Berlin Christmas Market Guide, WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt – Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
Yes, it’s that time of the year again! Can you believe Christmas is almost upon us? One of my favourite things to do during the festive season in Germany is to hit up all the Christmas markets I can.
I count myself lucky to live in a country where Christmas markets are such a major part of the holidays. Meeting up with friends, family, or colleagues, drinking a cup of mulled wine, chowing down on a sausage – you can’t but help smile and get caught up in the Christmas spirit.
Recently, I visited my favorite Christmas market in all of Berlin, the WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt.
Berlin Christmas Market Guide, WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt
While the Christmas market at Schloss Charlottenburg is really beautiful, it somehow doesn’t compare to the Christmas market at the Gendarmenmarkt. The atmospheric WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt is situated in a square surrounded by the Französischer Dom, Deutscher Dom, and the Konzerthaus and is lit up by more than 1,000 strings of lights.
With about 60,000 visitors annually (pre-pandemic mind you), people visit the market not only to soak up the festive ambiance, but to indulge in top notch food from one of many food stands and restaurants, shop from tons of different vendors selling Christmas decorations, and take in various musical performances.
Recommended reading: The centrally located Circus Hotel Berlin has a rooftop terrace, cool restaurant & bar area, and spacious rooms with super comfortable beds. Find out why you should stay there!
Food and Drink
One of the first things you’ll want to do once is grab a hot and steaming cup of Glühwein (mulled wine). This warm and spicy drink is popular at Christmas markets in Germany and is the perfect thing to warm you up on a cold winter’s night. Even better is adding a shot of Amaretto (or another spirit), to make your drink even more tasty.
Pro tips: Drink it fast as cold mulled wine is not very tasty at all. You can either keep your cup as a souvenir or return it to any one of the stands to get a small €1-2 deposit back.
You’ve had a drink (or two), so what next? Eat to your heart’s content, as the WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt has lots of food on offer like sausage, Belgian waffles, hot soup, steak, cheese, ginger cookies, and so much more.
If you’re feeling cold (or lazy), grab a table at one of their many makeshift restaurants (some run by top chefs) to warm up and relax for a spell.
While decorating my house for Christmas isn’t my thing (I’m content with a simple poinsettia and a few red holiday candles), at the WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt, you’ll find all sorts of Christmas decorations available for purchase – some tasteful and others a little garish.
To keep market-goers entertained each day, there’s a full roster of musical performances at WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt. You’ll hear gospel singers, jazz bands, and other singers like the guys pictured here who sing random songs other than just Christmas carols.
What do you think about this Christmas market at Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt? Do you have any other Christmas market tips for Berlin? Drop us a note in the comments.
The Location Of WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt
Where can you find this Christmas market? The WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt is located at 10117 Berlin.
WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt FAQ
We answer your most frequently asked questions about the Christmas market:
The WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt opens on November 22and will remain open through to December 31, 2021. From Sunday – Thursday, the market is open from 11:00 – 22:00, and on Friday and Saturday, the market is open from 11:00 – 23:00. On Christmas Eve (Dec 24), the market is open from 11:00 – 18:00 and on New Year’s Eve, the market is open from 11:00 – 1:00 the following day
Admission is €1 and proceeds from ticket sales go to a local charity. Admission is free for children under 12 years old. Buy your ticket before getting in line.
Lucky for us, the Christmas markets are open this year. You need to be vaccinated or recovered to gain entrance, in accordance with the state’s 2G rules. A mask must be worn at all times when in the market unless you’re eating or drinking.
Dogs aren’t permitted inside the market unless they’re a designated guide dog.
Yes. You need to pass through security before entering the market. Be patient and let them look through your bag(s). Suitcases and large backpacks aren’t allowed for safety reasons.
Most certainly, as you can see from my photos above! It’s a place that just begs to be photographed. However, be mindful of people around you who may not want to appear in what may end up in your social feed later on.
The market’s extremely busy on weekends and holidays. Check out the market during the week to avoid massive crowds.
That’s entirely up to you. I’d recommend at least an hour, giving yourself time for a cheeky cup of Gluhwein, browsing/shopping the stands, watching the live performances, and soaking up the atmosphere. Even longer if you’re meeting up there for social reasons or plan on a longer sit-down meal.
Hausvogteiplatz (along the U2) and Stadtmitte (along the U2 or U6 lines) are both within close proximity to Gendarmenmarkt. You can easily walk from S+U Friedrichstraße and it will take about 10 minutes.
