I’ve gotten asked by two separate people about what to do in Berlin in the Winter. My initial answer is always: CHRISTMAS MARKETS! These are original to Germany, where the tradition of the Christmas Tree was invented. German Christmas Markets are where you can taste traditional Christmas food, get some shopping done, and enjoy some winter time activities.
Then they clarify: We are arriving on Christmas Day or a few days after, so it gets a bit more tricky. Traditional WeihnachtsMarkts (German for Christmas Markets) light up and warm the cold Berlin nights, especially with the GlühWein. Then on 24 December, most of them close and turn off like a black out.
But the good news is that there are some more tourist-friendly WeihnachtsMarkts that will be open past Christmas. But please also ask your hotel or guide to be sure that they are open on Christmas Eve/Day, and until what time. Click on the names below to see more info and directions from the VisitBerlin website.
GENDARMENMARKT 26 Nov-31 Dec 2018
Open Daily 11am-10pm
24 Dec 11am-6.00pm
31 Dec 11am-1am
Admissions: € 1 (for on-stage performances and charity)
Free: Below 12yo & Mon-Fri 11am to 2 p.m. (except 25&26 Dec)
NO Dogs (except guide dogs) and luggage allowed
CHARLOTTENBURG CASTLE 30 Nov-26 Dec 2018
This is quite a large Christmas Market which is in front of the famous Schloss (castle) and I wrote about my experience here. This is another favorite, made splendid by the Angels walking around for pictures with a magestic palace in the background.
24 Dec CLOSED
25 Dec 12nn- 8pm
GEDÄCHTNISKIRCHE 26 Nov 2018 – 6 Jan 2019
I rememember one winter evening walking through this Market on my way to KaDeWe, and experiencing snow for the very first time. The snow was falling on my face and I felt like I was in one of those Christmas movies or books. What a magical place. Though this was the scene of terror attack a few years ago, I’d like to think that security will be tighter and that it is even safer now. You can plan to visit this Christmas Market after a visit to KaDeWe, the 2nd largest department store in Europe, with it’s legendary 6th and 7th floor full of food, and is the scene for the who’s who of Berlin during Saturday Brunch.
Weihnachtsmarkt an der Gedächtniskirche © Foto: visumate
Open Daily 11am-10/11pm
24 Dec 11am-2pm
25/26 Dec 1-9pm
31 Dec 11am-1am + Fireworks display at 6pm/8pm/10pm/12mn
1 Jan 1-9pm
POTSDAMER PLATZ 21 Nov-26 Dec 2018This is a bit touristy, but it has Europe’s largest mobile toboggan run of 70 metres, which is impressive against the backdrop of the Potsdamer Platz skyline. I’ve never had the guts to do this but it does look like a lot of fun. It’s very popular, so making a reservation might be advisable. There is also skating with free skating lessons for 4-7yo children, and curling. I’ve never tried it because we always went straight for the Bratwurst and Glühwein.Don’t forget to visit the nearby Sony Center Christmas Market when you go.
Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz © Foto: PPMG Potsdamer Platz Management GmbHOpen daily 10am-10pmApres-ski party with DJ from 7pm12/19 Nov Winterwelt CLOSED
24 Dec 10am-2pm
I am sure there are others but these are the ones that I’ve been to and can recommend. I also saw online that there is a Crazy Christmas Market Comedy Tour that takes you around Berlin’s tourist spots and around a few markets. Buy tickets here.
Please view all links in Google Chrome, so that all the German posts are automatically translated to English.
Are there any other Christmas Markets that are open after the 23rd of December? Please drop me a line below!