Travel Germany: 2018 guide to sweet and off the beaten path Christmas markets in Berlin

Germany and its Christmas Markets in December belong together like chips and gravy, like salt and pepper, like peaches and cream, like desire and will, like heart and soul … you get it right?

The tradition of Christmas markets goes all the way back to late medieval times when people organized fairs and markets at the beginning of winter as an opportunity to stock up on products. In the 14th century, artisans like toy makers or confectioners, began to build stalls, from where they sold their wares. This was excellent for parents who bought them as Christmas presents for their children. And then there were stalls with roasted chestnuts, nuts and almonds … The people never looked back. 

The following Christmas markets are those where you get lots of vegetarian food and locally designed and made goodies. Visit markets in Renaissance palaces, in urban community gardens, in open-air museums, on one of Berlin’s prettiest streets or in a castle.

Sweet and off the beaten path Christmas Markets in Berlin

Berlin Environmental Christmas Market

The Berlin Environmental Christmas Market is located on Sophienstrasse, that is one of the oldest streets of Berlin directly next to Hackescher Markt. You will find lots of handcrafted and organic fair-trade products, made by designers and artists, and of course drinks and food such as crepes, raclette and mulled wine, and for the first time this year also vegan dishes.

Information Environmental Christmas Market Sophienstrasse. Sophienstrasse, 10178 Berlin. Dates and Hours. 1st and 2nd December, 8th and 9th December, 15th and 16th December, 22nd and 23rd December 2018. Saturdays von 12pm – 8pm and Sundays 11am – 7pm. Tickets: Free.

Demesne Dahlem Christmas Market

The ‘State Farm’ Dahlem used to be a Knight’s Estate and is now an organic farm and an open-air museum for agricultural and food culture. The Christmas Market takes place in the middle of the historical estate, the stables and barns. Dip your own candles, buy artisan craftwork, and be merry. Sweet Christmas treats such as handmade gingerbread, marzipan, sugared almonds and hot chestnuts and mulled wine are offered but if you don’t have a sweet tooth there are also homemade potato pancakes and jams, chutneys and compotes. Get warm with mulled wine or a punch at the campfire while listening to live Christmas tunes played by a brass band.

Demesne Dahlem Christmas Market Berlin Germany

Demesne Dahlem Christmas Market Berlin Germany Porcelain

Information Demesne Dahlem Christmas Market. Königin-Luise-Straße 49. 14195 Berlin. Dates and Hours: 1st and 2nd December, 8th and 9th December, 15th and 16th December, 22nd and 23rd December 2018. 11am - 7pm. Tickets: EUR 3, concessions EUR 1.50, free to the age of 12.

Romantic Christmas Market at the Hunting Lodge Grunewald

The Hunting Lodge Grunewald is the oldest surviving Renaissance palace in Berlin and that makes it the ideal place for the most magical Christmas market. Buy products from local artisans and meet characters such as Old Mother Frost, Hansel and Gretel or Cinderella's stepmother who are there as well.

Information Christmas Market Jagdschloss Grunewald. Hüttenweg 100, 14193 Berlin. Dates and Hours: 8th December - 9th December 2018. 11am to 7pm. Tickets: EUR 3 (inclusive a visit of the palace). Children under the age of 6 free.

Christmas Market at Späth'sche nursery

Visit this Christmas market in the oldest nursery in Germany, it looks like it comes straight from a picture book. There are more than 100 decorated stalls where designers and artisans offer their wares. There are storytellers and a Christmas crib from South Tyrol, and a historic children’s merry-go-round. After a walk through the fir forest to buy a Christmas tree, eat Christmas delicacies, choose from eight mulled wine varieties and warm up at the bonfire.

Information Christmas Market at Späth'sche nursery. Spaethstrasse 80. 12437 Berlin. Dates and Hours: 1st and 2nd December, 8th and 9th December, 15th and 16th December 2018. 11am to 8pm. Tickets: EUR 5, inclusive a discount coupon for a Christmas tree. Children under the age of 16: free.

Nordic Fairy Tale Christmas at Britz Castle

The eighteenth-century Britz palace is the picturesque setting for this market. You can see artisans work with their tools and discover century old traditions. Bargain in the candlelight, drink mulled wine, and watch the travelling artists amidst all the tinsel.

Information Nordic Fairy Tale Christmas at Britz Castle. Schloss Britz. Alt-Britz 73, 12359 Berlin. Dates and Hours: 14th to 16th December and 21st to 23rd December 2018. Friday 2pm to 9pm. Saturday and Sunday 11am to 9pm. Tickets: EUR 3, concessions EUR 2, children up to the age of six free.

Der Kreuzboerg Christmas Market

Do you love a truly different Christmas Market? Try Christmas cheer and live music in an electrical substation. Really true. At the Nowkoelln Christmas Flowmarkt - Der Kreuzboerg more than 70 designers and creatives offer their wares in the Prinzessinnengärten at Moritzplatz. Drink mulled wine, eat Christmas biscuits, shop for design, fashion and crafts, second-hand goods, vintage clothing and handmade gifts.

Information Der Kreuzboerg - Nowkoelln Christmas Market. Princess gardens, Prinzenstrasse 35 – 38, 10969 Berlin. Dates and hours: 15th December 2018 and 16th December 2018, Saturday from 12pm to 9pm and Sunday from 10am to 7pm. Tickets EUR 3, children free.

Weihnachtsrodeo 2018

This is like a travelling Christmas Market, whereas travelling means they change location every couple of years or once every season. This indoor designer Christmas market takes places on the December weekends in the lead up to Christmas. This year the Christmas Rodeo takes place in a historical cold storage facility near Gleisdreieick. The industrial pre-war property was a warehouse for cold goods from 1901 until well into the 1950s. Here you can buy locally made design, like jewellery, jumpers, wall decoration and candles as well as imported goods like bathrobes, shawls or kilims from independent sellers. There is a whole floor designated to food and drinks.

This market could be too good to be true, wouldn’t they not serve mulled wine and coffee in paper cups. I inquired why they wouldn’t use porcelain cups and got a sad answer from a lady selling coffee. There are apparently too many visitors to serve drinks in porcelain mugs. How come they manage this at all the large Christmas markets?

Weihnachtsrodeo 2018 Kuehlhaus Berlin Gleisdreieck

Information: Weihnachtsrodeo 2018. Kuehlhaus Berlin, Luckenwalder Str. 3, 10963 Berlin. Dates and Hours: 1st and 2nd December, 12pm to 8pm. 8th and 9th December, 12pm to 8pm. 15th and 16th December 2018, 12pm to 8pm. Tickets: EUR 5.

From Berlin with love

Please note: The article has been updated for accuracy in November 2018.