During the last months of the year, Germany is an extra popular travel-destination because of its Christmas markets. In Germany, Christmas is celebrated with a bit more passion than in most other European countries. The Germans simply love Christmas and this can be observed in the decorated streets, shops and even around touristic attractions. Besides this, there is one thing which makes us many people want to visit Germany in the months November & December: The Christmas markets! There are not many places where the Christmas-feeling can be enjoyed better. Lucky for us, there are many different Christmas markets in Berlin and they are located all over the city.
Christmas Markets all over Berlin
Because there are almost hundred different Christmas markets in and around Berlin, it might be helpful to do some research before you decide which Christmas market you want to visit. It can helpful to know a bit about the opening-hours, activities and which product are sold on the markets. We have good news: This article should help you compare some of the best Christmas Markets in Berlin. We focused mainly on the Christmas markets which are located near the center of Berlin. This article compares the markets with each other, offers some pictures and practical information like opening-hours, costs and the best ways to reach the markets.
Below my five favourite Christmas markets in Berlin can be found. You can either scroll down or click on links and jump there directly. Suggestions of other markets are always welcome, obviously we did not visit all Christmas-markets in Berlin (yet).
- 1. Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt
- 2. Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus
- 3. Wintertraum am Alexa (incl. fair)
- 4. Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz
- 5. Weihnachtsmarkt am Gedächtniskirche
1. Weihnachtszauber Gendarmenmarkt
Popular attractions like Brandenburger Tor and Reichstag attract millions of tourists throughout the year. But during the months November and December these attractions have to share a part of their fame with Christmas markets like the Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt. Every year more than 600.000 people visit this Christmas market in Berlin-Mitte. The market is located in front of the Konzerthaus on the Gendarmenmarkt and can be reached by foot from several stations like Stadtmitte and Französische Straße.
Unique products and plenty of food-stalls
The Weihnachtszauber am Gendarmenmarkt is especially popular for its unique handmade-products. All kinds of manufacturers come from all over the world to show their talent on this market in the middle of Berlin. You can visit this Christmas market to buy things like origami, ivory and also many different types of art. Furthermore, there are also plenty of food-stands and many special delicacies can be bought: A cup of white chocolate-milk, a bite of a fried apple or special cheeses from different parts of the world are just some examples. A cool thing is that some of the stalls will allow you to try the products for free so you can taste before you buy.
The best Christmas market in Berlin
In my opinion the Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt is the best Christmas market in Berlin. This is partly because of its great location: The market is located between three impressive buildings: The Deutsche Dom, the Konzerthaus and the Franzozische Friedrichstadtkirche. It is not without reason that the Weihnachtszauber has been called the Mercedes S-Klasse of the markets after it was compared to the other Christmas markets (Source: Berliner Zeitung). Besides the location this market offers a cosy atmosphere with a gigantic Christmas tree, tasty products and daily live-plays to give the audience that real Christmas feeling we are all striving for.
Small Entrance Fee (1€)
Although some other Christmas markets in Berlin are for free, the Weihnachtszauber costs 1 Euro entrance. But this is a very small investment if you want to enjoy a nice Berliner Christmas market. If you really do not want to pay entrance: During weekdays entrance is for free until 14.00 (except from 24,25,26 and 31 December). Because it can get pretty crowded on this Christmas-market, it might be a good idea anyway to visit during these hours. By the way: Dogs are not allowed on this Christmas market.
Celebrate New Years Eve on a Christmas market
This Christmas market also offers a special New Years Eve party on the 31st of December. The party starts at 9pm and the tickets cost only 6 Euro. Keep in mind that they will body search everybody who wants to get in so there might be a line. If you want to read more about this, you can read the full article about the New Years Eve parties in Berlin.
