Hi kids, I’m back from Berlin! I had a wonderful time there with my friends (thanks Essi, Tuomas & Satu), partied like a madman on New Years weekend aka Silvester (the clubs in Berlin don’t close until sunrise, if even then) and shopped until I dropped (or rather maxed out my credit card haha). Unfortunately, during my stay the temperatures were quite cold, so I didn’t feel like taking my camera out too much. Even though my visit was consecrated mainly to shopping and partying, I did manage to visit the Neue Nationalgalerie, which I highly recommend checking out if you’re in town.

Rick Owens ❤
Peacoat: H&M
Circle scarf: All Saints
Bag: All Saints
I hope you all had a great New Years and let’s hope that 2010 will bring us all good things!

These boots are made for walking

I have completely forgotten to properly introduce the latest addition to my shoe family: the Ann Demeulemeester riding boots. They are actually a second hand find from Berlin and ever since we met, we’ve been inseparable – that’s how comfortable and well-made they are.

First I thought they wouldn’t fit me right, being size 36 and all, but they are actually perfect (and still roomy) for my size 37 feet. So if you ever get boots from Ann Dem, remember to size down half or one size.

Whilst in Berlin, I also had the pleasure of trying on the famous Rick Owens wedges and noticed that those run one size bigger as well (at least for me). Now I’m a bit doubtful about shopping for shoes online, I guess you can never be sure if they fit true to size or not… Trial and error it is then.

Riding boots: Ann Demeulemeester
Bag: All Saints / Spital Fields

Berlin is burning, part 2

One may not think so but but Berlin is truly a great place to go shopping. We mainly shopped in the old Eastern side (around Mitte), since the most interesting boutiques could be found from there. The best shops were all around the Rosa-Luxemburg Platz, so that’s definitely a good place to start. I really liked a store called Apartment (don’t let the upstairs gallery like open space with a pink cube fool you, the actual store is located downstairs) and it’s side store Cash which sells second hand and second season high fashion (I got my Ann Demeulemeester horse riding boots there for a really great deal!). Andreas Murkudis and Ulf Haines are for those interested avant garde and minimalist designers (I scored an amazing Ann Demeulemeester silk top from the latter).

For men I highly recommend checking out Darklands; a very dark and minimalistic boutique with excellent service (many thanks to Campbell!). They carry artisanial/avant garde designer goods from the likes of Julius, the Viridi AnneDamir Doma, CCP, Boris Bidjan Saberi and my friend’s label Obscur. If you’re more into mid-priced fashion with a minimalistic aestethic, COS is the place to go.

However, if you want to visit the West side and are a commercial fashion lover, Kurfurstendamm (or simply KuDamm) shopping street will be something to see. My favorite place there didn’t have actually anything to do with fashion, as it was the the food department of KaDeWe, one of the biggest department stores in Europe.

If arts and culture are more your thing, Berlin has a lot to offer: just follow the banana figures to spot out the best art galleries around the city. For those interested in magazines and periodicals, Do you read me? offers about the every publication you can imagine covering arts, fashion and interior design. For record hunters I would recommend checking out the Record Store (Brunnenstrasse 186) or Mr Dead and Mrs Free.

When you’re caught by thirst or hunger whilst shopping, don’t worry, cute coffee shops are almost around every corner and food is fairly cheap even in the fancier restaurants. If you want to try something local and moderately priced with an athmosphere to remember, head to Glärchens Ballhaus (Auguststrasse 24) in Mitte. The area also hosts great Italian, Asian and German restaurants (walk around Gippstrasse/Auguststrasse). For vegan/vegetarian friendly food, the best place can be found from Kreuzberg and it’s called Yellow Sunshine. They have about the best burgers in town (even if you are a meat lover),so I would definitely check this place out.

Due to the location of shops and nightlife, I recommend getting a hotel from the Eastern side of the town.

Unfortunately we didn’t have time nor energy to check out he famous club scene of Berlin but I think that it will be covered during our New Year’s trip – more than it’s actually necessary. Can’t wait! Also, auf wiedersehen Berlin, mein Liebe!

Interested in more Berlin travel tips and places to visit? Check these handy guides out:

– Check out also Essi’s guide (part 1part 2part 3) to Berlin (in Finnish)
– My shopping recommendations from Tyylitaivas (in Finnish)
– The indie guide to Berlin is also a great source for finding good stuff in the city (in English)

Berlin is burning, part 1

I’ve promised to blog about my Berlin trip for ages now but going through over 300 photographs is not that easy, especially when you want to pick up the ones that best describe this amazing city. I’ve tried to collect here some of my favorite places to visit, hopefully you will find them useful and interesting.

My absolute favorite area was the rough East side: the art galleries, beautiful yet decadent buildings, street art and all the amazing boutiques made me instantly fall in love with Berlin. It’s no wonder that only a few days after our trip, I found myself booking flights to go over there for the New Year celebration.

The last time I was in Berlin was almost 15 years ago, and a lot has changed since. I have always been interested in the history of Berlin and we were lucky because we happened to arrive there during a very historical weekend; thousands of Berliners were celebrating the 20th anniversary of the “Mauerfall”, the fall of the wall that once separated the East and West. There were lots of open air expos with street art and pictures, and even though I’m not German, it was a very emotional experience being in the middle of it all.

Naturally, visiting tourist attractions was part of our agenda. I highly recommend the Bauhaus museum where you can see the famous German architecture and design work, Checkpoint Charlie where East meets West, the grey and massive Alexanderplatz, and the East Side Gallery featuring art on the Berlin wall. I also heard that the DDR museum is pretty interesting, though we didn’t have the time to visit it last time but will definitely check it out next time.

The fastest and the cheapest way to move around the city is to take the metro (U-bahn). Berlin is one of the safest cities in central Europe, so moving around day or night time was never a dubious. Taxis were also fairly cheap and are probably the best way to get to the airport if you are carrying heavy luggage.

More about Berlin in the next post, stay tuned!