Ultimate Guide to the Berlin Christmas Markets
Berlin is a city of interest all over the world. The enticing history and the two integrated cultures make it a city worth visiting at least once. No matter who you are, you can find great things to do around town. However, during the magical holiday time, people start setting up for the Berlin Christmas Market of their choosing.
Christmas Markets are a great way to get into the holiday mood while shopping for loved ones and getting your Christmas indulgence. No one does it quite like Berlin though. Due to the different cultures blending together, the markets offer something different and something traditional. Let me break it down for you.
Remember to bring your warm winter wear, as Berlin can be quite cold during December. Temperatures range from 39F to 31F on average. Take a look at our Winter Packing List for Europe for recommendations on what to wear in Europe in Winter.
Potsdamer Platz Berlin Christmas Market: November 1st, 2019 – January 5th, 2020
This is kind of a two in one deal for this market. Now, throughout their seasonal period, Winterwelt is open from 10 AM to 10 PM. Then from the 25th of November to the 26th of December, 2019 the Christmas Market if also open. On Christmas Eve, they’re only open from 10 AM to 2 PM.
The Potsdamer Platz is the market to bring a group of friends or your happy family. The ice rink is sure to create some classic holiday memories while the gorgeously made food pleases your palate. People who are very skilled in their fields happily share their creations with visitors.
The market itself has a big Austrian/German winter log vibe with its coziness and liveliness. The atmosphere is just perfect for the season. Plus the aprés-ski parties in the market are just to die for with live music and booze for everyone!
Christmas Market at Schlossplatz in Köpenick: December 13th – December 15th, 2019
This is a market you have to plan for because it’s only around for 3 days out of the year. A market this special would only be around for a short period of time. So from the 13th to the 15th of December, this historic Christmas market oozes holiday spirit from 12 PM to 9 PM on Friday and Saturday and 12 PM to 8 PM on Sunday.
The three day Berlin Christmas Market is filled with activities for everyone to enjoy. Children can make their own handcrafted things while adults sip on traditional mulled wine. What makes it so special, though, is the storytelling and caroling happening all market long. It immerses you in the holiday traditions of Germany.
Lucia Christmas Market at Kulturbrauerei: November 24th – December 24th, 2019
This market is named after the Nordic goddess of lights so it’s a no brainer that they focus on the Scandanavian traditions. It’s set up in this neat 19th-century brewery for a whole month. The market is open daily from 3 PM to 10 PM Monday-Friday and 1 PM to 10 PM on Saturday & Sunday. Beware that dogs, other than guide dogs, are not allowed.
This is where Scandinavian and German traditions do a delicate Samba as they meld together in traditions, food, and aromas. There’s a little bungee trampoline for the little ones and hundreds of crafts and items from the carefully curated vendors.
Santa visits the market to bestow Christmas wishes and a patient ear for the children around. This is a great way for locals and tourists alike to learn about their Christmas traditions with a bit of a Nordic twist.
Charlottenburg Palace Market: November 25th – December 26th, 2019
Up in front of Berlin’s Charlottenburg Palace is a wonderful free admission market that is open from the 25th of November to the 26th of December, 2019. The hours of operation for Monday through Thursday are 2 PM to 10 PM and for Friday through Sunday, it is from 12 PM to 10 PM. Beware that dogs, other than guide dogs, are not allowed.
The Palace Market is lively with music and festivities for everyone to enjoy. The aromas of gingerbread pleasantly dance around the spices from the mulled wine at food stalls. Parts of the palace grounds are even accessible to visitors so you can revel in the beauty of its courtyards in the wintertime.
This is a great spot for fun dates or a family outing. There is a carnival-like feeling with the classic fairground attractions but also a historic vibe with the famous location and traditional treats.
Berlin Town Hall Christmas Market: November 25th – December 29th, 2019
While this Berlin Christmas Market is not open on Christmas Eve, it is open every other day from the 25th of November to the 29th of December, 2019. Monday-Friday the hours of operation are 12 PM to 10 PM and Saturday-Sunday they open at 11 AM and close at 10 PM. Fortunately, they are open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day from 11 AM to 9 PM.
This market is famous for the Ferris Wheel in front of the Governing mayor’s seat. People come from all over for the lively festivities. From the ice rink (skate rentals at 4 euro) and the fairytale forest to the visits from Santa and the plethora of market stalls, there is no room for the Grinch whose heart hasn’t grown yet.
Grunewald Hunting Lodge Fairy Tale Christmas Market: December 7th & 8th, 2019
The Grunewald Hunting Lodge is one of the oldest buildings in the city and on the second weekend of the Advent, people build up their stalls and turn the hunting lodge into a magical Christmas Market. On the 7th and 8th of December, the market is open to the public from 11 AM to 7 PM. The admission fee is a mere 3 Euro but only 2 Euro for children under 6 years old.
This whimsical Berlin Christmas Market is chock-full of traditional holiday fun like storytelling, live music, and huge cut-outs so you can take Christmas card photos. German delicacies are for sale around the market as well as some wonderful handcrafted gift ideas. This is a great spot for a super cute date or some humble family fun.
Berlin Christmas Sweets Market: December 8th, 2019
If you have a sweet tooth, like me, then this is a can’t miss once a year event for you. The Berlin Sweets Market happens on the 8th of December, 2019 from 12 AM to 6 PM. Admission is 3 Euro but free for children.
Over 40 local shops set up a stall to sell their delicious delicacies. This is a celebration of pastries and treats from all over the world. Each batch is made up to the highest standards so everything you try will be the best of the best, guaranteed. Do not miss out on this awesome sweet treat Christmas extravaganza.
