Christmas is Coming: the Markets are Here!

People travel from all over the world to experience Christmas in Germany and the highlight of their trip is always the Christmas Markets. Berlin has some of the finest markets in all of the land and they were all launched last week, so rug up in your warmest clothes and get ready to fill your hearts with Christmas cheer as you stroll our selection of Berlin’s best Christmas markets for 2016.

There are a number of markets right in the local neighbourhood, while others are a short taxi, train or bus ride away – but well worth the journey. There are more than 100 Christmas markets in Berlin and the city’s tourism site has put together a very handy list of 2016 Christmas Markets, including important information such as where they are, how to get there, opening times and entrance fees (though most of them are free).

Wreath © Jez Timms

Berlin being the eclectic city that it is has a good selection of very traditional, super commercial and oh so hipster markets for every taste. There are design markets and vegan markets, markets with candle bearing carol singers and string quartets and markets with DJs and cocktails. So we have put together a few suggestions for you that are a mixture of local, classics and quirky.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and Breitscheidplatz

With the jewel that is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at its centre, this market is just around the corner from the hotel and one of Berlin’s biggest and most famous. All the usual christmas foods are there – from roasted chestnuts to garlic mushrooms, pork knuckle with sauerkraut and potatoes to sticky apples and cotton candy. There are lots of nice hand made gifts for sale as well as some German regional products and loads of delightful ornaments.

Kaiser Wilhelm Market © Melinda Barlow

Kaiser Wilhelm Market © Melinda Barlow

You can tick a few things off your list at once with this market as not only can you eat there, but you could also enjoy a concert at the church if you get the timing right. The market is great for some last minute gifts and you can also pop across the road to the Bikini Berlin designer mall for that creative cool pal in your life.

The market is open from November 21st 2016 until January 1st 2017, daily from 11am until 9pm and until 10pm Friday and Saturday nights. There are special opening hours for Christmas and New Year so check the full opening hours here. Admission is free.

Christmas at Bikini Berlin design mall © Melinda Barlow

Christmas at Bikini Berlin design mall © Melinda Barlow

Potsdamer Platz and the Arkaden Precinct

The whole area around Potsdamer Platz becomes a Christmas wonderland with a good mix of traditional and commercial. The light display at the Sony Centre is particularly impressive as are the trees and streets leading down to Marlene Dietrich Platz, where you will find plenty of nice market stalls, a giant Christmas tree and ice skating. The Potsdamer Platz Winter World is a crowd favourite with a giant toboggan run, 80’s pop music and aprés ski style parties in wooden lodges on the weekends.

Open November 21st 2016 until December 27th 2016. The market is open daily from 10am until 10pm and from 10am – 2pm on Christmas eve. Admission is free.

Potsdamer Platz  & Arkaden market © Melinda barlow

Sony centre Christmas lights 2015 © Melinda barlow

Charlottenburg Palace

There are few better places for a magical christmas experience than in the grounds of a 300 year old palace right? Berlin’s Charlottenburg Palace turns into a scene from a german fairytale as the grounds and gardens are decorated with twinkling lights and Christmas decorations. More than 150 stalls offer stollen, marzipan, and glüwein as well as many other traditional German foods. You will also find great presents here with handmade porcelain and wooden tree decorations, handcrafted items and plenty of atmosphere as gentle Baroque music drifts through the air. There is plenty of nostalgia with traditional fairground rides, wood fires and more.

Open November 23rd 2015 until December 26th 2016. The market is open daily from 2pm until 10pm and until from midday until 10pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There are special opening hours for Christmas so check here for full details. Admission is free.

Charlottenburg Palace Market © Melinda Barlow

Charlottenburg Palace Market © Melinda Barlow

Musicians Charlottenburg Palace Market © Melinda Barlow

Musicians Charlottenburg Palace Market © Melinda Barlow

WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt

The WeihnachtsZauber or ‘Christmas charm’ is a classic Christmas market and must not be missed. In the heart of Berlin, amidst the elegance of the royal quarter, the WeinachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt is traditional, cosy and as authentic as they come. Mostly. Gingerbread and mulled wine, raclette cheese and hot roast dinners – there are take away options and more high end market stall restaurant choices, all within the precinct. There is also live entertainment most nights on a big stage in front of the Konzerthaus. Some of the tents are even heated and there are fire drums plus plenty of hot wines and punches to keep you warm.

Open November 21st 2016 until December 31st 2016. Opening hours are 11am to 10pm but vary and admission is free/€1 depending on times. See here for full details.

The Weihnachts Zauber Gendarmenmarkt christmas market - Image: Michael Setzpfandt

The Weihnachts Zauber Gendarmenmarkt christmas market – Image: Michael Setzpfandt

German Chistmas Traditions © Melinda Barlow

German Chistmas Traditions © Melinda Barlow

For the Cool Crowd

Winterdorf is located at the Badeschiff – one of the city’s favourite playground’s in the summer. In winter it is transformed with sparkly disco balls and ambient house music, gourmet street food and crafts beers plus plenty of family activities and best of all – great views of the city across the Spree. Check their Facebook page for the details. You can also check out Holy Shit Shopping this weekend only, for some chic and unique designer gifts or Holy Heimat at the Haubentaucher precinct in Friedrichshain right through December.

Winterdorf © Arena Berlin

Winterdorf at Arena Berlin. Image © Arena Berlin Facebook page



Melinda Barlow is an Australian freelance writer and editor, based in Berlin since 2012. Melinda works with print and online media and has a natural curiosity that informs her work. She is passionate about travel and great content. She loves to write most about the world, its people and why we all do what we do.