The magic of traditional German Christmas Markets attracts thousands of tourists every year to cities across Germany. The markets offer a festive shopping experience without the commercialism so prevalent today. In the German markets you can buy all kinds of Christmas merchandise and gifts, especially traditional items such as crib figurines, toys, wood carvings, marionettes, candles and lambskin shoes. The ambience of a typical German Christmas Market is further enhanced by the aromas of hot chestnuts, grilled sausages and glühwein (mulled wine). Youngsters especially will be attracted to the gingerbread biscuits known as Lebkuchen, marzipan figures and other sweets. Most Christmas Markets start in the last week of November and run through to Christmas Eve or a day or two before. They are usually open every day from 10am to about 8 or 9 pm.
Berlin is the capital city of the German Christmas Markets. Whether you prefer a contemplative and magical Christmas Market or a lively and urban one, Berlin has something to suit everyone and this year is offering a choice of sixty Christmas Markets. Markets can be found along the large boulevards and squares as well as on the small side streets and even in several museums.
Charlottenburg Castle plays host to one of the best and most famous Christmas Markets in the German capital. For 35 days the castle and its park have a very special romantic atmosphere as approximately 150 vendors sell their wares from all over Germany as well as abroad.
An atmospheric backdrop makes the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market one of the most popular. Held in one of the most beautiful squares in the city, this market specialises in old handicrafts such as flax embroidery. Wood carvers and stonemasons also present their work and jugglers, acrobats, fire artists, dance groups and choirs ensure the crowds are kept well entertained.
The heart of “Winter Magic” beats particularly strongly in the Potsdamer Platz Christmas Market. Lots of lights, handicrafts, music and delicacies ensure a wonderful festive atmosphere. Alongside the handicrafts market along Alte Potsdamer Straße the Winter World also offers fast fun on the largest mobile toboggan run in Europe, and on the 500 square metre open air ice rink.
Visitors to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Christmas Market near the Kurfürstendamm will enjoy the smells of roasted almonds, hot cocoa and mulled wine from more than 170 craft and Christmas market stands which are set up around the historical church.. More than two million visitors enjoy the Christmas atmosphere around the 20 metre high Christmas tree every year.
Anyone thinking of taking a Christmas Market short break should certainly consider Berlin as their destination. The city has so much to offer anyone looking for an enchanting festive experience.