Berlin Bound

lonely planet berlin

A quick one today, asking for your help! I’m off to Berlin soon, staying in the Kreuzberg area. Obviously, fabric purchases will be on the agenda. If you have recommendations for shops, that would be great. If you have tips for other fun things to do, please also leave a comment.

I promise to report back…

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40 Responses to Berlin Bound

  1. Ulrike says:

    Hello from a Bristolian Ex-Berliner and otherwise silent reader. You have to check out the Maybachufer Market in Kreuzberg! It’s on every Tuesday and Friday, lots of amazing Turkish food and fabric stalls, very hit and miss but you can find treasures. They do a fabric, arts and crafts market on a Saturday as well. worth it for the atmosphere alone, you can get a good coffee in the Ankerklause nearby.
    More info here (in German, I’m afraid), with links to more fabric stores at the bottom of the page:
    http://www.tip-berlin.de/kultur-und-freizeit-shopping-und-stil/neukollner-stoff-am-maybachufer

    Have fun!x

  2. norma says:

    I bought some lovely felted wool from a stall on the Turkish market. There were quite a few stalls with fabric – some very good, others not so. There are also some small shops along the same street – didn’t see anything much in those. Worth a trip though. I got the location from the Rough Guide.

  3. Zuzsa says:

    Have a nice Trip! I thought the same as norma. You will find the turkish market at “Maybachufer”. There are fabric stalls nearly every day but the most on Thursdays and Fridays.

  4. Zuzsa says:

    oh, and you may try Stoff & Still ( Landsberger Allee 52) and Nähkontor (Bötzowstr 13) But they arn`t exactly in Kreuzberg anymore.

  5. Frieda says:

    Hi – great that you go to visit Berlin! You can find a small variety of fabric on the Maybachufer (Berlin Neukölln, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday) or you could visit “Frau Tulpe” (Veteranenstr. 19, Berlin Mitte) who has a really nice selection of beautiful fabric, e. g. Kokka fabrics. There are many more, sure 😉 philea-berlin.de for example and http://volksfaden.de/en/ – both worth a visit.
    A big and not too expensive one is “stoff und stil” (Landsberger Allee 52).

    Wish you a great stay!
    Kind regards, Frieda

  6. Margaret Stubley says:

    The Turkish Market only happens on Fridays, but is well worth a visit – Two weeks ago, we bought interesting jersey fabric and patterned cord, but drooled over various wools and other stuff. There are several haberdashery stalls, too. It’s usually very busy…but almost in Kreuzberg!
    I’ve also been to Weld der Stoffe (Residenzstraße 84, 13359 Berlin, Germany)- not near Kreuzberg, but a pretty huge warehouse with an interesting range (helpful to have a German weaker in here)
    And , if you get into that area, Frau Tulpe’s shop gets rave reviews!

  7. Hi Karen – Janet and I really enjoyed the Bauhaus Museum and the museum/gallery that used to be the original train station before they built the modern one. We loved Berlin. Have a good trip. Tony

  8. Margaret Stubley says:

    Have a look at the Slow Berlin Travel website for things to do!

  9. Guten Morgen,

    the market at the Maybach-Ufer is a must, but can yield pretty diverse results. It seems to be best on Fridays and Saturdays. Mrs Nahtzugabe has a page on shopping for fabric in Berlin: http://nahtzugabe.blogspot.co.ke/p/stoffkauf-in-berlin.html It’s in German, but you can pick out the shops names easily I think. The newest, hottest destination for fabric shopping in Berlin might be this: http://www.dongxuan-berlin.de/de/ But then, maybe Asian fabrics may be easy to come by in Britain?

  10. Katharina says:

    I also want to recommend the Turkish market – every Saturday at the ‘Maybachufer’
    Fabricshops are for example: Stoffe Berger, Potsdamer Straße 68 or Volksfaden, Crellestr. 17

    have fun.

  11. Nessie says:

    I’d even recommend the double decker tourists bus for an overview!!

  12. suzy roberts says:

    I would also recommend the market…it was fantastic and I came home with some great jerseys as well as spotty boiled wool. Stall after stall of fabric. We had a superb time in Berlin and the museums are amazing, but for a more touchy feely museum try the DDR. It was fun to sit in a Trabant and, from my point of view, see and touch the fabrics that were available behind the wall, jeans made out of nylon stuff…poor things! We got ourselves a travel card and took lots of buses to see different parts of the city, especially the 100. If you have a few days, this is more “real” than the tourist bus, but that works fine if you don’t have much time. The eating and drinking are also excellent and good value. We had some great Thai food, and German of course, plus steins too many to count.. The Rausch Scholadenhaus was fun for coffee and cake, very old/fashioned upstairs. I liked that the city was catering for tourists, but not overrun like Prague. Have a great time.

