hey. so i know it’s january, folks are knee-deep in resolutions, self-betterment, and photos to prove you went running. but i have some serious intel about the christmas markets in berlin, seeing as i’d been doing this “research” the week of christmas, that needs to be released on the wild internet or the thought will either wither away in my mind or this post will rot in my drafts folder forever. and technically, the twelve days of christmas are still on ‘til the 6th, yo.
so pin it, bookmark it, do whatever it is you gotta do if you want to know the low-down on which berlin christmas markets to visit! or just read to relive this perilous adventure of visiting far too many christmas markets, feeling like you got roofied through a glühwein, and got dizzy from watching the neon-light bedecked amusement park rides at alexa.
there are, what seems like countless christmas markets in berlin. actually, over 60 that are open anywhere from late november to after the new year. to my delight, this berlin u-bahn map exists to help one’s quest (via). let’s get started…
st. lucia weihnachtsmarkt
this is the first that i visited, incidentally on the evening before the winter solstice. in the brick-walled courtyards at kulturbrauerei in prenzlauer berg, you will sweet little scandinavian themed stands, selling glogg, jewelry from finland, icelandic glühwein, and loads of other delicious treats. this one felt smaller and more intimate than all of the others, and was definitely one of my favorites. but whatever you do, stay away from the bratapfelwein. they definitely put something “not normal” in it and the next few hours were a blurry non-functioning mess.
kulturbrauerei, u-bhf eberswalderstr. nov 23.–dec 22
weihnachtsmarkt an der kaiser-wilhelm-gedächtnis-kirche
this one is similar to the one at alexanderplatz: a long row of stalls that line the busy shopping street of kurfürstendamm. however, if you’re between christmas shopping and looking for a break, i can definitely recommend it! you’re bound to find something interesting and the light displays on the medians were remarkably charming.
u-bhf kurfürstendamm. nov 23-jan 3, open dec. 24 (limited hours)
alt spandau & rathaus spandau
located in the stretch between these two u-bahn stations in the enchanting little village of spandau (end of the u7 or s5 line) await rows and rows of christmas market magic. you can take portraits, pose with penguins, get soup to go from the quirky (and oh so very german) soup stand, or even feast on specialties from the schwarzwald (black forest) area. späetzel with pils and a glass of schwarzwald wine? listening to jazz and blues from a local band? i enjoyed this one very much. if you need a break from the market, you can always wander around the shores of the lake! highly recommended. try their sugary and cinnamony quarkbällchen!
u-bhf / s-bhf (rathaus) spandau. nov 23 – dec 23 (the market near the rathaus goes until dec 27).
wintertraum am alexa (shopping center)
i think everyone in berlin is aware of the “production” that is the alexa christmas market. it’s basically berlin’s biggest winter carnival, which is definitely bigger than any carnival i’d ever been to in my life! rollercoasters, swings, those scary rides that drop you from a high height, fun houses… they have it all in more. i can say that i was slightly horrified, not having expected this sort of spectacle. but if you wanna ride on rides with your buddies, play carnival games, and have a large amount of alcoholic drinks available to you, this is your place.
u-bhf / s-bhf alexanderplatz, alexanderstr. nov 23 – dec 23
weihnachtsmarkt vor dem schloss charlottenburg
i’d never been to the schloss (palace) at charlottenburg before, so i was looking forward to visiting this area and its market. it was pretty standard for a berlin christmas market and has all the delicious glühwein flavors. it wins “best mug award” out of this selection, and we found a pierogi stall. plus, if you want a break, you can wander the nearby palace grounds near the banks of the spree river.
s-bhf westend / bus m45. nov 23 – dec 26 (closed dec 24)
undoubtedly the most beautiful christmas market in berlin! this one is gated, so you sometimes have to pay a small fee (€1) to enter, but it’s well worth it. lots of food choices, beautiful sights, and plentiful live entertainment makes it a place you could probably hang out for awhile. if it isn’t swarming with people, like it was when we visited on december 27th. it didn’t help that i felt really burned out on christmas markets by this point! don’t save it for last – go right away. interesting food find: cheese balls, fried and covered with crunchy roasted seeds… something i hadn’t seen at any other market. (they were OK)
u-bhf stadtmitte. nov 23 – dec 31 (limited hours dec 24, new year’s eve party
i paid particular attention to markets that were operating a few days before and after christmas day. for more on berlin christmas markets, check out the berlin tourism board’s website. days are approximate and may not be reflective of 2016 dates.
what’s been the best christmas market you’ve ever been to?
linking up with travel tuesday