Holy Shit Berlin Christmas Market: December 7th & 8th, 2019
For adults and adults-only, the Holy Shit Berlin Christmas Market is open from the 7th of December to the 8th of December, 2019. On Saturday, they run from 12 PM to 9 PM while on Sunday they run from 12 PM to 8 PM. The admission fee of 5 Euro is worth the awesome experience of the “coolest Christmas Market in Berlin.”
The creative folks of Europe gather for one weekend to show off their awesome creations. This is not a market for children. It’s considered the night club of Christmas Markets with the DJ spinning in the background while the newest trends fill the arteries of the market. Food and drinks are available for visitors and man is it worth it. Each element just might make you go, “Holy Shit!”
What To Eat & Drink in Berlin
Berlin is known for many things such as art, culture, and history. The food, however, well the food would leave any certified foodie overwhelmed by the options. You can get good quality anything around town but there are a few things you absolutely need to try before anything else.
The Popular Currywurst
The name itself sounds very strange, like a weird Indian-German fusion food. It’s actually not as bad as it sounds. It’s actually deep-fried pork sausage topped with a tomato Worcester sauce and sprinkled with curry powder. Usually, they put it over French fries or bread rolls. They’re like chili fries but better!
There are currywurst stands all over the city but the first and most famous is Konnopke’s Imbiss. I highly recommend getting your first currywurst at the best place around.
The Ultra Famous Schnitzel
If you’re in Germany then you just have to try schnitzel, it’s kind of a rule (not really but it is). Before you order one, you should know the difference between the two kinds of schnitzel. A Weiner Schnitzel is veal and a Schnitzel Weiner is pork. It is originally Austrian but it’s really popular in Germany.
You can get schnitzel all over Germany, but if you’re in Berlin then you need to go to Restaurant Schneeweiß for the best of the best. After all, no schnitzel is better than bad schnitzel.
This awesome doughnut filled with fruity goodness is a traditional German pastry that’s been around since who knows how long. Traditionally, it is filled with marmalade or jelly but nowadays you can have them filled with pretty much anything then dusted with powdered sugar. They are super delicious and for literally everyone (they do have vegan options).
Since Berlin is a city of life, integration, and innovation, their vegan food scene is nothing less than exciting and vast. All of the delicious and flavorful non-vegan food is just as delicious and flavorful in its vegan form. There are plenty of restaurants that serve great vegan foods like Momos, Pêle-Mêle, and 1990 Vegan Living.
Drinks To Try at the Christmas Markets in Berlin
‘Tis the season for some holiday drinks and nobody does it quite like Germany. One of the essential holiday drinks is Eierpunsch. This is a German version of eggnog with egg yolk, sugar, white wine, and vanilla with a shot of Eierlikör or egg liquor. Sounds gross but so does eggnog and that’s still delicious.
Glühwein is a rite of passage for Christmas Markets in Berlin. If you’re freezing then this is one of the drinks to get. Glühwein is mulled wine and comes in both red and white varieties. It is a Christmas must.
Zimtlikör is a great German classic all year round but it is especially consumed during the holidays because it’s a cinnamon liquor. It’s usually mixed with juices, teas, coffee, or even milk. I think it’s a perfect liquor for some boozy eggnog.
For more on Berlin’s food and drink, check out this article here.
Where To Stay for the Berlin Christmas Market
There’s no point in visiting Berlin if you don’t have anywhere to stay. If you have no clue then that makes planning your trip to the Berlin Christmas Markets difficult. So here are a few recommendations based on guest reviews and the amenities offered.
Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof
The modern and very elegant Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof is a hotspot for comfort and shopping. The luxurious amenities are available to every guest and you can conveniently access Berlin from the hotel.
There are shops at your disposal and restaurants to try out without a ton of inconvenience. Babysitting and child services are available for parents and a world of leisure and relaxation is at your fingertips.
SO/ Berlin Das Stue
This is by far the coolest hotel I’ve ever seen. SO/ Berlin Das Stue has a background in zoology so you may just see some bones displayed. The modern design doesn’t skimp of the comfort or leisure.
Guests have access to the spa and wellness center as well as the indoor pool. Rooms come with a splendid rain shower, mini bar, and much much more. The Berlin Zoological Garden is a short walk away along with the rest of Berlin.
Steigenberger Hotel Berlin
The Steigenberger Hotel is close to all the main sightseeing attractions which is very convenient for guests looking to pack their days full of tourist fun. There are rooms for families of every size and child services at your disposal if needed.
Comfort is second nature at the Steigenberger and it can be yours! Relax at the spa or take your kiddos to the playground. You can even just sip a drink at the fantastic hotel bar.
Aletto Hotel Kudamm
Aletto Hotel Kudamm is in the center of a bar and restaurant hot spot. I would recommend this cozy modern hotel to the adventurous and outgoing travelers.
Your stay is guaranteed to be comfortable with all the amenities offered like free WiFi, bike rentals, and all those other standard amenities at an exceptional scale.
Patrick Hellmann Schlosshotel
You will most definitely feel like royalty at the Patrick Hellman Schlosshotel. Each room is cleanly decorated and adorned with luxurious amenities. Guests can use all the facilities including the wellness center, fitness room, and restaurant/bar. Dreams will come true here.
Berlin is a city worth discovering and during the Christmas season, its markets are worth exploring. Make planning your holiday trip to Berlin that much easier with days packed with bright seasonal joy. What are you waiting for? Start planning your Berlin Christmas trip now!