During the last months of the year, Germany is extra popular because of its Christmas markets. The German Christmas-atmosphere is different from most other countries in the world. The German people simply love Christmas and this can be observed on the streets, in the shopping-centers and even around touristic attractions. One of the greatest things you can visit in November/December are the christmas-markets. Also in the city of Berlin you can visit many great christmas-markets and most of them already start in the end of November.
Update: Terroristic Attack 19.12.2016
On Monday the 19th of December, there was an attack on the Christmas Market at the Gedächtniskirche (number 5 in this list). We are very shocked and sad about all that happened. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Almost all Christmas markets have been closed for a couple of days but were opened again on the 21st of December. The people in Berlin clearly want to make a stand again Terrorism and are visiting the Christmas markets to show that their way of living will not be influenced by attacks like this. Extra precautions have been taken to make the Christmas markets more safe.
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 market you want to visit. It can help to know a bit more about the opening-hours, available specialities and which kind of activities the markets have to offer. We have good news: The list below should help you out if you want to know more about the best Christmas Markets in Berlin. The Christmas markets are spread out all over the city and every one of them has its own benefits. After reading this article it should be a lot easier to decide which one fits best to your preferences.
Below my five favorite christmas markets in Berlin can be found. Suggestions are always welcome, leave a comment or send me a mail and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
1. Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt
Popular attractions like Brandenburger Tor and Reichstag attract millions of tourists throughout the year. But during the months November and December these highlights 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.
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 for products like origami, ivory and also many different sorts of art. Furthermore, there are many special delicacies to be found: 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 great thing is that most of the stalls will allow you to try for free so it is great to walk around and enjoy all the special products.
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 (quote from the 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 the real Christmas feeling.
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 one of the real Berliner Christmas markets. And 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). By the way: Dogs are not allowed on this christmas market.
As mentioned, the Weihnachtszauber is located in the middle of Berlin. It is quite easy to reach this market, the closest stations are Stadtmitte and Französische Straße but you can also decide to have a walk from station Friedrichstrasse. The shopping street near Friedrichsstrasse is also decorated with lights, so it will be a pleasant walk.
Interesting addition: There is also a New Years Eve Celebration at the Gendarmenmarkt. The entrance for that is 12€ and it will take from 7 pm till 1 am (obviously starting on the 31st of December).
Extra tip: This christmas market also offers a special New Years Eve party. 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: 21 november till 31 december 2016 (also open on 24,25,26 December)
Opening-times: Every day from 11.00 till 22.00 (24 & 31 December only 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 travel 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. 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 christmas market because you just have to look for its massive Ferris wheel (50 meters high).
The Berliner Weihnachtszeit 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. You can enter 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.
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. If you are planning to visit this market with children, make sure you check the website below because a real Santaclaus visits this Christmas market several times a day and obviously this is a highlight for many children (Last year his visits were scheduled at 16.30, 18.30 and 20.30).
Name: Berliner Weihnachtszeit
Address: Spandauer Straße/Jüdenstraße
Public transport: U or S-Bahn to station Alexanderplatz
Dates: 21 November till 29 December 2016 (closed on the 24th but open on 25 & 26 December)
Opening-times: 12.00 – 22.00 (during weekends 11.00-22.00)
3. Wintertraum am Alexa (incl. fair)
Not very far from the Berliner Weihnachtszeit, on the other side of Alexanderplatz, you can find a Christmas market called Wintertraum am Alexa. Between shopping center Alexa and station Jannowitzbrucke you will not have a hard time to spot this market, which is definitely the most modern Christmas market in Berlin. A large Ferris wheel, a rollercoaster, spinning attractions and bumper cars: Wintertraum am Alexa offers it all.
Mix of tradition and excitement
Besides the attractions, you can also find the traditional stalls with food, Glühwein and other German delicacies at the Wintertraum-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 2016 again, but we will try to update this article as soon as get more information.
Public Transport: U or S-Bahn station Jannowitzbrucke/Alexanderplatz
Dates: 21 november till 23 december 2016
Opening-times: 14.00 – 22.00
(during weekends 12.00 – 22.00)
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 immense buildings of Potsdamer Platz. Every year an incredible amount of 2,5 million people visit the Winterwelt Christmas market in Berlin.
Einstockschießen and Luge
One of the reason many people visit Winterwelt is the giant rodelbahn. After buying a tickets (1,50€) you can slide down a large snowy mountain sitting on a tire. 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-market 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 game which is 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). 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. Besides that it will stay open till the 1st of January 2017 so it is open for almost two months. 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 live-music during the weekend.
Name: Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz
Address: Potsdamer Platz
Public Transport: U-bahn (U2) en S-Bahn (S1, S2) to station Potsdamer Platz
Dates: 4 November 2016 till 1 January 2017 (open during christmas)
Opening-times: 10.00 – 22.00 (24 December only till 14.00)
Website : www.potsdamerplatz.de/entertainment-kultur/events/winterwelt/
5. Weihnachtsmarkt am Gedachtniskirche
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. Besides that you can combine this christmas market with many other activities which makes it worth the small trip: The Gedächtniskirche is an attraction with a very rich history and also Kurfurstendamm is nearby so why not combine this Christmas market with an afternoon of shopping.
The Weihnachtsmarkt am Gedächtniskirche will be organized for the 33rd time this year. Last year around 175 stalls could be found between station Zoologischer Garten and the Gedächtniskirche and most of them are quite unique and have 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 shopping!
Name: Weihnachtsmarkt am Gedachtniskirche
Public Transport: U or S-Bahn to station Zoologischer Garten
Dates: 21 November 2016 till 1 January 2017 (open during christmas but different opening-hours)
Opening-times: 11.00 – 21.00 (Friday and Saturday: 11.00 – 22.00)
Website: No Official Website
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.
If you are looking for some great parties on New Years Eve, you can check out our article with 8 great locations in Berlin. We even give away some free tickets!!!