Christmas markets have a long history of warming wintry city streets with holiday decorations, cheerful music, and cozy stalls selling crafts and gifts. The traditional Christmas markets originated in Germany and date back to the late middle ages. Today, Germany still hosts many of the world’s largest Christmas markets, attracting millions of visitors per year. The capital of the country, Berlin, has an impressive amount of Christmas markets—over 70 markets open in the city annually from late November to late December! It would be nearly impossible to visit all of these markets, but if you’re planning a visit during the holiday season, use this list of the top Christmas markets in Berlin to help narrow down your itinerary.
1. Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt
The Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt is centrally located in a beautiful square. Flanked by the German and French Churches and the Konzerthaus concert hall, the historic architecture combined with the Christmas decorations creates a magical atmosphere. The Christmas market has hundreds of artisanal gifts to choose from, like wood carvings, belts and dresses, and photography prints. You can also try traditional German food and drinks from one of the many heated food stalls. Entertaining performances like jugglers, choirs, and even fire-eaters add to the festive atmosphere.
Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt
Address: Gendarmenmarkt, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Dates: November 26 - December 31, 2018, 11 am to 10 pm
Website: Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt
2. Spandau Christmas market
The Spandau Christmas market is located in the Old Town of Spandau, a neighborhood of Berlin where you will feel like you’ve traveled back in time. Old and new buildings line the alleys and streets in their medieval layout. It’s the perfect setting for a traditional Christmas market. At the center of the square is a towering tree surrounded by warmly decorated gift and food stalls. You’ll also find entertainment from musicians walking around the market, and at the main stage, where sing-alongs with Santa take place! The family-friendly atmosphere and its location outside of downtown Berlin make this market a great choice for those with young children.
Spandau Christmas market
Address: Old Town, Spandau, Berlin, Germany
Dates: November 26 - December 23, 2018, 11 am to 8 pm
Website: Spandau Christmas market
3. Christmas market at Charlottenburg Palace
The magnificent Charlottenburg Palace is the perfect backdrop for a Christmas market! The biggest palace in Berlin is decked out for the holiday with lights and decorations. Part of the grounds are transformed into a small amusement park where children can ride on a Ferris wheel, merry-go-rounds, and little roller coasters. The rest of the market is filled with 250 vendors displaying their Christmas wares like nativity figures and tree decorations.
Christmas market at Charlottenburg Palace
Address: Spandauer Damm 20-24, 14059 Berlin, Germany
Dates: November 27 - December 26, 2018, 12 pm to 10 pm
4. Christmas market at Alexanderplatz
The Christmas market at Alexanderplatz has a unique mix of shopping, entertainment, and activities. There are over 100 craft vendors selling traditional Christmas gifts like pottery and figurines, as well as delicious food stalls where you can pick up some bratwurst or mulled wine. Aside from shopping, children can enjoy fairground rides and both kids and adults can hop on the Ferris wheel overlooking the market. If you’re looking for more festive activities, take a skate on the ice rink, or enter the walk-in Christmas pyramid at the center of the market, which has several stories to climb!
Christmas market at Alexanderplatz
Address: Alexanderplatz, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Dates: November 26 to December 26, 2018, 10 am to 10 pm
Website: Christmas market at Alexanderplatz
5. Lucia Christmas market at Kulturbrauerei
The Lucia Christmas market is one of the more unique ones in Berlin, and is definitely worth a visit! Named for the Nordic goddess of light, the whole market is Scandinavian themed, from the handicrafts, to the food and drinks, to the performances. The unique aspects of this market are designed to keep visitors warm, like Swedish fire logs, heated art installations, and an “open-air coat heater”—a wood-fired oven that heats up coats for visitors to wear. Kids can also keep toasty by bouncing on a bungee trampoline, exploring a castle, or riding the swing carousel.
Lucia Christmas market at Kulturbrauerei
Address: Knaackstraße 97, 10435 Berlin, Germany
Dates: November 26 - December 23, 2018, 1 pm to 10 pm
6. Christmas market at Berlin Town Hall
With its location outside of an important government building, it makes sense that the Christmas market at Berlin Town Hall would pay tribute to traditional German culture. Entertainers dressed in historic costumes perform present life as it would have appeared a hundred years ago. The square is also full of historic carousels and stalls selling traditional German foods like roasted almonds and gingerbread. Children will especially love this market, where they can ride a small train into a fairytale forest or see Santa Claus as he rides in on his sleigh three times per day for pictures.
Christmas market at Berlin Town Hall
Address: Rathausstraße 15, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Dates: November 26 - December 30, 2018, 12 pm to 10 pm
Website: Christmas market at Berlin Town Hall
7. Christmas market at Gedächtniskirche
The Christmas market at Gedächtniskirche in west Berlin is near the city’s legendary shopping boulevard, the Kurfürstendamm. This street is full of stores where you can buy everything you could need, whether at the Europacenter mall or the famous KaDeWe department store. The Gedächtniskirche Christmas market’s location makes it a great place to get your holiday shopping done: start at the Kurfürstendamm for trendy or high-end gifts, and end at the Christmas market for thoughtful, handmade goods. After a long day of shopping, enjoy a hot chocolate from a vendor, a musical performance, or rides with the kids.
Christmas market at Gedächtniskirche
Address: Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin, Germany
Dates: November 26, 2018 - January 6, 2019, 11 am to 9 pm
Website: Christmas market at Gedächtniskirche
8. Winter World on Potsdamer Platz (Tiergarten)
The Christmas market at Potsdamer Platz is called Winter World because it has a fun mix of traditional events and exciting, new activities. It’s a great place to go if you’re looking for a Christmas market that has a fun-filled and festive atmosphere. For those seeking a traditional Christmas market experience, a crafts market is held in picturesque wooden stalls, where you can stock up on handicrafts and watch the craftspeople while they work. For those who are a little more active, hop on the toboggan run or skate on the large ice rink. The weekends are even more of a party, with live music and an après-skiatmosphere!
Address: Potsdamer Platz, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Dates: November 2, 2018 - January 6, 2019, 10 am to 10 pm
Website: Winter World
Be a part of Christmas history
Few things can get you in a festive spirit like strolling around a German Christmas market. It is heartwarming to think of the Christmas markets that have taken place over hundreds of years, bringing people together through good times and bad over a shared love of food and drink, entertainment, and gift giving. Berlin is the heart of Germany and one of the best places to experience classic Christmas markets that are also fun and new!
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