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Wintertime in Berlin

Berlin is the capital city of Germany, and is one of the 16 states of Germany. Located in north-eastern Germany, it is the centre of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. Berlin is the capital city of the German Christmas Markets.  Whether you prefer a contemplative and magical Christmas market or a lively and urban one, Berlin offers you a choice of  sixty Christmas Markets. Berlin celebrates winter in its own unique style: whether Christmas shopping on the festively lit Kurfürstendamm, sipping mulled wine in the historical setting of the Gendarmenmarkt, or skiing on the grounds of former Tempelhof Airport. Those seeking relaxation will find it in the spa and wellness areas offered by many hotels, while numerous restaurants offer reinterpreted regional cuisine. Or for something completely different, snuggle under the covers of the Bettbike as you tour the city.

With around 60 Christmas markets, visitors to Berlin are spoilt for choice. Some are small, others are that large that a single afternoon would simply not suffice to explore everything. Particularly impressive: the Christmas Market at Gendarmenmarkt. The Konzerthaus (Concert Hall) and the French Cathedral are lit up in bright light with a small tent city built in between. Handicrafts of the noblest kind are sold here, including hand carved cribs, mouth-blown glassware or replicas of historical steam engines. You can see the craftspeople busy in their work whilst enjoying a glass of mulled wine. At the Rotes Rathaus (Red Town Hall), visitors can experience the long tradition of Berlin’s Christmas markets up close, puppeteers, storytellers, children’s carousels – taking back Berliners and tourists to former times. Facades with original images of the old town houses show how everything used to be at one time in Berlin. Just a short walk ahead at Marienkirche, a life-sized Christmas crib awaits the visitors. In medieval bakeries people may peek over the shoulder of the bakers when preparing bread with their hands. You can drink steaming mead in a clay jug at the tavern next door.

Our Top Ten Christmas Markets in Berlin

The Christmas market in front of the Red Town Hall has a lot to offer. Skating rink, street performers, Ferris wheel with enclosed panoramic gondolas and of course a varied gastronomic offer.

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The “Winter Dream on Alexa” between Jannowitzbruecke and Alexanderplatz   is Berlin’s largest Christmas market

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Spandau Christmas market in the Old Town. Delicious specialities, crafts, Christmas and a special stage show with Santa Claus and angel choir

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In the Winter World at Potsdamer Platz, visitors can tobogganing, at the Christmas market stroll and admire the elaborate decorations and lights.

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At the Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt combines old craftsmanship and culinary seduction, including with gingerbread, brandy punch and bratwurst on a charcoal grill.

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Weihnachtsmarkt Schloss Charlottenburg. A highlight is the elaborate  illumination of buildings and park areas. that integrate with rides, selected crafts and themed tents and a special family program for the sight and sound. On offer is again a mini ferris wheel, swings and children and Carousel. What is new is  a train and a petting zoo, including horseback riding.  Food and drinks are not on the Christmas market.

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Christmas Market at the Opera Palais. In addition to roasted almonds, Glühwein and candied fruit, the Christmas market is mainly known for its craft products such as nativity figures, toys, puppets and Christmas tree decorations.

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The Lucia Christmas market in the Kulturbrauerei . Its peaceful atmosphere and warm cosy ambience is a draw for many Berliners and tourists alike.

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The Christmas market around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, in the very heart of the vibrant west part of the City. From the classic pine decorations on glass, and bronze art, to lovingly machined toys and more. There are 3 striking, 17.5 metre high Christmas Pyramids representing Europe, Russia and America.

Nordic Fairy Tale Christmas at Schloss Britz, the eighteenth-century Britz palace is the romantic backdrop for this historic  “Nordic fairy tale Christmas”  market. Held the two weekends before Christmas in the palace’s fabulously decorated courtyard, aromas of cinnamon, roasted almonds and pine fill the air while craftsmen work with their tools.

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Culinary – from gingerbread to haute cuisine

In the cold season, sweet delicacies enjoy great demand in Berlin: Chocolates, gingerbread or candied almonds. All of these treats can be found at the 60 Christmas markets. Chocoholics will be in chocolate ecstasy at the Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt. If this is not considered enough, you can find a praline display with 200 types of small delicacies (ideal for gifts) at the Fassbender & Rausch chocolatiers. On the floors above it, visitors enjoy savoury dishes in addition to sweet tartlets in the café and restaurant – with high-quality chocolate as well, of course.

People are rediscovering the pleasure of eating fresh and local food and, as a result, Berlin’s historic covered markets are making a comeback. The 120 year old Markthalle Neun (market hall nine) in Kreuzberg hosts Street Food Thursday where food from around the world is put fresh and hot right into your hands: everything from Korean sandwiches, Allgäu Kasspatzen or even smoked barbecue from New York. The Arminiusmarkthalle in up-and-coming quarter Moabit has a wide range of foods on offer, from regional dishes to Italian delicacies. With numerous cultural events, the hall is becoming a meeting place for local residents and guests.

Dine in pitch-black surroundings for an extraordinary sensual experience at unsicht-bar and Nocti-Vagus. Your senses of taste and smell will reach new heights in complete darkness. Nocti-Vagus also offers shows in the dark, including murder mystery dinners and live music.

The thirteen Michelin-starred restaurants in Germany’s capital guarantee real haute cuisine. Chef Daniel Achilles offers a true gourmet experience with his creative and experimental avant-garde cooking at Reinstoff. Chef Tim Raue has now added a second gourmet restaurant, Sra Bua at the Hotel Adlon, joining his eponymous restaurant on Rudi-Dutschke-Straße. Both kitchens specialise in Asian-inspired cuisine and have been awarded Michelin stars and were honoured with the Gault Millau award. Matthias Dieter at Restaurant First Floor has just been named Berlin Master Chef. His lovingly prepared creations of modern European cuisine have already earned him a Michelin star and 17 Gault Millau points. For connoisseurs, the First Floor wine cellar is a treasure trove.

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