Berlin is popular for its large Christmas markets. In 2023, the city of Berlin will once again come alive with the spirit of the holiday season, offering visitors a magical experience featuring multiple Christmas markets to choose from. The Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz is one of Berlin's largest and most popular winter markets. It is located at the iconic Alexanderplatz square and features around 100 illuminated wooden stalls selling gifts, decorations and food. The Weihnachtsmarkt Nikolaikirche runs from Monday, November 20, 2023, to Monday, January 1, 2024. It has a special focus on Feuerzangenbowle, a hot spiced wine punch with flaming sugar. The Christmas Market by the Famous Television Tower, also known as Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus Christmas market, is a medieval-themed market located between Berlin's City Hall and St. Marienkirche, right by the iconic Television Tower. The Spandau Christmas Market is Berlin's largest and most traditional yuletide celebration, delighting visitors for 50 years in the old town's cobbled streets. The Medieval Christmas Market at the RAW Compound transforms the former railway station in Friedrichshain into a magical medieval village from Thursday, November 16, 2023, to Friday, December 22, 2023. Visitors can explore stalls selling handmade crafts and gifts, enjoy performances by jugglers, acrobats and musicians and immerse themselves in the enchanting atmosphere while the Sony Center's Christmas decorations for 2023 have not yet been announced. Christmas huts and bars serve up hearty German fares like bratwurst and mulled wine amidst the cozy, inviting decor of the Berlin Christmas Market.
Listed below are the Berlin Christmas Markets:
- Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz: The Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz is one of Berlin's largest and most popular winter markets. It is located at the iconic Alexanderplatz square and features around 100 illuminated wooden stalls selling gifts, decorations and food. Fairground rides, an ice rink and a large Christmas pyramid provide entertainment alongside the crowded market.
- Weihnachtsmarkt Nikolaikirche: The Weihnachtsmarkt Nikolaikirche runs from Monday, November 20, 2023, to Monday, January 1, 2024, it has a special focus on Feuerzangenbowle, a hot spiced wine punch with flaming sugar. Visitors can sample Feuerzangenbowle and watch screenings of the classic Feuerzangenbowle film starring Heinz Rühmann.
- Christmas Market by the Famous Television Tower: Christmas Market by the Famous Television Tower is the medieval-themed Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus Christmas market, located between Berlin's City Hall and St. Marienkirche, right by the iconic Television Tower. It runs from Monday, November 27, 2023, to Tuesday, December 26, 2023, it transports visitors back to the Middle Ages with hot mead in clay jugs, medieval food and a nostalgic atmosphere. A 50-meter Ferris wheel offers views of the area. The market has a €1 entrance fee.
- Spandau Christmas Market: The Spandau Christmas Market is Berlin's largest and most traditional yuletide celebration, delighting visitors for 50 years in the old town's cobbled streets. It takes place from Monday, November 27, 2023, to Saturday, December 23, 2023 and features decorated wooden huts selling unique gifts and treats worldwide. Some highlights are the magnificent illuminated fire tree, the historical market near St. Nikolai church showcasing artisans and the Märkische artisan market inside the Gothic House.
- Medieval Christmas Market at the RAW Compound: The Medieval Christmas Market at the RAW Compound transforms the former railway station in Friedrichshain into a magical medieval village from Thursday, November 16, 2023, to Friday, December 22, 2023. It features stalls selling handmade crafts and gifts, jugglers, acrobats and musicians entertaining visitors.
- Sony Center Christmas decorations: The Sony Center has not yet been announced for 2023, but Berlin's Potsdamer Platz becomes a magical Christmas wonderland each year with its blue and gold lights and fairytale creatures. The sparkling chandelier has hung under the center's roof to enhance the festive atmosphere. Christmas huts and bars serve up hearty German fare like bratwurst and mulled wine amidst the cozy, inviting decor. It is easily accessible by public transportation and the lively Sony Center and its whimsical holiday adornments create a festive experience for visitors to enjoy the shopping, dining and entertainment offerings.
1. Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz
The Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz is a popular festive event held in Berlin, Germany. It is also known as the Alexanderplatz Christmas Market, Alexanderplatz Advent Market or the Winter Market at Alexanderplatz. It is one of the largest Christmas markets in Berlin, featuring around 100 stalls filled with illuminated wooden stalls. Visitors can enjoy fairground rides for children, a Ferris wheel with a view of the illuminated Alexanderplatz and an ice rink for skating. The market offers daily show programs and a party venue resembling a traditional wooden hut where adults can enjoy drinks and dancing. It features Europe's largest Ore Mountain pyramid, with tower trumpeters creating a musical Christmas mood. Visitors can indulge in culinary delicacies such as Thuringian bratwurst, mulled wine, chestnuts and gingerbread.
The Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz will be from Monday, November 27, 2023, to Sunday, December 26, 2023. It is open Monday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and on Sunday, December 24, 2023 (Christmas Eve), it is open from 10:00 am to 04:00 pm. There are several convenient ways to reach the Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz. Visitors can take the S3, S5, S7 or S9 train lines and get off at S+U Alexanderplatz station, which is located right at Alexanderplatz. The U5 and U8 lines also stop at S+U Alexanderplatz station, providing easy access to the market. The M48 and 100 buses have a stop at Alexanderplatz/Memhardstraße, allowing visitors to reach the market by bus. The M2, M4, M5 and M6 trams stop at U Alexanderplatz/Memhardstraße, providing another transportation option for reaching the market. Getting the Berlin welcome card is a good option to save money on transportation. The coordinates are 52.5219° N and 13.4132° E.
2. Weihnachtsmarkt Nikolaikirche
The Weihnachtsmarkt Nikolaikirche, also known as the Christmas Market at Nikolaikirche, is located in the historic Nikolaiviertel, between the Gendarmenmarkt and Alexanderplatz. It is known for its focus on the famous German drink, Feuerzangenbowle. Visitors can enjoy this hot beverage made from red wine and spices, with a flaming sugarloaf on top. The market also features screenings of the classic film “Die Feuerzangenbowle” starring Heinz Rühmann.
The market opens from Monday, November 20, 2023, to Monday, January 1, 2024, with daily operating hours from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The film screenings of “Die Feuerzangenbowle” take place on weekdays at 05:00 pm and 07:30 pm and on weekends at 02:30 pm, 05:00 pm and 07:30 pm. Visiting the Weihnachtsmarkt Nikolaikirche provides an opportunity to indulge in the festive spirit, enjoy delicious Feuerzangenbowle and explore the unique shops and cafes in the Nikolaiviertel. The market also offers free admission, making it an accessible and enjoyable experience for everyone.
3. Christmas market by the famous Television Tower
The Christmas market by Berlin's famous Television Tower is known as the Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus. It is a medieval-themed market located on the square between the City Hall (Rotes Rathaus) and St. Marienkirche. It offers a unique experience where visitors can travel back in time to the Middle Ages while enjoying hot mead in clay jugs and indulging in medieval delicacies. It opens from Monday, November 27, 2023 to Tuesday, December 26, 2023. It operates daily from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm, however, on Sunday, December 24, 2023, the market closes at 6:00 PM. The market charges an entrance fee of €1, excluding December 24, 25, 26 and 31, 2023, when admission is free.
Visiting the Christmas market by the famous Television Tower is a must for those seeking a unique and festive experience in Berlin. The market's medieval theme, with its clay jugs of hot mead and medieval delicacies, offers a nostalgic atmosphere. Its main attraction is the 50-meter-high Ferris wheel, providing visitors with views of the surrounding area. The Christmas market by the famous Television Tower is located in the Mitte district of Berlin, right in the city center. It is between the City Hall (Rotes Rathaus) and St. Marienkirche. Visitors can explore other attractions, such as the iconic Television Tower, which offers panoramic views of the city. The nearby Alexanderplatz Christmas Market and the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market are also worth visiting for more festive experiences.
