One of the best things about traveling is bringing home a token made by local hands, one that reminds you of the place every time you look at it. And in this global economy, it’s harder and harder to find these gems. Whether you’re the shopaholic type or not, Berlin’s emerging handicraft, food, fashion and art community offers a homespun treasure for nearly every retail penchant.
If you’d rather leave the artisan hunt to local experts, of/berlin offers tours of Berlin’s established and emerging craftspeople and their shops or studios. The itineraries vary but usually include three stops — from hat makers to chocolatiers — in either the Mitte or Kreuzberg neighborhood. You can also check out the of/berlin online store or its physical location (nostitzstr. 23, 10961 berlin/kreuzberg), both of which carry products made or designed in the city.
If you prefer to explore on your own, here are a few of our favorite shops with made-in-Berlin objects.
I Like Paper
Located in the hipster haven of Kreuzberg, I Like Paper offers a mix of technology and fun in the design of its products. (Think hot pink flamingos or smiling emojis fashioned into cool watches, phone cases, wallets and more.) All of the accessories are produced from Tyvek, a tear-resistant and water-repellent paper that is synthesized from plastic rather than trees.
Inspired by his global travels as an architect and artist, this shop’s owner, Manu Kumar, discovered the artistry of spice preparation and tea making. From roasting the ingredients to labeling the packaging, Manu is meticulously involved in every step of the process, truly hand-making the product. Step into his breathtakingly beautiful shop to watch him work and pick up a few teas to take home. Have your senses pay close attention to the fragrant Kahwah Kashmiri Chai, a green tea with saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and roses.
Frau Tonis Parfum
Frau Tonis Parfum, called “Berlin in a bottle” by the Wall Street Journal, is a wonderland for the fragrance aficionado. For men and women, the shop offers a range of city-centric scents, such as “Berlin Summer” and “Linde Berlin.” We love the classic glamor of “Pure Violet,” an homage to German-born actress Marlene Dietrich.
Crafted in Berlin, Sabrina Dehoff’s jewelry line launched in 2006. The artist’s modern designs range from subtle and delicate to playfully bold. Visit the flagship store for the largest selection; however, Dehoff’s jewelry is carried by many high-end stores throughout Berlin (like Süper Store) and internationally.
Marin et Marine
Launched by two Berliner women, Marin et Marine is a unisex maritime-themed line of leather and canvas bags. All materials are sourced from Germany, and each bag is handcrafted in an area leather factory. The brand’s signature design, a variation on a backpack, is an ideal travel piece for toting around town or as a carry-on.
For those seeking wearable art, this avant-garde fashion boutique is a wonderland of creative labels made in Berlin or other parts of Germany. There’s also the WALD collection of playful jewelry, T-shirts and embroidered bandanas designed by the owners, a fashion model (Joyce Binneboese) and a stylist (Dara Roski).