With every Berliner is running around like madmen, ticking off their Christmas shopping lists, baking cookies, decorating trees and putting up lights on the rooftop of their houses, few stop and wonder to whom does this make sense!I’ll tell you…
Christmas Markets in Berlin makes sense for the Australians! People from the Central Europe are automatically born into cold weather and for them, doing Christmas decorations in the snow and negative temperature is just not that fun anymore, and the Christmas cheer only comes out at the 4th gluhwein!
But the Australians love it… I find it a bit insane, that at this time of the year in Australia, you are singing songs about how frightful the weather is outside and are actually letting “fake” snow snow, when it is 40ºC! Even worst when you are about to have a heat stroke from spending the whole morning next to scorching oven for that not so anticipated Christmas roast lunch. At this time of the year it is usually snowing in Berlin and the temperatures rarely go above freezing, so you need all the Christmas spirit you can get to make it through the “Silly Season”.
This is why the Australians come to Berlin! The “Silly Season” denomination is no different in Berlin than it is back home. Instead of having beach time and slightly over drinking at social events, Australians can enjoy Gluhwein and Bratwurst while meeting fellow countrymen in Christmas Markets in Berlin for an overly drunk “Waltzing Matilda” singalong without being frowned upon by other Australians…The Australian Dream come true!
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”
The fact of the matter is that Berlin is a very popular destination with Australians! Since it became a hip destination in the late 90’s, the German capital has seen a rising yearly flock of youngsters from down under, wanting to experience life in a completely different culture. Plus the fact that Berlin is the Hipster capital of the world, close to other European capitals, has a very cheap cost of life when compared to Paris or London, and most of all it is a place where they can get proper beer, as contrary to many beliefs, nobody in Australia drink Fosters…
So, lets check out the Aussie friendly and outback approved Christmas markets in Berlin.
Christmas Markets in Berlin at Gendarmenmarkt
Gendarmenmarkt is located smack in the middle of Mitte, and the Christmas market happens in front of the Konzerthaus Berlin, between the Franzosischer Dom and the Deutscher Dom. Despite being the only Christmas Market which has an entrance fee (1€) it widely considered as the one that has the most “Christmas spirit” in town, making it the perfect background for your first Christmas photo where you are not wearing shades and shorts… The old school german traditionals are all there: the classical music choirs, the wurst stands, the gold craftsman, the toy makers, the wood carvers, the Bavarian beer stands, the red candy apples and plenty of good quality soul warming Gluhwein.
Gendarmenmarkt Berlin : from the 25 November to 31 December. Open daily 11am to 10pm. Admission: €1
Nostalgischer Christmas Markets in Berlin at the Opernpalais
Located between the OpernPalais and the Stadtoper, this market is for the die hard Christmas fans, hence the denomination Nostalgic Christmas Market. It is one for the whole family with over 200 stands or arts and crafts for the mothers ,plenty treats, a carrousel for the kids and a impressive selection of roasted chestnuts and spiced Gluhwein for the fathers. The organizers must gathered up all the christmas lights in the world by the way the place is overly Christmasy lit and it is so Nostalgic that even dogs are required to wear a Santa attire.
Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt am Opernpalais: from the 25 November to 26 December. Open daily 11am-10pm; Admission: free
Lucia Christmas Markets in Berlin at the Kulturbrauerei
If you are the outback adventurous kind and do not really think too much about everyone gets all excited about Christmas, then this Scandinavian-themed market is right up your alley. Full of foreigners who are looking for something new in Christmas, this market takes place in the courtyards of Prenzlauer Berg’s Kulturbrauerei. The Gluhwein from the stall in front of the main entrance in the best that I have tasted this season and it comes with a bonus of being served in some very kitsch but very iconic cups in the shape of Christmas themed boots. Another import, and a personal favourite of mine is the Austrian Germknödel, a popular ski holiday dessert served in Austria made up of yeasted flour with a plum butter filling and served with a vanilla sauce and crushed poppy seeds.
Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei:From 25 November to 22 December. Open daily 3pm-10pm. Admission: free.
Christmas Markets in Berlin at Schloss Charlottenburg
The Charlottenburg Schloss (Palace) is the only surviving royal residence in Berlin and the closest the Aussies can get to a real life fairytale with romance and grandeur that would make Anna Karenina need another round of vodka. The whole palace and adjacent gardens are illuminated and decorated at this time, so if you want to impress a lady/boy friend and kiss under the mistletoe, I suggest you go west into the Westernized district of Charlottenburg. The cool thing is, or better, the warm thing is that the stalls are under heated tents, making it that extra special and comfortable, just like back home! In case you want to get a little breeze going, can ride the ferris wheel or the little poney in the children’s petting zoo.
Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg, from 25 November to 26 December. Open daily 2pm-10pm. Admission: free.