Oh, yes. We are only a couple of days away from the joy of Berlin and her festive Christmas markets. On Monday the 22nd of November most wintery markets will open their doors to accommodate thousands of tourists and many Christmas-loving Berliners. But what are the best places to go for a good cup of Glühwein (mulled wine) or the juiciest Bratwurst (German sausage)? Where do you want to go and what places should better be left to their own devices? Good Food in Berlin, as year-long passionate Christmas market visiting specialist will give you a hand.
Christmas in Berlin
I love Christmas and I adore Christmas in Berlin. No other country in the world does Christmas so well as Germany, with their ever-present Weihnachtsmärkte most German cities, towns and villages. Shops, stores and companies go all out for the Christmas season and decorate their displays, windows and even toilets in a cosy Christmas theme. Visiting a Weihnachtsmarkt is a fabulous way to really be engulfed in pure Christmas atmosphere and to shop for nice holiday presents for your loved ones (or yourself).
Germans like to visit Christmas markets too. Many working people like to pop out during their lunchbreak for a Bratwurst from the Weihnachtsmarkt, or they sneakily nibble on some sweetly fried dough (Mutzenmandel). Even when the temperatures drop below the -10, you will still see many stubborn Germans relaxing with a currywurst and Glühwein on a Christmasmarket. You may freeze your hands off, but that is all part of its charm.
The Best Christmas Markets in Berlin
Okay. As far as Christmas Markets go in Berlin, there are a couple of huge and well-known markets that you should visit, but there are also a few hidden away gems that are more intense and authentic. All of them are worth a visit, but some people may prefer a bigger tourist market over a small local endeavour – or the other way around. So we will try to guide you through the maze of Christmas markets.
- Gendarmenmarkt Weihnachtsmarkt
[googleMap name=“Weihnachtsmarkt Gendarmenmarkt“ width=“350″ height=“350″ mousewheel=“false“ typecontrol=“false“ directions_to=“false“]Gendarmenmarkt 10117 Berlin[/googleMap]
A classic Christmas market, located on the well-known touristic square around the Gendarmenmarkt, on walking distance from Unter den Linden and Friedrichstraße. You will have to pay an entrance fee of 1 euro, but you will get Christmas choirs singing beautiful Christmas songs and a magical decoration for it in return. The Gendarmenmarkt Weihnachtsmarkt is popular and both passionately visited by the locals as well as many tourists. It is a classical, yet slightly more posh than your average large and public Christmas market. If you are in a hurry and only have the time and strength to visit one market, this one is a great acceptable representation of the Christmas markets Berlin has to offer.
- Weihnachtsmarkt am Opernpalais
[googleMap name=“Opernpalais Weihnachtsmarkt“ width=“400″ height=“400″ mousewheel=“false“ typecontrol=“false“ directions_to=“false“] Unter den Linden 10117 Berlin[/googleMap]
A bit further down, but also near Unter den Linden, you can find the large Christmas market on and around the opera. Opposite of the Museumsinsel and right in the middle of Berlin’s main tourist attractions, this market is always nicely filled up with many passionate Christmas visitors. You walk through a couple of narrow streets, surrounded by the large opera buildings and generously decorated by the beloved Christmas trees. This is a great market for wandering around and doing some much-needed Christmas shopping. And considering it is practically located, it is a nice market to start your Christmas tour with. The Weihnachtsmarkt am Oper is quite touristy, but retains its classy style thanks to its beautiful location on the Opernplatz.
- Alexanderplatz Berliner Weihnachtsmarkt
[googleMap name=“Weihnachtsmarkt am Alexanderplatz“ width=“350″ height=“350″ mousewheel=“false“ typecontrol=“false“ directions_to=“false“]Alexanderplatz 10178 Berlin[/googleMap]
Probably the biggest Christmas market in Berlin, the Weihnachtsmarkt on and around the big shopping mall Alexa. Only a stone’s throw away is the Alexanderplatz, with another selection of Christmas market features that all together guarantee hours of pleasure, shopping, eating and drinking. This is really a down to earth and eclectic mixture of stalls and Christmas market features. Behind Alexa you find attractions reminiscent of an old-fashioned fair, in the middle of Glühwein huts and Bratwurst eateries. A huge ferris wheel lights of the entire city and Berlin’s youngsters tend to hit this Christmas market to have some fun. The market on the Alexanderplatz itself is nice for hanging out after work and doing a little naughty dance in one of the typical chalets where you can drink a hot cup of alcohol inside – not a luxury when the snow is falling down the skies. The Alexanderplatz Christmas market is a nice and practical market, but not the most romantic one of all. Still, definitely worth a visit.
- Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei
[googleMap name=“Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt“ width=“350″ height=“350″ mousewheel=“false“ typecontrol=“false“ directions_to=“false“]Schönhauser Allee 163 10435 Berlin[/googleMap]
My personal favourite Christmas market, in the middle of Berlin Prenzlauer Berg. I used to visit this market almost every day after work, for my pre-Christmas Glühwein fix. The Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt honours Scandinavian Christmas traditions and features many authentic Swedish, Norwegian or Finnish brews and nibbles. The market is located within the Kulturbrauerei’s backyard, which is filled with huge Christmas trees just for this purpose. The whole square – especially after an alcoholic drink or two – is covered in a magical and romantic blanket of lights, smells and atmospheric music. You can buy yourself a new fluffy hat or get your mum and dad some home-made culinairy delights to bring back home for Christmas.
- Weihnachtsmarkt Schloss Charlottenburg
[googleMap name=“Weihnachtsmarkt Schloss Charlottenburg“ width=“350″ height=“350″ mousewheel=“false“ typecontrol=“false“ directions_to=“false“] am Spandauer Damm 14059 Berlin[/googleMap]
If you are a real romantic and a huge Christmas fan, you cannot miss out on the Weihnachtsmarkt in Schloss Charlottenburg. This a Christmas market just like any other, but in the midst of a beautiful castle, which is simply smothered in gorgeous lighting and cosy decorations. You can browse the many enchanting shops, settle down for a hot cup of chocolate (with or without a shot) and take in the fairy-talish decorations surrounding you. This is the kind of Christmas market that slowly approaches celebrating Christmas in Disneyland. A place for the true romantic.
When to Visit a Christmas Market?
Christmas markets open their doors daily around eleven and close their venues at ten from Sunday until Thursday and only at eleven on Friday and Saturday evenings. Exception: the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt only opens at three o’clock. Our more elaborate reviews on specific markets you can find here:
- Lucia (Prenzlauer Berg)
- Gendarmenmarkt (Mitte)
- Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg)
- Gedächtniskirche (Zoo/ Kudamm)
- Alexanderplatz (Mitte)
- Opernpalais (Mitte)
- Alt-Rixdof (Neukölln)
- Roten Rathaus (Mitte)
More Christmas Markets?
During Christmas market season (22nd of November until Boxing Day) Good Food in Berlin will bring you daily Christmas market updates, live from the markets, via our Facebook Page. Like us now, to not miss any of our up-to-date Christmas tips and secrets. We will feature new and exciting Christmas market features that are not on our website… where to go and what to do… excitement guaranteed!