The Minimalist Traveller

Christmas Markets. Find your own in the diversity of Berlin

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During the last months of the year, Germany is an extra popular travel destination because of its Christmas markets. Germans love Christmas and god, they do enjoy the decorating during the holiday time. And boy, they do know, how to turn a square into a fairy tale.
Their Christmas markets offer a delight for all the senses: tempting aromas of spiced hot wine, gingerbread, stollen and sausage fill the air as you wander through the festive glow and all the wonderful sounds provided by choirs and brass-bands while soaking up the fairy tale atmosphere.
Whatever you’re looking for to find in Christmas markets, if you can’t find it in Berlin, it doesn’t exist. Maybe only in Munich. That city has a huge variety of Christmas markets too. Stay tuned, I’ll write more about it next week. But back to Berlin. It hosts over 80 Christmas markets every year. It’s a colourful mix of the classic fairy tale ones and more alternative markets. And doesn’t matter, which one you choose, there is plenty of hot wine, gingerbread, stollen, the famous German sausages, crafts, art and Christmas music on each of the markets.

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Five biggest and most popular ones are:
Weihnachtsmarkt am Gendarmenmarkt – on of the most popular and beloved, however also most packed. Be prepared for long waiting lines to get in. Free admission Mo-Fr until 14:00.
Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem Alexanderplatz – it’s a colourful mix of Christmas and winter wonderland. With more than 100 stalls, diverse attractions like ice rink, Europe’s biggest Erzgebirge pyramid as well as lot of handicraft it will keep you occupied for hours.
Wintertraum am Alexa – just few steps from Christmas market on Alexanderplatz you would have found the winter wonderland by Alexa. If you would have gone there last year that is. It used to be the biggest Christmas market in Berlin, but it had to be relocated now, since the area will be built full of new houses. You can enjoy the carousels, crepes, hot wine and the festive atmosphere now between Voltairestraße and Schicklerstraße.
Weihnachtsmarkt an der Gedächtniskirche – the Christmas market with the most spectacular lights. And over 170 stalls offering everything from delicious food and hot wine to Christmas tree decorations, art and handmade toys. In addition to the main Christmas tree, the market is decorated with more than 100 smaller trees.
Weihnachtsmarkt am Schloss Charlottenburg – fancy some baroque ambient? Don’t miss out on the Christmas market by palace Charlottenburg than. Voted already 2008 as the most beloved Christmas Market in Berlin it will have more than 250 international vendors presenting and selling nostalgic Christmas treats and crafts. One of the special features of the market is the festively illuminated palace itself.

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Apart from the classic ones, there is a choice of a bit more alternative markets too, like:
Holy.Shit.Shopping Weihnachtsmarkt – a Christmas market of four cities, Hamburg, Cologne / Köln, Berlin and Stuttgart on tour. It’s a mix of art, design and life style products, where over 200 artists display and sell their fashion, accessories, furniture, art, photos, books and delicatessen. In Berlin on 16.12 and 17.12.2017.
Weihnachtsmarkt am Potsdamer Platz is fairly traditional, but I really like the huge cool sledge run (12 meters high, 70 meters long) there.
Alt-Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt – opened only on the second weekend in December, it’s hugely popular. Be prepared for it being extremely packed.
Der Soziale Weihnachtsmarkt / The Social Christmas Market – welcomes in first line the lower income people, who have the possibility there to buy cheaper Christmas presents.
„Kreuzboerg“-Weihnachtsmarkt – exclusively for the young and talented designers and small labels. You fill find over 70 vendors there.
The Christmas markets have different opening periods, mostly from end of November to end of December. Few exceptions start earlier in November and keep operating until beginning of January.

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