than we would have had from locations in the center of Berlin. We could just take the 109 bus which departs fairly frequently even early in the morning there is a bus every ten minutes. The bus drives right by the impressive Charlottenburg Castle which is actually a nice place to visit all year and there are a very nice Christmas market at the castle as well. It was also easy to go to the center of Berlin. We could just take a bus to the big Zoo station where there are a lot of transportation options. There are many subways lines going to most of Berlin or you can catch a bus 100 or 200 which goes to Alexanderplatz via Tiergarten where you can stop at the Victory monument or you can stop at Brandenburger Tor to see the famous gate to the city.

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