Curious about which Berlin Christmas markets to visit? After all, there are quite a few. But not to worry: I've taken it upon myself to go visit no less than 11 of the best Christmas markets in Berlin and report back to you on how I liked them and what you need to know when you plan your own Berlin Christmas market trip.
This post contains dates for 2021 Berlin Christmas markets. I'll update these as soon as I know the dates which are still to be announced.
- Berlin Christmas markets list: 11 fun markets to visit
- 1. Alexanderplatz Christmas market
- 2. Christmas market Nikolaikirche
- 3. Christmas market by the famous Television Tower
- 4. Spandau Christmas market
- 5. Christmas market at RAW
- 6. Sony Center Christmas decorations
- 7. Potsdamer Platz Christmas market
- 8. Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market
- 9. Friedrichstrasse station Christmas market
- 10. Christmas market Kulturbrauerei
- 11. Christmas market Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
- The Berlin Welcome Card
- Where to stay in Berlin
- How to get to Berlin
- Don't forget travel insurance
Berlin Christmas markets list: 11 fun markets to visit
Good to know:
When I was planning the trip to create this article, I decided to focus on Christmas markets that were open for a month or longer as that leaves you with more flexibility to plan your trip. However, while I was there, I learned that the best Berlin Christmas markets there often only take place on one specific weekend and so the list below is not a list of the best Christmas markets in Berlin but more a list of the most available Christmas markets in Berlin.
I also want to point out that I traveled to Munich from Berlin and the Christmas markets there are definitely way better.
Berlin is a super cool city but I don't think it contributed to Germany‘s reputation for amazing Christmas markets.
1. Alexanderplatz Christmas market
One of Berlin’s most famous squares surrenders to the festive spirit with thousands of twinkling lights and a cozy village of wooden log cabin stalls. An ice rink dominates the center, where you can also try your hand at curling.
A particularly impressive feature of this market is its towering Christmas pyramid. This structure is illuminated with 5,000 lights and is the largest walk-in pyramid of its kind in Europe. The ground floor has refreshments of bratwurst and mulled wine. You can get an impressive view of the square from the platform at the top.
When: 22nd November – 26th December 2021, 10am – 10pm
Exceptions: 24th December, 10am – 2pm
Where: Alexanderplatz, Mitte
How to get there: S-Bahn S3, S5, S7, S9 S+U to Alexanderplatz, U-Bahn U5, U8 S+U to Alexanderplatz, Bus M48, 100 to Alexanderplatz/Memhardstraße, Tram M2, M4, M5, M6 U to Alexanderplatz/Memhardstraße
2. Christmas market Nikolaikirche
If you want a quieter experience, the Nikolaiviertel Christmas Market is a lesser-known option with a cute and nostalgic feel – or so I've been told, because while it should have been on when I was there, there were only a few stands on the square in front of the church.
Normally, there should have also been an open-air cinema which amusingly screens the 1944 German classic Die Feuerzangenbowle three times a day! Timings are 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm and 7:30 pm and armchairs are provided for spectators free of charge.
There are also Sunday choir performances and plenty of yummy delicacies including pretzels, crepes and of course the traditional German drink – Feuerzangenbowle.
When: The dates for 2021 are still to be confirmed, weekdays 12pm – 10:30pm, weekends 10am – 10:30pm.
Exceptions: closed Christmas Eve
Where: Nikolaiviertel, Mitte. In front of St Nicholas Church
How to get there: S-Bahn S3, S5, S7, S9, S75 to Alexanderplatz, U-Bahn U2 to station Klosterstraße & U2, U5, U8 to Alexanderplatz, Bus 248, M48, N42 to Nikolaiviertel & 248, M48, N8, N40, N42, N65 to Berlin Rathaus (town hall)
3. Christmas market by the famous Television Tower
Also known as the Berliner Weihnachtszeit, this Christmas market in Berlin takes place between the Rotes Rathaus (Berlin City Hall) and St Mary’s Church. It’s one of the oldest markets in Berlin. Features include a large ice-skating rink around Neptune Fountain, a 50-meter (164-foot) high Ferris wheel and unique 19th-century style chalets.
