The Continent's largest department store attracts 40,000 visitors daily. (Courtesy of KaDeWe)
As Bloomingdale's is to New York, and Harrods to London, so is the Kaufhaus des Westens to Berlin. The Continent's largest department store attracts an impressive 40,000 visitors daily, luring in both visitors and locals with its lineup of designer labels and merchandise.
Each of the eight floors has its focus, starting with luxury and beauty on the ground level and working up through men's and women's fashion, accessories, and home goods, before reaching what is quite possibly the biggest draw of KaDeWe: gourmet food. But this is no mere supermarket of gastronomic goods. Interspersed among the shelves of imported delicacies and epicurean counters are miniature eateries offering everything from crêpes to the ever-popular oyster counter – not to mention a chocolate cake so sinful that it's earned a reputation of its own. On the top-most floor, in the Wintergarten, a conservatory-style restaurant offers expansive city views while you dine from the buffet.
Because KaDeWe (whose full name translates as the "department store of the west") has become almost synonymous with indulgence, the department store has made pampering even simpler by providing a spa and hair salon onsite. The Alessandro Spa features manicures, pedicures, and advice on product application, while TRÖNDLE offers hairstyling for women, a barbershop, and a salon for the junior set. Personal shopping service is also available.
But the heart of KaDeWe, since its opening in 1907, has always been style. Most any upscale brand imaginable – Prada, Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, and, of course, German lines such as Hugo Boss – can be found within the store's 60,000sq.m (646,000sq.ft), including renowned local companies such as Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (Royal Porcelain Factory), the Berlin porcelain manufacturer founded in 1763 by Frederick II of Prussia.