Last Updated on December 11, 2022 by Audrey Scott
While many cities in Germany have one main Christmas Market, Berlin has dozens of Christmas Markets from which you can choose based on your interests and style. So, which are the best Christmas markets in Berlin?
Whether you’re looking for a traditional German Christmas market or something a bit more offbeat, I offer here my handy Berlin Christmas Market guide. The recommendations are based on our experience living in Berlin for ten years and being avid Christmas market fans. It has all the information you need to know, including dates and schedules of Berlin Christmas markets and notes on how to visit my local favorites — these are Christmas markets that will make your visit to Berlin during the Christmas and holiday season even more special.
Winter 2022 COVID-19 Update for Berlin Christmas Markets: Currently, there are no Covid requirements to visit Berlin’s Christmas Markets in 2022. They are all open without any restrictions.
The Spirit of German Christmas Markets
There’s something that just about everyone looks forward to in December in Berlin: Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt or Adventsmarkt). They offer a retreat from the shortening days of the year, into the company of gathered friends and neighbors.
In the selection that follows, you’ll find the “markets” listed less about shopping and more about community — where friends and families make plans to meet at the market after work or on weekends. A place where the aroma of glühwein (spiced, mulled wine) and sweet roasted almonds wafts in an atmosphere of twinkling lights in a chilly winter vapor.
As conversations happen over steaming mugs of glühwein and hearty German street food like bratwurst, market-goers catch up on life and give air to what awaits at the turn of the new year. Christmas markets serve as the perfect antidote — or accompaniment if you like — to the approaching Winter Solstice.
I confess that I am a bit of a Christmas market geek. I helped launch a Christmas market when I lived in Estonia many years ago. Dan and I have even taken Christmas market-themed road trips through Germany and Central Europe.
Maybe this Christmas market affinity of mine has something to do with the fact that I’m American and I didn’t grow up with the Christmas market culture. So, I get a little giddy when the season rolls around and I’m within reach of one. Whatever the cause, this is one of the reasons we stick around Berlin in December.
Does Berlin Have Christmas Markets?
At this point you might be thinking: “German Christmas markets are famous, but I’ve never heard anything about Christmas markets in Berlin.”
OK, then. Berlin’s Christmas markets haven’t traditionally carried the same reputation or history as those in other German cities like Munich, Nuremberg or Stuttgart. But that’s changing. Berlin makes its own way and blends the traditional into the tapestry of its forward-lurching, unusual self.
Just as Berlin doesn’t have one town center, it also doesn’t have one main Christmas market. Instead, Berlin usually features more than 50 markets (in 2022 it’s gone up to 70 markets!) spread throughout the city, each with its own distinct personality, atmosphere and specialties. Some run the length of the Advent season, while others are limited-time offers or tuned to the spirit of their local neighborhood for only a weekend or two.
Of course, a certain commercialization and schlock lurks conspicuously at some markets. With this in mind, we share our personal recommendations: a few trusted and traditional or local and authentic favorites to help you get started in your Berlin Christmas market exploration.
Note: This post was originally published on December 3, 2015 and updated on November 29, 2022 with updated dates, times and other information. .
Berlin Christmas Market Dates
Berlin Christmas markets are usually open for the entire Advent Christmas market season, from the end of November through Christmas (and sometimes through to the New Year). In 2022, most of the Berlin Christmas Market open on 21 November 2022 and run until the very end of December or beginning of January 2023.
Best Berlin Christmas Markets
All Christmas markets — totaling around 70 — are open in Berlin in 2022, so you’ll have quite a few to choose from to enjoy the holiday season.
We find these Christmas markets especially atmospheric when it’s dark and everything is tastefully lit, which is easy since the sun sets in Berlin before 4PM throughout December. Glühwein seems to taste better in the evening, too.
READ MORE: Berlin Travel: A Beginner’s Guide
WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market
Why: For a bit of the traditional in a beautiful setting, especially at night as the Konzerthaus (Concert Hall) and nearby churches and buildings are lit. Gift stands at the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market tend to be handicraft-oriented or luxury-focused. Food quality is generally pretty high here as well.
Be sure to check out the big feuerzangenbowle (fire-tongs punch) tent and seek out the wooden barrel of rum to the right of the bar should you need to “enhance” your steaming mug full of punch. In general, if you encounter a choice of glühwein “mit schuss”, that simply means “with a shot” as in a shot of rum or possibly amaretto. Note: Gendarmenmarkt charges a nominal entrance fee of €1. For more information, check out the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market page.
