There’s no better way to savour the festive season than a weekend break in the capital of Christmas. Berlin offers the perfect blend of shopping, food and festive fun, alongside a rich palette of art and culture. Enjoy a romantic weekend for two and pick up some truly unique Christmas gifts for loved ones while you’re at it. Discover historic architecture, modern cool and classic Christmas markets in the various neighbourhoods of Berlin.
Day 1: Culture old and new
Kick off your romantic Christmas weekend in the heart of historic Mitte. Crowded with beautiful old buildings and featuring exquisite views over the water, Museum Island is stunning all year round – but add the twinkle of Christmas lights and it takes on a whole new magic. Soak up some art and culture at the Alte Nationalgalerie before taking a stroll across picturesque Monbijoubrücke towards town.
Once you’ve browsed to your heart’s content, treat yourself to another dose of history with a trip to the Berliner Dom. This stunning cathedral by the beautiful Lustgarten is especially breathtaking in its festive finery. It’s a popular spot at this time of year, so make sure you book your ticket in advance if you want to catch a glimpse of its spectacular interior.
Discover outstanding shopping highlights
Once you’re over the river, it’s time for a snoop around the cosy backstreets and boutiques of Berlin’s central district. Browse the selection of quirky homeware at the Hotel ULTRA concept store on Torstraße – and pick up an unusual gift for a fan of avant-garde interiors. For the forward-thinking design aficionado, PLATTE.BERLIN on Memhardstraße is another essential stop. This multi-disciplinary space is home to fashion, sustainability, events and innovation – everything the trend-setting Berliner lives for.
Lovers of luxury fashion can complete the sophisticated Mitte experience with a visit to designer boutique The Corner on upscale Gendarmenmarkt, or urban clothing outlet lala Berlin and chic menswear emporium Herr von Eden near Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. Swing by swish French department store Galeries Lafayette or Friedrichstraße’s famous shopping mile for an even more extensive selection.
A romantic dinner in the sky above Berlin
To round off day one of your romantic getaway, treat yourself to a truly iconic Berlin experience: dinner in the TV Tower’s revolving restaurant. The views are mind-blowing – as is the food. A special highlight during Advent is the 3-course Christmas dinner menu with a delicious goose or vegetarian dish.
Day 2: See the city’s sustainable side
Settle into your second day with breakfast at a local institution. Leafy Schöneberg is home to two of the city’s most beloved brunch spots: enjoy all-day breakfast at traditional family-owned Lenzig or the modern Frühstück 3000. If you’re feeling indulgent, you can even throw in a breakfast cocktail while you’re at it.
Once you’ve fuelled up, it’s time to discover the wonderful world of Schöneberg’s boutique stores, many of which have a strong sustainability focus. Pick up a statement fair fashion item at Loveco, or vintage-style trainers from GDR-inspired Zeha. Follow your fashion whims with a made-to-measure piece at Creation Pia Fischer – or, if you fancy trying your hand at making your own, swing by the fabulous fabric stores smilla and Haute Couture Stoffe Möller for some beautiful prints. If you’re a wizard with a knitting needle, don’t miss the beautiful range of hand-dyed yarns at Die Wollnerin on Gleditschstraße.
Attend a magical Advent concert
After a day of shopping for sustainable gifts, put your feet up at an evening concert. Nothing says Christmas like a Tchaikovsky ballet, and festive performances of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake are on at several venues across the city. Alternatively, you can opt for an authentic Berlin Christmas experience with a performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio – a staple of the Advent season in Germany. Another great spot for a classical extravaganza is the opulent Konzerthaus – check out its December programme here. This historic concert hall is located right on Gendarmenmarkt – so make sure to stop by the square’s stunning WeihnachtsZauber Christmas market for a warming glühwein before the show.
Day 3: Berlin favourites in their festive finery
Kick-start your last day with breakfast at stylish West Berlin establishment Benedict Berlin. This Berlin branch of the hugely successful Israeli brunch restaurant serves a mouth-watering menu of breakfast foods in an exquisitely cool interior. For a more literary spin, share a bite in the stunning glass conservatory of the Café im Literaturhaus – and take the opportunity to peruse the collection at the Kohlhaas & Company bookshop below.
After breakfast in the west, you’re perfectly positioned for a day exploring the legendary Kurfürstendamm shopping boulevard (known as Ku’damm in the Berlin vernacular). Lined with big-name flagship stores, there’s nowhere better to find gifts for loved ones who enjoy the finer things. Marvel at the glittering displays at Bulgari and Cartier or browse modish pieces from the world’s top designers – think Chanel, Gucci and Prada. The street itself is also a highlight in its own right, particularly as evening draws in: its broad pavements are decorated with a ravishing Christmas lights display, which will bathe your shopping trip in a magical glow.
The lesser-known side streets around Ku’damm are equally worth a visit, with quirky boutiques galore to be found on Schlüterstraße, Bleibtreustraße or Uhlandstraße. If you fancy taking home your very own slice of Berlin chic, furniture store STANA BERLIN on Leonhardtstraße is a top stop. And while you’re in the area, you can’t miss the legendary KaDeWe – a luxury department store and cultural icon. Stop by the sixth floor for a delectable coffee break in the opulent food hall.
In the afternoon into the green
Finish your final day with a Berlin Christmas classic: the winter light display at the Botanischer Garten. Grab a mulled wine and immerse yourself in the magical world of the Christmas Garden – a fairytale wonderland that lights up the city’s botanical gardens each year. If you love the open-air festive feels, you’ll also enjoy the Christmas market at Jagdschloss Grunewald on 4–5 December. It’s the perfect place to discover handcrafted gifts and sample some warming winter fare. If you’re lucky enough to be in town on 12 December, Jagdschloss Grunewald will also be hosting a live Advent cello concert by world-renowned Israeli cellist Ithay Khen. Those who appreciate the great outdoors can pair their visit to the Jagdschloss with a wintry walk through Grunewald forest.
After a jam-packed day of Christmas shopping and culture, round off your romantic weekend getaway with dinner or a nightcap at cosy Châlet Suisse. This gorgeous Swiss-style chalet is nestled near the edge of Grunewald forest and serves a traditional Swiss menu in front of a roaring open fire.