This past weekend, Jordan and I flew up to Berlin to experience the phenomenon that is German Christmas markets! Ever since I found out Christmas markets existed, I have wanted to visit one (in Germany specifically). This year, that dream came true when we traveled to Berlin to get the full market experience.
There are many, many Christmas markets in Berlin (between 80 and 100 to be not exact at all). Since there are so many to choose from, we enlisted the help of friends to decide which to check out. Our friends Pauline and Ben, who live in Berlin, hosted us and took us to two markets: Weihnachtszauber Gendarmenmarkt and Weihnachtsmarkt am Schloss Charlottenburg. Bless their hearts because it was Saturday night and the markets were hoppin! My photog friend, Caitlin, also recommended Weihnachtszauber Gendarmenmarkt, as well as Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der KulturBrauerei. They did not disappoint!
I am usually not a fan of crowds, but I have really sucked it up this year to attend some remarkable events (like the Christmas markets and Oktoberfest). Also, I forgot the battery for my camera (ugh, again!), so you can see some of my iPhone images from these two markets over in my “highlights” on my Instagram (and no, you don’t have to have Instagram to view them). All of the photos in this post are from Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der KulturBrauerei.
The first market we visited was Weihnachtszauber Gendarmenmarkt. It was beautiful and very classic and traditional. All of the markets we visited offered a large range of handmade goods crafted by artisans and Christmas food (ahhhhmazing!!!), but this one offered entertainment as well. We really loved this one, but it was probably the most crowded. There was also a 1€ entrance fee, but don’t let that stop you. We also experienced snow while we were there! See my iPhone photos from this market here.
The second market, Weihnachtsmarkt am Schloss Charlottenburg was literally in the very front of Charlottenburg Palace!! What a picturesque setting!! This market had over 250 vendors (it seemed bigger than Gendarmenmarkt) and beautiful illuminations of the market itself and the palace. Like Gendarmenmarkt, you could purchase many handmade items and traditional Christmas foods and sweets such as: stollen, spritz biscuits, marzipan, gingerbread, mulled wine, and freshly-baked bread. The mulled wine (aka Glühwein) was our favorite of the night. We tried to collect as many Glühwein mugs as we could! See my iPhone photos from this market here.
Before we headed back to Sicily, we made another stop at Lucia weihnachtsmarkt in der KulturBrauerei (Lucia Christmas Market). This market was recommended by a photographer friend who lives in Berlin, Caitlin (check out her work here). This Christmas market was much different than the other two, as it is dedicated to the Scandinavian countries. You might be wondering why it’s called “Lucia,” this is because Lucia is the light-bringer of the dark winter in Sweden and other Nordic countries. This market was particularly cool because there are a variety of Scandinavian delicacies available to taste, including over 20 variations of mulled wine (we tried three)! Lucia market is also unique in that it has unique “open-air mantle heating,” places where people can slip into hanging warmed fur coats, and a mobile sauna (without wheels or undressing). You could also buy exotic meats to eat.