The best tips for Berlin’s Christmas markets. Due to the coronavirus, not all markets will be able to open this year. But with an appropriate hygiene concept and by observing social distancing rules you can still get in the mood during the festive season at many places in Berlin this year, between festively decorated stands serving mulled wine and delicious baked goods. Find out which market in Berlin suits you best! The first markets open up as early as November, spreading an abundance of Christmas spirit in Berlin until the beginning of January. We would like to recommend the following eleven top Christmas markets:
The traditional one: Spandau Christmas Market
The Spandau Christmas Market is one of the largest in Berlin. This year, it will be moved from the Old Town to the inner courtyard of the Spandau Citadel. In keeping with the ambience of this Renaissance fortress, you can look forward to nostalgic stalls and historical attractions. Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride around the grounds, visit the Christmas nativity scene with live animals and listen to the tower brass bands in medieval dress playing famous Christmas carols from the balconies and galleries.
The delightful one: Dicke Linda
Every year in December the smells emanating from Dicke Linda are particularly delicious. Kranoldplatz will be festively decorated for the Christmas edition of this regional market. Savour the smells of hot mulled wine, baked goods and fresh pumpkin soup. Besides local and fair trade organic products, the vendors also offer handmade jewellery, fair fashion and handicrafts. If you are still on the hunt for Christmas presents, you are sure to find some here.
The Elegant: Gendarmenmarkt
Situated on one of the city’s most beautiful squares, featuring the Konzerthaus Berlin and two cathedrals, the Gendarmenmarkt is a picturesque backdrop for your visit. The unique entertainment includes performances from jugglers, fire-eaters and musical ensembles. There's also a crafts tent, displaying the work of talented wood carvers, dressmakers and other artisans.
The Majestic: Charlottenburg Palace
Charlottenburg Palace, festively illuminated for the Christmas season, sits grandly overlooking this market. Vendors sell a variety of craft items, while the smell of mulled wine and freshly-baked German treats such as stollen and marzipan adds to the charming atmosphere. There are even classic children's fairground rides, such as a big wheel and merry-go-round.
The Nostalgic: Rixdorf
Be transported back in time at the beautiful Rixdorf market in Neukölln. Taking place on the second weekend of Advent on charming Richardplatz, it's lit by paraffin lamps, while there's also a traditional smithy and a display of historic carriages. A variety of traditional Christmas decorations and food is available, including handmade toys and home-made jams. Entertainment for children includes a visit from the Three Wise Men on their camels.
The English: A very British Christmas
St George's offers a uniquely British experience in the heart of Berlin. Bagpipes and carols set the right mood, while entertainment includes a tombola raffle. Appetites are satisfied by the traditional British cakes and mince pies for sale. Children, meanwhile, will be enchanted by the festive storytelling sessions.
The Urban: Rotes Rathaus
Situated in front of the Rotes Rathaus is one of Berlin’s oldest and most famous Christmas markets. With historic appeal, it has plenty of food and crafts stalls, a Ferris wheel and a sizeable ice-skating rink. There's even a small enclosure where children can feed animals, while Santa Claus visits three times daily.
The Scandinavian: The Kulturbrauerei
Dedicated to the Nordic goddess of light, Lucia, this Christmas market focuses on all things Scandinavian. Located at a former 19th-century brewery, it boasts traditional Scandinavian food, handicrafts and entertainment. Log fires keep visitors warm, while little ones can enjoy a trampoline, carousel and knight's castle.
The Idyllic: Jagdschloss Grunewald
Taking place in front of the oldest surviving palace in Berlin, this market is a magical festive experience. In a romantic courtyard, local craftspeople offer handmade products, while traditional fairytale characters, such as Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella's stepmother, keep visitors entertained.
The Medieval: Karlshorst
On the second weekend of December, Karlshorst comes alive with mulled wine, gingerbread and handicrafts. As suggested by its motto, „Die Welt zu Hause in Karlshorst” (“The World at Home in Karlshorst”), this market provides visitors with a fascinating insight into the Christmas traditions of other cultures.
The Creative: Children's Christmas Market (FEZ)
Focusing on children and families, this colourful market teaches little ones about Christmas traditions, as they bake sweet treats and sing carols. And of course, Santa Claus will be paying a visit.