"Just hear those sleigh bells jingling ring-ting-tingling too. Come on, it's lovely weather to go to a Christmas market with you!" - almost!
It is December and the most wonderful time of the year (next to my birthday season) has started - Christmas season! October can still have beautiful, sunny days, and you can enjoy the first autumn storms and cosy rainy days. But as soon as November starts these rainy, dark days come more often and it seems like everything gets darker and darker, I think to myself every time, "Ugh, it is going to be dark and cold now for a really long time.
But November holds a completely different surprise: after Sunday of the Dead, Christmas time officially begins and the Christmas markets open their doors.
Instead of darkness, light shines everywhere and in every imaginable color and the cold is quickly forgotten with a warm mulled wine or a hot cocoa in your hands. People go out into the fresh air again and spend the whole evening together with Christmas music instead of waiting for spring in their apartments.
The Christmas markets go back to late medieval sales fairs and - often one-day - markets that gave citizens the opportunity to buy meat and winter supplies at the beginning of the cold season. In the 14th century it became customary to allow craftsmen such as toy makers, basket makers or confectioners to set up stalls at the market to sell the little things that would be given to the children for Christmas. Additionally, stalls with roasted chestnuts, nuts and almonds also existed at that time. In 1296 the merchants in Vienna were granted the privilege of holding a "December Market" to supply the Viennese population. The actual Christmas Market name came to be in the year 1310 when a Nikolausmarkt was opened in Munich. Over the course of time, a tradition spread throughout the entire German-speaking area. Since about the first half of the 20th century, the markets have become a fixed element of pre-Christmas traditions.
For me, it is one of the most beautiful traditions. And, if you love this tradition so much, there is no better place to appreciate it than in Berlin. There are many beautiful Christmas markets in Germany, but nowhere have I seen so many beautiful different ones in one place as in the capital. There are over 70 Christmas markets in Berlin - all so different and at the same time so similar.
That's why we decided - at short notice, mind you - to make an itinerary covering the Christmas season in Berlin. It is called "A weekend at Berlin Christmas Markets," but of course you can come at any time between Monday after the Sunday of “Sunday of the Dead” and Christmas Eve and stay as long as you like. The idea was to cover 2-3 nights in the city with at least 2 days. We settled on our 5 most beautiful Christmas markets as well as beautiful shopping streets and then set out to connect everything together.
We have the Christmas market at Charlottenburg Castle, where you almost feel like you are back in the 18th century with its stands in the courtyard of the castle. We have the Christmas market at the Gedächtniskirche, where you can romp around the glittering department stores around the imposing yet almost collapsed Gedächtniskirche. The Christmas market in front of the Red Town Hall is also unique with an ice rink overlooked by the TV Tower, the Red Town Hall, Humboldt Castle and Berlin Cathedral. And last but not least our favorite, the enclosed Christmas market on the Gendarmenmarkt, decorated with stars in uniform white tents.
There is something for everyone. And if you'd like to know something more about a specific Christmas market that we didn't mention, feel free to write us and we'll answer! "It's the most wonderful time of the year" - get out and be jolly - Berlin knows how!