Supermarkets in Berlin

The German grocery retail market is widely reputed to be Europe's most competitive - and is dominated by domestic players. With a few exceptions, no foreign chains have been able to establish themselves here: even American giant Walmart had to admit defeat.

Berlin has a wide selection of supermarkets and you shouldn't have trouble finding some within reasonable distance. However, be prepared for some major cultural differences, particularly if you're used to the Tesco / Walmart / Carrefour style of hypermarket. Firstly, most supermarkets will be on the small side, especially in the more central areas of the city. They generally fall into two categories: the cheaper Discounters such as Aldi, Plus and Netto, which only stock a limited range of products; and slightly more upmarket ones (Kaisers, Reichelt, Extra), which have have a greater selection, though you might not find the same brands you are used to from other countries. (Which in the Penguin's opinion is A Good Thing™, because life would be awfully boring otherwise).

Supermarkets in Germany - and particularly Berlin - are not quite as customer-orientated as one might wish. Bag-packers are unheard of (and don't forget to bring your own bags: none are provided free), and staff - how shall we put it - are not trained to put on a display of corporate friendliness. Most are actually better than their reputation, but catch someone in a bad mood and they might make you regret having the temerity to ask where the milk is.