  13. tailorfairy says:

    Hey,
    I have to agree about Maybachufer and Stoff und Stil. The following things are not in Kreuzberg but are worth a travel, you see most of Berlin by just using Underground-trains, S-trains, busses and trams:
    idee, right next to the KaDeWe (U Wittenbergplatz) it can be a little pricey compared to the following, but they also have some uncommon designer fabrics.
    Gebrüder Berger close to Philharmonie and S+U Potsdamer Platz (Potsdamer Straße 96) its hiding in a normal apartment house, but the 2nd or 3rd floor is filled with fabric (be aware the numbers on the fabric tell the meters left, you need to ask for prices)
    HÜCO (U+S Jungfernheide, Lise-Meitner-Straße 7-9) another hiding store also on a higher floor, but its a huge store and definitely worth a visit, they have pretty much everything. they have weird opening hours, closing around 3 or 4 pm. so better get there early in the day.
    if you are there over a weekend the flea market at Straße des 17. Juni (S Tiergarten, every saturday and sunday). Its interesting for everything, there is one guy who sells only door handles. And a woman selling buttons. They are vintage and she has a full stall filled with buttons for reasonable prices.
    Something not fabric related: Bergmannstraße in Kreuzberg, it has lots of nice cafes and cute indie-stores.
    Have a great trip!

  14. Chris says:

    I’ve never been to the Maybachufer market in Berlin but I could imagine that given that you are used to the choice of markets in London, it might not be too different. The KDW/Kaufhaus des Westens has a large fabric department which is not located in the main building but in a side street. They are expensive though. Stoff & Stil have a nice website where you can check if you like what they have.
    As for sights I loved the Ägyptisches Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Peragmonmuseum (although that might still be closed) – but again, the London sights are probably even better. A little boat tour on the Spree is fun if the weather is nice. And go to the Mauerpark http://www.mauerpark.info/ It’s a lof of fun on a nice dayjust for people watching.

  15. Liz says:

    Hi there. 🙂
    Don’t limit yourself to Kreuzberg, Berlin public transport is the best in Europe for a reason, within half an hour you can pretty much the city centre (withing the Ringbahn). Buses are the slowest way to go, tube and urban railway are best for going somewhere fast.
    Fabric-wise:
    The market at Maybachufer (U8 Schönleinstr.) starts at 12 I think. It’s very close to Kreuzberg.
    Welt der Stoffe is in the north west (U9 + U8 Osloer Str.) and it’s a subsidiary of HÜCO Stoffe (S Jungfernheide / U7 Mierendorffplatz), which is not as far north. They have _everything_. The shop is 1200m² big and there’s not much you’ll miss. I especially go there if I’m looking for silk, wool, and blends of the aforementioned. Some designer fabrics in there as well. The other ordinary fabric shops usually don’t have a proper collection of these fabrics. They have odd opening hours, though. 8:30 – 17:00 and only open on the first Saturday of the month. There also are two rooms with bargains to sift through. I’m not sure but I think they might not be speaking English too well and you might encounter some the “charming Berlin rudeness” many tourists seem to expect.
    There’s a button shop in Kreuzberg, Paul Knopf in Zossener Straße. The whole shop is full of buttons, with some specialties hand made from materials like plum stones, eucalyptus, horn, bones.
    Maybe you want to visit one of the knitting and handcrafting cafes (google strickcafe or nähcafe).
    On Sundays there is an (antique) second hand market at Str. des 17 Juni and a smaller but more antique-ish one at Ostbahnhof. The flea market at Mauerpark also is a tourist magnet.

    If you want to get up the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz – you need to make reservations or you’ll end up waiting 2 hours. Oh there are so many things one could do in Berlin. I’ve been living here for ten years now and still haven’t done the tourist tour. If you want to see some of the city highlights there are hop on/ off guided bus tours (probably not in English?) that take you around. When staying in Kreuzberg you could probably spend your time just wandering the streets, browsing small shops and eating some great (vegetarian/ vegan) food. I also like the aquarium at the zoo. From there it’s only a short walk to the Zoo Garden park, the main shopping mile at Zoo and the KaDeWe is also quite close by, if you’re up for some luxury boutique clothes or deli/ cuisine shop at the top floor.

    Well, this became quite a wall of text… Oops. 😉

  16. rillafree says:

    Do you follow ute_ig on Instagram? She’s a Berlin sewist who would happily offer some suggestions and maybe someone to meet up with? She’s incredibly lovely.