4. Spandau Christmas market
The Spandau Christmas market is a traditional and festive market located in the old town of Spandau in Berlin. It has been delighting Berliners and visitors from all over the world for 50 years. The market is known for its cozy cobbled streets and beautifully decorated wooden huts, where artists, craftspeople and exhibitors offer their wares from four continents. Berlin's largest Christmas market offers a wide range of unique gift ideas, including perfumes from the Middle East, Christmas decorations from Poland and clothing made from Peruvian alpaca wool. The Spandau Christmas market opens from Monday, November 27, 2023, to Saturday, December 23, 2023. It operates from Monday to Thursday, Sunday from 11:00 am to 08:00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, with free admission.
The Spandau Christmas market takes place in the entire old town of Spandau, which provides a historical backdrop for the market. Visitors can stroll through the streets and admire the magnificent fire tree on the market square, which is illuminated with thousands of lights. The market also features a historical market with artisans and handicrafts around St. Nikolai church and a Märkische artisan market inside the Gothic House. Attractions close to the Spandau Christmas market include the Gothic church of St. Nikolai at Reformationsplatz, where visitors can search for the cannonball from the Napoleonic conquest embedded in the outer wall. The Spandau Citadel, with its exhibitions and the Juliusturm Tower, is of particular interest to the whole family. Visitors can also explore the old town of Spandau and browse through the shops or visit the nearby Spandau Arcaden shopping center for a shopping spree.
Visitors can take the U-Bahn (underground train) U7 to Altstadt Spandau station or the S-Bahn (overground train) S3 or S9 to Berlin-Spandau station to get to the Spandau Christmas market. The Altstadt Spandau station is located near the market, making it easily accessible for visitors. From the S-Bahn station Zoologischer Garten in City West, it takes 20 minutes to reach the market.
5. Medieval Christmas Market at the RAW Compound
The Medieval Christmas Market at the RAW Compound is a medieval-themed market held at the RAW Cultural Center in Friedrichshain. It offers a unique and enchanting experience for visitors of all ages. The market features a medieval village with various stalls selling special Christmas gifts and handmade crafts. Visitors can also enjoy entertainment from jugglers, acrobats and musicians who roam the market.
The Medieval Christmas Market at the RAW Compound opens from Thursday, November 16, 2023, to Wednesday, December 22, 2023. It is open from Monday to Friday, starting at 03:00 pm and closing at 10:00 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, it opens at 12:00 pm and closes at 10:00 pm. The RAW compound was once a railway repair station and is transformed into a medieval spectacle during Christmas. It is easily accessible by public transport, including S-Bahn, U-Bahn, tram and bus.
Visiting the Medieval Christmas Market at the RAW Compound is a must for those seeking a magical and nostalgic experience. The market offers a historical Christmas spectacle for the whole family, with acrobats, fire performers, jugglers and medieval musicians entertaining the visitors. There are also hands-on activities for both young and old medieval lovers, such as archery and axe or knife throwing. The market's medieval dishes, including traditional food and hot mead, add to the authentic atmosphere. It features hand-operated wooden Ferris wheels and carousels, making it a delightful experience for children.
6. Sony Center Christmas decorations
The Sony Center Christmas decorations combine blue and golden lights and fairytale creatures, creating a brightly lit wonderland. It has not yet been announced for 2023 and it's not fully clear if the market will take place. It has a large chandelier under the roof, which enhances the sparkling lights that spread throughout the center. It offers a cozy and inviting ambiance, with Christmas huts and bars serving hearty food, delicious sweets and warming drinks like Bratwurst and mulled wine.
The Sony Center Christmas decorations are displayed at the Sony Center, located in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. The Sony Center is a popular entertainment and shopping complex, making it an ideal location for Christmas decorations. Visitors can easily access the Sony Center by public transportation, including buses, trams and the S-Bahn or U-Bahn trains.
