With festive markets, dazzling light displays and traditional landmarks retaining their charm, Berlin really is a magical place to be around Christmas time. Here are some great ways to celebrate the festive season.
1. Visit the Christmas Markets
There are over 50 themed markets scattered across the city. Expect to find all the favourite treats such as Glühwein, gingerbread, waffles, sausages, along with artwork, crafts, and handmade Christmas decorations to take home. Fairgrounds and Christmas Markets go hand in hand, and add to the magic of the festive period.
2. See the Lights at the Christmas Garden
Berlin’s equivalent to Christmas at Kew – festive lights light up the night in the Botanical Garden. For the fourth year running, Berlin’s Christmas Garden enchants visitors during the festive season and guides them on a trip through a magical world.
3. Go Sledging and Iceskating at Winter Wonderland
Berlin’s cosmopolitan shopping district, Potsdamer Platz, is transformed each year into a Winter Wonderland. With Brandenburg Gate within view, visitors can brave Europe’s largest snow tubing run to sled, board and crash down for some alpine fun in the heart of Berlin. Ice skating and Bavarian curling is also on offer, along with punch, hot spiced wine and a sample of German traditional street food.
4. Sample Berlin’s favourite Gluhwein and Bratwurst
The enticing smell of Gluhwein will always get everyone in the festive mood. The mulled wine drink directly translates to mean ‘glow wine’ in English. This name was derived from the red hot irons used to heat the wine when the drink first became popular hundreds of years ago. Bratwurst, the roasted German sausage from Nuremberg is always popular at markets too. The iconic department store KaDeWe, has an impressive food hall on the 6th floor, featuring old school and traditional fare, including the German sausage bar.
5. Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Brandenburg Gate
On New Year’s Eve, the city of Berlin invites guests and Berliners alike to celebrate the beginning of a new year with a huge open air party. The celebrations with live bands, DJs and a spectacular fireworks display at midnight are free of charge and attract hundreds of thousands of people every year. The party continues until the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.