Christmas is my favourite time of the year! Everything is beautifully decorated; the Christmas lights glitter everywhere and I absolutely love all the good food and drinks.
One tradition that cannot be missed is going to the Christmas market. Many people go abroad during the festive season for a quick city break and in case you happen to go to Berlin, take a break from sightseeing and enjoy strolling through the many Christmas markets my hometown has to offer.
I promise, you will be spoiled for choice. So, here are my top Christmas markets that are close to famous sights so you can incorporate them easily into your sightseeing day as they will be on your way anyways.
1. WINTERTRAUM AT ALEXA
This Christmas market is on Alexanderplatz, the main meeting point for Berliners and one of the best-known public squares in the city. From there you can access local sights such as the Berliner Cathedral, Museum Island, TV Tower and many more as they are all within walking distance.
Around the square you can find several shopping centres such as Alexa and Galleria Kaufhof. It is a small Christmas market, but always worth a quick stop to warm up with some mulled wine.
If you continue walking to S Bahnhof Jannowitzbruecke from Alexanderplatz, you will find the extension of this market and it transforms into a Christmas market / fair ground.
Between the traditional stalls you will find roller coasters, bumper cars and many more attractions. A great market for all ages, especially families. You can send the kids of to enjoy the rides while you enjoy some fragrant mulled wine, punch or perhaps eggnog. And do not forget the Bratwurst. Win, win!
- Opening dates and times: 26th November – 26th December 2018 // Every day 10 am – 10 pm, except 24th December 2018 open till 4 pm
- Nearest Station: S + U Bahnhof Alexanderplatz, Tram Stop Alexanderplatz
- Admission: Free
- For more information please visit: Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz
2. BERLINER WEIHNACHTSZEIT AT THE ROTES RATHAUS
If you walk towards the Berlin Cathedral and Unter den Linden from Alexanderplatz, you will pass this Christmas market next to the Rotes Rathaus (Red Town Hall) within 5 min. Berliner Weihnachtszeit is one of the bigger Christmas markets in the city and my personal favourite. I go to this Christmas market every year.
It offers a variety of stalls that sell handcrafted goods such as scarfs, toys and jewellery; artisan cheeses and meat cuts as well as Christmas decorations such as the famous pyramids from the Erzgebirge.
There are some rides for children, too. Thus, this Christmas market is truly for the entire family. There is an ice rink around the famous Neptunbrunnen, a big Ferris wheel and sometimes Santa can be spotted on his sleigh passing through the sky.
However, the reason I love this Christmas market is that there are plenty of different food stalls located in this market that you cannot find all in one place in the other Christmas markets in the city. This one has such a big variety you will struggle to try everything! Therefore, if you want to sample everything, one big tip is to share the food with your partner or friend.
You can find your standard Crepes and of course Bratwurst, but you can also find other tasty goodies such as Flammkuchen (Tarte Flambee), Handbrot (really tasty stuffed bread with cheese), Langosch, fried mushroom pans, I could go on forever!
- Opening dates and times: 26th November – 30th December 2018 // Monday to Friday 12 noon – 10 pm // Saturday and Sunday 11 am – 10 pm; (opening times vary on public holidays) // Closed on Christmas Eve
- Nearest Station: S + U Bahnhof Alexanderplatz, Tram Stop Alexanderplatz and Spandauer Strasse/Marienkirche
- Admission: Free
- For more information please visit: Christmas Market “Berlin Christmas Season” at the Red Town Hall
3. CHRISTMAS MARKET AT THE GEDAECHTNISKIRCHE (MEMORIAL CHURCH)
You can find all sorts of Christmas markets all over the city and one of the well-known Christmas markets in West Berlin is the Christmas market at the Gedaechtniskirche, next to the historical Memorial Church, known as the hollow tooth amongst locals and the Kurfuerstendamm.
Many Berliners come here for shopping and combine this with a trip to the Christmas market. There are plenty of activities to do in this are, too. You can visit the Berlin Zoo and Aquarium or explore some of the different museums such as museum for photography and Kaethe Kollwitz museum, so a quick stroll over this Christmas market can easily be incorporated into a busy sightseeing day.
