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The Best Places to Enjoy the Festive Season in Berlin

28. 11. 2017 | Jürgen Kriegisch | Berlin @en

 © Tilo Grellmann-

© Tilo Grellmann-

Christmas is almost upon us. The year is coming to its end and the air is filled with the smell of roasted almonds, mulled wine and other festive treats and the sound of traditional Christmas carols. Everyone you meet seems to be looking forward to the most wonderful time of the year.

Getting Into the Christmas Spirit

Once the strings of fairy lights, spanning a total of 40 miles, that cast Unter den Linden in a romantic glow are switched on, the Christmas season has well and truly started. For a new perspective on the festive season, why not take to the city’s waterways? Enjoy music, mulled wine and seasonal pastries on board during a Spree Cruise . Back on dry land, there is plenty of festive entertainment on offer. Why not head to the Admiralspalast to take in the “BERLIN, ICK LIEBE DIR! – The (Sand) Story of Berlin” show, a unique artistic journey through the city’s history painted in sand? And of course, there’s no better way to while away a December afternoon than by visiting one of Berlin’s many Christmas markets.

© LianeM .

© LianeM .

From loud and gaudy to peaceful and romantic

Berlin’s Christmas markets offer a wealth of different attractions and experiences. Whether you are looking for thrilling rides or a peaceful afternoon of browsing various stalls – there’s so much going on in Berlin to get even Scrooge into the Christmas spirit! To make sure you don’t miss out on the festive fun, here’s a selection of Berlin’s best Christmas markets:

“Berliner Weihnachtszeit” at the Rote Rathaus

Berlin’s gaudiest Christmas market is easy to find – just look out for its trademark giant wheel blinking in the sky. If you prefer a bit more peace and quiet, take a leisurely stroll through the cobblestoned alleys of the historic city centre and look around the many craft stalls. There’s also a petting zoo and a skating rink to keep children of all ages entertained.

Open from: 27 Nov  – 29 Dec 2017, Mon – Fri: 12 noon – 10 p.m., Sat – Sun: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., 24 Dec: closed, 25 and 26 Dec: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

 © ludwig51 -

© ludwig51 -

“Wintertraum am Alexa”

Not far from the Rote Rathaus, the Alexanderplatz Christmas market is equally loud and colourful. The many rides make this a paradise for thrill-seekers. At 60 metres, the market’s centrepiece is one of the world’s tallest mobile giant wheels.

Open from: 27 Nov – 26 Dec 2017, Mon – Sun: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., 24 Dec: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Ice rink and “Party House” until 31 Dec

Christmas Market on Gendarmenmarkt

Only a few minutes’ walk from the hustle and bustle of Alexanderplatz, the traditional Christmas market on Gendarmenmarkt is a different world entirely. Artists of all kinds showcase their talent here. There’s also a heated catering tent where you can enjoy a range of culinary treats. And because Christmas is also the season for charity, a share of the entrance fee (€1.00, children under 12 get in for free) is donated to local social and cultural institutions.

Open from: 27 Nov – 31 Dec 2017, Daily 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Christmas: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., New Years Eve: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.

 © LianeM -

© LianeM -

Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Palace

Set against the backdrop of the illuminated palace, this Christmas market is something quite special. The small stalls clustered around the palace and its cour d’honneur sell traditional crafts and a range of seasonal treats.

Open from: 27 Nov – 31 Dec 2017, Mon – Thur: 2 p.m. – 10 p.m., Fri – Sun: 12 noon – 10 p.m.,  24 Dec: closed, 25 and 26 Dec: 12 noon – 8 p.m.

Christmas Market in the Historic Centre of Spandau

The Christmas market in the historic centre of Spandau is one of the oldest and most traditional in the German capital. During the festive season, the narrow cobblestoned roads and squares of this enchanted location turn into a winter wonderland with a huge Christmas tree, medieval market and many more surprises for visitors of all ages.

Open from: 27Nov – 23 Dec 2017, Mon – Thu 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Christmas Market Berlin

© sp4764 - Fotolia

A little off the beaten track and far away from the Christmas mania of the city centre, the Christmas market in the Spreepark Plänterwald offers visitors of all ages a chance to escape into another world. From live music to fire-eaters and exciting performances in a fairy tale tent, there’s something here to delight everybody. The Weihnachtswelt is open every weekend during advent.

Alternative Christmas Markets

If you’re looking for something a bit different and trying to get away from the “same old” traditional Christmas market ambience, you won’t be disappointed. Even when it comes to Christmas markets, Berlin lives up to its reputation as a city that caters for every taste!


Christmas Rodeo – Design Christmas Market 

Probably Berlin’s quirkiest Christmas market takes place on the Postbahnhof site, with over 200 sellers offering a wealth of creative fashion, jewellery, design, art and street food. Contemporary decor, atmospheric music and the enticing aroma of freshly baked traditional Christmas cookies make this a very special seasonal event – and the perfect place to get some inspired gift ideas!

Open from: 2 & 3 Dec. 2017 and 9 & 10 Dec. 2017, 12 noon – 8 p.m.


Christmas Mood Candles

© Artanika-Fotolia

HOLY.SHIT.SHOPPING Design Christmas Market

A Christmas market with a distinctly urban flair – the perfect setting for unusual gift ideas and contemporary design. Launched a decade ago, Holy.Shit.Shopping has become a seasonal institution in Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne and Stuttgart, with over 200 vendors offering unique lifestyle products that run the gamut from fashion, jewellery, design and furniture to art, photography, literature and gastronomy. In Berlin, the market takes place in the ARENA in the Eichenstraße. Famous names from the local DJ scene will provide the soundtrack to your pre-Christmas shopping spree while a delicious spiced punch will get you into the Christmas spirit!

Open from: 16 Dec -17 Dec 2017, 12 noon – 9 p.m.

The Green Christmas Market

Savoury bratwurst, flambéed salmon and smoked cheese – traditional Christmas markets can be a bit of a culinary wasteland for vegetarians and vegans. However, the Green Christmas Market on the site of the former Kindl brewery offers a brilliant alternative where adults and children can take part in creative workshops, buy great gifts and try a wide range of meat- and dairy-free delicacies. There’s also plenty of live music to create a festive atmosphere and happy faces all around.

Open from: 16 Dec-17 Dec 2017, 12 noon to 10 p.m.

Can’t wait for Christmas to start? Get out there and discover Berlin’s many festive offerings! Drop us a comment to let us know which of the capital’s Christmas markets is your personal favourite!

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