Hooray December is here! And with it the reflective Advent and Christmas season in the capital. In addition to the festive highlights, Christmas concerts and events, there are countless possibilities in Berlin to find a suitable Christmas present or to warm up with mulled wine and hot chestnuts at the Christmas market. Our tips for December - and of course for New Year's Eve.
Tip 1: Christmas markets
Find your favorite Christmas market yet? Admittedly not that easy with about 80 Christmas markets. From traditional and nostalgic to English and Scandinavian to urban and ecological - Berlin has a multitude of different markets to discover. There are creative crafts, design products, confectionery and culinary specialities on offer. In addition to Christmas stage shows, you can also look forward to carriage rides and ice rinks. Find out here which Christmas market suits you best.
When: The whole of December
Where: All over the city
Tip 2: New Year's Eve – Celebrate at the Gate
The big party at the Brandenburg Gate will be a little smaller this year - but at least it will take place again. From 1 December, the organisers will put the tickets online. They are free of charge but limited to a few thousand. There will also be no fireworks at the turn of the year 2022/2023. Instead, stars like Alphaville, Calum Scott, Sahsa and Kamrad are expected. The highlight will be the Scorpions with their hit of the century "Wind of Change".
Of course there are many other ways to celebrate New Year's Eve in Berlin. You can choose between cool parties in Berlin clubs, glittering parties and balls, a candlelight dinner in a restaurant. For the more active, the Berlin Pancake Run takes you up the Teufelsberg before the big party.
By the way: Celebrate at the Gate will be broadcast from 8.15 p.m. on the live programme "Welcome 2023".
We wish you a Happy New Year!
When: 31 December
Where: All over the city
Tip 3: Christmas Garden & Christmas at the Tierpark
Every year, the Botanical Garden and the Tierpark decorate their gronds festively with many, many lights for the Advent season. In the Christmas Garden and at Christmas in the Tierpark (Weihnachten im Tierpark), you can stroll along a glittering path. Let yourself be enchanted by the magical illuminated landscapes. Of course, there will also be mulled wine and other treats on this trip to Berlin's magical Christmas world.
Tip 4: Christmas Services
In all churches of the city they ring the bells for church services on holidays. Nativity plays and concerts also take place in the churches, whether in small churches in the neighbourhoods or in the magnificent Berlin Cathedral. You can find an overview of the church services on the websites of the Protestant church and the Archdiocese of Berlin.
When: 24 - 26 December
Where: In the Berlin churches
Tip 4: Open Stores on Sundays in Advent
No matter how stressful Christmas shopping can sometimes be, it is somehow a part of it. And Berlin offers the perfect selection of great shopping opportunities: On two Sundays - 4 and 18 December - the doors to many shopping centres and shops in Berlin are open for business. So nothing stands in the way of a gift hunt. In addition to shopping, you can also stroll along the wonderfully illuminated streets of Berlin and forget the stress of shopping.
When: 4 and 18 December
Where: In shops, department stores and shopping centres
Tip 6: Festive Christmas Concerts
Reflection and contemplation: you can sweeten your Advent season with atmospheric concerts. Singer Lyambiko will put you in the right mood for the festive season with jazzy melodies. From harp sounds to choir songs, there's plenty of music in Berlin at Christmas time. For example, you can hear the Christmas Oratorio at the Hoffnungskirche in Pankow.
When: the whole of December
Where: in churches and concert halls
More information about concerts during Advent
Tip 7: Pink Noise Fest!
Still not in the mood for Christmas music? Then the Pink Noise Fest! is the right thing for you. The Berlin music collective, which mainly supports local bands, invites you to an evening full of electro and punk, synthesizers and guitars. Not at all Christmassy, but nice nonetheless!
When: 2 December
Where: Urban Spree, Revaler Straße 99, Friedrichshain
Tip 8: Louis Lewandowski Festival 2022
This year, the Louis Lewandowski Festival is dedicated entirely to Italian synagogue music from five centuries. From Rossi to Rossini, Israeli choral music will be presented to you in its various facets and all its richness. At the pre-opening concert on 14 December at 19:00 you will hear "Joseph and His Brothers", a biblical oratorio in three acts by Elam Rotem. Admission to this concert is free.
When: 15 - 18 December
Where: Various locations
Tip 9: Coca-Cola Christmas Trucks
18 tonnes of pre-Christmas cheer: and that's just one of the Coca-Cola Christmas trucks that will also be making a stop in Berlin on their journey through Germany. Festively illuminated, the giant trucks are the centrepiece of the Coca-Cola Christmas World, bringing festive cheer to Mercedes Square with a glowing Christmas tree and a walk-in snow globe. Of course, children can also visit Coca-Cola Santa here - and accompany him virtually on a speedy sleigh ride.
When: 22 December 3 - 8 p.m.
Where: Mercedes-Platz in front of the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Friedrichshain
Tip 10: Festivals for film fans
Lean back comfortably in your soft cinema armchair: two exciting film festivals are inviting you in December. "Around the World in 14 Films" presents excellent films that have already screened in Cannes, Venice or at other international festivals but have not yet been shown in Germany. The Visionary Film Festival specialises in new, visionary cinema. Here you can see debut films and second works from all over the world.
Christmas film tip: The Winter Film Festival in the Nikolaiviertel shows Feuerzangenbowle three times a day. Of course, you can also warm up with the appropriate drink during this classic film starring Heinz Rühmann.
When: Around the World in 14 Films - 1 - 10 December 2022
Where: Kino in der Kulturbrauerei, delphi LUX and Neues Off
When: Visionary Film Festival 14 - 18 December 2022.
Where: Acud cinema, Veteranenstr. 21, Mitte
Tip 11: Christmas events for families
Christmas time is family time: in Berlin, numerous events invite you to spend fairytale hours on dark winter evenings and grey afternoons. Go ice skating or take a Christmas ride on a historic steam locomotive. From the Christmas Circus and handicraft workshops to ballet, theatre and music - in Berlin you can experience the best family moments in Advent.
When: the whole of December
Where: all over the city
For even more event tips in December, you can always click through our tips for each day in Berlin's biggest event calendar.