This Christmas market is renowned for the many Christmas lights that contribute to the cosy and festive atmosphere. For little ones, there are a few attractions such as a mini Ferris wheel and some carousels. Here you can stock up on presents. Many stalls sell Christmas decorations, toys and handmade art.
Do not forget to try the famous Feuerzangen-Bowle (“fire tongs punch”) when you are there. Of course, we love our mulled wine, but there are so many different hot drinks to try and this one is a very tasty alternative and not all Christmas markets serve it.
- Opening dates and times: 26th November 2018 – 6th January 2019 // 11 am – 9 pm, except Friday and Saturday till 10 pm; (opening times vary on public holidays)
- Nearest Station: S + U Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten and U Bahnhof Kurfuerstendamm
- Admission: Free
- For more information please visit: Christmas Market at the Gedaechtniskirche (Memorial Church)
4. WINTERWELT AT POTSDAMER PLATZ AND SONY CENTER
Located in the heart of the city and close to many restaurants, the casino, shops and not far away from important sight such as Checkpoint Charlie and Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, you will not bypass this Christmas market. Potsdamer Platz transforms into a magical winter wonderland during the festive season.
Winterwelt at Potsdamer Platz is particularly well-known for its winter sport offerings. Who would have thought you can try a toboggan run, outdoor skating and even curling in the middle of a city? Well, you can in Berlin. Ever wanted to try any of those activities, here is your chance and they are not too expensive either.
Once you had a go at these sports, you can warm up afterwards inside one of the many huts. They are good to warm up in general as it is a bit windy at Potsdamer Platz. It is an open square. So, make sure to dress up warm.
Kids will love the Christmas market in the Sony Center, which is under the famous architectural roof that the Sony Center is well-known for. Thousands of lights sparkle under the roof and create a magical place that will make their eyes pop out for sure.
Here you can find some restaurants in case you do not feel like eating or drinking something from the Christmas market or are too tired to stand under the stalls. Which is understandable after a long and exhausting sightseeing day.
Amongst Berliners, the Winterwelt at Potsdamer Platz has gained a reputation to be the Christmas market that serves the best eggnog in town. Plenty of Berliners (like me) will dedicate a day to stroll from Christmas market to Christmas market and they will all make time to stop there for one, if not two eggnogs or maybe even more… 🙂
- Opening dates and times: 30th November – 26th December 2018 // Every day 10 am – 10 pm, except 24th December 2018 open till 2 pm
- Nearest Station: S + U Bahnhof Potsdamer Platz
- Admission: Free
- For more information please visit: Winter World & Christmas Market on Potsdamer Platz and Christmas Market at the Sony Center
5. WEIHNACHTSZAUBER AT THE GENDARMENMARKT
The WeihnachtsZauber at the Gendarmenmarkt is nestled between three historical sights namely the German and French Cathedral, and the Concert Hall. This offers an amazing backdrop for this Christmas market and creates a special atmosphere, especially at night when the square is light up.
It is one of the more traditional and elegant Christmas markets and famous for its handmade and unique products, gourmet dining as well as live plays and music. Exhibitors include for instance glass blowers, hat makers, candle artists and goldsmiths, but you can also buy Origami creations.
Of course, you can find yummy mulled wine, but you can also treat yourself to a glass of champagne in one of the many heated tents or some punch while you try a few of the German and local specialities.
- Opening dates and times: 26th November – 31st December 2018 // Every day 11 am – 10 pm, except 24th December 2018 open till 6 pm and 31st December 2018 open till 1 am
- Nearest Station: U Bahnhof Stadtmitte and U Bahnhof Hausvogteiplatz
- Admission: 1 EUR
- For more information please visit: WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt
Most of the Christmas markets in Berlin are within walking distance from famous sights and they can easily be accessed. You will have absolutely no problem finding a few.
You will most likely come across some while you are exploring the city anyways as there are also smaller markets scattered around Berlin. Thus, you will have plenty of options to choose from and enjoy the festive season.
Here you can find a good overview of all the different, traditional and quirky Christmas markets there are in Berlin to explore, experience and most of all enjoy. Just in case you cannot get enough of them and want to try more. 🙂