At the foot of the iconic TV Tower, from where you can get an amazing view of Berlin, you’ll find a funfair with vintage carousels and merry-go-rounds. Welcoming market stalls overflow with handicrafts, “handbrot” (stuffed bread) and glühwein (mulled wine). There’s even a medieval section around St Mary’s Church, with steaming mugs of hot mead and medieval-style bread.
When: 22 November 2021- 2 January 2022, weekdays 12pm – 10pm, weekends 11pm – 10pm Exceptions: closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, open on Boxing Day 11am – 9pm
Where: Mitte, at the bottom of the Television Tower
How to get there: S-Bahn S3, S5, S7, S9, S75 to Alexanderplatz, U-Bahn U2, U5, U8 to Alexanderplatz, Tram M4, M5, M6, M10 to Spandauer Strasse/ Marienkirche
Bus 100, 200, M4, M48, TXL to Spandauer Strasse/ Marienkirche, 248, M48 to Berliner Rathaus
4. Spandau Christmas market
One of the more traditional Christmas markets, this one is found in the charming old town of Spandau in the west of Berlin. The Spandau market is the largest in the city with over 250 stalls. It’s often considered the best and most beautiful.
There’s a stage on Marktplatz with live music, including festive sing-alongs with Santa Claus himself. On Saturdays before Christmas, there are karaoke sessions, and on Fridays, you’ll find popular ‘Christmas Meets Rock and Roll’ concerts!
Head to the small courtyards away from the main thoroughfare for the most authentic-feeling parts of this market.
When: 22 November – 23 December 2021
Monday – Thursday from 2pm – 9pm, Friday 2pm – 10pm, Saturday from 12pm – 10pm and Sunday 12pm-9pm
How to get there: U-Bahn U7 to Altstadt Spandau, S-Bahn S3, S9 to Berlin-Spandau
5. Christmas market at RAW
Known as the “Historischer Weihnachtsmarkt”, this alternative market is the first of the year to open and is all about the medieval. The RAW cultural center is a trendy party mecca on the industrial site of a former train repair station. For a few weeks a year, it transforms into a medieval village with jugglers and acrobats, hearty traditional dishes and bonfires.
You won’t find tacky plastic goods or garish lights here. Instead, medieval artisans showcase crafts like blacksmithing and pottery, bards sing by the light of the fire and visitors try their hands at archery ranges and axe-throwing stands.
When: 18 November – 22 December 2021, weekdays 3pm – 10pm, weekends 12pm – 10pm. Exceptions: closed on 21 November
Price: Monday – Wednesday free, Thursday – Sunday €2 (reduced to €1 for those in historical costumes!)
Where: RAW Cultural Center, Friedrichshain
How to get there: S-Bahn S3, S5, S7, S75, S9 to Warschauer Straße, U-Bahn U1, U3 to Warschauer Straße, Bus 347 to Helsingforser Platz, 248 S to Warschauer Straße, Tram M10, M13 S to Warschauer Straße
6. Sony Center Christmas decorations
For the Fabelhafte Weihnachtswelt, the domed roof of the Sony Center building at Potsdamer Platz is decked out with a chandelier of over 100 thousand twinkling lights. The space below is transformed into a fantastical wintry wonderland, with fairytale creatures and an enchanting Christmas woodland.
Unlike the other places in this article, the Christmas scene at the Sony Center isn't really a Christmas market but more of a, well, Christmas scene. I didn't realize this until I got there.
Every hour, a 20-minute innovative dance show takes place – with a different theme or spectacle each year. I wanted to see it but it wasn't really clear when the next performance would start and it was a bit too cold for me to hang around.
When: Dates are still to be announced for 2021 – they will be confirmed here
Where: Sony Center, Potsdamer Platz,
How to get there: S-Bahn – S1 to Potsdamer Platz, S25, U-Bahn U2 to Potsdamer Platz
Bus 200, 85, 48 to Varian-Vry-Straße
7. Potsdamer Platz Christmas market
Winterwelt (Winter World) at Potsdamer Platz was kind of disappointing to me. While it attracts a vast number of people every year, most of those people are tourists and the market itself is rather small. Of course, it's located very centrally so you're likely to pass by there when sightseeing.
