Feeling Festive at Berlin’s Christmas Markets
Prepare to say "Frohe Weihnachten" in the German capital with our guide to the best Christmas markets in Berlin
While, for many, Berlin is synonymous with graffiti and wild night clubs, come Christmastime the city's all about glühwein, markets and festive cheer. Here, we're sharing a list of wonderful Berlin Christmas markets for you to visit, as well as a few of our favourite Plum Guide places to stay during your trip.
The market: Weihnachtszauber am Gendarmenmarkt
Impressive scenery, exceptional stalls and traditional craftsmanship make the Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt one of the most popular in the city. Tucked between the neoclassical buildings of the French Cathedral, German Cathedral and Berlin’s concert hall, the scene here is not only impressive, but utterly idyllic. Whether you’re just browsing, treating yourself to some Glühwein, or actively doing your Christmas shopping, you’ll find an eclectic mix of fine art, culinary delights, and a little bit of showmanship here. Open from 25 November to 31 December, this market should surely feature on any winter Berlin itinerary.
The Plum home: Tutti Frutti
If you’ve ever been to Berlin (or studied any of its history), you’ll know that it’s a city of contradicting realities. That’s why we’ve picked out Tutti Frutti as the perfect place to stay for your visit to the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market. This home tastefully houses a fresh, contemporary design scheme within its 19th century walls and poses a wonderful juxtaposition to the traditional market. From here it’s also just a quick fifteen-minute walk to the Gendarmenmarkt. On your way you’ll cross one of Berlin’s most beautiful bridges. Notable for its ornate wrought iron fencing, historic lanterns, and Imperial eagles, the Weidendammer bridge, as it currently stands, was erected in 1895 and is one of the only surviving bridges from that period. Fingers crossed for a bit of snow to complete your magical trip.
The market: Advent market at the Domäne Dahlem
Although it’s located on the outskirts of the city, the Domäne Dahlem Advent market offers a unique experience work travelling for. The Domäne Dahlem is a country estate and museum, a quiet place in the otherwise busy capital. The site, on which land has been cultivated for over 800 years, has a working farm and museum with exciting exhibitions and hands-on learning opportunities. For each weekend of advent this rural setting is turned into a fun-filled Christmas market. Here you’ll find regionally grown, organic produce, along with a varied event programme, including horse-drawn carriage rides and craft stations for children.
The Plum home: Countrypolitan
Instead of finding you a home on the fringes of the city near the market, we thought we’d give you the best of both worlds and invite you to stay at Countrypolitan. This family-friendly home is playful yet stylish, tastefully combining vintage rugs, a hammock in the dining room, fun artwork and pops of colour.
The apartment is set in uber-cool Kreuzberg, a neighbourhood is popular among young families and artistic students, and full of bustling cafes. Hop on the underground train at Görlitzer Bahnhof (a five-minute walk from your front door) and take it all the way to Dahlem Dorf – the whole endeavour will take about thirty-five minutes. Want to know the best part? Even though this is technically an underground train, you’ll get to watch the city pass you by for large sections of this journey.
The market: Lucia Christmas Market at the Kulturbrauerei
In the midst of the vibrant capital, comfortably nestled into the romantic backdrop of a nineteenth-century brewery, sits the Lucia Christmas market. Open from 25 November to 22 December, this Nordic-inspired market attracts visitors from all over with its cosy atmosphere and daily cultural programme. Celebrating Saint Lucia, the Nordic goddess of light, the market features traditional Scandinavian handicrafts, food and drinks, along with log fires and the intriguing innovation dubbed the "open-air coat heater".
The Plum home: Book Club Edition
A mere eight-minute walk from the Scandi Christmas market, you’ll find Book Club Edition – your own private slice of hygge. Exposed brick and distressed plaster brings up a warm and homely feel, complemented by beautiful antique furniture and mellow lighting. Why not cuddle up on the luxurious linen sofa and read a book under the warm glow of the industrial lights, or have a bath in the pistachio-tiled bathroom? Winter doesn’t scare us when there’s so much to look forward to.
The Market: Merry Markthalle
Every Friday and Saturday, starting 29 November until 21 December, the weekly farmers market at Markthalle IX is turned into a haven of yuletide cheer, packed with tempting treats and handmade gifts. Set amongst the beautiful iron-beamed ceiling of a 19th century covered market, Merry Markthalle is both delightful and curious, all at the same time. This is the place for foodies – wander along rows of festive delicacies from all over the world, then treat yourself to a glass of natural or mulled wine.
The Plum home: Woodshop
Just around the corner is your holiday rental: Woodshop. When it comes to creativity, this apartment certainly complements the artisan goods on show at Berlin's best Christmas markets. Woodshop is the home of an architect, and it shows. Eames-inspired dining chairs, a vintage tufted sofa, and bespoke shelving are just the start here. With three bedrooms, this home is perfectly suited to family or a group of friends. Located in trendy Kreuzberg, the apartment has easy access to the rest of the city, including the key sights in Mitte.
The market: Christmas market at Charlottenburg Palace
We couldn't possibly speak about Berlin Christmas markets without mentioning Charlottenburg. Owing to its romantic backdrop and magnificent illuminations, the Christmas market at Schloss Charlottenburg is a draw for Berliners and tourists alike. The late seventeenth-century rococo palace has been charming visitors of the market for decades, and we think there's a good chance it will charm you too. More than 250 exhibitors from all over the world offer a wide and varied range of goods; in addition to the Christmas market classics, such as nativity figures, tree ornaments, or scarves and hats, there are also art pieces and an array of sweet delights, such as stollen, biscuits and marzipan bread.
The Plum home: Frieda
It’s not exactly within walking distance (unless you fancy a forty-five minute stroll to the Charlottenburg Palace), but we think Frieda is worth the short journey on public transport. The minimalist interior has been embellished with charming artwork and statement pieces, like the trunk coffee table, to create a modern, yet cosy space. A perfect spot to come back to after a day of Glühwein and Christmas shopping.
Image credits: Visit Berline, Astrakan Images