Berlin loves celebrating Christmas with a winter wonderland atmosphere, lots of sparkling lights, bustling markets, public performances and celebrations of all kinds. The four weeks running up to Christmas Eve, the Advent period, are continually packed with events and parties to enhance the festive cheer in some district of the city or another.
Each weekend, for instance, performers including dixie and jazz players, children’s choirs, trumpet ensembles and more will take to the stage at the Weltbrunnen on Breitscheidplatz. Located between the Tauenzien and Kurfurstendamm, close to Berlin’s main shopping boulevard and Europe’s largest department store, the Breitscheidplatz is also host to one of the Berlin Christmas markets enjoying tremendous popularity among residents and visitors alike. Baked apples, grilled sausages and Glühwein (mulled wine) are just some of the things offered by the many lovingly decorated, festive stalls.
Each district of the vast city of Berlin celebrates Christmas with its own market, and in total there are more than 50 or 60 such events going on during December. The festive cheer does not end here, as bars, clubs and pubs all offer parties, entertainment and more for Christmas.
The Culture Brewery (Kultur Brauerei) in the Prenzlauer Berg district will celebrate the period with a difference by marking St Lucy’s Day (12th December) with bungee jumping, carousels, the Santa Lucia Market and lots of goings on in the bar, restaurant, galleries, theatre and multi screen cinema that are all part of the complex.
From the 19th December through to the 6th January, the Tempodrom in Kreuzberg is host to the Roncalli Christmas Circus, and the Wintergarten, a venue offering shows, cabaret, live music and other entertainment in central Berlin, will be host to an Extrabreit (said to be the originators of German pop-punk) concert.
Bars, traditional pubs and nightclubs abound in Berlin, each offering its very own version of Christmas cheer. It is impossible to list each and every one of them here, but some of the most highly rated venues include (by district):
- Spindler & Klatt
- Berghain & Panorama Bar
- Die Busche
- Maria am Ostbahnhof
- Watergate Club
- Haifisch Bar
- Weekend Club
- Felix Club Restaurant
- The Oscar Wilde Pub
- Floating Lounge
- August Fengler
- Heile Welt
- Tom’s Bar
- 40 Seconds
- Bar am Luetzowplatz
- Harry’s New York Bar
- Victoria Bar
- Bar Jeder Vernunft
In addition, nightly live and DJ played music will entertain visitors to the Gendarmenmarkt, regarded as one of the most beautiful squares in Europe and home to the Weihnachts Zauber (Christmas Magic) Christmas market with over 100 refreshment stands, amusements and stalls.
Over the festive period Alexanderplatz in central Berlin is transformed into a magical fairy tale forest, complete with ice rink, rides, stalls, and a ferris wheel (50m high). Here, too, live music will be on offer, complete with a dance floor.
Other major must see markets offering all sorts of entertainment and amusement options include Winter World on Potsdamer Platz, offering tobogganing, ice skating and curling facilities; Charlottenburg Castle market and Spandau Market.
The best of Berlin’s New Year’s Eve celebrations with live music on multiple stages, party tents and a range of other performances can be experienced at the Brandenburg Gate, with another very popular spectacle of a similar type taking place on the Gendarmenmarkt.