December is a great time to visit Berlin. Even though the days are getting shorter and you need to bundle up, there are still plenty of things to do and many sights to see.
Early December can offer great deals on hotels or show/theatre tickets. December is also the month when you can indulge in the Holiday spirit of mulled wine, Christmas markets, lit-up trees and many more things this city has to offer.
We compiled our things to do during the month of December; with a focus on Christmas events as well as inside activities to keep your toes warm.
Christmas markets in Berlin
A visit to the Christmas market is a family-friendly and technically free thing to do in December. Berlin probably has more than a 100 big and small Christmas or winter markets of different types all over the city offering mulled wine, winter food like creamed mushrooms or kale and sausage stews. Depending on where you are staying, you’ll have the choice of which Christmas market in Berlin you might want to visit. If you are into exquisite sweets and craftsmanship, the beautiful market at Gendarmenmarkt might be your cup of tea. If you like action and enjoy roller coaster rides, the Christmas market near the Alexa shopping center near Alexanderplatz would be a great choice, just to name a few. You might even like to take a Christmas Markets walking tour (GetYourGuide).
Christmas Circus (December 14-January 6, 2019)
If you’ve ever been to a circus as a child, you can imagine the amazed eyes of the little and big guests, when the circus has a Christmas focus. Horses, artistic stunts and entertainment for the whole family during the holiday season. Circus at Tempodrom near Anhalter Bahnhof; tickets start at 28 euros. Another circus sets up at Olympiastadion; tickets start at 34 euros
Christmas Garden at the Botanical Garden
For a magical walk through a holiday lights-lit garden, check out the Christmas Garden at the Botanical Garden. Located at Königin Louise Str 6-8, near S-train stop Botanischer Garten (S1) or U-train station Breitenbachplatz (U2,U3). November 15 to January 6th, 2019. Open 4:30pm-10pm. Tickets start at 14 euros and are available online.
Christmas brunch and boat tour
Celebrate the advents season with a lovely brunch on a boat while exploring the waterways of Berlin. Tickets. Boats depart at the Treptow Harbor, Pushkinstrasse 15.
There are several ice skating rinks all over the city, with the most popular ones at the Neptunbrunnen (near Alexanderplatz) and Potsdamer Platz. Ice skates can be rented for 2.50 euros.
Rent a slide
Go sliding in the snow. Once the snows sticks around, find the nearest park with a nice hill. Volkspark Friedrichshain, Victoria Park and Teufelsberg are popular locations to take a slide ride. You can even rent a slide at several locations in Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, and Kreuzberg.
Enjoy some oriental tea
Make yourself comfortable on your pillow with some spiced tea and listen to the stories and fairy tales at the Tajik Teehouse (Oranienburger Str. 27, 10117 Berlin – Mitte) weekdays 4-11pm, weekends 12-11pm, fairy tales (in German) on Mondays 7:30 pm, 9 euros during story time, otherwise free entry.
Pamper yourself at the Turkish Bath and Spa at Sultan Haman. There is nothing better than to enjoy a warm bath, sauna, a massage or peeling during the colder months. Located at Bülowstraße 56-57, 10783 Berlin. Opening hours mostly addressed to women; men’s day on Monday afternoons.
Movies at Cinestar Potsdamer Platz
This movie theatre in Berlin offers movies in English, so for the native-English speakers among you, this is your best chance of finding a movie in your mother tongue. Just look for the movies that are marked with OV (original version).
Take a local brewery tour
Why not take a Brewery tour of Berlin’s local brew. English language brewery tour reservations can be made via email only please: firstname.lastname@example.org. The fee is 7 euros, Mon-Thu, 2 pm and 5:30 pm, Indira-Gandhi-Str. 66-69, 13053 Berlin.
Visit the Dussmann bookstore
If you are looking for a good read or just want to browse and warm up, the Dussmann bookstore offers a wide range of literature, books, CDs, and more over 3 levels. Bookworms will have a blast, and the best of all is, this store is open late (until midnight on weekdays, and 23:30 pm on Saturdays). A cozy coffee shop/ restaurant is attached. The store is located near S-train station Friedrichstrasse.
Take a Dance lesson
Dance classes and music concerts at Clärchen’s Ballroom. Location is at Auguststrasse 24, near Oranienburger Strasse.
For the foodies among you, it’s worth checking out the Markthalle 9 during Christmas season. On Fridays and Saturdays in December, Merry Markthalle offers scrumptious and seasonal delights for your taste buds.
Duck and goose dinners
The roast goose seasons starts every year with Sankt Martin’s Day on November 11, when children walk through the evening streets with self-made lanterns singing carols. Goose season is a glorious time for carnivores – the roasted goose dishes come with red cabbage, kale, dumplings, and gravy. Several restaurants all over Berlin participate and offer their guests special goose menus. Our favourite places include the beer-hall style Prater Restaurant in Prenzlauer Berg, the Jules Vernes in Charlottenburg, or the Ratskeller Köpenick.
Christmas Party on boat
For a special treat of comedy, DJ, and samba music, and a 3 course meal, check out the Christmas Party on the river Spree at Puschkinallee 15A, at Treptow Harbor. December 1, 7 and 14 at 7:30pm. Tickets start at 32 euros.
Christmas Film Festival
This 4-day film festival features independent international films in one of the oldest movie theatres in Germany, the Movimiento Kino at Kottbusser Damm 22, Berlin-Kreuzberg. December 21-24.
- The impressive Berlin Dom hosts several evening concerts during the Christmas holiday season. Ticket prices vary by concert and start at 12 Euros and can be purchased online via the city of Berlin. For dates and tickets click link.
- The French Dome at Gendarmenmarkt offers another beautiful location for Christmas holiday concerts in the evening. Tickets start at 27 Euros. After the concert you can take another stroll through the Gendarmenmarket Christmas market.
- For an unique holiday experience, consider attending a Harlem Gospel Night concert at the Apostel-Paulus-Church in Schöneberg. Tickets start at 20 Euros.
- Celebrate the Christmas season in one of the oldest churches in Berlin at the Marienkirche at Alexanderplatz. There will be free (donations welcome) organ concert on December 24 at 9pm. Other dates listed here..
- If you are looking for a family-friendly Sunday afternoon concert, consider the trompete ensembles at Britzer Garten on December 2,9, 16, 23 at 1:30pm. Dress up warmly – there will be mulled hot wine and hot cocoa as well. Fee is 2 Euros.
- At the Zitadelle Spandau, one of the most well preserved renaissance fortresses in Europe, hosts Monday late afternoon christmas concerts. Tickets for December 10 and 17, at 5pm start at 25 Euros.
- For a special experience, witness the Russian male choir Bolschoi Don Cossacks with songs and dance at the Marienkirche at Alexanderplatz. December 15 and 25, at 3pm. Tickets start at 15 Euros.
Church Services – Dom
On Christmas Eve, December 24, there are several church services at several churches all over Berlin. Here are the most centrally located services.
- Berliner Dome at 8pm.
- Christ’s Vesper at Marienkirche at Alexanderplatz at 6pm.
- Main train station (Hauptbahnhof- south entrance) at 10pm Christ’s vesper.