5 Best Christmas Markets in Berlin

During the holiday season, Berlin lights up everywhere and takes your breath away. There are Christmas markets all over town, some bigger than others. Being a first timer in Berlin at Christmas, of course, I had to visit all of them and see for myself if they are worth it.

 

5. Christmas Market in Alexanderplatz

Location: U Alexanderplatz

When:  21 November 2016 – 26 December 2016

Opening Times: 10:00 – 22:00  (Alexanderplatz)

Entrance: Free

What to do: Buy carved figures, drink Glühwein,buy glass or wooden ornaments and toys

There is nothing better than going to the heart of the city and spend some time in this Christmas Market. Definitely one of the busiest markets in Berlin. What makes it special is that it is in the centre of Berlin, giving you many choices regarding sights, food, shopping. Get on the second or third floor of Saturn for a view of the whole market. On the 24th of December, the market will be open from 10:00 – 14:00.

4. The Big Berlin Christmas Market at Alexa

Location: U Alexanderplatz

When:  21 November 2016 – 23 December 2016

Opening Times: Mon-Fri 13:00 – 22:00 / Sat-Sun 11:00 – 22:00

Entrance: Free

What to do: Get on the rides, buy lottery tickets, drink Glühwein, eat a lot

The Alexa market has a fun fair, filled with a lot of attractions to enjoy. It is for sure a great place to spend your day, especially for a family day out.  You get in the holiday spirit and have fun at the same time.

3. Winterworld at Postdamer Platz

Location: S Postdamer Platz Bahnhof

When: 04 November 2016 – 01 January 2017

Opening Times: 10:00 – 22:00

Entrance: Free

What to do: Go skating, buy textile products, buy all kinds of crafts and sweets

Truly a beautiful market on a very busy street of Berlin. Even though the market might seem small at first, it is not. If you start walking, you will find out that is way bigger, going all the way to Arkaden mall and Sony Center. Everything is decorated, even the trees on the street. The malls are beautifully decorated. On Christmas Eve, the market closes at 14:00. 

 

2. Weihnachtszauber at Gendarmenmarkt

Location:  Am Gendarmenmarkt 2, 10117 Berlin Mitte

When: 21 November 2016 – 31 December 2016

Opening Times: 11:00 – 22:00

Entrance:  1€  / free for children under 12

What to do: Try high-class dishes, see performances from renowned artists, find all the unique merchandisers, find the origami master

By far the most popular Christmas market in Berlin. It is surrounded by grand and amazing landmarks and it gives its visitors a feeling of warmth and elegance. There are so many unique merchandisers around the market, that specialise in a variety of crafts, such as an ivory carver, an embroiderer and a milliner among others, who provide high-quality goods. There is also an origami master, who you must definitely visit since his work is amazing.

Looking for something to eat? What better than a Michelin-star chef? What about more than one Michelin-star chefs? They prepare gourmet dishes for everyone and I recommend you try at least a dish from them.

 

1. 33rd Christmas Market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Location: Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin Charlottenburg

When: 21 November 2016 – 01 January 2017

Opening Times: Sun-Thu 11:00 – 21:00

Fri-Sat 11:00 – 22:00

Entrance:  Free

What to do: Buy Christmas ornaments, buy winter clothes, eat caramelised nuts and homemade eggnog

Located between Kurfürstendamm and the Zoologischer Garten, this market is simply beautiful and so inviting. There are carousels for all children to have fun and all sorts of sausages for grownups. Walking outside the market, you will see some amazing decorations all around.

Special Opening Hours: 

24th December (Christmas eve): 11a.m. – 2p.m.
25th & 26th December (Christmas): 1p.m. – 9p.m.
31st December (New Year’s eve): 11a.m. – 2a.m.
1st January (New Year): 1p.m. – 9p.m.

 

 

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The Best German Christmas Market

I had been living in Nuremberg for almost 2 years. To be honest, Nuremberg is a cute small city with not many things to do, but it is beautiful. Especially for winter holidays, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

The whole city is beautifully decorated from mid-November, with lights and Christmas trees all over. But Nuremberg is probably the most famous city in Germany for its extraordinary Christmas Market, called Christkindlesmarkt.

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Christkindlesmarkt begins on November 25th until December 24th, and it is open from 10 in the morning until 9 at night. People visit it from all cities of Germany. But what makes it so special and what can you do if you visit it?

