Photo by Jürgen Loch
From now til Christmas, you won't be able to avoid the city's ubiquitous Weihnachtsmärkte. We've saved you some trouble and rounded up the ones that are actually worth a visit.
Photos by: Klunkerkranich (Facebook), Glashaus, Nowkoelln Flohmarkt (Facebook), Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt, Hallesches Haus, henson (Flickr), Spandauer Weihnachtsmarkt (Facebook), De-okin (Wikimedia Commons)
1Karl-Marx-Straße 66, 12043 Berlin
Skip the holiday madness in the Neuköllner Arkaden by heading to the mall's roof, where the Klunkerkranich team boasts 'the highest Christmas market in the city'. Fridays are for food, everything from paleo desserts to vegan hot dogs; Saturdays and Sundays are for gifts, which as expected fall on the artisanal/twee side. Plus some of the best views south of the Fernsehturm (not a high bar to clear, but still) and a cosy yurt for that post-shopping Glühwein fix. Just get there early, it fills up fast.
From Nov 28, Fridays from 16:00, Sat-Sun from 12:00
2Eichenstraße 4, 12435 Neukölln
You won't find bratwurst at this alternative take on the German holiday classic, but Berlin's first vegan and vegetarian Christmas market promises to deliver animal- and environment-friendly versions of the requisite festive snacks including Glühwein, Lebkuchen and Belgian waffles. Find green gifts from Germany in the boutique market, creative workshops for kids and adults alike, and a wintry mix of live music, all set to the panoramic background of the Spree.
Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 14, Dec 21, 14-22:00
3Ohlauer Straße 43, 10999 Berlin
The makers of the wildly popular "Flowmarkt" hop across the canal to the impressive two-storey Umspannwerk Kreuzberg. A little more upscale than the flea market itself, this is more of a "maker" market - small traders of knick-knacks of all types, from handmade stuffed toys to cute homeware embossed with bird designs. A perfect one-stop shop for the desperate last-minute gift-giver!
Dec 20, 11-22:00, Dec 21, 10-19:00
4Schönhauser Allee 36, 10405 Berlin, Stadt
Decorated with more stars than you can count, Lucia Christmas sits snug between the Kulturbrauerei's buildings. All the goods, food and drink you'd expect, including some finer things like white mulled wine plus the joy of standing on ice-cold cobblestone. They sometimes project people's Christmas wishes on one of the walls, and you'd be surprised what some Berliners wish for.
Nov 24-Dec 22, Mon-Fri 15-22:00, Sat-Sun 13-22:00
5Tempelhofer Ufer 1, 10961 Berlin
Hallesches Haus will be full-blown store come Spring 2015, but for a taste of the curated charm just in time for Christmas, they’re presenting some holiday cheer with their own foray into the Weihnachtsmart arena. Expect carefully selected designer gifts for that special someone with discriminating tastes. All of this in a former Postamt in Kreuzberg. Of course, there’s the obligatory Glühwein.
Dec 13-14, Dec 20-21, 12-20:00
6Richardplatz 1, 12055 Berlin
With its curving cobblestone streets and well-preserved 16th-century buildings just a few blocks off the chaotic Karl-Marx-Straße, the village of Rixdorf already feels like a surreal time vortex even when not occupied by a traditional, electric-lighting-free market full of handcrafts and farm animals. Be warned: the fact that it only happens for one weekend a year adds to the magic, but also the crowds.
Dec 5-7, Friday 17-21:00, Sat 14-21, Sun 14-20:00
7Preußenallee 17-19, 14052 Berlin
The Christmas market in the lovely gardens of St. George's Anglican church way out West is a beacon of Britishness – carol sing-alongs, bagpipes, Christmas tales for the kids, in a language you can understand! Loads of games, toys and handicrafts on sale. There's a low-price book sale in the chapel and load of baked goods, including proper mince pies. Win an Exberliner subscription and maybe other prizes in their tombola! One day only!
Dec 6, 14:30-17:30