Berlin Christmas market

Berlin Christmas market

Snow, gingerbreads, mulled wine, light decorations … The magic of winter and Christmas begins for me from just that. The quintessence of all this are Christmas markets. I know that for some people they all look more or less the same, but I am happy to visit each and everyone of them. I have always wanted to see the famous fairs in Germany, so this year my wonderful boyfriend (yeah smartass, I hope that made you smile :P), took me on Saturday, 9/12 to Berlin.

Although I talked about this topic with many people over the years, only last week my friend told me that something like the environmental zone sticker is in force in Berlin. It is only needed when entering the city center and its lack threatens with fines only in the case of police patrol control.
The sticker can be purchased directly at TUV or Dekra technical inspection stations, or in car dealers for 5 Euro. The only problem is the issue of getting along with the purchase and finding an open technical inspection station or salon, especially on Saturday after 13.00 and on Sunday, because usually on these days we have time for such trips. The sticker can also be ordered earlier via the internet or you can try to buy it somewhere locally, but then the price can be definitely higher – your choice 🙂

Last (I promise!) short (I can’t promise that :P) information about road infrastructure – under the traffic lights for motor vehicles, there are smaller lights for cyclists that light up a while earlier. The issue of habit, I think that in the long run it is a convenient solution for cyclists and drivers, but at the beginning it is something that you need to be careful about. As for the cyclists themselves … They are everywhere and feel rather like road kings.

Berlin is famous for many Christmas markets. Due to our slow pace and low temperature the day when we made this trip, we visited only those markets that were in the center, close to each other, to see at least few of them. Now, making a report on this event, I have the impression that we missed quite a bit and if we spent more time in Berlin and looked better, or planned this trip better, we would experience even more beauty and fun!

We had no problems finding a parking, we were guided by road signs and we just drove into the parking lot of the shopping center. The pricelist of this parking: up to 1 to 2 hours 1 Euro, from 2 to 4 hours 1.5 Euro, over 4 hours 2 Euro.
Below is a link to a free website where you can search for paid / free car parks, but unfortunately you have to give the exact address where you want to stay. The tool is slow, not intuitive and does not have a nice interface, but for those who are interested – something like this exists.
In the upper right corner we have to provide the following information:
Straßenname – street name
Haus-Nr – building number
Postleitzahl – postal code without a connector
Weiter – ‘next’ button
Paied parking zones will be marked in yellow, free places in white. The red number indicates the zone number.
Some more websites that you can find helpful:
Park and Ride:

Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem Alexanderplatz – One of the undoubted attractions is the Christmas pyramid. On its ground floor you can buy mulled wine or original Turin sausage, and on the first floor there is a viewpoint of the fair. It was by far the busiest Christmas market. That was probably the reason that we went away so quickly and I have the impression that we did not see the whole of this market, and if so, it turned me a little. It is located in the city center, where there is a lot of tourist, but natives as well who just want to go through this place.
Opening hours: from Monday to Sunday 10-22, on Christmas Eve 10-14
Address: Alexanderplatz; 10178 Berlin

Wintertraum am Alexa – A fair next to the Alexa shopping center, maintained in the atmosphere of a funfair. For those interested, there are attractions such as roller coasters, ferris wheel, house of fear etc. Although a little less crowded than the previous fair, even more loud because of all mechanical attractions.
Opening hours: from Monday to Friday 14-22, Saturdays and Sundays 12-22
Address: Alexanderstrasse 9; 10178 Berlin

Weihnachtsmarkt “Berliner Weihnachtszeit” (Christmas Time) am Roten Rathaus – Christmas market in front of the Red Town Hall is visible from afar thanks to the devil’s mill with closed, panoramic gondolas. In the center of the fair there is a round ice rink surrounding the Neptune fountain. In addition, on the fair grounds there are carousels, photo booths, a train for children in a fairy-tale forest and a small Erzgebirge pyramid. I also found information that the youngest can expect Saint Nicholas at 16:30, 18:30 and 20:30, but we were not at this time at this fair, so I can not vouch for this information 😉
Opening hours: from Monday to Friday 12-22, Saturdays and Sundays 11-22, closed on Christmas Eve, 25, 26 and 29/12 11-21
Address: Rathausstrasse 6, 10178 Berlin

Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt Opernpalais – This market surprised me the most. As its name suggests it is very calm and in fact, it is definitely more quiet. It is located around the Cathedral of St. Hedwig. We came across an intimate violin performance, which combined with the warm light of the lamps gave a doubly pleasant impression. Next to the main entrance to the fair there are horses with horse-drawn carriages that can be rented for a ride.
Opening hours: everyday 12-21: 30, closed on Christmas Eve
Address: St. Hedwig Cathedral; 10117 Berlin

Weihnachtsmarkt am Gendarmenmarkt – considered by many to be the best / prettiest fair in Berlin. It was the only paid fair we visited and I have to admit that I do not regret the symbolic amount of money for the entrance. The queue to the cash registers, although quite long, decreased quickly. At the fair there is a stage where various performances take place. We came across a piece of ballet, for which the artist must be appreciated, at least because of the temperature at which they had to appear. The whole fair is surrounded by a passage with a roof. It was not so easy to spot an entrance to it (maybe you will do better? :P). You can find there a mixture of crafts and works of art both modern and ancient, you can taste culinary delights from a sophisticated menu and traditional delicacies, and what probably makes the greatest impression, you can see artists and craftsmen at work. We also came across a short performance of the band singing some cheerful Christmas melodies, making a lot of noise and a big jam in already narrow passage. Unfortunately there was not much space in restaurants / cafes, which I regret because it was the perfect moment for a moment of rest and further trip, which unfortunately, due to the general fatigue, we decided to finish there 🙁 🙁
Opening hours: everyday 11-22, on Christmas Eve 11-18, New Year’s Eve 11-1
Admission: 1 Euro, children under 12 and from Monday to Friday from 11 to 14 free admission (except 25 and 26 December 2017)
Address: Gendarmenmarkt 1; 10117 Berlin

Here’s the route of our tour:,+Berlin,+Niemcy/52.5208912,13.4150214/52.5199139,13.4083988/St.+Hedwigs-Kathedrale+Berlin,+Hinter+der+Katholischen+Kirche,+Berlin + Germany / Gendarmenmarkt + + 10117 Berlin, Germany + / @ 52.5196388,13.3949717,15.25z / data =! 4m22! 4m21! 1M5! 1M1! 1s0x47a84e1edb11286f: 0x30fc01c366e4166e! 2m2! 1d13.4132147! 2d52.5219184! 1M0! 1M0 ! 1M5! 1M1! 1s0x47a84e1e549f0fc7: 0x147458d5478e7977! 2m2! 1d13.3948097! 2d52.5157702! 1M5! 1M1! 1s0x47a851da6e329be1: 0x69ed42f426573790! 2m2! 1d13.3926698! 2d52.5137224! 3E2? dcr = 0

At each of the Christmas markets there is probably a network of booths with food and drink, traditional gingerbreads and cakes and similar souvenirs, because they all look and cost strangely similar;) There is not much use to look for alternatives, I immediately say. Interestingly, it seems to me that every fair, or at least a few of them, have their own mugs / cups that can be bought for 3 Euro, or you can just pay such bail if you do not want to drink warm drinks from paper cups. As for me, this is the coolest souvenir.
For security reasons, there are many more or less obvious safety measures, such as bodyguards and prohibitions on carrying suitcases and large backpacks.

Finally, for convenience, we returned to the car by underground (germ. U-Bahn). Up to 3 stops, the trip is cheaper, unfortunately we traveled of course 4 (the worst! what a bad luck :() so we paid over 5 Euro. If someone is planning to move by public transport, I recommend starting your journey here:

There are no photos from this trip, I say it with no pleasure, because it was so cold that we did not want to pull out the phones and hands from our pockets and gloves, as well as general reluctance and forgetfulness that something like photos exists and it is worth taking a few: P

Below I am giving a link to the calendar page with a list of Christmas markets and the days in which they are open, and a list of 10 (although the site shows 11 because two places are really one place, so logic is probably preserved ?!):

I would definitely like to visit a new Christmas market every year. I hope it will become our little tradition. I mean both the trip itself and my report of it on this blog. You’ll probably will know next year if my boyfriend has finished reading this and will give me the pleasure of fulfilling this hope 🙂 Katka out!

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