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Berlin Christmas Markets 2015: 6 of the best

The lead up to Christmas in Berlin means Glühwein, snow (hopefully) and digging out the thermals to head out on the annual quest to track down the Best Berlin Christmas Markets.

With over 60 to choose from it’s not easy to decide where to go.  Markets can be traditional or modern, commercial or local affairs.  My advice if you’re experiencing Christmas market season in Berlin for the first time is to visit as many as you can.

If you’d like to know where to start, here are my picks for the Best Berlin Christmas Markets 2015.

A Glühwein stand at Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei - one of the best Berlin Christmas markets

Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt

More intimate than many of the larger Berlin Christmas markets, Lucia is named after the Nordic goddess of light, and dedicated to all things Scandinavian.  There is a strong emphasis on food and drink here, so grab a Bratwurst and a Glühwein (or should I say Gløgg) and enjoy the atmosphere.
Tip: If you’re feeling the cold, head for the Mantelheizung, a circle of sheepskin coats strung up over radiators around a fire, where you can warm yourself.

23 November – 22 December 2015
Kulturbrauerei – Prenzlauer Berg
Mon-Fri: 15:00-22:00; Sat-Sun 13:00-22:00
Admission – Free
Website

 

Alt Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt - A Glühwein stand at Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei - one of the best Berlin Christmas markets in Bohemian Berlin Neukölln

Alt Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt

Less commercial than most Berlin Christmas markets, lots of the stalls here are run by local charities.  Rixdorf is the Bohemian heart of Neukölln – if you haven’t been to this part of town before take time to have a good look around.  Cross your fingers and press your thumbs – if it snows, it’s magical.
Tip: Keep an eye out for the Spanferkelbraten (spit roasted suckling pig); the Grützmacher stand (traditional Berlin spirits from a local distiller); and the camels.

4 December – 6 December 2015
Richardplatz – Neukölln
Fri: 17:00-21:00; Sat: 14:00-21:00; Sun: 14:00-20:00
Admission – Free

 

Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg - A Glühwein stand at Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei - one of the best Berlin Christmas markets against the backdrop of the summer palace of Sophie Charlotte of Hanover, wife of King Frederick I

Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloß Charlottenburg

The summer palace of Sophie Charlotte of Hanover, wife of King Frederick I, lit up against the night, provides a stunning backdrop for the many white-tented stalls of this popular market.
Tip: Arrive before dusk and take a stroll around the Palace Gardens.

23 November – 26 December 2015 (closed 24 December)
Schloß Charlottenburg
Mon-Thu: 14:00-22:00; Fri-Sun 12:00-22:00
Admission – Free
Website

 

WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin seen from above - photo by Michael Setzpfandt - A Glühwein stand at Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei - one of the best Berlin Christmas markets

Photo: Michael Setzpfandt / WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt

WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt

The Gendarmenmarkt is one of Berlin’s most picturesque squares and that along with the central location mean that this market is busy and buzzy.
Tip: Climb the Französischer Dom to escape the crowds with the added bonus of a spectacular view over the market.

23 November – 31 December 2015
Gendarmenmarkt – Mitte
11:00-22:00; except 24 December & 31 December: 11:00-18:00
Admission – Mon-Fri: 11:00-14:00 – Free (except 24-26 and 31 December); All other times – 1€
31 December: New Year’s Eve Party: 19:00-01:00; 12€
Website

 

Birgit & Bier Berlin

Photo: Birgit & Bier

Birgit’s InselWeihnachtsmarkt

The only entry on the list I haven’t personally experienced (Birgit & Bier only opened in May this year) it seems that this is more about the entertainment and party than the market – expect: fire shows; a Santa photobooth; a Schnapps lottery; concerts and theatre performances and so much more.
Tip: Wet your whistle with the unpasteurised and unfiltered Pilsner Urquell, or of course the Glühwein.

28 November – 30 December 2015
Birgit & Bier – Schleusenufer 3 – Kreuzberg
Thu-Fri: From 16:00; Sat-Sun: From 14:00
Admission – Free
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Holy Shit Shopping 2014 - Christmas market at Kraftwerk Mitte - Photo by Rolf G. Wackenberg - A Glühwein stand at Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei - one of the best Berlin Christmas markets

Photo: Rolf G. Wackenberg

HOLY SHIT SHOPPING

This is the market to go to if you’re looking for one-off gifts for your design savvy friends and family.  In the 8,000 square foot exhibition space of a former power station, 300 designers will peddle their wares: lifestyle products including fashion, jewellery, furniture and product design, art, photography, literature and specialty foods.
Tip: Stave off hunger and refuel on street food if you’re all shopped out; find inspiration in the bottom of a glass.

12 December – 13 December 2015
Kraftwerk Mitte
Sat: 12:00-22:00; Sun: 12:00-20:00
Admission – 5€
Website

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