Visit their website for more information.
Transportation Options In Berlin
Here is a high-level summary about available transportation options in Berlin, Germany:
1) To travel to Berlin’s city center, you can go with a train, taxi, or bus:
- From the airport – Berlin has a brand new airport, Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport (BER), 18 kilometers outside of the city center. You can take an express train, either the FEX, RE7, and RB14, to the city’s main train station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Trains run frequently between 4:00 – 23:00 and the journey takes about 30 minutes. A one-way ticket is €3.30. You can also take public transit, using the S-Bahn lines, S9 or S45. The journey to Berlin Hauptbahnhof will take the same amount of time and an ABC ticket will fetch you €3.60. Buses are also an option, the airport shuttle BER1, X71, N60, and X7. Your journey to Hauptbanhhof will take about an hour and cost the same as taking the train. Note, the airport shuttle BER1 is outrageously expensive at around €11, so skip it entirely if possible. You can take a taxi from the airport, with the journey into the city center being around 30 minutes, longer if during rush hour. A fare should run anywhere between €40 – €50.
- From the main train station – Berlin Hauptbanhhof is smack dab in the city center. Take public transit, a taxi, bicycle, or use your own two feet to get wherever you need to go.
- From the main bus station – The city’s main bus station (ZOB) isn’t in the city center, but in the city’s West End. You can make your way to the city center via public transit (there are S-Bahn trains and buses available) and the journey will take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. A single fare will run you €3. You can also take a taxi or use Uber or Bolt. A car journey to Hauptbahnhof will take you 15 – 30 minutes, depending on traffic and a taxi fare will cost €15 – €20.
2) How to get around in Berlin:
- Taxis – As with some other European countries, taxi scams aren’t that prevalent in Germany. You can safely hail a taxi at any stand around the city or use the FREE NOW app to get a traditional taxi to your location.
- Ride sharing – Uber is available, as is Bolt.
- Bikes – You can rent bikes in Berlin through Bolt and Uber. Other bike sharing companies include nextbike and Deutsche Bahn’s Call A Bike.
- Public Transit – Berlin has an extensive network of above and underground trains, trams, buses, and even ferries. The easiest and most convenient way to purchase tickets is to use the BVG app. You can also buy tickets onboard trams and buses, as well as from machines on station platforms. If you plan to use public transit a lot when visiting Berlin, skip out on buying single fare tickets and purchase a pass for 24 hours, one week, and more. You’ll save a lot of money this way.
- Driving – If you want to drive around Berlin, consider renting a car from companies like Europcar, Sixt, or Hertz.
Where To Stay In Berlin
1) If you need somewhere to stay in Berlin, take a look at options with booking.com.
2) Alternatively, check out our top recommendations for hotels in Mitte.
Paying For Things In Berlin
Our pro tips help you manage your finances when you’re travelling in Germany:
1) Germany uses the Euro:
- See xe.com to find out how your home currency compares to the Euro.
- Unfortunately, many places in Berlin will only accept cash and not bank or credit cards. If they do accept bank cards, they will only take EC cards and when it comes to credit cards, American Express is often not accepted either. No worries, there are bank machines throughout the city where you can get cash.
- When paying by card, you may be asked which currency you want to pay in – choose to pay in Euros to save money on the exchange rate.
2) Germany is about average on the cost scale compared to other European destinations. Berlin is even cheaper, so you shouldn’t find it hard on your wallet when it comes to booking accommodation, dining out, and more.
3) If you can avoid doing so, exchange your money in the city center, as exchange rates at the airport tend to be on the high side.
Good To Know About Berlin
Other things to know about the German capital?
1) Make your time in Berlin special and book a guided tour with Get Your Guide.
2) If you love Christmas markets in Europe, check out some of our favourites.
- Christmas Markets: Old Town Square in Prague – Prague’s Christmas markets add to the festive vibe that overtakes the city during the holiday season. Visit the city’s most famous market in Old Town Square!
- Schönbrunn Christmas Market In Vienna, Austria – The Schönbrunn Christmas Market in Vienna, is one of the city’s most popular, likely because it’s setup directly beside a grand palace.
- The Bratislava Christmas Market At The Main Square – Visit Slovakia in winter to see the Bratislava Christmas Markets. Drink mulled wine, eat yummy treats, & enjoy the festivities.
If you like this post, share it on Pinterest.
*Disclosure – This post contains some affiliate links. If you book a tour or hotel, I’ll earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!