Visiting the Sony Center Christmas decorations is a must for those seeking a festive and enchanting experience in Berlin. The decorations create a magical atmosphere with the combination of lights, fairytale creatures and the sparkling chandelier. The cozy Christmas huts and bars offer a variety of delicious food and drinks. The Sony Center itself is a lively destination with shops, restaurants and entertainment options, making it a great place to explore during the holiday season.
How many Christmas Markets in Berlin take place in 2023-2024?
There are 6 Christmas Markets in Berlin for 2023-2024. These are the Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz, the Weihnachtsmarkt Nikolaikirche, the Christmas Market by the Famous Television Tower, the Spandau Christmas Market, the Medieval Christmas Market at the RAW Compound and the Sony Center Christmas decorations.
What food can visitors eat at the Berlin Christmas Market?
Listed below are the best German foods to try at Berlin Christmas Market:
- Currywurst: Currywurst is a Berlin specialty that consists of sliced sausage with mild curry-ketchup. It is a popular street food that can be found at many stalls at the Berlin Christmas market. It is usually eaten with toothpicks or a small fork. The price for a portion of currywurst is 4 € ($4.6, £3.4).
- Handbrot: Handbrot is a bread that is filled with cheese, mushrooms or meat. It is baked in a wood-fired oven and topped with sour cream. It is a hearty and warming snack that can be enjoyed at the Berlin Christmas market near the Rathaus. The price for a handbrot is 5 € ($5.8, £4.2).
- Spätzle: Spätzle is an egg noodle cooked in boiling water and then fried with cheese, butter or cream. It is a traditional German dish that can be found at the Weihnachtsmarkt Nikolaikirche. It is a filling and comforting meal that can be paired with salad or meat. The price for a plate of spätzle is 7 € ($8.1, £5.9).
- Stollen: Stollen is a fruit bread that is dusted with powdered sugar. It is a classic German Christmas treat that can be bought at the stalls in the Berlin Christmas market. It is filled with dried fruits, nuts and spices and sometimes marzipan. It can be eaten as a dessert or a breakfast. The price for a slice of stollen is 2 € ($2.3, £1.7).
What to drink in the Berlin Christmas Market?
Listed below are the best drinks in the Berlin Christmas Market:
- Glühwein: Glühwein is a hot mulled wine that is a staple of Berlin Christmas markets. It is made with red wine and spices, often spiked with a shot of something stronger. It is served in festive mugs that can be taken home as souvenirs. The price for a mug of glühwein is 3 € ($3.5, £2.5).
- Feuerzangenbowle: Feuerzangenbowle is a variation of glühwein that involves setting a rum-soaked sugar cone on fire and letting it drip into the wine. It is a spectacular and potent drink that can be found at some Berlin Christmas market stalls, such as the one near the Weihnachtsmarkt Nikolaikirche.
- Eierpunsch: Eierpunsch is a creamy and sweet drink that is similar to eggnog. It is made with egg, milk, sugar and white wine or rum. It is often topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon. The price for a cup of eierpunsch is 3 € ($3.4, £2.5). Eierpunsch is a drink for those who prefer a smooth and rich taste over a spicy one.
- Kinderpunsch: Kinderpunsch is a non-alcoholic drink suitable for children and adults who do not drink alcohol. It is made with fruit juice, tea and spices, served hot and similar to glühwein, but without the wine. The price for a cup of kinderpunsch is 2 € ($2.3, £1.7). Kinderpunsch is a drink for those who want to enjoy the Berlin Christmas market without getting tipsy.
- Hot Chocolate: Hot chocolate is a classic drink that can be found at most Berlin Christmas market stalls. It is made with milk and chocolate and sometimes flavored with vanilla, caramel or mint. It is often topped with whipped cream and marshmallows. A cup of hot chocolate costs 2 € ($2.3, £1.7).
