If someone would ask me, “Which christmas market would you visit if you only had time for one?”, I would wholeheartedly answer with the Gendarmenmarkt. Yes, it is a bit more touristy than cute and quaint little markets that are hidden away in outskirts of Berlin, but it is also more the prettier. So, if you come to visit Berlin and you would like to enjoy one christmas market, you ought to definitely hit this beauty in the city center, in a side street off Unter den Linden. Amidst the gorgeous surroundings of the Gendarmenmarkt with its church, the Hilton and various luxurious buildings looking out on the market proceedings, you cannot help but feeling a bit pampered. Even without actually indulging in the pleasures of this market. Yet.
The Best Christmas Market in Berlin
Well, there are many fabulous markets to visit in Berlin, but I fancy most people are not such avid fans of the christmas markets as I am, enjoying them enough to bike and travel for hours to visit as many markets as possible. So if you have to pick one, the Gendarmenmarkt is a good bet. After paying a mere €1,- to enter (and let this not keep you away, since it is a good trick to keep non-motivated visitors outside), you gain entrance to a beautifully decorated area filled with even nicer looking stalls, lights, christmas trees – and much more.
Among the many stalls, foods and drinks here, there are few essentials classics that are definitely worth a try. If you like mustards, you should check out the stall with authentic home-made Senf (mustard), combined with as many interesting variaties as you could ever dream of. My personal favourite: fig mustard, a great sweet and mustardy experience for dips and bread.
Best Food and Drink at Berlin Christmas Markets
The best Flammkuchen (they do not even call it Flammkuchen anymore) is to be had in a picturesque stall that even looks like an old-fashioned bakery and oven rolled into one. With the best and most flavoursome rustic bread, sour cream and little strips of bacon and some fresh leek this baked-as-you-wait delicacy is one of the best things I have eaten on the streets of Berlin. Share one, if you are only in for a nibble.
Looking for something nice in your cuisine for christmas? Then do pop by the cheese stall (on the other side of the picturesque bakery) and get your fix of Frischkäse (cream cheese), stuffed and flavoured with the best ingredients from your wildest dreams. Cream cheese with fresh cranberries and saffran, or cream cheese with sunflower seeds and even fresher rucola – up to a fig-based cream cheese. You can try all of the cheeses and make sure you get your favourites. The cream cheese – when purchased – is wrapped in a plastic container and a little plastic bag, and can be kept in the fridge for a few days.
Present-wise (and if you are looking for Weihnächtliche Geschenke) you might enjoy yourself at Käthe Wolfahrt, Germany’s largest christmas products brand, which often sports huge stalls on christmas markets throughout the country, selling the most gorgeously handcrafted christmas decorations. If you are not looking for specific christmas presents, there are more alternatives to be found at the christmas market on Gendarmenmarkt.
Gotten a bit thirsty? Apart from trying the classical Glühwein (which is always a great and safe bet), the Gendarmenmarkt also serves Feuerzangenbowle (literally: fiery thongs bowl), a delicious warm alcoholic drink. It is a great change from the traditional Glühwein, and as least as tasty as – or even better. Apart from Feuerzangenbowle and Glühwein, you can opt for non-alcoholic hot punch, Eierlikör (egg nogg) or hot chocolate with rum. More alcohol than you can imagine is to be enjoyed with this market’s delicious nibbles.
Where To Go?
[googleMap name=“WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt“ width=“400″ height=“400″ mousewheel=“false“ typecontrol=“false“ directions_to=“false“]Gendarmenmarkt 1 10117 Berlin[/googleMap]
When To Go?
21st of November until the 31st of December 2011.
Open daily from 10.00 until 22.00.
Christmas Day until 18.00.
New Year’s Eve until 01.00.
More Christmas Markets?
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