Advent in Berlin is all about hot Glühwein, merry-go-rounds and handmade knicknacks. Visiting every Weihnachtsmarkt would kill even Santa. EXBERLINER guides you through the best.
ZAUBER MARKET Upgrade your Christmas nostalgia at the Weihnachtszauber in the handsome shadows of the Konzerthaus: endless arts-and-crafts booths, fire-swallowers, Santas, acrobats and stands selling tooth-rotting delights like caramelized almonds and candied apples. Here you can also enjoy a fancy meal in tent versions of Galerie Lafayette and Lutter und Wegner without being bothered by the riffraff (the fake Prussian soldier collecting €1-euro entry fees will see to that).
Gendarmenmarkt, Mitte, U-Bhf Französische Str., daily 11-22, (Christmas Eve 11-18, New Year’s Eve 11-01), through December 31. Entry is €1, kids under 12 are free
ECO MARKET The Adventsökomarkt at Kollwitzplatz is a tribute to the neigbourhood’s near-obsession with organic living: here you can indulge in fair trade sausages, wholegrain waffles and freshly baked Christmas cookies from Ökobäcker. Stock up on presents like toys made from recycled cans in Africa and wool slippers from Bavaria. Just try not to step on the children.
Kollwitzplatz, Prenzlauer Berg, U-Bhf Senefelderplatz, December 4, 11, 18, 12-19, free
FAIRY TALE MARKET Visit the Domäne Dahlem Adventsmarkt to feel like you’ve stepped into a 19th-century children’s book. It’s on a farm, so the kids can take tractor and pony rides or make their own beeswax Christmas ornaments.
Königin-Luise-Str. 49, Dahlem, U-Bhf Dahlem Dorf, December 11-12, 19, 17-18, 11-19:00, €2
OLD WORLD MARKET The old-world loveliness of Weihnachstmarkt Alt-Rixdorf complements Richardplatz’s village feel with an excellent selection of vendors and several ponies that will let you ride them if they aren’t too pissed off about being in Neukölln instead of Dahlem.
Richardplatz 28, Neukölln, U+S-Bhf Neukölln, December 2-4, Fri 17- 21, Sat 14-21, Sun 14-20
MEDIEVAL MARKET Out west, the Spandauer Weihnachtsmarkt offers a special kids’ market and a medieval market that gives a glimpse of life in the Dark Ages, in addition to 200 stalls that show a less Inquisition-y side of the holiday.
Altstadt Berlin-Spandau, S-Bhf Spandau, U-Bhf Rathaus Spandau, Mon-Thu 11-20, Fri 11-21, Sat 11-22, Sun 11-20 through December 23, free
NORDIC MARKET Named after the Nordic goddess of light, the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in Kulturbrauerei is big with families: kids hit the mega-trampoline or carousel while their parents sip Glögg (Scandinavian Glühwein).
Kulturbrauerei, Schönhauser Allee 36, Prenzlauer Berg, U-Bhf Eberswalder Str., Mon-Fri 15-22, Sat-Sun 13-22, through December 22, free
HIPSTER MARKET If you prefer disolute twenty-somethings to sugar-drunk children, head for the Holy Shit Shopping lounge for a singles’ weekend. No rides, no candyfloss. Instead, for €3, you’ll get DJs and over 150 young designers and artists hawking their goods in a ‘club context’. We’ll have the candyfloss, thank you.
Galerie Spandauer Str. 2 + HBC, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 9, U-Bhf Alexanderplatz, December 11-12, Sat 12-22, Sun 12-20, entry €3