What can people buy at the Berlin Christmas Market?
Listed below are the things people can buy in Berlin Christmas Market:
- Piece of the Berlin Wall: A piece of the Berlin Wall is a historical and symbolic souvenir representing Germany's division and reunification. The wall was torn down in 1989, but some fragments can still be found at souvenir shops in the Berlin Christmas Market. The price for a piece of the Berlin Wall varies depending on the size and authenticity, but it can range from 5 € ($5.8, £4.2) to 50 € ($58, £42).
- Christmas Ornaments: Christmas ornaments are festive and traditional souvenirs that can be used to decorate the home or the tree. The Berlin Christmas Market offers a variety of ornaments, such as wooden stars, glass balls, nutcrackers, angels and snowmen. The price for a Christmas ornament depends on the material and craftsmanship, but it can range from 2 € ($2.3, £1.7) to 20 € ($23, £17).
- Berlin Bear: The Berlin Bear is the emblem of the city and a cute and cuddly souvenir for children and adults alike. The bear can be found in different forms, such as plush toys, keychains, magnets, mugs and t-shirts. The price for a Berlin Bear souvenir depends on the type and quality, but it can range from 3 € ($3.5, £2.5) to 30 € ($35, £25).
- Cuckoo Clocks: Cuckoo clocks are a traditional and unique souvenir that originated in the Black Forest region of Germany. They are wooden clocks that have a bird that pops out and makes a sound every hour. The Berlin Christmas Market sells cuckoo clocks in different sizes, styles and designs. The price for a cuckoo clock depends on the complexity and quality, but it can range from 50 € ($58, £42) to 500 € ($580, £420).
- Schnapps: Schnapps is a distilled alcoholic beverage that is flavored with fruits, herbs or spices. It is a popular drink in Germany, especially during the winter season. The Berlin Christmas Market offers a variety of schnapps, such as apple, pear, cherry, plum and cinnamon. The price for a bottle of schnapps depends on the brand and flavor, but it can range from 10 € ($11.6, £8.4) to 30 € ($35, £25).
Where to stay in Berlin during the Berlin Christmas Market?
Listed below are the best hotels to stay in during the Berlin Christmas Market:
- Happy Go Lucky Hotel + Hostel Berlin: Happy Go Lucky Hotel + Hostel Berlin offers budget-friendly and cozy accommodation in the Charlottenburg district, just 5 minutes from the famous Kurfürstendamm boulevard. It has free WiFi, a restaurant, a bar and a 24-hour front desk. The hotel is located directly at the Charlottenburg S-Bahn (city rail) station, which provides quick connections to all major sights, airports and the Berlin Christmas Markets. The price for a room is 30 € ($34, £25) per night.
- Hotel Nikolai Residence: Hotel Nikolai Residence is a 4-star boutique hotel in the Mitte district, just a 10-minute walk from the Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz and Christmas Market by the famous Television Tower. It has spacious and modern rooms with a kitchenette, a balcony or a conservatory and free WiFi. The hotel also has a concierge service, a laundry service and a guest washroom. The price for a room is 100 € ($114, £83) per night.
- H4 Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz: H4 Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz is a 4-star hotel in the Mitte district, just a 2-minute walk from the Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz and the public transport hub. It has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, a minibar and a bright bathroom. The hotel also has a restaurant, a bar, a fitness studio, a sauna and a generous conference area. The price for a room is 120 € ($137, £99) per night.
- Clipper City Home Apartments Berlin: Clipper City Home Apartments Berlin is a spacious and elegant apartment complex in the Mitte district, just a 2-minute walk from the Friedrichstraße shopping street and the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt square. They have a living room with a flat-screen TV and a Bose stereo system, a kitchenette with a Nespresso coffee machine and free WiFi. The apartment building has an underground garage, an elevator and a concierge service. The price for an apartment is 150 € ($171, £124) per night.