  17. Jen says:

    We did a segway tour of the city with fat tire tours and i’d definitely recommend it, great fun.

  18. I’m headed to Berlin this summer, too! I’m so looking to hears yours and others’ recommendations on where to go for fabrics, but to say, etc!

  19. Jane says:

    I’m off to Berlin next month too, so the timing of this blog post couldn’t be better. Will be reading all the comments and suggestions with interest! Have a great time Karen. xx

  20. Charlotte says:

    Definitely visit the Museum of Decorative Arts, they have a great fashion collection. I also loved the Knit Knit shop, & the Turkish market for fabric. And I’d recommend meeting up with the lovely Ute (Ute_ig on Instagram)

  21. KW says:

    I really would make a visit to KaDeWe – the food department is gorgeous and it is a great place to have coffee and cake with a great view overlooking the city. The church that was partially bombed is just along the same road and has great free lunchtime musical performances. A really weird visit is to the underground nuclear shelter that is under a shopping mall (cannot remember the name but it is at the far end of the main shopping road and in guide books I think). Very sobering but fascinating. I found Berlin a really interesting and stimulating city and would go back in a heartbeat – so much to see, explore and reflect upon.

    • Liz says:

      Berlin Underground, it’s below an old bunker that now is a park on the surface. There are 3 or 4 different tours to choose from, reservations are recommended.

      • Liz says:

        Sorry, they changed their system, you can’t make reservations anymore but have to purchase your ticket on the day of your tour.

  22. I visited Berlin about 10 (!) years ago and we really enjoyed doing a bike tour of the city with Fat Tire Bikes. Not sure if that company is still there but biking is a great way to cover a lot of ground and see more than on foot. Have a great time!

  23. Alessa says:

    Oh wow, lots of recommendations already!
    I’d say it depends a bit on what you’re looking for. If you only have time for one fabric shop, I’d recommend visiting the “idee” store next to the KaDeWe (U2 Wittenbergplatz). They have a really big selection of high quality garment fabrics, as well as notions, sewing patterns, a nice yarn selection… Prices may be a bit higher than average, but the selection and quality really make up for it (and aferwards you could visit the KaDeWe’s gourmet etage on the fifth floor).
    I second the Maybachufer market, they have fabric stalls on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I’d be interested to hear how it compares to your Walthamstow Market! Prices are cheap and quality varies, but it’s a lot of fun to look for the hidden gems. And I had some fabulous cake last week not far from there, at Bravo Bravko (Lausitzer Str. 47).
    If you have a bit of time and don’t mind the industrial atmosphere, Hüco in North Charlottenburg (my usual fabric shop 🙂 Lise-Meitner-Straße 7-9, U7 Mierendorffplatz) and Welt der Stoffe (Residenzstraße 84, U9/U8 Osloer Str.) have a huge selection of pretty much any fabric imaginable, from organic jersey to nice wool, to weird neon plush fabric. They also cater to the design schools, so one should be aware that the prices on the bolts are before taxes…
    If you happen to find your way to Charlottenburg, there is also Kumasch Stoffe (Kantstraße 47, S Savignyplatz/U7 Wilmersdorfer Str.), which specializes in high quality garment fabrics including silk. And walking down Kantstr, there are quite a few nice Asian restaurants (Saigon Green has lovely Vietnamese dishes, DAO is an exceptional Thai restaurant).
    Then there are lots of little fabric stores specializing in quilting cottons and sewing-for-children, most of which also have a small but nice selection of “grown-up” fabrics, as well as pretty trims and notions. The nicest probably are “Frau Tulpe” (Veteranenstraße 19) and Nähkontor (Bötzowstraße 13).
    There’s also a fairly new organic fabric store which is supposed to have really nice fabrics (the online shop looks very promising). It’s called Siebenblau (Pappelallee 86, U2 Eberswalder Str.) and isn’t far from Frau Tulpe. The area there is also rather nice for window-shopping, with lots of little cafés, shops and restaurants.
    If you’re interested in watching a play, I can recommend the Maxim Gorki theater. I liked most of the productions I saw there, the cast is on the young side and the productions are often a bit political. They also almost always have English surtitles. 🙂
    If you’re looking for anything in particular, you’re welcome to contact me! Depending on when you’re here and how much time you have, I might also be available for a cup of coffee and a bit of a tour – or maybe not, since I’m off to London for a few days, starting Saturday! 😀

    • Vikie says:

      By Kadewe there is no one fabric and other things, it’s finish (i was in this place in august 2015, but if Alessa is in Berlin, perhaps she has found a little bit more of me…), but Frau Tulpe is probably the best discovering place i would recommand it.
      For visiting, i would go to the zoologisher garten (really interesting, a place to be)

