Berlin – The capital of Christmas markets
Berlin, 22 November 2023 From nostalgic to sustainable, from Scandinavian to Japanese: Berlin is the capital of Christmas markets. That’s because it has more than different 80 Christmas markets and they attract up to one million visitors to Berlin every year. The traditional opening day is the day after the Totensonntag (the Sunday in commemoration of the Dead), which falls on 26th November this year. Right from the end of October, the pre-Christmas atmosphere has been created by the Winter World and Christmas market at Potsdamer Platz, the Weihnachtsrummel on Landsberger Allee or the Tierpark. Until the official season starts, these markets are called Winter Markets and ring in the special time of year in the capital.
There's always something to discover in Berlin - including new Christmas markets. So the new Winter Market Schlossplatz in the centre. In keeping with the setting, there will be historical arts and crafts, a roundabout, illuminated façades and a family programme around the Humboldt Forum and in the Schlüterhof. Another new and special feature is the Queer Winter Wonderland: Berlin's queer community comes together at "Gestrandet" on Jannowitzbrücke to celebrate in a creative and humorous way. The first two weekends in Advent will also be colourful. Queer artists sell their work at the Pride Wintermarkt im ehemaligen Frauengefängnis in Lichterfelde. Caribbean flair in a grey Berlin winter? Go to the YAAM on Ice Christmas Market directly on the Spree, not far from the Schillingbrücke. This extraordinary Christmas market heats up with a mixture of fire and light shows, DJ skating parties and Jamaican street food. The wine lobbyists in Schöneberg have organised what is probably Berlin's smallest, but finest, Christmas market in an inner courtyard and in proper style, called WEINachtsmarkt.
The classics among Berlin's Christmas markets are always beautiful. One of the most beautiful and luxurious is the WeihnachtsZauber. It will take place on Bebelplatz this year as well, due to a building site at Gendarmenmarkt. The heated tents will showcase arts and crafts and traditional top-class cuisine - all against an impressive setting. The attraction of the Berliner Weihnachtszeit at the Rotes Rathaus is the 50 metre high panorama big wheel. The medieval market around St. Marienkirche takes you on a journey through time. And on the Altberliner Marktgasse, visitors can immerse themselves in the Berlin of around 1900. The romantic Christmas market at Charlottenburg Palace is one of the crowd pullers. Over 100 international exhibitors have been selling jewellery, nativity figures and sweets here since 2007. Anyone wishing to immerse themselves in a royal Christmas world can do so until 31st December. For the 50th time, the traditional Spandau Christmas market attracts visitors to the old city centre in the north-west of Berlin. Its landmark is the magnificent fir tree in the market square. By the way, there is a special Christmas party for young and old near Spandauer Altstadt, on the old post office site opposite the Spandauer Arcaden shopping centre: the Family Wonderland. Besides rides, the Christmas carnival also offers a Christmas show and concerts.
Christmas time is the season of lights. This can also be done using LED light sources and sustainable energy concepts, in an energy-saving way. Sparkling light installations once again transform the Christmas at the Tierpark into a wonderland full of atmosphere. The Christmas Garden Berlin is magical: Visitors can enjoy the illuminated botanical garden until 14th January. You can also get into the Christmas spirit with the Winterlights in Dark Matter. The light and sound installation with 200 hanging Christmas trees and more than 80,000 lights conjures up a symphony of moving light, colour and delightful music in the winter night.
