The Advent season is upon us, and once again the multitude of Weihnachtsmärkte in Berlin is overwhelming! We’re here to help. Rest assured, there’s something for everyone, from the most hardcore lovers of handicrafts to the steadfast traditionalists. Here’s our seasonal skinny on the best!
Lucia Christmas Market
Let’s start with the classic – and its fun for the whole family! If you’re looking for the kind of cozy tradition to wow your kids or impress your visiting folks, Lucia Christmas market – named after the Nordic goddess of light – is one for the parents and brats… as well as Scandi-enthusiasts. Wander through the backdrop of the former brewery Kulturbrauerei and peruse stalls offering food, drinks and handicrafts, from moose goulash, to Glögi (Scandinavian Glühwein), kaleidoscopes, oil lamps or accessories.
Lucia Christmas Market, Nov 26-Dec 23, Mon-Fri 15-22, Sat-Sun 13-22 | Schönhauser Allee 36, Prenzlauer Berg, free admission
Is Wedding still “up-and-coming”? With a Christmas market this size (70 stands) we may have our answer and bandwagon jumpers would do well to make the trek. On lively Leopoldplatz, explore stalls full of paintings, home accessories, furniture, teas, illustrations, ceramics and much more and for tasty bites, there is street food fare from around the world like Polish Pierogi, to Korean rice dishes, Swiss raclette and fondue, Indian dishes and vegan burgers. The Weddingmarkt is the only Christmas market in the district and is only on for two (non-consecutive) days, so make sure not to miss it!
Dec 9, 16, 13-21 | Leopoldplatz, Wedding, free admission
Japanese Christmas Market
If it’s labelled “Japanese” it’s perpetually hip in Berlin, and in the past, that meant swelling masses and long queues, but this year, the organizers have promised a much smoother operation. So rejoice and replace your Glühwein with sake, and add a touch of Japanese culture to your holidays with sumo wrestling, manga comics, hand-crafted kokeshi dolls and so much more!
Dec 8-9, 12-21 | Malzfabrik, Bessemerstr. 2-14, Schöneberg, entry €5-9
Holy Shit Shopping
For 15 years, design devotees have known there’s one weekend not to miss: Holy.Shit.Shopping. But if you’ve been living under a Christmas rock for the past years, get thee to the two-day art and design market in Arena Berlin and find out what you’ve been missing. Avoid generic and mass-produced gifts, promote creative designers and artisans and shop high end labels for that unique gift – from home accessories to jewellery, hommade sweets, prints and beyond – just be prepared to dish out the dosh. If that one weekend is a no-go for you though, don’t worry, head to the Weihnachtsrodeo design market at Kaufhaus Jandorf with five floors and approximately 200 stands – there’s plenty for the selective shopper.
Holy Shit Shopping, Dec 8-9, 12-21, 12-20 | Arena Berlin, Eichenstr. 4, 12435, entry €5
Weihnachtsrodeo, Dec 1-2, Dec 8-9, Dec 15-16, 12-20 | Kühlhaus Berlin, Luckenwalder Str. 3, Kreuzberg, entry €3.50
Ready to do your time as a dutiful Berliner and finally spend a day on Museum Island? As well as seeing Berlin’s revered Golden Hat and the surprisingly gripping Alte Nationalgalerie, you can pack in the Weihnachtsmarkt at the Zeughausmesse. Located under the glass canopy of the Zeughaus at the Deutsches Historisches Museum, put an artsy touch on your culturally packed day. The modern craft market highlights items that would be perfect to show off after a visit to the UNESCO-protected centre of Berlin, like stylish hats, fancy ceramics or designer lamps.
Dec 6-9, 15-18, Dec 7, 10-18, Dec 8, 10-21, Dec 9, 10-18 | Schlüterhof im Zeughaus, Unterden Linden 2, Mitte, entry to Zeughausmesse and Museum €8, free admission on Dec 8, 18-21
Fairytale Christmas Market at Grunewald Hunting Lodge
A day at the lake and Christmas shopping? Yes, please! Those looking for a December outing outside the ring would do well to check out the Fairytale Christmas market. While strolling through the stalls set up around the old Hunting Lodge at Grunewaldsee, kids and grown-ups alike will be delighted by the various fairytale characters like Hänsel and Gretel or the Snow Queen walking amongst human visitors, storytellers and a small musical stage. The Lodge itself can also be visited as it is included in the entrance ticket.
Dec 8-9, 11-19 | Grunewald Hunting Lodge, Hüttenweg 100, Grunewald, entry €3
Großer Berliner Weihnachtsmarkt
While the market itself might seem a bit run-of-the-mill, there’s one attraction that attentive Berliners won’t want to miss: a giant maze replicating a certain unopened airport… Unlike the BER, this one has a set opening schedule and will stick to it. Once you’ve had a rush of Schadenfreude-fun, there’s no harm in indulging in a bit of standard Christmas market fun either. Bring on the Glühwein and Bratwurst.
Through Dec 26 (closed Dec 24), Mon-Thu 14-22, Fri-Sat 14-22:30, Sun 12-21:30 | Landsberger Allee 364, Lichtenberg, free admission
Sick of the West? Go East, holiday shoppers and pay a visit to Ostpro in the SEZ. It’s not technically a Christmas market, but you’ll surely find the perfect gift for the Ostalgic, the curious communist or the Russophile in your life. A hundred companies from Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Armenia offer various specialties such as food, luxury goods, clothing, cosmetics, porcelain and much more. Discover or rediscover Eastern classics, such as a stuffed toy of “Mole”, the Czech animated character from the 1950s.
Nov 30-Dec 2, 10-18 | SEZ, Landsberger Allee 77, Lichtenberg, free admission
Naughty Christmas Market
Of course Berlin has its own sexy Christmas market. Who it’s for, need not even be mentioned. The second edition of the Naughty Xmas market hosted at arts collective space XLane in Kreuzberg offers sexual educational activities and screenings, themed drink stations, and a large offer of 18+ gifts for your loved one(s), like a crystal dildo from Liebelei. You’ll be far from your conventional Christmas market here. Also on offer are aphrodisiac oysters by Spud Bencer. Have an orgasmic Christmas!
Dec 7-9, 18-22, 13-22, 13-21 | XLane, Reichenberger Str. 154, Kreuzberg, entry €5