Berlin Christmas Markets Review

Berlin is the great destination of your Christmas market dreams – just like Santa’s sack, the city is absolutely bursting with festivities, with as many as 100 Christmas Markets on offer.

Chelsea at the Berlin Christmas Markets
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In this Berlin Christmas Market review, I’m breaking down some of the best spots for seasonal fun – from gingerbread and glühwein (mulled wine) to shopping and activities.

This visit was part of my Christmas Market Crawl, where I visited a bauble-busting seven European Christmas Markets in just seven days, as voted for by my followers!

Everything You Need To Know About The Berlin Christmas Markets

Berlin has SO many markets to choose from – whether you’re looking for nostalgia, thrills, tradition or innovation, there’s something here for you. The markets here date back to the 16th Century, when they were more functional places for local artisans to sell their wares and where you’d get Christmas gifts for children.

Berlin Christmas Markets

What Christmas Markets Are There in Berlin?

You could be here all day trying to pick which market to visit – I opted for WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt after getting loads of recommendations (it’s currently running on Bebelplatz whilst Gendarmenmarkt is being redeveloped). It’s known for lovely handmade products – think candles, toys and decorations – and there’s even a demo tent where artisans can show off their skills.

The Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Palace

I also had loads of tips to check out The Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Palace, as it’s in a truly stunning location next to the palace. There are a whopping 250 stalls here, plus a number of fairground rides to keep the kids amused, and this one is free to enter.

There are so many markets here you can easily just wander around the city and you’ll stumble upon some. For some Christmas Markets with a twist, head to multicultural Kreuzberg where you’ll find Finnish, Norwegian, Africa and Japanese Markets.

When do Berlin Christmas Markets Open in 2024?

You can find Christmas Markets in Berlin running from early November till early January – many of them evolve into New Year markets for a week or so after Christmas.

Is Berlin a Good Destination for Christmas Markets?

Berlin is truly epic for Christmas Markets and would make a great place to go for your first experience of Christmas Markets in Europe – you could challenge yourself to see how many you could pack into a weekend stay!

Berlin WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market

At WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt, I thought the food and drink was really well-priced, and it had easily the best shopping so far – I wished I had more space in my bag. The entertainment was also excellent, with singing and dancing and roaming entertainers, and although the market was busy I didn’t queue for more than five minutes for anything.

They also had a lot of enclosed bars and shops which meant I stayed nice and toasty!

Here's our list of the best Christmas Markets in Europe in 2023 including opening times and dates, and what festive treats to expect.

How Expensive are Berlin Christmas Markets?

I thought WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt was decent value. A mulled wine was 4.50€/ £3.85 (the same as Budapest, less than Vienna) and my bratwurst cost 6 (£5.10) although it was pretty dinky.

Now some markets here do charge an entry fee, and this one was €2, but I didn’t mind as it does help manage numbers. But if that bothers you, you can find plenty of others in the city for free.

Berlin Christmas Markets

The Best Berlin Christmas Market Hotels

We’ve recommended some hotels below but remember Berlin is a big place and the Christmas Markets are spread all over, so check before you book whether they’re convenient for the festive spots you’re planning to go to.

My Review of Berlin’s WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market

Chelsea at the Berlin Christmas Markets

WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt Opening Dates and Times

Opening dates
Monday 25 November 2024 – Tuesday 31 December 2024

Times (for 24 – 31 Dec times can vary)
Sunday – Thursday: 12pm–10pm
Friday – Saturday: 12pm–11pm

My First Impressions

The buildings in the area are all lit up and so I knew straight away that this was gonna be a cracker – I think I’m really into a Christmas Market with an impressive ‘view’!!

Berlin Christmas Markets tree lights
Berlin Christmas Markets

However, unlike any other markets that I’ve been to, there is a small fee for entering – €2 (£1.70) – though if you do arrive between 12-2pm, you can get in for free. It’s also completely free on the weekends.

Sadly, I arrived at 3pm so I paid up and got in easily, but I did see big queues on Saturday night when the place was teeming!

Berlin Christmas Markets entry ticket

Food

You’ve got your many classic Christmas Market foods including waffles, crepes (from €3.50 / £3) and Lángos (from €5.50 / £4.70). However, we all know what I was in search of – a good bratwurst. At first, I was delighted – just €6 (£5.15). But then I was disappointed by the tiny bun it was offered to me in!

Berlin Christmas Markets Sausage

However, I was quickly told that this was the traditional German way and with the new knowledge that this was in fact #CULTURE, I chomped my way through it. The sausage was very good, but the bun was so hard. I got a proper crunch as I tried to chew it!

Berlin Christmas Markets food

So overall, it was tasty and wasn’t too expensive. But so it shouldn’t be for the size of the bread!
I also tried a Rahmbrot which is a pizza-like Bavarian rye flatbread cooked on the spot and topped with cheese and bacon. It was so good, and the queue to get one backs my opinion up on this one! It cost €4.50 (£3.85) and was a perfect snack.

Berlin Christmas Markets food stalls
Berlin Christmas Markets food stalls

What was also nice to see was lots of covered restaurants where people were sat down and enjoying a meal. I hadn’t seen that before at a market! I definitely recommend popping inside one, even for just a drink, just to warm up a little.