Name: Weihnachtszauber Gendarmenmarkt
Address: Leipziger Strasse 65
Entrance: 1 Euro (Working days till 14.00 = free entrance)
Public Transport: station Stadtmitte/Hausvogteiplatz or Friedrichstrasse (S-Bahn)
Dates: 26 November till 31 December 2018 (also open on 24,25,26 December)
Opening-times: Every day from 11.00 till 22.00 (24 December till 6pm)
2. Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus
Alexanderplatz is often referred to as the central meeting point in Berlin. Every day more than 300.000 people visit the square and another 500.000 use its train and subway-station during that same time-period. But in December there is an additional reason to visit Alexanderplatz: There are three Christmas markets within walking-distance of the station. On the square of Alexanderplatz itself you can already enjoy some music, Glühwein, stalls and food but it really gets exciting once you walk about 400 meters in the direction of the Fernsehturm. This is where you can find another Christmas market in front of the Roten Rathaus. The market is called Berliner Weihnachtszeit and it will not be hard to spot this market because you just have to look for its massive Ferris wheel (about 50 meters high).
The Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus is one of the most famous and also oldest Christmas markets in Berlin and attracts many visitors throughout the winter. The different stalls at this market are decorated in the style of the early 1900s, which gives the market a very unique and special look. Besides the gigantic Ferris wheel and the unique stalls, the Berliner Weihnachtszeit also offers a large iceskating-ring. With a total surface of 600 square meter, this is the largest of its kind in Berlin during Christmas. You can skate on the ice for free but you will have to pay 4 euro if you want to rent skates. This Christmas market in the center of Berlin has a lot to offer for both the young and old visitors.
Popular for children
As mentioned above, the Berliner Weihnachtszeit is also a very popular Christmas markets for children. Besides the Ferris wheel there is small farm with some friendly animals which children can ride and feed. Children usually love this and during that time the parents can enjoy a nice glühwein in one of the surrounding stalls. Another thing children will love is the Santa Claus which visits this market three times a day. The children can go on a photo with him and 16.30, 18.30 and 20.30.
Address: Spandauer Straße/Jüdenstraße
Public transport: U or S-Bahn to station Alexanderplatz
Dates: 26 November till 30 December 2018
(closed in the evening of the 24th but open on 25 & 26 December)
Opening-times: 12.00 – 22.00 (during weekends 11.00-22.00)
3. Wintertraum am Alexa (with fair)
Not very far from the Berliner Weihnachtszeit (see above), on the other side of Alexanderplatz, you can find a Christmas market called Wintertraum am Alexa. Between shopping center Alexa and station Jannowitzbrucke you can find this very modern Christmas-market. It will not be hard to spot this market when you get out of station Jannowitzbrücke because there are loads of lights and a massive ferris wheel. Besides the Ferris wheel you can also enjoy a small rollercoaster, some crazy spinning attractions, bumper cars and many other attractions. The Wintertraum am Alexa is not very traditional but there is plenty of action for both young and old.
Mix of tradition and excitement
Besides the attractions mentioned above, you can also find the traditional stalls with food, Glühwein and other German delicacies at this Christmas market. In the typical, small, wooden huts you can recover from a bumpy ride in rollercoaster the “Wilde Maus” or a freefall from the “Voodoo Jumper”. It is not without reason that the Wintertraum is a very popular Christmas market in Berlin for teenagers.
Coca Cola Truck The last couple of years, just before Christmas, you could also spot the famous Coca Cola Truck at the Wintertraum am Alexa. The massive truck, which is known from the Coca Cola commercials around Christmas, was parked on the surface of the Weihnachtstraum and attracted a lot of visitors. It is not completely sure that the Truck will be presented in 2018 again, but we will try to update this article as soon as we get more information.
Public Transport: U or S-Bahn station Jannowitzbrucke/Alexanderplatz
Dates: 26 November till 23 December 2018
Opening-times: 14.00 – 22.00
(during weekends 12.00 – 22.00)
Website: No own Website
4. Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz
Another great location, which cannot be ignored in a list of Christmas markets in Berlin, is Potsdamer Platz. This Christmas market is often referred to as the Winterwelt and is located directly between the large buildings of Potsdamer Platz. Every year an incredible amount of 2,5 million people visit the Winterwelt Christmas market. The location is great because it is easy to also visit the memorial of the murdered Jews, which is only a few minutes away. Besides that there are also plenty of restaurants and a casino at Potsdamer Platz.