A big attraction at this Christmas market is the Rodelbahn (luge) which you can slide down in Europe’s largest toboggan. There’s also the option of ice-skating and playing a game called Eisstockschießen (ca ross between bowling and curling).
Austrian-style log cabins sparkle with lights and artisans craft gifts by hand for market-goers. In the evening, you can try “eierpunsch” (spiced egg punch) and dance to the live DJ at the weekend après-ski parties.
When: 29 October 2021- 2 January 2022, daily 10am – 10pm
Exceptions: Christmas Eve 10am – 2pm, closed on 17 and 24 November
Price: Free (toboggan is €1.50)
Where: Potsdamer Platz
How to get there: S-Bahn S1, S2, S25, S26 S+U to Potsdamer Platz station, Bus 200, M41, M48, M85, N2 S+U to Potsdamer Platz station
8. Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market
This is one of Berlin’s most popular Christmas markets, with a classic atmosphere. You’ll find luxury handmade goods and gourmet food, large festive displays and a sea of white tents. 600 thousand people flock to this market each holiday season.
It’s on a cobblestone square between the buildings of the Deutscher Dom, the Konzerthaus and the Französische Dom. There are performances by choirs, acrobats and fire-breathers, and the Christmas market is known for its many pop-up restaurants where you can try things such as apple strudel, goose legs, white chocolate milk and much more. Fireworks are let off on New Year’s Eve between the two churches.
Head up the tower of the French Church (before it closes at 6pm) for a great view across the market square. It costs a few euros but is worth it for the photo opp.
When: 22 November – 31 December 2019, daily 11am – 10pm
Exceptions: Christmas Eve 11am – 6pm, New Year’s Eve 11am – 1am
Price: €1 (free entry on weekdays between 11am – 2pm)
Where: Gendarmenmarkt, Mitte
How to get there: S-Bahn S1, S2, S3, S5, S7, S9, S25, S26, S75 to Friedrichstraße, S1, S2, S25, S26 to Potsdamer Platz, U-Bahn U2 to Hausvogteiplatz or Stadtmitte, U6 to Französische Str, Bus 147 U to Französische Str
9. Friedrichstrasse station Christmas market
A new market for Berlin is the Christmas market outside Friedrichstrasse station. It makes a charming pit-stop for those partial to mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and a quick whiz around the free eco-friendly ice rink.
With a free curling rink (make sure you book ahead) and several small bonfires, this is a great place for a group gathering. It’s also one of the few markets that remains open after Christmas Day.
When: Dates for 2021 still to be confirmed
How to get there: S-Bahn S1, S2, S3, S5, S7, S9, S25, S26, S75 to Friedrichstraße, U-Bahn U6 to Friedrichstraße, Bus 147, RB14, RE1, TXL to Friedrichstraße station, Tram 12, M1 to Friedrichstraße station
10. Christmas market Kulturbrauerei
This market is colloquially known as the “Lucia Christmas Market”, named after Lucia, the Nordic goddess of light. A Scandinavian market, it’s one of less commercial-feeling options. You can find it in the meandering courtyards of the historic KulturBrauerei (a former industrial brewery from the 1800s) which make for a great backdrop. I really liked this market.
Highlights include the fur coat-heating service, mobile sauna (that you can use without undressing) and the nostalgic chairoplane ride. Taste Swedish and Finnish culinary specialties like reindeer sausage, elk goulash or ‘glögg’ (Nordic mulled wine).
Each Thursday there’s a festive sing-along with a Christmas Choir. You’re lucky if you’re there on 13th December – this is Saint Lucy’s Day and there’s a charming lantern procession.
When: 22 November – 22 December 2021, weekdays 3pm – 10pm, weekends 12pm – 10pm
Where: The Kulturbrauerei, Prenzlauer Berg
How to get there: U-Bahn U2 to Eberswalder Straße or Senefelderplatz, Tram 12, M1 and M10 to Eberswalder Straße, S-Bahn S8, S41, S42, S85 to Schönhauser Allee
11. Christmas market Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
With a fantastic central location, right in front of Zoologischer Garten station, this is one of the most popular markets. It’s bursting with large illuminated Christmas trees and boasts over 100 stalls.