Drinks

Berlin wasn’t playing about when it came to drinks. They definitely had more drinks options than I’d seen anywhere else with not one but TWO champagne bars (from €12 / £10.30). There were also cocktails (from €9 / £7.70) and plenty of beer to be drunk too.

Berlin Christmas Markets Mulled wine mug

I, however, went for the classic – the mulled wine. It cost 4.50€ (£3.85) and there was a €3 (£2.55) mug deposit. For you mug fans out there, it had a cute German scene on it and would be a good one for your collection.

The mulled wine was spot on, though I am starting to wonder whether mulled wine is just very easy to nail, or that my tastes are so unrefined that I like anything!

Berlin Christmas Markets

Shopping

This was the best market I’ve been to so far if you’re looking to get some gifts. Not only were there cute stalls selling a lot of what I’d seen already – hats, socks, candles, etc. – there was also an indoor arts & crafts area which was full of goods that I definitely hadn’t seen before. There was one woman in there selling accessories in this goth-style black leather and they were BEAUTIFUL. I just wish I had the €110 (£94.25) needed for a tiny purse!

Berlin Christmas Markets

There was also some amazing jewellery in there but it wasn’t cheap, but I really appreciated that they had a proper market full of local sellers and didn’t just load the stalls up with tat.

Berlin Christmas Markets
WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market

Activities

Now this is a fun Christmas Market! Having arrived at 3pm, I wondered if I’d have to wait for some entertainment to come onto the stage but no I did not! The first act I saw was a man in a top hat singing Christmas songs to a keyboard, then there were children dancing, and then a man on a fiddle! The latter roused such a response from the crowd by playing Jingle Bells, you’d be mistaken for thinking you were in the crowd to see Harry Styles.

WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market

In addition, there are performers going around, from a golden-winged woman in stilts to a music-making duo delighting children that went past. It actually gave me Glastonbury vibes – if you’ve been, you’ll know what I mean!

In terms of things to do yourself, there was less than other markets though there is a chalk wall you can share a message on if you’re looking for something to do.

WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market
WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market

Where to Stay

Since I’m on a Christmas Market Crawl, I’ve only been finding out where I’m heading to next the day before and so having to find a hotel last minute on a Saturday night in Central Berlin was… FUN!
The only thing I hate more than paying lots for a hotel is paying lots for an average hotel – haha!

Chelsea at the Berlin Christmas Markets

That’s why I decided to use some of my Expedia Rewards points that I’d been saving (I had £115) to bring down the cost of a stay at The Westin Grand. Not only was it super close to the market, but it had great ratings too. Plus, considering my situation, it was ‘only’ £200 a night which, compared to other hotels in the area, was well priced. Thanks to my money off, I paid around £155 a night including breakfast.

Westin Grand Berlin Hotel

Well, I’m so glad I made that decision! It was one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed at and I say that as someone who is normally a little reluctant to book into chains. However, as I entered through the doors there was a pianist playing in front of a grand staircase, with a huge decoration shaped like a Christmas tree lit up above him. Honestly, I felt like I was in Home Alone 2!

Westin Grand Berlin Hotel
Westin Grand Berlin Hotel

Not only that, the rooms have all been fully refurbished and so whilst you’ve got that old-world-money feel downstairs, you get a modern and chic room upstairs.

We need to also take a moment for the bed. I think it might be the comfiest bed I’ve ever slept in?!
So yes, it’s fair to say I absolutely loved my stay and would wholeheartedly recommend staying there if you were after a treat. It really will add that extra Christmassy feel to your market visit!

Chelsea at Westin Grand Berlin Hotel

Are Berlin's Christmas Markets Worth Visiting?

My Overall Thoughts

Don’t let the €2 (£1.70) put you off, Berlin’s WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt is an absolute treat. Thanks to its intimate feel, genuine local vendors and over the top performers, you’ll feel like you’re part of a magical Christmas Market experience! That, and there’s food and drink a-plenty without it being too expensive. For its central location, I was really impressed that it didn’t feel too commercial and that they didn’t bump the prices up on food or drink either.

Chelsea at the Berlin Christmas Markets

My one tip though is to get some cash! Most places – save for a few of the local sellers – only accept cash. There is a cash machine in the market but it comes with a steep fee of €3.95 (£3.40) to withdraw anything. However, if you do take cash out, just remember to not accept the conversion as that’s often more expensive than selecting euros.

Overall, I’m giving WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market a well deserved 8/10.

I’m giving the lowdown on all Vienna's Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Christmas Market has to offer, including festive food and drinks, fun activities and shopping.

Other European Christmas Markets to Visit

Follow my Christmas Market Crawl challenge where I visit seven markets in seven days, as voted for by my followers on Instagram.

See what I thought of Budapest, Vienna and Krakow Christmas markets plus you can browse our rundown of the top Christmas markets in Europe.

Get ready for a wild festive ride across Europe. We're exploring seven Europe Christmas markets in seven days - all chosen by you!
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Berlin Christmas market review

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