The International ones
What are the Christmas traditions of other countries in the world? The international Christmas markets in Berlin provide an insight into a wide variety of cultures. On 26th November, the Japanese Christmas market in Festsaal Kreuzberg will be serving sake instead of mulled wine and sushi instead of gingerbread. The creative workshops and the dance and sumo performances are the highlights. The Scandinavian version of Christmas can be experienced at the Lucia Christmas market at the Kulturbrauerei in the Prenzlauer Berg district. It is dedicated entirely to Nordic folklore. Elk meatballs, salmon potato soup and Finnish waffles or mulled wine in 20 flavours: Guests can't get past the Scandinavian specialities. Traditional cuisine is also at the centre of the Norwegian Christmas Market. You should definitely try one of the sweet or savoury dishes such as reindeer ragout, fish meatballs, smørbrød with shrimps or warm waffles. Typical specialities will also be available on the first Advent weekend at the Swedish Christmas bazaar in Wilmersdorf or at the traditional Traditional Christmas Bazaar in the Finland Center on the 25th and 26th November. And visitors can immerse themselves in the Christmas spirit of Charles Dickens at the very British Christmas at St. George's Church in Westend on 9th December. Take a Christmas trip around the world - in the centre of Berlin - with unique gifts from every continent at the Christmas bazaar in the atrium of the Federal Foreign Office.
The sustainable ones
Of course, a sustainable city like Berlin also has sustainable Christmas markets. The brand new Zero Waste Xmas Market is a Christmas market that produces hardly any waste, offers a platform for sustainable Berlin brands and allows you to explore a fantastic location: the Atelier Gardens, the former film studio near the historic Berlin Tempelhof Airport and now a campus for ecological and cultural events. Vegan natural cosmetics, clothing and delicacies: The Wilmersdorf Christmas Village is all about an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Natural products and natural foods are the stars of the Advent market at Ökowerk. The trip to the wintry Grunewald forest on 26th November isn’t just worthwhile for environmentally-friendly people. The Environmental & Christmas Market on Sophienstraße is an award-winning place. Over 80 fair-trade retailers and Berlin start-ups offer unusual gifts, natural goods and fair-trade treats on Berlin's oldest street. The Dicke Linda Christmas Market on Neukölln Kranoldplatz on 16th December is also a sustainable event.
Berlin's designer Christmas markets are hip, cool and unconventional. You are sure to find special Christmas presents here. For example, at the Weihnachtsrodeo Designweihnachtsmarkt at the Colosseum Berlin. This location in Prenzlauer Berg offers design, fashion, jewellery and art from over 150 creative people and manufacturers. The Holy Shit Shopping offers an unconventional Christmas experience on 2nd and 3rd December in the Arena Berlin. The “mother of design Christmas markets” has been taking place since 2004. This year, it is inviting visitors to the “Ciao Lametta! Hallo Zukunft!” design fans to promote innovative ideas in the creative industries and support sustainable approaches. At the Neukoelln Xmas Flow on Maybachufer, over 50 local up-and-coming designers and small labels will be presenting fashion accessories, leather and wooden goods, porcelain and jewellery on 10th December. You can also discover beautiful gifts, furnishings and clothes at Merry Markthalle on 10th and 17th December. The festively decorated hall in Kreuzberg remains a paradise on these two days. Oberschöneweide also has a designer Christmas market.
The extraordinary ones
This is Berlin: The capital city has unique Christmas markets. Like the Winterzauber auf Deck5, Berlin's highest Christmas market. On the roof of the Schönhauser Allee Arcaden in Prenzlauer Berg, the cosy Christmas stroll also offers a great view over the city. Yes, and Berlin really does have a Christmas market for man's best friend: At the Berliner Hundeweihnachtsmarkt “Sirius”, dog owners will find everything for their beloved four-legged friends - from accessories to dog food. Just as casual as Berlin is the Heissa Holzmarkt Berlin on the banks of the Spree. Here, Christmas fans can watch films, listen to fairy tales, marvel at artists and dance to the beats of various DJs.
countdown & overview
Which market will be the first to open? Countdown of Christmas markets and list according to districts
If you want to increase your anticipation, you should take a look at the chronological countdown of Berlin's Christmas markets. You can find an overview of all Christmas markets with information on locations and opening times here, more tips here. Fancy a shopping spree in Christmassy Berlin? visitBerlin’s inspirations are compiled here.
You can find images here and here.