Berlin Christmas Market: The Complete Guide
Berlin is Germany's capital city and is a place full of culture, character and historic landmarks. The past and present collide on every street as modern attractions stand next to ancient buildings and there is something here for everyone to enjoy.
Berlin may be cold at holiday time but that is no reason to not experience this incredible season. The city is brightly lit and you will not mind the short days and extra chilly nights! If you ever find yourself in Berlin during the festive season you will notice German Christmas markets scattered around the city. There are nearly 80 of them so you will have lots of places to discover!
Take this opportunity to explore a few and maybe do some Christmas shopping as well! Before you head out to admire the Christmas trees and lights, find a place where you can store your bags in Berlin. When your arms get full of lovely Christmas finds, store them as well and keep shopping!
Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market
One of the most popular Christmas markets in Berlin is the Gendarmenmarkt market which is set up in a city square surrounded by historic architecture. It attracts a bevy of visitors every year and can get busy during peak hours, so keep that in mind if you aren't a fan of big crowds. Both locals and tourists are drawn to the area thanks to the massive Christmas tree, decorated in all its splendor, as well as the live choir singing Christmas carols.
The market has stalls selling all sorts of festive goodies, mostly made by local artisans like candle makers, jewelers and glassblowers, as well as treats and hot drinks. You can definitely find unique Christmas gifts here!
The market is until New Year's Eve when they host a huge celebration with live DJs and fireworks, so you will have lots of time to visit. This market charges a small entrance fee except for most weekdays between 11 am and 2 pm.
What to do near Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market
A bonus of this Christmas market in Berlin is that you will be situated right next to some of the city's top landmarks. While you are here, we suggest visiting the Concert Hall or the French and German churches located nearby. Their local names are Französischer Dom, Deutscher Dom and Konzerthaus.
Charlottenburg Palace Christmas Market
The Berlin market at Charlottenburg Palace is one of the best Christmas markets for shopping, so keep them in mind if you still have a few gifts you need to pick up. The atmosphere at the market is absolutely magical, especially with the lights they set up on the castle.
The wood huts found in the market are filled with around 250 international vendors from around the world. Some of the things that you can buy here include unique handmade crafts as well as culinary treats. Make this your destination for a romantic winter date or a family outing!
What to do near Charlottenburg Christmas Market
With an open-air restaurant, carousels and a petting zoo on site, you should be able to find more than enough to do on the market grounds. However, if you have more free time you should definitely check out the palace itself; it was once the residence of the first Queen consort in Prussia, Sophie Charlotte. The Winterwald forest set up in front of the palace orangery offers lots of other fantastic attractions for children as well.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Christmas Market
Each year around Christmas time at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the entire area transforms into one of the most famous Christmas markets in Berlin. You will immediately feel the Christmas magic as the main attraction, the incredible 25ft tall Christmas tree, catches your eye.
The space has nearly 170 stalls all appropriately decorated for the event and each selling something different. Come shop for toys, delicate accessories or ornaments to put on your own tree back home! It is also a foodie's paradise with grilled sausages, roasted almonds, candied nuts, mulled wine, hot chocolate and eggnog available to snack on.
What to do near Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Christmas Market
If you are visiting with young kids they will definitely love going on the carousel fairground ride in the market. Once you are done exploring the stalls you can visit the Berlin Zoo which is located nearby.
Lucia Christmas Market
Lucia Christmas Market is not your traditional Christmas market. Although you will find the customary holiday treats here you can also spot stalls selling Scandinavian and Nordic foods. Moose goulash, Finnish honey and reindeer bratwurst are some of the things that you will be able to order. This is your chance to expand your palate and try something new!
This Nordic Christmas market was named after Saint Lucia who is the goddess of light in Nordic culture. Kids will love it here; there is a fun bungee trampoline, carousel and knight's castle to explore. Santa Claus even comes to visit in the evenings!
What to do near Lucia Christmas Market
This popular Christmas market is set up at Kulturbrauerie, an old brewery building. There is much to do here after you've had enough of the market since the space is home to a movie theater, supermarket and several museums. There is a Sunday food market every week as well!
Spandau Christmas Market
The small Old Town of Spandau is home to the largest Christmas market in the city and you definitely won't want to miss your chance to check them out. On weekdays, you will find nearly 250 vendors selling their goods at the stalls but on weekends that number climbs to nearly 400!
The center of the market is home to a nativity scene (with live animals!) and a giant fir tree that really brings in the holiday spirit. The twinkling lights and festive cheer are enough to make you want to visit any day of the week, but Wednesdays and Fridays bring even more special events. Take the little ones to meet with Santa Claus on Wednesday or rock out to a live concert every week on Friday evenings!
What to do near Spandau Christmas Market
The Old Town of Spandau is filled with attractions and things to do after or before visiting the market. While you are here check out the Spandauer Altstadt, a historic landmark that is just a short walk away and surrounded by small stores and shops.
Embracing the German Tradition in Berlin
We couldn't talk about all of the Berlin Christmas markets and there are lots of other honorable mentions. Check out the Medieval Christmas market Berliner Weihnachtszeit where you can go shopping, ride a Ferris wheel and catch panoramic views of the city center and Brandenburg Gate.
Still want to see more? The Potsdamer Platz Christmas Market has a nice shopping selection as well as an ice rink, so get ready to go ice skating! Most Christmas markets are open between early November and late December giving you a couple of weeks to visit before Christmas Eve.
Now you are ready to enjoy the Christmas Markets in Berlin. For more things to do in Berlin, check out these other guides.