As winter descends on Berlin, this incredible city transforms into a festive wonderland with many Christmas markets.
You’ll discover the city buzzing with Christmas activity, particularly at popular spots like Gendarmenmarkt, Kurfurstendamm and Alexanderplatz, where these seasonal markets become the heart of Berlin’s winter charm.
In this guide, I list everything you need to know about visiting the Berlin Christmas Market, including confirmed 2023 dates, opening times, locations and local specialities.
Each of Berlin’s Christmas markets has its unique atmosphere and specialties. It pays to do a little research before you go to see if something is going on at a certain location that interests you.
The big, well-known markets have a great atmosphere, but you might also like to support one of the smaller neighbourhood markets.
Best Berlin Christmas Markets 2023
There are more than 60 Christmas markets in Berlin. Below are details for each of the best Berlin Christmas markets.
Some are more suited to families, others more for the after-work crowd, or you can find themed markets like the eco-friendly or Scandinavian markets.
If you’re staying somewhere central, Gendarmenmarkt is a great choice. The Alexanderplatz Christmas Market is popular in the eastern part of the city, or if you’re in the west, there’s a huge Christmas market near Kurfustendamm.
1. Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market
Perfectly situated within the iconic Gendarmenmarkt square, it lies snug between the historic Konzerthaus and the towering splendour of the Französischer Dom and Deutscher Dom.
Sheltered beneath a collection of heated white tents, the market emanates a warm, inviting glow that draws in locals and tourists alike.
A significant highlight of the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market, affectionately named “Weihnachtszauber,” is its diverse array of arts and crafts.
Local artisans demonstrate their intricate skills, including wood carvers, comb makers and tailors. These unique, handmade creations, ranging from candles and toys to decorative items, are available for purchase, making for ideal, personalised gifts.
Read the detailed guide to Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market with a full list of vendors for 2023.
Update: Due to construction in the square, the Christmas market has temporarily moved to nearby Bebelplatz. The market will return to Gendarmenmarkt in 2025.
Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market dates: 27 November to 31st December 2023.
Gendarmenmarkt.Temporarily located in Bebelplatz.
Sunday to Thursday: 12pm to 10pm.
Friday and Saturday: 12pm to 11pm.
Christmas Eve: 12pm to 6pm
New Year’s Eve: 12pm to 1am.
Christmas Day: Open.
Admission: 12pm to 2pm: Free entry. After 2pm: €1 entry fee. Children under 13, free.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Gourmet cuisine in heated tents. Arts and crafts tent. New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Recommended tour: This Cold War history tour is one of the most popular in Berlin.
Specialities: Bavarian and Austrian specialties. Neuburger Rahmbrot (toasted cheese open sandwich) and Kaiserschmarren (delicious sweet torn pancakes).
Where to stay: Arcotel John F is a great hotel option in Mitte, near Bebelplatz and Museum Island. It’s less than 5 minutes from the Christmas market.
Where to Stay in Berlin for Christmas Markets
Although Berlin has many incredible and diverse neighbourhoods, you might prefer to stay centrally if you’re interested in sightseeing and being close to the Christmas markets.
Belin’s central district is known as Mitte, and this is a great area to stay, with loads of cafes, restaurants and the incredible Museum Island. You can use Berlin’s excellent public transport system from here to get to the different districts, walk, or cycle when the weather is decent.
Construction is currently taking place at Gendarmenmarkt, so I suggest staying near Bebelplatz instead. I recommend staying at Arcotel John F. It’s located between Bebelplatz and Museum Island in Mitte. It’s less than a 5-minute walk from the Christmas market.
It can be difficult to find a decent hotel in Berlin at Christmas. This guide to hotels near Berlin Christmas Market lists several excellent hotels near each of the main markets.
Location of Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market
2. Charlottenburg Palace – The Royal Christmas Market
With the stunning Charlottenburg Palace as the backdrop, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best Christmas markets in Berlin.
The Charlottenburg market upholds cherished traditions, with candied apples being a particular favourite amongst the festive fare. More than 250 stalls offer both local and internationally handcrafted gifts and produce.
Savoury snacks and traditional German Christmas sweets, including stollen, spritz biscuits and marzipan loaves, offer a culinary journey through the season’s best flavours.
A traditional carousel and a petting zoo are available. Nearby, at the famous orangery, nostalgic rides add to the joy, making this a delightful family-friendly Christmas market.
Taking sustainability into consideration, the market champions green practices. Waste recycling initiatives are prominent, and the array of Christmas decorations on offer are created with an eco-conscious approach.
Charlottenburg Palace Christmas Market dates: 27th November to 31st December 2023.
Location: Charlottenburg Palace, Spandauer Damm 20.
Opening times: 12pm to 10pm.
Christmas Eve: Closed.
Christmas Day: Open.
Admission: Free entry.
Location of Charlottenburg Christmas Market
3. Kurfurstendamm Christmas Market
Amid the bustling shopping hub of Kurfurstendamm lies the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Christmas Market, one of the highlights of Berlin’s winter season.
With over 170 charming Christmas stalls, the market is one of the biggest in Berlin, complimented by the ornately decorated Christmas trees towering above the hustle and bustle.
