Yes Christmas is nearly upon us but there’s still time to book into a very cool Berlin hotel and squeeze in a little more seasonal fun. Here guest writer and Berlin fan Susie Luff tells us about her favourite Christmas markets in Germany’s cool capital…
Spandau Christmas Market
Berlin’s Christmas markets run up until the 31st December 2013 so there’s still a little time to park up at the airport and fly off to Germany’s capital. Once you arrive head for Spandau, Berlin’s largest Christmas market and arguably the most impressive. Located in Spandau Old Town it’s a little outside the city centre but it’s worth the trip, especially if you’re in Berlin more than a couple of days. The pretty Old Town makes a beautiful backdrop and the market itself is traditionally German with over 250 stalls offering up food, crafts (including iron crafts) and of course plenty of mulled wine and German beer. Highlights include a nativity crib with live animals, a historic crafts market on Reformationsplatz and even a Christmas rock concert at weekends for those who want to party hard.
“Winterwelt” held in central Postdamer Platz Christmas is probably Berlin’s most famous Christmas market and with over 2.5 million visitors it’s also one of the most popular. It’s a very sporty affair with an open air ice rink, an ice curling rink and the one of the largest toboggan runs in Europe (70 metres in length and 12 metres high). If winter activities aren’t your thing then there’s still the more traditional handicrafts market, local delicacies and thousands of beautiful twinkling lights.
Lucia Christmas market
This is a pretty Christmas market with a Nordic flavour (it’s even named after the Nordic goddess of light). Located in Prenzlauer Berg district, here you’ll find six picturesque courtyards and more than twenty historic buildings ensuring this market scores pretty highly on the romance scale. Also expect traditional Scandinavian food, quirky crafts and a calendar of entertainment events taking place at the market’s temporary stage.
Staatsoper and Opernpalais
This is another famous market set on the Unter den Linden in the Mitte district, between the Staatsoper and Opernpalais. It’s known for its true nostalgic feel, and with over 150 booths and stalls, has plenty to satisfy even the hungriest of Christmas shoppers. The usual mix of food, drink and craft stalls are there, along with the opportunity to take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through the surrounding old streets. The smell of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine fills the air as you’re serenaded by classical music while browsing the stalls.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Christmas Market
Over two million visitors can’t be wrong – this is another one of Berlin’s most popular Christmas markets, and it’s easy to see why. The Breitscheidplatz public square is home to this large market, in the centre of what was once West Berlin. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church towers above the 170+ beautifully decorated stalls, and visitors can soak up the atmosphere at the foot of the 20 metre high Christmas tree, drinking gluhwein and eating festive delicacies.