 

1. Try the Nuremberg sausages

Yes!! Nuremberg sausages, called Bratwurst are the tastiest and most famous sausages in Germany. It is served with a small bun and 3 sausages inside. Be sure to put curry sauce inside and dried onions.

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2. Glühwein to keep you warm

The favourite hot wine for the cold nights of winter. Its special taste comes by adding cinnamon, cloves and lemon peel among others. Every time you buy one, you are charged 2 euros extra for the cup, which each year has a different design and colour (arranged by all the sellers together). If you wish to keep the cup, you get no refund. Only if you take it back, you will get your 2 euros back.

What is really interesting, is that Glühwein is also available for children in the form of hot and sweetened fruit juice.

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3. Meet the Nuremberg Christmas child

She is like Santa, but a girl. And blonde. And with wings. She represents the Christmas angel that brings the presents.

When it comes to Santa, parents tell their kids he will not bring them presents if they have been naughty. In the case of the Christkind, parents tell them that if they are curious and try to spot the angel, then they will get no presents. She does not come down the chimney. She rings a small bell, the moment she has left (well, the parents do).

Every Tuesday to Friday at exactly 3 pm, the Christkind visits Christkindlesmarkt to take pictures with children and listen to their wishes for presents. christkind-kinder-48

 

4. Shopping… A lof of shopping

Come on. Who doesn’t like shopping? Well, in Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, you might overspend. You can buy all sorts of toys for kids, such as wooden dolls and puzzles and all sorts of miniatures.  The best souvenir you can buy is a wooden nutcracker. They are very popular and made with great detail and love. One might cost about 100 euros, but it makes for a great souvenir or

The best souvenir you can buy is a wooden nutcracker. They are very popular and made with great detail and love. One might cost about 100 euros, but it makes for a great souvenir or Xmas present.

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Visiting the market is the best opportunity to buy ornaments for your Christmas tree. The choices are so many. Colours, shapes, designs, sayings. There are made out of glass, wood and any other material you want.

 

5. Interested in other cultures?

If you want to try something new, then all you have to do is go to the Market of Sister Cities, located on a square North of the Christmas market. Artists, merchants and craftsmen from Nuremberg’s sister cities, have a booth selling a variety of products. The earnings go to charities of each country. The countries included are USA, Turkey, China, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Sri-Lanka, Nicaragua, Poland, France, Czech Republic and Scotland.  

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Why visit? Because it’s beautiful, full of lights and life, good food, with crazy and interesting items to purchase and it is fun. So much fun. Plus you get to go sightseeing in Nuremberg.

 

Fairytale Wedding In Magical Ulm, Germany

2 months ago, I went to Ulm for one of my best friend’s weddings. I had never heard of this German city before, but soon I found out it is quite small. However, its beauty cannot go by unnoticed.

Our first stop was at Schloss Neuburg, one hour outside Ulm. That would be the wedding’s venue and we decided to go earlier, in order to reunite with friends we had not seen in a while. The moment we got off the train, I instantly got a warm and very familiar feeling. The nature around me was breathtaking. Lakes, with huge trees and all kinds of flowers. 20160814_122029.jpg

And then we arrived at this beautiful castle. For hours, we hang out with friends, drinking champagne and eating pizza (we are probably the only ones who can pull off this combination), laughing and getting ready for the wedding.

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Schloss Neuburg

Everything was perfectly organised. The smallest detail was carefully thought. From the decorations to the thank-you gift bags waiting for each guest back to their hotel.

The ceremony was romantic, beautiful and intimate. Close family members and good friends, partying until the morning. When you have an amazing time, usually the time passes by quite fast. But we would meet again the next day, for a lunch and a tour of Ulm.

During the tour, our guide mentioned some very interesting facts about the sights. They all had such a great history since Ulm is one of the oldest towns in Germany. Even though the city is quite small, it is perfect for nature lovers. You will see people sitting by the river with their friends, bicycles everywhere and simply happy people.

What I found the most fascinating, is that when you are from one side of the river you are in Bavaria (New Ulm), but if you are on the other side, then you are in Baden-Württemberg (Old Ulm).

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Honestly, it was an amazing experience and I had so much fun. I would not recommend visiting the castle unless you have to attend an event there. As for Ulm, if you ever happen to pass by, stop for a quick coffee and admire your surroundings.