Schloss Charlottenburg Christmas Market – Last Chance in 2022
Why: To drink mugs of steaming glühwein in the shadow of a 300+ year old Baroque palace. The Schloss Charlottenburg Christmas market is one with big time European fairytale charm. Some of its stands feature traditional — and huge — Christmas pyramids which entertain as figures go round and round all night long. Also fun, but kind of cheesy, is the light show at night.
For more information, check out the Schloss Charlottenburg Christmas Market page.
Note that 2022 will be the last year to enjoy this Christmas Market as the space will soon be used for something else. So, prioritize a visit to the Schloss Charlottenburg Market this year!
Lucia Christmas Market at Kulturbrauerei (Nordic-Scandanavian Christmas Market)
Why: Because you always wanted to taste the difference between Swedish, Norwegian and Danish glögg (Scandinavian mulled wine). Top off the entire experience with reindeer sausages and a host of other Nordic games and treats and you might just forget where you are. Compared to other open-space Christmas markets, the Lucia Christmas Market is set up in the winding courtyards of Kulturbrauerei, a 19th century brick industrial complex.
For more information, see the Lucia Christmas Market at KulturBrauerei page.
Spandau Old Town and Citadel Christmas Markets
Why: To feel as though you’ve been transported to a small German village even though you remain within the Berlin city limits. The citadel of Spandau, one of the best preserved Renaissance fortresses in Europe, is taken over by its Christmas market.
The old town of Spandau also hosts a large Christmas Market on its streets. While the atmosphere and some of the bigger stands along the main strip can feel a bit commercial, the little courtyards and stands convey something a bit more traditional.
For more information, see the Spandau Christmas Market page.
Medieval Historical Christmas Market at RAW
Why: To feel like you’ve gone back in time to a medieval village complete with axe throwing or archery competitions and hand-operated carousels. This Berlin Christmas market is built each year on the grounds of the RAW Cultural Center and is a fun experience and atmosphere, especially for families or kids, thanks to all of its performances and games.
You can warm yourself up around one of the several fire pits and drink mulled wine or hot mead from heavy ceramic mugs. There is also plenty of hearty food, some of it of it aiming to be “medieval” (aka, heavy), to keep you warm and full. A fun way to spend a cold winter evening.
For more information see the Historical Christmas Market at RAW Cultural Centre page.
Potsdam Christmas Market
Why: To take a break from the big city. Visit the Potsdam UNESCO sites of Sanssouci Palace and gardens during the day and enjoy eierpunsch (spiced egg punch) at the Christmas market at night. The market takes over the streets of the old town for blocks on end and features some of the most elaborate and largest displays we’ve seen. There’s also an ice skating rink and other fun stuff for kids…or adults.
There is also a Polish Christmas Market nearby at the Kutschstallhof from 2-4 December to get your fill of Polish pierogis, handicrafts and other specialties.
For more information, see the Potsdam Christmas Market page.
Berlin Neighborhood and Weekend Christmas Markets
In addition to Christmas markets which run the entire length of Advent, Berlin also features its share of short-run special and weekend markets. These markets are typically smaller affairs featuring local organizations and neighborhood-oriented venues. If you’re visiting Berlin for a couple of days during the Christmas season and authentic and local is what you seek, it’s absolutely worth doing some research to see which of these markets happens to be timed with your visit.
Alt-Rixdorfer Christmas Market
Why: The Rixdorf Christmas Market serves as a nice kickoff to the Christmas season. It also illustrates how a neighborhood Christmas market can be done well and at scale with local organizations selling homemade crafts to raise money for schools, charities, firemen’s groups, and more. Stands tend to be locally run and offer a perfect excuse to get to know the Neukölln district a little better.
The square where the Alt-Rixdorf Christmas market is held, Richardplatz, features an enclosure with pony rides and a petting zoo. The whole thing is sweet, quaint and helps take you back in time a bit. For more information, see the Alt-Rixdorfer Christmas Market page.
Why: For a mixture of traditional and alternative in a fun and eclectic Berlin community space. Located on the Spree River in Friedrichshain, Holzmarkt is open all year around with its fixed shops, bakery, art studios and event space. Its Christmas market open on weekends during the advent season transforms what feels like its own urban village into a bit of a traditional and modern winter wonderland with bonfires by the river, ample amounts of glühwein, silent disco booths, German and international food options, bizarre puppet shows, and much more. This has become one of our favorite Berlin Christmas markets in the last years.
For more information, see this Heissa Holzmarkt Christmas Market page.
