Christmas Markets in Berlin – Accept no substitute!
I’m from the UK and nowadays it seems like every town here has a visiting Christmas market at some point over the Christmas/New Year period, complete with wooden toys, scented candles, woolly gloves and dodgy sausages!
Christmas/New Year in your own country can be fun, but there are alternatives!
The Christmas/New Year period is such a wonderful time to get away and really enjoy these holiday days abroad – seeing how other cultures celebrate Christmas/New Year and joining in the fun!
Last year, I travelled to Berlin with my girlfriend and in my opinion Germany – and in particular Berlin – is one of the best places to go if you want to enjoy Christmas/New Year abroad, with all you could hope for, including amazing Christmas markets!
The Germans love a ‘traditional’ Christmas more than anyone and so you find Christmas markets throughout Berlin packed with locals (rather than just tourists) buying presents, enjoying the great food, going on exciting fairground rides surrounded by a wonderfully authentic ‘traditional’ Christmas atmosphere and beautiful Christmas lights.
The markets are held from the end of November and throughout December and although I could list the streets and squares where the Christmas markets are held, with over 50 markets around the city, it’s more enjoyable just to set off on foot and see what you find!
All you need to do is follow your nose in the direction of the wonderful scent of pine trees, roasting chestnuts, gingerbread and Glüwein all filling the crisp winter air.
Glüwein deserves a special mention. It’s hot red wine with a little extra ‘kick’ (unknown) which smells nicer than it tastes but which is essential in warming the soul on those very chilly days!
You’ll often see lots of people huddled together around the Glüwein stands, comparing their bright red noses which could be due to the cold or the Glüwein – I’m not so sure!
Don’t forget to try a currywurst! This is a very long sausage held in a very small bun and covered in curry sauce. They are absolutely delicious and I ate far more than were good for me during my time in the city!
The Christmas market stall holders usually dress up in period costume which is in contrast to the shoppers wearing thick overcoats and a surprising number of Russian furry hats!
The wooden toys and other items mentioned above are all still there and the best part is, they’re much less expensive than you can get them outside Germany!
The school in Berlin is located right in the centre of the city, in a really nice area called ‘Mitte’ – It’s almost like a village, right in the very centre of Berlin, with cobbled streets, old buildings and LOTS of corner cafes, restaurants and bars – all serving warm drinks and lots of really TASTY food!
So if you’ve got a lot of family members to get Christmas presents for, or if you just want to enjoy yourself over Christmas/New Year, why not take a low-cost flight to Berlin this year (LOTS of low cost airlines fly there!) – Learn German and celebrate Christmas/New Year in this amazing city – You’ll love the festive atmosphere and the Christmas markets – and if you want you can do all your Christmas shopping there, and send your family and friends presents which are a bit different this year!
I guarantee that you’ll come back having discovered real winter magic, having learnt a lot of German and having REALLY enjoyed yourself!!