  24. Alessa says:

    Something else to do if you’ve got some time to kill and the weather is really nice: from Stoffe Hüco in Charlottenburg, you can walk in about 10 minutes (along Olbersstr. and over the bridge) into the park of Schloss Charlottenburg and take a walk there, the Schloss is very pretty as is the park. If you exit the park on the south western end and cross Spandauer Damm, you can walk along the Danckelmannstr. until Knobelsdorffstr. and turn right, there’s a lovely yarn shop (Wollreich) and a fantastic Italian café (Giro d’espresso). There’s also a little fabric shop along Danckelmannstr. and another around the corner on Horstweg, though both have mostly children’s fabrics. 🙂

  25. DewdropDream says:

    Long time silent reader and hesitant novice sewist here 🙂

    I recommend the Alte National Galerie and climbing to the top of the Berlin Dom.

    Also, there’s a restaurant called the Jules Verne in Charlottenberg which does great food. Definitely have a glass of Dornfelder there! Have an excellent time, hope to read about your trip shortly 🙂

  26. Yvonne says:

    Knopf Paul is a shop that only sells buttons. They have such a great variety of Buttons (some nice vintage ones!) and the staff is super nice and helpful. And they are located in Kreuzberg! But be aware that they are only open tuesdays & fridays. from 9°°- 18°° and wednesdays & thursdays from 14°°- 18°°. http://www.paulknopf.de/
    Also the Bauhaus Museum has a new exhibition on textile design that opens on march the 16.
    Have a nice trip and enjoy my hometown Berlin!!

  27. Sheree says:

    I have no idea where the following was originally posted. Apologises to the writer. I just copied and pasted it in my notes in case It was ever needed.

    I’m a huge fan of your blog and your patterns and I happen to also live in Berlin.You probably have lots of plans and don’t need any input, but just in case you are curious to check out a few fabric stores while in Berlin, here are a few that I’ve scoped out since moving here a handful of years ago.
    -stoffmarkt on (this is actually a market on tues, fri, and sat, and has a focus on fabric. you can get fabric here really cheap)
    -Hüco Stoffe (a bit off the beaten path, but a huge selection, much like SR Harris in the twin cities. still reachable by public transport, even if the area is a bit odd)
    -Frau Tulpe (mostly cottons, jerseys, and K lot of print, including imported japanese print fabrics, a very fun store in Prenzlauer Berg)
    -Offstoff (a small, cute shop, also mostly cotton and prints; as with Frau Tulpe, also in a cute neighborhood)
    -Kumasch Exclusive Stoffe (fancier, nicer fabrics, large selection of silks, in Wilmersdorf)
    Those are just a few. I hope you enjoy your time in Berlin – I love the city!

  28. Thanks, everyone, for such amazing and comprehensive suggestions!

  29. jojowitton says:

    Kreuzberg! Brilliant place, very lively. I visited Berlin twice last year and Kreuzberg drew me back, though Burgermeister (right beneath U Schlesisches Tor, in an old toilet no less) might have had a hand in that.

    I’m not going to add much to what has already been suggested, but have a burger at Burgermeister on one night. Take a walk across the bridge to wander along the East Side Gallery (about 3/4 mile from central Kreuzberg), then you can catch a train to wherever is next on your list from Ostbahnhof. My suggestion would be to check out the gallery before 10am, so that you’re not walking it with coach or school tours. I second the vote for Volksfaden: it’s a nice fabric store in Schoeneberg and worth a visit – Schoeneberg itself is well worth a couple of hours to wander around. It’s such a nice neighbourhood.

    If you’re looking for some of the modern history Berlin has to offer, then the wall memorial (Gedenstaette Berliner Mauer) on Bernauerstrasse is a must. I also highly recommend travelling out to Hohenschoenhausen on the S-bahn to visit the memorial to political prisoners. English language tours are 3x daily, and given by survivors, or relatives of prison inmates. Chilling, very interesting, and really worth the visit.

  30. Tiffany says:

    I love love love Berlin! Been there twice and still not getting enough. For fabric shopping, I would recommend babie lato for some organic cotton and linen at affordable prices. And also frau tulpe who has a small collection of made in Germany fabrics. I also bought some at Mauerpark Flea but it really depends on your luck if there are any fabric stalls. Sightseeing I would highly recommend the free walking tour which pretty much covers all the main attractions if you just want to see and take picture. Britzergarten is also beautiful but a little out of the way. Take a day trip to Potsdam too!

  31. Thank you, everyone, for such fantastic suggestions. Can’t wait!

  32. Pingback: Berlin Fabric Shopping | Did You Make That?

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