The Best Christmas Markets in Berlin

Berlin gets into the festive spirit with a huge variety of Christmas markets around the city
Berlin gets into the festive spirit with a huge variety of Christmas markets around the city | © pictureproject / Alamy Stock Photo
Tristan Parker

Germany does Christmas better than most, and this is reflected in the array of Christmas markets in its capital, Berlin. Pour a gluhwein and plan a festive trip that pairs visits to the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and Berlin Wall with cinnamon-scented Christmas markets.

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Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Palace

Park, Shop, Historical Landmark

Have a very sumptuous Christmas at a market held in front of a grandiose, 17th-century royal residence. As one of Berlin’s largest Christmas markets, the attractions here are also suitably extravagant, including an orchestra belting out Christmas tunes, carnival rides, heated food tents to beat the winter chill and some 250 stalls selling gifts and traditional treats from Germany and beyond, including favourites such as mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. To top it all off, the palace and grounds are illuminated for the occasion.

Lucia Christmas Market

Market

© Eden Breitz / Alamy Stock Photo

Step out of Berlin and into Scandinavia for this Nordic-themed market, held in the grounds of a historic brewery. Sift through Scandi-cool decorations, jewellery and clothing, and look out for food and drink that you won’t find at other markets – such as Swedish cinnamon buns and a dizzying variety of hygge-boosting, hot, boozy drinks, such as glögi (Finnish mulled wine). Kids don’t miss out on the fun either, as there are fairground rides, trampolines and regular visits from Santa. If it gets too cold, simply climb into one of the special “coat heaters” – snug jackets that have been pre-heated by a wood-fired oven.

Christmas Avenue’s LGBTIQ* Winterdays

Market

© Mickis Fotowelt / Alamy Stock Photo

Returning for its second instalment after launching its Berlin edition in 2019, Winterdays combines elements of a traditional Christmas market – hot food and drink stalls, plus small gifts and colourful decorations for sale – with a programme of events, all while celebrating inclusivity and equality. As such, there’s a friendly and warm atmosphere throughout the market, making its events even more fun. Expect lots of live music, drag bingo and bars with sizeable cocktail menus, if you’re sick of mulled wine. It’s perfect for anyone wanting to liven up their Christmas shopping experience.

Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt

Market

© scenicireland.com / Christopher Hill Photographic / Alamy Stock Photo

Those looking to impress with their festive gift-giving should spend their euros at Gendarmenmarkt, where the items have a luxurious feel. In fact, the neat rows of well-decorated tents and glowing decor show passers-by that this is a classy affair, even before you step into the market. Once inside, you’ll be able to see artisans at work in the craft tent. The entertainment here is also special, with a packed programme featuring fire eaters, acrobats and dancers, plus live music covering jazz, classical and Christmas choirs.

Eco Christmas Market at Sophienstraße

Market, German
It’s been going for over 20 years and this market in the fashionable Mitte district is still as popular as ever. As the name suggests, there’s a big environmental focus, demonstrated by lots of organic food – including filled crêpes, fluffy waffles and a big selection of vegan options – and sustainable gifts, from wooden toys to beauty products. It’s a great market for finding one-of-a-kind presents, while stilt walkers, circus performers and musicians provide the entertainment.

Christmas market at Kollwitzplatz

Market, Park

© Iain Masterton / Alamy Stock Photo

The 60-odd stalls at this socially conscious market focus on sustainable, responsibly produced products – including a big selection of organic and fair trade items. It’s a great option for those looking to buy low-impact gifts, and also goes out of its way to create a calm and welcoming atmosphere, providing a serene alternative to busier markets. Food and drink are also a big deal here, and visitors can sample locally sourced goodies such as spiced Christmas biscuits and mulled gin.

Advent market at Domäne Dahlem

Market

© Schoening / Alamy Stock Photo

Set around a 16th-century manor house – now converted into an open-air agriculture and food museum – this cosy market specialises in all kinds of handicrafts. This is the place to go for high-quality, hand-made gifts – and you can even watch them being made, as there are glassblowers, gold and silversmiths, potters, toy-makers and other artists working on site. Budding artisans can hone their skills in various workshops and activities for children, such as candle-making and decorating tree ornaments. Live music from brass bands keeps the atmosphere thoroughly jolly.

Vegan Christmas Market, Fehrbelliner Platz

Market

© Jannis Werner / Stockimo / Alamy Stock Photo

Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the festive deliciousness when there are forward-thinking markets like this one, offering a world of plant-based Christmas treats. Take your pick from burgers, bratwurst and currywurst (a must-eat Berlin sausage with mild curry-ketchup), falafel, stollen, strudel, pastries and plenty of “cheese” – all made without animal products. The conscious approach extends to the gifting choices, which include vegan cosmetics and beauty products, plastic-free jewellery and Christmas tree decorations, and cruelty-free clothing and accessories.

Alexanderplatz Christmas Market

Market

© Iain Masterton / Alamy Stock Photo

Taking place in one of Berlin’s busiest tourist spots means that this market is big, bold and bustling, with a bit of a carnival feel to it. With the iconic TV Tower looming above you, browse through 100-plus stalls selling everything from handbags to handicrafts, plus all the Christmassy snacks you can dream of. Post-shopping, whisk yourself around the fairground rides – the carousel if you’ve got children with you, or the giant, gleaming Ferris wheel for something with more altitude – and glide across the huge ice rink. And make sure you visit the top of the TV Tower for panoramic views of the city at its wintry best.

Winter World on Potsdamer Platz

Market

© Luis Dafos / Alamy Stock Photo

If you want to brush up on your Winter Olympics skills, get active at Winter World, where you can perfect your toe-jump on the ice rink, hone your out-turn on the curling rink and even hurtle down a 70m toboggan run to get the adrenaline flowing. Those after a calmer market experience can browse the gifts housed in wooden chalets and relax with a rejuvenating hot chocolate, as they stroll under pretty arches of lights and ribbons.

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