Schloss Britz Christmas Market
Why: To experience an intimate Nordic Medieval Fairytale Christmas market in the courtyard of an 18th century manor house. Though medieval costumes are involved here, the market somehow seems to pull this off without being a caricature of itself. As Schloss Britz Christmas market doesn’t typically see the hordes that other markets might, you’ll have the opportunity to speak to the various artisans and learn more about their handicrafts, preserves and other wares. The food served is usually inventive and a bit different than standard fare.
There is a €3 entrance fee, but we feel that the atmosphere and quality of the stands warrants the price. For more information, see the Schloss Britz Christmas Market page.
Christmas Market at Domäne Dahlem
Why: Located on the grounds of a manor house which also serves as a sort of farm and agricultural museum, the Christmas Market at Domäne Dahlem includes many small producers and artisans selling everything from sea salts and spices to traditional German handicrafts.
There is also an emphasis on fresh and organic foods, so you can certainly eat well and heartily here. Domäne Dahlem is a bit outside Berlin center, but if you want a more neighborhood and countryside feel, check out this Christmas Market during one of the Advent weekends. Entrance is €3.
For more information, see the Christmas Market at Domäne Dahlem page.
Berlin Christmas Market Maps and Resources
More Holiday Things to do in Berlin
Even if visiting Christmas markets is the main goal of your winter visit to Berlin, there are other holiday and Christmas-oriented things to do in the city. Here are a few of the more popular tours, events and experiences in Berlin as offered by our partner (also Berlin-based), Get Your Guide. They offer many different Berlin tours with no booking fees and free cancellation up to 24 hours before.
Christmas Garden in the Botanical Gardens: I have to admit that I never thought about visiting the Botanical Gardens for Christmas this until my hairdresser recommended it as her favorite holiday activity in Berlin. A 2-km route takes you through a winter wonderland of lights and different holiday installations.Berlin TV Tower Fast View Tickets: Get out of the cold and up above it all with these fast-track tickets that allow you to skip the line and go straight up to the top of the TV Tower. You’ll have great views of the Christmas market below at Alexander Platz as well as the city as a whole. Berlin Welcome Card with Transport Pass: Get around the city by public transportation easily without worrying about buying or validating your tickets with this Berlin Welcome Card (ABC Zones). You can choose different lengths, from 48-hours to 6-days. And, the Welcome Card provides you with lots of discounts at different attractions, shops or museums. We’ve used Berlin Welcome Cards quite a bit when we’ve had visitors as it’s cost-effective when you plan to travel around a lot and do a lot of different activities.
Best Areas in Berlin To Stay for Christmas Markets
Weinmeister Hotel in Mitte: Located in the heart of Mitte near Hackescher Markt and not far from Alexanderplatz, this design hotel is in a great location and has a beautiful rooftop terrace for meals and drinks. Several friends and work colleagues have stayed here and recommend it. Note: this is an adult-only hotel. Hüttenpalast in Neukölln: Located in a fun and hip area between Kreuzberg and Neukölln, Hüttenpalast offers both retro-style caravans and cabins, as well as hotel rooms, and a relaxing garden. Friends have enjoyed staying here. Nena Apartments in Bergmannkiez, Kreuzberg: If you want your own apartment and kitchen to self-cater, these apartments on a quiet street in the cute Bergmannkiez part of Kreuzberg are a good option. There are also Nena Apartments in Neukölln (Hermannplatz) and in the Moritzplatz area of Kreuzberg. Michelberger Hotel in Friedrichshain: Located close to the East Side Gallery (2km of the Berlin Wall that is now an outdoor mural gallery) and Spree River, the Michelberger Hotel has a great lobby and restaurant on the ground floor and unique design rooms of all sizes and prices. Several friends who have stayed here recommend it for the rooms and the location. Circus Hostel in Berlin: If you are looking for a hostel or budget accommodation option, several friends have recommended Circus Hostel with both dorm and single/double room options. It’s located very close to Rosenthaler Platz in Mitte with lots of local restaurants, cafes and bars in walking distance. The owners have recently opened up Circus Hotel nearby if you aren’t into the hostel vibe.
Plan Your Berlin Christmas Market Trip
How to get to Berlin: There are endless options to fly to Berlin thanks to all the traditional and low cost airlines flying into TXL (Tegel Airport) or SXF (Schönefeld Airport). We often use Skyscanner to compare flight prices and to book tickets because it displays all the various airline combinations, including options from low-fare airlines.Berlin restaurant recommendations: For budget eating, check our our guides for favorite cheap eats in Berlin under €5 and our favorite neighborhood meals under €10. StilinBerlin offers another reliable resource for local Berlin restaurants and “best of” guides.
The post Berlin Christmas Markets: The Ultimate Guide [Updated 2022] appeared first on Uncornered Market.