Christmas Markets in Berlin
From Nostalgic to Organic: Christmas Markets in Berlin
Looking for Christmas markets in Berlin? Glühwein (mulled wine – yes drinking in public is legal in Germany!), Bratwurst and roasted almonds – that’s the typical smell of a German Christmas market. The more Northern in Germany you are, the earlier dusk comes and a German Christmas Market is most beautiful in the evening. As Germany is the country of Christmas markets, Berlin is the capital. VisitBerlin, the tourism marketing company, lists 60 markets, from the small one in the neighborhood to prominent fairs in the city center or in one of the many beautiful palaces. There’s one for everyone. In general, Berlin Christmas markets are open until 8pm, and many close on December 23rd. As Christmas Eve, December 24, is the main holiday of the season in Germany, some of the markets will be closed that day, some open after the Christmas holidays for a few more days. You might also like to visit the more alternative Christmas markets. Here is some helpful overview of Berlin Christmas markets.
The overview at Central Station
The Berlin visitor arriving by train can start his or her Christmas market rally right away: The square in front of Berlin Central Station is a cross-section of all Berlin markets: design, organic, traditional etc. And choir music on Sundays. Start you Berlin visit with a Glühwein and some sweets before you even reach your accommodation.
In the Center of Old Berlin: Weihnachtsmarkt am Opernpalais
Not too big and very beautiful: the nostalgic market on the “Schlossplatz”, next to the site of the reconstruction of the City Palace (another construction site blocks the traditional site at the “Opernpalais” nearby). Watch the craftsmen at work and buy their products. Or check out the storytellers and fortunetellers. Not to mention all the traditional German winter food and drinks.
The most central one: “Weihnachtsmarkt am Alex”
At Alexanderplatz you find the regular, traditional Christmas market with many stands where you can buy Christmas gifts, Glühwein, snacks like Bratwurst or potato dumplings and sweets. Admire the XXL Ore Mountain carvings like a huge pyramid (a nativity scene in many tapered floors that turns like a carousel). And party with Nikolaus (Santa)in his Party Hut.
For the Nostalgic: “Berliner Weihnachtszeit”
This market with traditional arts & crafts stands, and ice rink and a huge Ferris wheel is situated between the TV tower and the Medieval Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church). For the nostalgic they offer historic fun rides, some about 100 years old. And listen to the iconic Berlin organ grinder.
The Big Fairground: “Wintertraum am Alexa”
Between Alexanderplatz and the S-Bahn station Jannowitzbrücke is the huge market for kids of all ages. Enjoy the fun rides, but do it before you indulge in roasted almonds, German Bratwurst, mulled wine (“Glühwein”) and sweets.
Upscale: Weihnachtszauber Gendarmenmarkt
On Berlin’s most beautiful square, historic Gendarmenmarkt, you find “Christmas Magic”, an exclusive selection of arts and crafts, drinks and food from the fine restaurants nearby. The stands are in white tents decorated with Moravian stars and there is classical music for entertainment. The market charges EUR 1.00 admission. The New Year’s Eve event is EUR 12.00.
For the environmental sensitive: “Umwelt- und Weihnachtsmark in der Sophienstraße”
Behind the famous Hackesche Höfe is the Sophienstraße. Here you find a Christmas market about ecologic products and environmental activism. Get informed and enjoy ethical products but also music, circus and Santa Claus.
Let it snow: Winterwonderland at Potsdamer Platz
At Potsdamer Platz, the motto isn’t Christmas but winter: a snow-tubing mountain and an ice rink where coaches help little kids to skate and look for posssible olympic athletes are in the center of the market. What else? Glühwein, Bratwurst, roasted almonds.
In the Sony Center: “Fabelhafte Weihnachten”
A contrast to the more sportive Winterwonderland offers the Sony Center nearby: Get lost in the magic of elves and high tech light shows under the tent-like roof. And of course, food and drinks – magic potion?
In the City West: “Berliner Weihnachtsmarkt an der Gedächtniskirche”
Go to the center of the old West Berlin, near S-Bahn Bahnhof Zoo and you find a large traditional Christmas market. The organizers claim they have the biggest lighting in Berlin and they don’t take any chances: The lighting and decorations are done by a professional artist. Children can pet live animals , grown-ups have the choice among 10 varieties of Glühwein. As the market lasts until 01/04/2015, there will be a New Year’s Eve fireworks. The market is accessible.
International and Baroque: “Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg”
Not exactly in Berlin’s center, but with the most beautiful scenery possible: the Christmas market at Charlottenburg Palace. The vendors come from all over Germany and some European countries like Hungary or the Netherlands. Enjoy the international food and music. A special highlight: musicians from Belarus and Ukraine. On Saturdays after 4:30 pm there is an admission of EUR 3.00.
+++Check out our self-guided tours of Berlin, so you can walk off the many sweets and treats. +++