Berlin is a thriving city all year long. Over Christmas it excels itself! Up to today, the city shines with 80 different markets presenting individual highlights across the many districts! Get to know the finest spots and go beyond the usual touristic hang-ups…
Around the globe, Berlin is famous for great events, urban culture, and great people! Over Christmas you get to experience even more!
These are our best picks for a traditional, a romantic, and an alternative Christmas experience in Berlin!
Christmas Spirit Berlin Style: Decked with Diversity
If you want the proper German experience with little wooden stalls, handcrafted arts, and delicious baked goods your Christmas experience should best start at the Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt. Situated in the center of the city, this market attracts over 60,000 visitors per year and is by far in the most popular destination. Surrounded by impressive buildings, it is right between the Berlin Cathedral, the Berlin Konzerthaus, and the French Cathedral Berlin. Marvel at the great architecture illuminated by thousands of little Christmas lights and start your stroll.
The Gendarmenmarket is particularly famous for unique arts and crafts. Fine craftsmen from all around the globe make their way to Berlin over the festive season to display their artistry. In the main marquee, you can watch the glass blowers, wood carvers, or stonemasons at work. Bring your loved ones some of the fine nutcrackers or ornaments and be sure they are something different than all those mass-produced blog-standards. If you’re lucky, you even get to pick all the colours for the baubles yourself. Watch them being made right in front of you! To compliment the historic and classic feeling of the market there are even some acrobats and fire artists around.
Take a little break by one of the charcoal-grills and indulge in the fine dishes while you watch their little performances and tricks! The entrance to the Gendarmenmarket is €1, which is very uncommon as all the Christmas markets are free, but this market is donating for a good cause so don’t turn away and do a good deed. The market will definitely make it worth your while. Called ‘the Mercedes S-Klasse’ by one the main papers, this is a one for the ages!
All filled up with cozy feelings, you are only a short distance away from all the Christmas fun. Make your way over to the market around the Alexanderplatz where you will find the ‘winter dream market’! Though all the traditional stalls with mulled wine and gingerbread are right there, this market is mixing it up with excitement! Not only can you see the largest Christmas pyramid of Europe you can also take a ride on multiple carousels, even a large Ferris wheel.
Check out the ground floor of the pyramid for some mulled wine or some burnt punch, then head upstairs for a panoramic view over the whole market! ‘Grand’ is definitely the word that presents the winter dream market. Newest attraction is the ‘Höllenblitz’, the largest transportable indoor roller coaster of the world, according to the hosts of the event. On Propeller No Limit you’re in for a ride! This large flight carousel will lift you up. To calm your nerves, end the night at the Party-House of Santa Clause. Stay for another drink or party the night away. This venue is famous! Christmas spirit and excitement await! Get the best of both worlds, the market around the Alexanderplatz will not disappoint!
Christmas is the time of love and romance. A cozy drink by the fire with your loved one amongst the glistering lights of the Christmas trees. If you feel more like savouring the sentimental side this year, the markets at Schloss Charlottenburg will make your heart beat faster! Only a little further behind the Ku’damm the castle is within best reach close to the centre. Nestled into the divine castle gardens Schloss Charlottenburg is right next to the river Spree. Could it get more magical? It can!
Besides the countless Christmas lights the whole castle will be illuminated by a special light show to really put you under the Christmas spell. 250 international stalls are spread around the castle and a large outdoor restaurant area offers delicious treats. With several carousels for the little ones, this market really gets you into nostalgia. Just imagine how the king and queen of Prussia used to stroll their pleasure grounds. This Christmas you feel no less royal!
If you wish for even more of supreme entertainment plan your stay around one of the Berlin Residence Concerts at Charlottenburg. It’s another highlight of the season! Be enchanted by the baroque music of Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi while you enjoy an extraordinary evening program with a gala dinner. The orchestra, consisting of finest musicians hand-picked for the individual performances, will be all dressed up in baroque attire. This series of concerts is as authentic as it gets so don’t miss out and make your stay an extra special one :)
Berlin is nothing without its popular culture and its urban vibes! The district of Kreuzberg should always be on the list of must-see destinations, Christmas season is no exception. As one of the trendiest districts, Kreuzberg is known as the cultural hub of Berlin with some of the most popular and up-and-coming venues. Apart from the classic treats you will find a great variety of jewelry and fashion design, as well as many second hand goodies.
Right across from the famous East Side Gallery you will find the Kreuzboerg Christmas market which has over 70 stalls with original and unique items on display. Situated in an old industrial monument you can soak up on artsy vibes and get some real special ideas for your Christmas gifts. KiezWeihnacht is a market taking place the second and third weekend of December with stalls from local artists and retailers from around the ‘Kiez’, which is another word for district. In the evening, the local community is also hosting several concerts, readings and performances by different choirs.
The Green Market Berlin is the most alternative market across the city. With around 50 stalls and merchants, you will find all vegan products. From make-up to fashion, to food you will be treated to a familial and easy going atmosphere with super creative gift ideas. In the evenings, you can check out performances by local artist and DJs. Just remember, Berlin brought up some of the most famous musicians and artists so don’t fall short on an opportunity to see some of the newcomers live! ;)
Whatever you like to do best, Berlin presents you with all the best options, so take in this great and thriving capital. Have a great stay and have a great Christmas break! :)
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