Berlin is certainly one of the most beautiful cities to explore, but once winter hits, you might find that walking and bike tours are more fitting for the warmer months. Don’t rule out winter as a time to visit, as Berlin’s charm is still visible, if not accentuated by freshly fallen snow, Christmas decorations, and multiple activities reminding you that wintertime isn’t just for hibernating.
With over 50 different Christmas markets spread over the large squares and smaller allys, Berlin really captures the spirit of the holiday season wherever you run into them. And you won’t be running into the same products over and over again, each market seems to specialize in different areas offering you a wide variety of gifts, gadgets, and goodies to browse through.
You can go to the Gendarmenmarkt which features not only local embroidery, woodwork, stonemasonry, and food, but also there are shows which include performances by acrobatics, jugglers, musicians, and artists. Or if you’re looking for something more low-key (relatively speaking to the glitz and glamour that can take over these markets), you can try the international Market of the Continents which supports social and structural projects from around the world. When the native, handmade products are purchased from these traders it goes to their community to help their development. Even better, this market is held indoors so even the snow can’t stop you.
Shows and Ballets
Outside may be snowy, dark, and cold, but what better way to capture the spirit of the holidays than a show by a world-renowned ballet, soothing orchestra, or fantastical entertainment?
I’ll be the first to admit that anything with the word “palace” sparks my interest, and this experience wouldn’t fall short of any expectations. Enjoying a sumptuous dinner by candlelight in the Charlottenburg Palace Orangery, followed by what feels like a personal performance from the Berlin Palace Orchestra couldn’t make me feel better about escaping the cold in the warm and cozy comforts of this palace.
The Friedrichstadt Palast Stage Show is another alternative, less emphasis on the romance and instead, a complete focus on putting the audience in awe. It’s safe to say that goal is always accomplished at the state-of-the-art theater where the stage is a show in itself. With the addition of talented dancers, acrobatics, singers, and musicians, you’re mind will be in disbelief at what is presented in front of you. Just call it a Christmas miracle.
Who could forget the Nutcracker? Follow the classic story of a young girl and her doll on a Christmas Eve adventure. Music by the infamous Tchaikovsky, and performed by the internationally acclaimed Russian National Ballet, this is one show that is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit!
Finally, there is no better way to warm up than having a drink at a local pub. With authentic taverns and numerous choices of drinks at the cocktail lounges, live music and even rooftop gardens over looking the city, there is no shortage to your options. Berlin is filled with a wide variety of relaxing pubs and lively clubs, but they all give you a taste of the nightlife culture.