The German winter is mostly cold and sometimes lonely. Berlin has more than 80 large and small, traditional and alternative Christmas markets spread throughout the entire city to get in the mood of the most wonderful time of the year. Bright lights shine from trees and houses. Pine branches decorate the small wooden craft shops. Food stands invite visitors to try out waffles, bratwurst, warm chestnuts and new culinary achievements while the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread flies through the air. Choirs set the music on the more traditional markets and electronic Christmas pop rings from the speakers on the more fashionable ones.
The Christmas markets are the perfect setting to find the last Christmas presents and spend a wonderful time with your family and friends. In between the Concert house, the German and the French Dome, lies one of the most beautiful markets on Gendarmenmarkt. It has plenty of shops, food and wine stands and a small stage for theatrical performances. Other exceptionally beautiful Christmas markets are right in front of the royal Charlottenburg Palace or the Spandau Christmas market.
The Christmas market in front of the Red City Hall has an ice skating area around the classical Neptune’s fountain. Skaters that prefer to have a rooftop view find a rooftop skating area on top of the Bikini Berlin shopping center next to the Gedächtniskirche Christmas market at Ku’Damm. The Christmas markets open around the 24th of November and close around the 31st of December. Next to the Christmas markets many of the operas, theatres, museums and other cultural venues create special events in the time leading up to Christmas Eve. The Berlin Philharmonic for example arranges Wagner concerts under the lead of the world renowned conductor Sir Simon Rattle.
The Circus Roncalli performs a Christmas Circus and the Theatre at Potsdamer Platz is staging Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake performed by the world famous Bolshoi Ballet to name a few. Despite the cold winds and the early sunsets, Berlin remains a remarkable place in winter.
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