Einstockschießen and Rodelbahn
One of the reason many people visit Winterwelt is the giant Rodelbahn (Luge). You can slide down a large snowy mountain sitting on a tire with two persons at a time. It might sound like something which is not possible in the middle of the Berlin, but if you go there you will be able to see it with your own eyes. Besides this, the Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz is also known for some other activities: You can go iceskating or play a game called Eisstockschießen. This last thing can best be explained as a mix between bowling and curling. Even for Berlin this is quite an unique activity and that is why many people want to give it a try. Eisstockschießen costs between 20 and 30 euro per hour (depending on the time of day). More information can be found on the website below.
The Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz is the only Christmas market in Berlin which is already open in the beginning of November. So if you love Christmas and already want to get in the right mood in November: The Winterwelt might be just the place for you. Enjoy the stalls, the different activities and there is even some live-music during the weekends.
Name: Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz
Address: Potsdamer Platz
Public Transport: U-bahn (U2) en S-Bahn (S1, S2) to station Potsdamer Platz
Dates: 2 November 2018 till 6 January 2019
Opening-times: 10.00 – 22.00 (24 December only till 14.00)
Website : www.potsdamerplatz.de
5. Weihnachtsmarkt am Gedächtniskirche
Also in the west of Berlin you can find some good Christmas markets. Compared to the other markets in this list, the Weihnachtsmarkt am Gedächtniskirche is a bit further away from the center of Berlin, but this does not mean that the market is hard to reach. Just take the train to Zoologischer Garten and you can walk to this Christmas market in a few minutes. Besides that you this Christmas market can be easily combined with many other activities which makes it worth the small trip: The Gedächtniskirche is an attraction with a very rich history and also Kurfürstendamm is nearby so why not combine this Christmas market with an afternoon of shopping.
Terroristic Attack in 2016
On Monday the 19th of December, about a week before Christmas, there was an attack on this Christmas market in Berlin. We were all very shocked and sad about all that happened but it was good to see that the city Berlin and the Christmas markets would not let the fear change something beautiful like their traditions. A few days after the disaster most markets were open again. The people in Berlin clearly wanted to make a stand against terrorism and even more people visited the Christmas markets all over the city. Obviously extra precautions have been taken to make the Christmas markets more safe in 2017 and 2018.
Open till the 6th of January
The Weihnachtsmarkt am Gedächtniskirche will be organized for the 34th time this year. Last year around 170 stalls could be found between station Zoologischer Garten and the Gedächtniskirche and most of them are quite unique and offer versatile products. Things like Christmas decorations, toys, presents and handmade art can all be bought here. Also for different kind of food and drinks you came to the right place, a nice Glühwein or some fried mushrooms taste delicious after a tough day of sightseeing! If you are visiting Berlin in January this Christmas market is great because it is open till the 7th of January.
Name: Weihnachtsmarkt am Gedachtniskirche
Public Transport: U or S-Bahn to station Zoologischer Garten
Dates: 26 November 2018 till 6 January 2019 (open during Christmas but different opening-hours)
Opening-times: 11.00 – 21.00 (Friday and Saturday: 11.00 – 22.00)
Summary: Christmas Markets in Berlin
Altogether we can conclude that everybody should be able to find a suitable Christmas market in Berlin. If you are looking for excitement you probably like to visit the “theme park” at Alexa and when you love iceskating it is a good idea to go to the Christmas market at Roten Rathaus. On the other hand, if you want to combine the market with a nice afternoon of shopping it might be better to visit Potsdammer Platz or Kurfurstendamm. Then, last but not least, if you want the real traditional Christmas market at a gorgeous location: Visit my favourite Christmas market in Berlin: the Weihnachtszauber am Gendarmenmarkt.