This traditional Christmas market in the heart of City West is a good option for New Year’s Eve, with several firework displays throughout the evening. There’s a carousel and daily visits (and gifts) from Santa Claus, while aromas of spiced drinks and roasting nuts waft down the aisles.
When: 22 November 2021 – 2 January 2022, Sunday – Thursday 11am – 9pm, Friday – Saturday 11am – 10pm. Exceptions: Christmas Eve 11am – 2pm, Christmas Day and Boxing Day 1pm – 9pm
Where: Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, City West
How to get there: S-Bahn S3, S5, S7, S9 to Zoologischer Garten, U-Bahn U2, U9 to Zoologischer Garten, U1 to Kurfürstendamm, Bus M45, M46, M49, X9, X10, X34, 100, 109, 110, 200, 204, 245, 249 to Zoologischer Garten.
The Berlin Welcome Card
If you plan on visiting lots of museums and other sights while you're in Berlin as well, the Berlin Welcome Card might be worth it. I wrote an extensive article on what is included in the card and when it's worth getting it. You can find it here.
Where to stay in Berlin
Budget: Happy Go Lucky Hotel + Hostel Berlin
This budget option is a great base for exploring the markets around Charlottenburg Palace in City West. The rooms are small but comfy with free WiFi – you can get a bed in a dorm or a private room for a great price. Buffet breakfast is available for a surcharge. The best thing is that it’s only seconds away from Charlottenburg S-Bahn station and the other landmarks of the area.
Boutique: Hotel Nikolai Residence
Hotel Nikolai is right next to St Nicholas’ Church with its charming square – so the Nikolaiviertel Christmas market is right on its doorstep. It’s also just a short walk from the TV tower and Alexanderplatz and a number of other markets. Spacious and elegant rooms have a seating area, a TV, a minibar and en suite bathroom (with free toiletries).
Chain: H4 Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz
Only a couple of minutes walking from Alexanderplatz, this hotel is perfectly situated for exploring several different Christmas markets. You’ve also got Mollstraße/ Prenzlauer Allee Tram Stop just a short stroll from the door. Stylish rooms have free WiFi, and there’s also a fitness suite and sauna available for guests.
Luxury: Myer's Hotel Berlin
Myer’s Hotel is a four-star haven in hip Prenzlauer Berg – ideally located for exploring the Scandinavian market at Kulturbrauerei. Rooms have a classical feel with original works of art and beautiful furnishings. There’s a spa with sauna and steam room that are free of charge in the evenings. It’s also only one subway stop away from Alexanderplatz.
Apartment: Clipper City Home Apartments Berlin
This gorgeous collection of apartments is only a couple of minute’s walk from Gendarmenmarkt square’s popular festivities. The flats are roomy with a well-equipped kitchenette, flat-screen TV and Bose stereo system. There’s an Italian restaurant in the same building, and an underground garage that comes with the booking. The apartments come with either a balcony or a conservatory.
You can always find plenty more apartment options on Airbnb! If you found this post helpful, please think about booking your next Airbnb through my link. This gives me a small commission while the cost for you stays exactly the same. Income like this helps me travel independently and make new content.
How to get to Berlin
There are multiple ways to travel to Berlin. Depending on where you're coming from, the easiest ways are by bus, by train, and by plane.
Omio gives you the fastest and cheapest way to travel to Berlin by land and allows you to book tickets at the same time.
Skyscanner easily lets you compare flight prices across various airlines and has a handy flight alert function.
Don't forget travel insurance
No matter how well you plan your city trip, something can always happen. A reservation gets lots, you get sick or someone bumps into you and makes you drop your new camera. In all of these cases, travel insurance has you covered.
I've had ongoing travel insurance ever since I started traveling to make sure I'm covered for every trip I go on but if you travel just a few times a year, you can get insured for each trip separately too.
Don't have travel insurance yet? Check out SafetyWing. They offer super flexible plans that you can even sign up for while you're already on your trip. On top of that, they were the first travel insurance to cover COVID, and when I got COVID, they reimbursed all of my expenses without making a fuss. Their customer support team is great and I can personally recommend them.
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