Christmas Markets in Berlin – 5 Stars

Angel at Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg - a Christmas Market in Berlin

The Christmas Markets season in Berlin is well underway now and I’ve been out and about trying to sample as many as possible.

A friend recently told me that there are 60 Christmas Markets in Berlin this year.  It’s no wonder then that Berlin is popular with tourists who plan holidays specifically to take in some festive cheer.

With so many markets in the city it is difficult to know which ones visit so here’s my pick of the best Christmas Markets in Berlin I’ve seen so far.

Weihnachtsmarkt Zauber Gendarmenmarkt

Weihnachtsmarkt Zauber Gendarmenmarkt - a Christmas Market in Berlin

The Weihnachtsmarkt Zauber (Magic Christmas Market) on the Gendarmenmarkt is one of Berlin’s most popular Christmas Markets and it’s not difficult to see why.

Set between the Deutscher Dom, Konzerthaus and Französischer Dom on one of Berlin’s most picturesque squares it has many food and drink options and stalls selling decorations, craft and gifts

Merry X-Mas heart-shaped sweet at Weihnachtsmarkt Zauber Gendarmenmarkt - a Christmas Market in Berlin

When I visited on a Saturday evening the market was so busy it was difficult to move at times but even on a Wednesday evening it was thronging with people.

Weihnachtsmarkt Zauber Gendarmenmarkt and Französischer Dom - a Christmas Market in Berlin

If you have a mug of Glühwein here look out for the image of Knut (a famous Polar Bear at Berlin Zoo, sadly no longer with us) as an angel inside the lip, as pointed out to me by an eagle-eyed Digital Cosmonaut on a recent visit.

Tip: Climb the Französischer Dom (entrance fee €3) for a bird’s eye view of the market from the viewing platform.

Weihnachtsmarkt Zauber Gendarmenmarkt - a Christmas Market in Berlin - from the Französischer Dom

Location, Opening Times and Prices

Gendarmenmarkt – nearest station – U Hausvogteiplatz / Stadtmitte

Every day until 31 December: 11:00 – 22:00.

€1 (Free Monday to Friday 11:00 – 14:00)

Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt am Opernpalais

Stalls at the Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt am Opernpalais - a Christmas Market in Berlin

The Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt (Nostalgic Christmas Market) at the Opernpalais was one of the busiest and most atmospheric that I visited last year in Berlin.

Unfortunately, I think its popularity has been affected by virtually being surrounded by a building site, as visitor numbers seem much lower this year based on the few visits I’ve made.

Despite this it is still an interesting setting with some great views and the market is well laid out and offers a good variety of stalls.

Wooden Decorations on a stall at Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt am Opernpalais - a Christmas Market in Berlin

Hopefully, as we move closer to Christmas, the crowds, and with them the atmosphere, will return to Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt am Opernpalais

Tip: Stop by the stage in the southeast corner for musical performances.

Location, Opening Times and Prices

Opernpalais (Unter den Linden) – nearest station – U Hausvogteiplatz

Monday to Thursday: 12:00 – 21: 30; Friday & Saturday: 11:00 – 22: 30; Sunday: 11:00 – 22: 30 until 26 December.

Free

Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg

Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg - a Christmas Market in Berlin

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Schloss Charlottenburg lit up in many colours, Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg is the most impressive looking of all the Christmas Markets I’ve visited so far.

Stalls at Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg - a Christmas Market in Berlin

The cupola of the Schloss dominates the skyline over the market but the minaret of one food and drink stand and the Christmas Pyramid (Weihnachtspyramide) of the Deutscher Winzerglühwein stand provide interesting counterpoints.

A Food and Drink Stand at Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg - a Christmas Market in Berlin

People Drinking Glühwein at Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg - a Christmas Market in Berlin

Tip: Arrive early and take the time to stroll around the Palace Gardens or go inside Schloss Charlottenburg.

Location, Opening Times and Prices

In front of Schloss Charlottenburg (Spandauer Damm) – nearest stations – S Westend / U Richard-Wagner-Platz

Monday to Thursday: 14:00 – 22: 00; Friday to Sunday: 12:00 – 22: 00 until 26 December.

Free

Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei

A Glühwein stand at Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei - a Christmas Market in Berlin

My favourite of favourite Berlin Christmas Markets of all those I’ve experienced this year (I haven’t been to all of them) has to be Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt at Kulturbrauerei.

Smaller and therefore more intimate than any of the other markets I’ve visited, Lucia has the best atmosphere.

Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei - a Christmas Market in Berlin

Having read the Tourist Information on the market’s website I can tell you:

Named after Lucia, the Nordic goddess of light, the market is dedicated to the Scandinavian countries.

The emphasis here is on food and drink stalls, with just a few selling the usual trinkets, and it seems that it is popular as a meeting place for the local community.

A Glühwein stand at Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei - a Christmas Market in Berlin

As this market is behind my local supermarket I have been here on all days of the week and have yet to go without walking into the buzz and chatter of groups of friends.

A Dinosaur and a car on a Carousel ride at Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei - a Christmas Market in Berlin

Tip: If you’re feeling a little chilly look out for the ‘Coat-Open-Air-Heater’, a circle of Sheepskin coats strung around a fire.  Sit down and slip your arms into a coat where it hangs – add Glühwein for added fortification against Berlin’s winter weather if needed.

Location, Opening Times and Prices

Kulturbrauerei (Schönhauser Allee / Sredzkistrasse / Knaackstrasse) – nearest station – U Eberswalder Strasse

Monday to Friday: 15:00 – 22: 00; Saturday & Sunday: 13:00 – 22: 00 until 23 December.

Free

Stattmarkt at Stattbad Wedding

Extinguisher - Art by KEN (aka Plotterroboter) at Stattmarkt at Stattbad Wedding in Berlin

If you’ve had your fill of Glühwein and Bratwurst and would like an alternative to the many traditional markets in Berlin, head out to Stattbad Wedding for Stattmarkt.

This former public baths (Stadtbad), now a gallery/club/performance space, is hosting an art market Thursday to Sunday until 16 December.

Lost - Art by ALIAS at Stattmarkt at Stattbad Wedding in Berlin

With over 300 artworks from new and established urban artists Stattmarkt at Stattbad Wedding is an opportunity to view some outstanding art in an innovative and intriguing setting.

Tip: Make sure you check out the outside of the building too as this is a popular spot for Street Artists.

Location, Opening Times and Prices

Stattbad Wedding (Gerichtstrasse 65) – nearest station: S + U Wedding.

Thursday to Sunday: 12:00 – 19:00 until 16 December.

€5 (€3 concessions).

3 thoughts on “Christmas Markets in Berlin – 5 Stars

  1. haywooaj

    Interesting that Gendarmenmarkt was your first choice – it’s definitely the most popular/well-known in Berlin but I was disappointed by the high prices and commercial goods. I go to a Christmas market to see hand-carved wooden nutcrackers, not 60-euro designer earrings. Lots of Berliners commented that it had basically all the same booths as last year, too – I guess it’s hard to get a space there unless you “know somebody.”

    I didn’t go to any of the others that you mentioned, but I liked the one at Potsdamer Platz a lot. The size was right, the prices were right, and there was “free” ice skating – minus the cost of shoe rentals and a coat check.

    The Alexanderplatz market was super well-known too. I didn’t spend much time there but it looked nice, just HUGE – a bit overwhelming really.

    Great tip about the one in Wedding – I had no idea!

    Reply

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