Anticipation, the most beautiful joy. Joy in Advent. December marks the beginning of the contemplative Advent and Christmas season in the capital. In addition to the festive highlights and Christmas concerts and events, there are countless opportunities in Berlin to find a suitable Christmas present or to warm up at the Christmas market with mulled wine and hot chestnuts. Our tips for December - and of course for New Year's Eve.
Tip 1: Christmas markets to suit every taste
Have you already found your favourite Christmas market? Admittedly, with around 80 Christmas markets, it's not that easy. From traditional and nostalgic to English and Scandinavian to urban and ecological - there is a multitude of different markets to discover in Berlin. Creative crafts, design products, confectionery and culinary specialities are on offer. You can go ice skating, take a carriage ride or look down on the city lights from the Ferris wheel. Find out which Christmas market suits you best in our tips for Berlin's Christmas markets.
When: throughout December
Where: all over the city
Tip 2: New Year's Eve in Berlin – Celebrate at the Gate
At the turn of the year 2023/2024, there will finally be another big fireworks display at the Brandenburg Gate. In addition, 20 live acts will perform on the large stage, which will be set up directly in front of the Berlin landmark as usual. You can look forward to Till Brönner and Ella Endlich, among others. On the party mile between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column, food trucks will provide you with international specialities. Make sure you get a ticket to take part in the big party.
Of course, there are many other ways to celebrate New Year's Eve in Berlin. You can choose between cool parties in Berlin's clubs, lavish parties and balls and a candlelight dinner in a restaurant. The very active can make it to the Teufelsberg before the big party at the Berlin Pancake Run.
When: 31 December
Where: anywhere in the city
Tip 3: Petting baby dinosaurs at Jurassic World
The Jurassic World exhibition opens its doors in December. The word exhibition does not do justice to the world of experience that awaits you here. In various themed areas, you can see life-size dinosaurs that move and look absolutely realistic thanks to sophisticated animatronics. The exhibition has already toured various countries and will only be in Berlin for a limited time. Our highlight: you can even interact with baby dinosaurs. Tickets are already available!
When: From 1 December
Where: Expohalle Urban Banks, Rathenau-Hallen, Wilhelminenhofstraße 83-85, Treptow-Köpenick
Tip 4: Getting inspired at the Berlin Travel Festival
The Berlin Travel Festival has great inspiration in store for anyone with wanderlust. The ITB (International Tourism Fair) no longer has public days, but the Travel Festival has taken its place. Interested visitors can find information here on all topics related to travelling. No matter whether you are looking for practical camping accessories, planning your next long-distance trip or want to get to know beautiful destinations within Germany: You've come to the right place.
When: 1 to 3 December
Where: Messe Berlin, South Entrance
Tip 5: The perfect Christmas dinner
It's not just the festive season - throughout December, one family meal and Christmas party follows the next. Whether you want to get together with friends or colleagues for a bit of festive cheer, a Christmas meal is essential. We have put together a list of the best restaurants for Christmas. And if the classic Christmas roast is not for you, take a look at the sustainable restaurants and vegan/vegetarian restaurants.
Christmas Restaurants IN BERLIN
Tip 5: Sundays open for business during Advent
No matter how stressful Christmas shopping can sometimes be, it's still somehow part of it. And Berlin offers the perfect selection of great shopping opportunities: The doors to many shopping centres and shops in Berlin will be open on two Sundays - on 3 and 17 December. So nothing stands in the way of the gift hunt. As well as shopping, you can also warm up with a hot punch at one of the many Christmas markets in the city.
When: 3 and 17 December from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: in shops, department stores and shopping centres
Tip 6: Attending Christmas concerts
Reflection and contemplation: nothing gets you in the mood for the festive time of year better than opulent classical sounds. At the Konzerthaus Berlin, you will be enchanted by the Great Advent Concert on the third of December. Little angels will sing for you at the children's choir's Advent concert at the Staatsoper on the sixth of December. The Bach Christmas Oratorio in Berlin Cathedral is a classic. These and many other concert highlights are only available during the Christmas season.
When: throughout December
Where: in churches and concert halls
Tip 7: Antique flea market at the Karlshorst trotting track
Last chance before Christmas: You can find really unusual gifts at the antique flea market at the Karlshorst harness racing track. The market only takes place on the first weekend of every month. Many traders travel from all over Germany to attend. The market is an Eldorado for special collector's items such as furniture, records, film posters, stamps and much more. So if you want to make a special person happy, take a look around here.
When: 2 and 3 December 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Karlshorst harness racing track, Treskowallee 129, Lichtenberg
Tip 8: Theatre plays for children and adults
Christmas is simply a magical time for children. In addition to all kinds of biscuits and the anticipation of Father Christmas, it also includes fantastic stories that transport young and old into another world. In December, many theatres in Berlin perform classic fairy tales and stories.
Theatre for Children
Tip 9: Christmas time is handicrafts time
Homemade gifts for friends and family show that you invest time and patience in your loved ones. You can also make your home look particularly cosy with home-made decorations. The upcycling workshops in the NochMall or material exchanges in the Haus der Statistik offer opportunities for crafting and materials, for example.
There are lots of workshops and craft activities for young crafters in the run-up to Christmas. Many Christmas markets also offer great events. The Archenhold Observatory is organising a Christmas star crafting event on four dates in December.
When: 3, 10, 17 and 23 December from 3 p.m.
Where: Archenhold Observatory, Alt-Treptow, Treptow-Köpenick
Tip 10: Festivals for film fans
Lean back comfortably in a soft cinema seat: two exciting film festivals invite 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.
Christmas film tip: The winter film festival in the Nikolai quarter shows Feuerzangenbowle three times a day. Of course, you can also warm up with the appropriate drink while watching this classic film starring Heinz Rühmann.
When: Around the World in 14 Films 1st - 9th December 2023
Where: Cinema in the Kulturbrauerei, delphi LUX and Neues Off
Tip 11: Christmas tour through the New Palace
How did the imperial couple and their family spend the festive season in the New Palace in Sanssouci Palace Park from 1889 to 1917? This Christmas tour provides the answer to this question. The tour takes you back to a time when the historic walls were still home to royal residents. You will find out what was served at the imperial banquet, what was given as gifts and how the empress and emperor and their seven children spent Christmas in the New Palace.
When: 26 to 30 December 12 noon
Where: Sanssouci Park - New Palace, Potsdam
For even more event tips in December, you can always click through our tips for each day in Berlin's biggest event calendar.