- Myer's Hotel Berlin: Myer's Hotel Berlin is a 4-star boutique hotel in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg district, within 10 or 15 minutes of the city center by public transport. It has classical-style rooms with high ceilings, fine wood, paintings, manually adjustable air conditioning and free WiFi. The hotel also has a breakfast buffet, a tea room, a lobby bar and a conservatory. The price for a room is 130 € ($148, £107) per night.
What are the best restaurants to eat in Berlin during Christmas?
Listed below are the best restaurants to eat in Berlin:
- Spagos Restaurant – Bar & Lounge: Spagos is a 3-in-1 concept restaurant that combines a bar, a lounge and a dining area. It is located on the 3rd floor of the Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz Hotel, offering a panoramic view of the city and the Christmas Market at Alexanderplatz. The menu features international dishes with a Mediterranean touch, such as pasta, pizza, salads, burgers and steaks. The restaurant also has a live cooking station where guests can watch the chefs prepare their food. The price for a meal is 25 € ($29, £21) per person.
- Zur Gerichtslaube: Zur Gerichtslaube is a historic restaurant that dates back to the 13th century. It is in the Nikolaiviertel, the oldest part of Berlin. The restaurant serves traditional German cuisine, such as schnitzel, sauerbraten, roast goose and potato dumplings. Zur Gerichtslaube also has a cozy atmosphere, with wooden furniture, candlelight and live music. The price for a meal is 20 € ($23, £17) per person.
- Coffee shop in the Nikolai Quarter: The coffee shop in the Nikolai Quarter is a café that offers a variety of coffee, tea, cakes and snacks. It is located in the Nikolaikirche, the oldest church in Berlin. The café has a rustic and romantic ambiance, with antique furniture, paintings and books. The café also has a terrace, where guests can enjoy the view of the church and the river Spree. The price for a coffee and a cake is 10 € ($12, £9) per person.
- Altstadt Spandau: Altstadt Spandau is a restaurant that specializes in fish and seafood dishes, located in the old town of Spandau, a district in the west of Berlin just near the Spandau Christmas market. The restaurant has a maritime décor, with blue and white colors, fish nets and anchors. The menu includes fresh fish, lobster, oysters, mussels and more. The restaurant also has a winter garden, where guests can dine under the stars. The price for a meal at Altstadt Spandau is 30 € ($35, £25) per person.
- Seaside – Fish & Seafood Bar: Seaside is a modern and stylish restaurant that offers a variety of fish and seafood dishes. It is located in the Mitte district, near the Friedrichstraße station. The restaurant has a bright and spacious interior, with a large fish counter, a bar and a lounge area. The menu at Seaside includes sushi, sashimi, ceviche, fish burgers and salads. The restaurant also has a daily changing lunch menu, where guests can choose from three dishes for 10 € ($12, £9) per person.
How does the Berlin Christmas market impact the Local Economy and Tourism?
The Berlin Christmas market significantly influences the local economy and tourism, attracting a large number of visitors and contributing to economic growth. Annually, the market draws approximately 2 million visitors, making it a key city tourism driver. This substantial influx of tourists positively impacts the local economy by generating revenue for businesses and increasing demand for various goods and services. Each visitor contributes 40 € ($48, £36) in revenue through festive treats, gifts and entertainment expenditures. The market also stimulates job creation, particularly in the hospitality and retail sectors, providing employment opportunities for locals.
Is the Berlin Christmas Market better than the Trier Christmas Market?
Yes, the Berlin Christmas Market is better than the Trier Christmas Market. Berlin's market boasts a larger scale and more extensive offerings, attracting a higher number of visitors annually. With around 2 million attendees, the Berlin Christmas Market provides a more bustling atmosphere, contributing to a livelier holiday experience. The market's size accommodates a diverse range of stalls and activities and creates a more dynamic setting, appealing to a broader audience. The Berlin Christmas Market's central location in the city enhances accessibility, making it a preferred destination for both locals and tourists.
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