You can find a range of winter delicacies at the Kurfurstendamm Christmas Market, from hearty Thuringian Rostbratwurst (grilled sausage) to sweet waffles and candied fruit.
Besides offering a Christmas shopping experience, the market also offers entertainment. Highlights include a carousel and children’s Ferris wheel for younger visitors. The presence of Santa Claus, giving out gifts daily, adds to the festive cheer.
Charity also holds a special place in the market’s activities, with the German Red Cross selling delicious mulled wine, the proceeds from which support their projects with homeless people.
Kurfurstendamm Christmas Market dates: 27th November to 31st December 2023.
Location: Breitscheidplatz in Charlottenburg.
Opening times: Sunday to Thursday: 12pm to 9pm. Friday and Saturday: 12pm to 10pm.
Location of Kurfurstendamm Christmas Market
4. Alexanderplatz Christmas Market
The Christmas market on Alexanderplatz is ideal if you’re staying in the city’s bustling centre, the Mitte district.
This market seamlessly melds the charms of a traditional market with the excitement of a fairground and the vibrant atmosphere of a party venue, ensuring a fun and relaxing visit.
Home to over 100 stalls, the Alexanderplatz Christmas Market is one of Berlin’s busiest. Traditional crafts and Christmas decorations sit alongside a diverse selection of jewellery and trinkets, offering something to satisfy every taste.
Adding to the magic is the market’s Christmas pyramid, a unique feature illuminated with more than 5000 lights. Europe’s largest walk-in Christmas pyramid provides snacks and refreshments on the ground floor and stunning city views from the top.
A ride on the Ferris wheel offers panoramic views over the brightly-lit Alexanderplatz, offering glimpses of the vibrant hustle and bustle of the stands and market attractions below.
Active visitors can take to the ice rink, while those seeking a more leisurely evening can find respite in the party venue.
If you’re planning on visiting this market, read the full guide to Alexanderplatz Christmas Market.
Alexanderplatz Christmas Market dates: 27th November to 26th December 2023.
Opening times: 10am to 10pm.
Christmas Eve: 10am to 4pm.
Christmas Day: Open.
Admission: Free entry.
Ice skating: Yes.
Location of Alexanderplatz Christmas Market
5. Berlin Town Hall Christmas Market
The Christmas market at Rotes Rathaus, near Alexanderplatz, provides an immersive journey into historic Berlin. Set against the backdrop of the Governing Mayor’s seat, this market perfectly captures the spirit of old Berlin with its quaint market alleys, traditional stalls and street performers.
This market is renowned for its massive 50-metre Ferris wheel, offering stunning views of the festively lit Berlin city centre. The historic carousels are an attraction for all ages, and for the youngest visitors, there’s a miniature train ride through a whimsical snowy fairytale forest.
One of the market’s popular features is the 600-square metre ice rink encircling the Neptune Fountain, allowing skaters to glide smoothly in the heart of Berlin.
Adding to the magic, Santa Claus makes a grand appearance at the market. Three times a day, he can be seen flying over the market in his reindeer-pulled sleigh, ready to spread Christmas cheer.
Visitors can look forward to meeting Santa, giving him a hug, and even posing for a photograph, making this market an enchanting experience for all.
Berlin Town Hall Christmas Market dates: 27th November to 30th December 2023.
Location: Rotes Rathaus, Mitte.
Opening times: From 12pm.
Ice skating: Yes. Skate rental: €4.
Location of Berlin Town Hall
6. Advent Eco Market – Prenzlauer Berg
In the vibrant Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin, the Advent Eco Market at Kollwitzplatz presents a sustainable take on the traditional Christmas market.
This market is a hub of environmentally conscious festive shopping with 60 stalls brimming with lower-impact sustainable products and organic Christmas food and drinks.
The Advent Eco Market embraces the ethos of fair and sustainable trade, ensuring that each gift, good and delicacy on offer adheres to socially fair and eco-friendly conditions.
An organic Christmas feast awaits at the market’s food stalls, mostly sourced from local farmers. Mouth-watering organic bratwurst and plant-based snacks sit alongside sweet treats such as whole-grain waffles and Christmas cookies.
As a finishing touch, the market serves hot, organic mulled wine and warm mead, creating a cosy atmosphere and adding a warming glow to your visit to the Advent Eco Market.
Advent Eco Market dates: Sundays from 26th November to 17th December 2023.
Location: Kollwitzplatz, Prenzlauer Berg.
Opening times: 12pm to 7pm.
Location of Advent Eco Market
7. Potsdamer Platz Christmas Market
At Potsdamer, you’ll find several Austrian specialties at the Salzburger wooden huts. There’s a toboggan run if you’re feeling adventurous. This market continues into January.
Winter World dates: Likely dates: 28th October 2023 to 2nd January 2024.
Location: Potsdamer Platz.
Opening times: 10am to 10pm.
Admission: Free entry.
Toboggan run: €2.50
Location of Potsdamer Platz
Continue your German holiday by visiting more of the best Christmas markets in Germany 2023. Discover where to go, things to do and the best ways to experience German food, history and culture.
