Many people travel to Germany last month of the year to enjoy Berlin’s amazing fairy tale atmosphere. Berlin is not an exception and it turns to be one of the most beautiful city in Germany. Usually all Christmas markets are opening on 26th of November and not just tourist, but also locals can’t wait for it. With more than 80 Christmas markets and venues, Berlin becomes one of the most popular city must-to-visit-before-Christmas in Europe.
Beautiful Christmas decorations, not just on hotels and government buildings, but all famous landmarks and monuments accompanied with countless Christmas trees, some of them surprisingly huge, can’t be missed. Smell of traditional and famous Glühwein, bbq-ed curryworst, hams and sausages is everywhere and this will stick in your memory and taste buds for a long time.
Rose Glühwein at Potsdamer Platz
Each Christmas market in Berlin has their own beautiful cups, so while you purchase the Glühwein, you will pay deposit of 3 euros for the cup and it’s up to you if you would like to return it or keep it as a souvenir. Usual price of Gluhwein is between 3-5 euros.
Germany is very famous with their Glühwein (mulled wine). What is so special about it?
In mostly countries surrounded Germany such as Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and many others mulled wine is only boiled red wine (usually cheap one) with some herbs, lot of sugar and served with pieces of orange or apple. While usually it’s from cheap wine and only boiled with addition of herbs, hangover next day might remind you to not have it very often 🙂
It’s difficult to find exact recipe of Glühwein, but most common ingredients are cinnamon,citrus, vanilla and splash of brandy boiled together for at least 45 minutes. Then you have also the choice to add Schuss, which is shot of rum or different type of liquors. It’s also known as aphrodisiac and certainly will keep you warm while walking around the city. You can find also option of rose and white Glühwein.
Red & White Glühwein at Potsdamer Platz
While there is a huge range of Christmas markets in Berlin, I would recommend 3 best ones in Mitte.
That’s the most famous Christmas market and the only one with admission fee of 1 euro. The reason for admission fee is that market is checked by security, it’s the only one market where you can enjoy your food or drink inside (in warm environment), has toilets and every day in front of famous Konzerthaus you can enjoy traditional Christmas performances. You can find here all delicious and fancy Christmas dishes such as duck or goose with dumplings and red cabbage or cooked Prague’s ham, goulash soup and many more, going well with typical German beers or wines. Market has many small shops with handmade crafts, Christmas decorations or jewelleries.
It’s not easy to leave the market just after hour or so 🙂
Free admission is between 11 am to 2 pm (weekdays only) and market is open during the weekdays until 10 pm and weekends until 11 pm.
Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market
Arkaden at Potsdamer Platz
- Potsdamer Platz
Popular due big slide, where not only kids might have a lot of fun, and also with ice and curling ring. Here you can find the best Gluhwein in city 🙂 The market is more focused on street food such as famous currywurst with fries or you can try langos, everything is served outside. All the way from Potsdamer Platz to Arkaden (shopping center) is market with many small wooden stalls where you can find big range of souvenirs, hand-made clothes and Christmas decorations. In the end of the market, is beautiful Christmas tree.
Market is opening in the mornings and usually closing around 10-11 pm, depends on amount of customers.
- Alexanderplatz and Winterbaum am Alexa
Market at Alexanderplatz is one of the oldest Christmas market in Berlin, recommended not just for adults but also for kids.
You can find there the biggest ice-skating ring in Berlin, amazing Ferris wheel, farm with animals where kids can ride or feed them and also Santa Claus is visiting the market three times a day, so kids can tell him all theirs Christmas wishes and take a picture with him (usually 4.30 pm, 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm). Meanwhile adults can enjoy Glühwein, beer or many types of small food or simply join the kids 🙂
Nearby is not very traditional but, lot-of-fun market, called Winterbaum am Alexa (between Alexa shopping center and Jannowitzbrucke) with huge Ferris wheel and roller coasters. As everywhere, you can enjoy here many Christmas delicacies.
Ferris Wheel at Alexanderplatz