With some 80 Christmas markets, shopping, concerts, and culinary delights, Berlin’s Christmas scene is sure to heat up. This Holiday season, visitors to Berlin can experience the vitality of one of the world’s most fascinating cities together with old-world Holiday traditions.
Berlin’s approximately 80 Christmas markets can be found in nearly every city square, throughout the city’s main shopping streets and courtyards. Items that include both nostalgic and traditional, to the hip, cool and trendy are offered virtually by every neighborhood Christmas market. The majority of holiday markets open around November 23 and close on December 24.
One of the most traditional and popular markets known for its nostalgic look is the Christmas Magic at Gendarmenmarkt square. Top-quality items such as handcrafts, traditional wooden ornaments as well as local and regional artwork are sold in Berlin’s most beautiful square.
The Lucia Christmas Market located at the historic Kulturbrauerei, in Prenzlauer Berg, welcomes visitors with its Scandinavian hospitality. The family-friendly market is named after Lucia, the Nordic Goddess of Light, dedicated to the Scandinavian countries. Visitors can experience a taste of Scandinavia through a variety of crafts and treats.
More than 50 vendors can be found at the Market of the Continents at the Dahlem museum complex. A variety of handicrafts from around the world are on display for sale. Items include hand-woven African fabrics, jewelry from India, and merchandise from Kazakhstan.
Another popular market is the Green Christmas Market, Berlin’s first vegan/vegetarian Holiday market. The market is open on Sunday’s during the Advent season and features vegan/vegetarian products from Germany, organic clothing, and live music.
Vacationers visiting the city during the pre-Christmas period will discover a number of unbeatable deals. KaDeWe, one of Europe’s largest department stores features items ranging from world-class designer merchandise to top-of-the-line culinary products. The entire store transforms into a magical Christmas wonderland.
One of the most unique Christmas markets is Holy.Shit.Shopping located at Kraftwerk Berlin – Köpenicker Straße in Berlin-Mitte, a former power station where approximately 150 local designers present their newest fashion, jewelry, and art. This special one-weekend sale features items such as clothes, jewelry, bags, fashion and home accessories, comic books, records and many other items.
Other locations worth taking a look at are the countless of small shops, boutiques, and galleries located in the side streets of Berlin’s cool and trendy districts of Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg. During December 6 and December 20, these stores will be open to shoppers from 1 pm to 8 pm.
The winter holiday season also brings a number of outstanding performances to Berlin’s opera houses and theaters. Opening December 6, the Staatsoper at Schillertheater performs “Der gestiefelte Kater” (“Puss in Boots”). Beginning November 26, the Staatsballett Berlin choreographed by Vasily Medvedev and Yuri Burlaka, will perform Grieg’s Haensel & Gretel and Tschaikovsky’s legendary Nutcracker at the Deutsche Oper.
The Circus Roncalli has become a favorite holiday tradition beginning its 12th season at the Tempodrom. The show features acrobats, horses, and a number of clown skits. Performances are from December 18, 2015, to January 3, 2016.
Beginning November 20, 2015, and runs through February 15, 2016, the Berlinische Galerie will be featuring a major exhibition about Max Beckmann. Artwork displayed will include famous works that the artist completed while in Berlin as well as having a strong connection with the city. During the 1920s, Beckmann became recognized as a modern artist who best represented the new Berlin. Beckmann would go on to become one of the pioneering movements associated with the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit).
Another major exhibition being highlighted at Berlin’s Picture Gallery (Gemäldegalerie) is the Botticelli Renaissance that opened September 25, 2015, and runs through January 24, 2016. Botticelli, unlike any other artist, empowered the Modernist period as well as today’s art. More than 100 masterpieces related to European art are on loan from the world’s greatest art collections and gathered under one roof.
When the cold season rolls in so are the treats such as chocolates, gingerbread or candied almonds; a staple of the Christmas market. For the chocoholic, a visit to Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatiers is a delightful experience not to be missed. Located at the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin, the company is the world’s largest chocolate factory offering some 200 varieties of chocolates along with other delicacies.
Berliners also enjoy consuming produce that are fresh and in-season, thanks to the comeback of the city’s traditional covered markets. One of Berlin’s major markets is the 120-year-old Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg, offering Street Food Thursday that features a variety of dishes from around the world that are fresh, hot and delicious. The Arminiusmarkthalle located in Moabit, a locality of Berlin, features a wide variety of food ranging from regional dishes to Italian specialties.
Boasting a total of 19 stars, Berlin’s 14 Michelin-starred restaurants offer world-class cuisine. There is also good news for the vegetarian in the mood for a meatless gourmet. Berlin contains the highest concentration of vegan and vegetarian restaurants of any city on the European continent. In addition to, a large number of hotels and restaurants also offer traditional dishes such as roast duck, braised cabbage and other traditional German Holiday favorites.
New Year’s Eve
Ring in the New Year at the world’s largest New Year’s Eve party along with over one million revelers at the Brandenburg Gate and along “Straße des 17. Juni. A variety of entertainment will feature music, concerts, dance and culinary goods and services while waiting for the massive fireworks display illuminating the Berlin sky at midnight.
More information on Berlin’s expansive calendar of events is available at Visit Berlin.