Visit Berlin is the official website for tourism in the capital. It has information regarding events and the best ways to experience Berlin at Christmas. If you’re unsure about which Christmas market is for you, their neighbourhood guide is a great place to start.
Food at the Christmas Markets
Bratwurst: These are traditional German sausages made from pork, beef, or veal. At Berlin’s Christmas markets, you’ll typically find them grilled to perfection and served in a crispy roll with mustard or ketchup. It’s a beloved fast food that’s not just popular during the festive season but all year round.
Lebkuchen: Indulge in lebkuchen, a traditional German Christmas treat. These gingerbread-like cookies come in different shapes and sizes and are usually decorated with almonds, chocolate, or icing sugar. Some Lebkuchen are heart-shaped and bear affectionate or festive messages.
Stollen: Consider trying a slice of Stollen, a rich, fruit-packed loaf dusted with powdered sugar. It’s a German Christmas classic, originally from Dresden, and you’ll easily find it in any of Berlin’s Christmas markets.
Baumkuchen: Translated as “tree cake,” Baumkuchen is a unique German dessert baked on a spit. As each layer of batter is added and roasted, it creates rings that look like tree rings when the cake is sliced, hence the name. It’s a classic treat at Berlin’s Christmas markets and is often served glazed or covered in chocolate.
Candied Nuts: You’ll be lured by the irresistible aroma of candied nuts. Almonds and other nuts are coated in a crispy, sugary shell and make for a sweet, crunchy snack that’s popular during the holidays.
Glühwein: When walking around in the chilly December weather, nothing warms you up quite like a mug of glühwein. This spiced, heated red wine is a winter staple in Germany and a must-try at Berlin’s Christmas markets.
Feuerzangenbowle: A showstopping Christmas market staple, this punch is made from red wine, rum, oranges, lemons, cloves and cinnamon sticks. The unique part is the burning sugarloaf suspended above the drink, which caramelises and drips into the bowl, adding sweetness.
Handbrot: Literally meaning “hand bread,” handbrot is a tasty, filling snack often found in Christmas markets. It’s a bread roll typically filled with cheese and other fillings like ham or mushrooms, baked until the cheese is oozy and served warm.
Grilled Fish: While it may not immediately come to mind when thinking of typical Christmas market fare, grilled fish is quite popular at Berlin’s markets. Varieties such as mackerel or salmon are often grilled on large skewers over open flames and served with bread or potatoes.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Reflecting Berlin’s international food scene, you might stumble upon American-style pulled pork sandwiches at the Christmas markets. Smoky, tender pork is piled on a bun and often topped with tangy coleslaw or pickles.
Vegan and Vegetarian Options: Berlin is renowned for its diverse food scene, including an array of vegan and vegetarian options. These could range from vegan currywurst to vegetarian potato pancakes, ensuring there are options for everyone to enjoy.
International Snacks: In addition to the local favourites, Berlin’s Christmas markets also feature various international snacks. From Hungarian lángos (deep-fried dough with various toppings) to Dutch poffertjes (mini pancakes), there’s an array of international flavours to explore and enjoy.
Sustainable Travel Tips
The choices we make have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. Try to implement these responsible travel measures when visiting the Christmas markets.
Choose renewable energy-powered accommodations: Seek out hotels in Berlin that use renewable energy sources for their operations. Avoid staying in apartments, as these can reduce the availability of affordable housing for residents.
Minimise food waste: Be conscious about your food consumption. Order only what you can finish at Berlin’s numerous Christmas markets or restaurants. Sharing meals can also be a fun and social way to reduce waste and try a variety of dishes.
Eat locally and sustainably: Choose locally sourced and organic foods for a more sustainable diet. Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg hosts regular organic food markets, where you can enjoy meals made from locally produced ingredients. Prioritise plant-based meals to reduce emissions.
Purchase responsibly: Look for ethical and sustainable products while shopping in Berlin. For instance, Berlin’s Eco Market at Kollwitzplatz sells goods produced under fair, social and environmentally friendly conditions, making it a perfect place for mindful shopping.
Explore Berlin on foot or bike: Reduce your carbon footprint by opting for sustainable transportation. Berlin’s well-structured bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly streets make it an ideal city to explore on foot or bicycle.
Use public transport: When going longer distances, use Berlin’s extensive public transport network, which includes buses, trams, U-Bahn (underground railway), and S-Bahn (urban-suburban rail system).
Remember, every little effort counts in making your holiday in Berlin more sustainable and eco-friendly. Enjoy the Christmas charm of the city while staying responsible towards the environment.
The Christmas markets in Berlin are held at several locations around the city. The most popular are at Gendarmenmarkt, Alexanderplatz and Charlottenburg Palace.
As the Christmas markets are spread throughout Berlin, I suggest staying in a central location like Mitte. Anywhere near Gendarmenmarkt, Museum Island, Hackescher Markt, Rosenthaler Platz, and Alexanderplatz are all convenient locations.
The Christmas markets in Berlin start on 27th November to 31st December 2023.
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Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Berlin, Germany. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.