Japanese Christmas Market in Berlin

In Japan live about 2 per cent Christians. So for sure, it would not be the first country you would associate with Christmas. But this fact doesn’t keep Berlin from organising a Japanese Christmas market. What you can find there? Please scroll down …

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At the weekend of the second advent I had visited the Japanese Christmas market together with my flatmates (Sometimes we’re kind of Asia nerds). The market was in a big hall in Alt-Treptow in Berlin. The first look wasn’t really Christmassy (neither the second). There were a lot of different booths with typical Japanese stuff like soft toys, pictures, little action figures and accessories. You found hand-made kimonos and self-made art. The vendors were different people from Germany or Japan, who came to the market to present and sell special things.

Beautiful kimonos
Japanese art
Try sumo wrestling
Thuna-Don and Zenzai
Korokke (related to croquette)
Yakitori (chicken)
Gyoza
And of course, there were many different booths with Japanese food. In Germany is a big trend to eat vegan, so there were also a lot of possibilities to have dishes without animal products. Of course, they had a lot of meals with rice like Japanese Curry or Thuna Don. The last one is a rice bowl with marinated tuna Sashimi. Other little things were Yakitori (chicken) or different crepes with Salmond-Teriyaki, Kimchi-Cheese or Matcha-Atzuki. They also sell kind of Hot Dogs with specific food like Kimchi, Wasabi and Teriyaki. Okonomiyaki reminded me of a big pancake, I think you could compare it with each other. Of course, you could eat typical food like Sushi and Japanese soap. They also sell Zenzai. It’s a sweet red bean soup. 

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My Gyoza

It was really hard to choose only one dish from the big offer. I decided to try Gyoza. It’s thinly rolled pieces of pastry filled with meat (pork) or vegetables (vegetarian). If you know the German “Maulentaschen” you will know, what I mean. You eat it with soya sauce. It was really delicious, but I waited for one hour to get them because the food needs a lot of time and many people wanted to eat them. But I was lucky because the seller gave me one Gyoza more. Thanks to the hospitable Japanese.

Click here to find more blog post about different Christmas markets in Berlin

Christmas Markets at Alexanderplatz

Two other famous Christmas markets are the one at Alexanderplatz and just a few metres from there at Rotes Rathaus. I will tell you where you find a rink for ice skating, real snow, which doesn’t depend on the weather and meet Santa Clause.

What is a Christmas Market? Christmas markets are street markets during the weeks of Advent. These kind of markets are really typical for Germany, but also Austria, South Tyrol (Northern Italy) and some eastern regions in France. The history goes back to the Late Middle Ages of German-Speaking parts in Europe. Christmas markets have a lot of different stalls which sell all kinds of things, also typical Christmas dishes as German gingerbread (“Lebkuchen”), candied almonds, a variety of sausages (“Bratwurst”) and hot mulled wine (“Glühwein”).
 
Alexanderplatz is the most famous square in Berlin with its TV tower and named after the Russian Tsar Alexander I. No wonder that it also hosts three different Christmas markets around the area. The one directly on the actual square is full of different booths (more than 100) – and our favourite food (which you can find on basically every Christmas market) are German sausages, French crêpes and sugared almonds.
 
 
Right next to the World Time Clock is a Christmas pyramid designed with over 5,000 lights. Not only is it Europe’s biggest one but actually is also accessible to enjoy your hot mulled wine (“Glühwein”) inside. But also the small fireplaces around the pyramid offer a bit of warmth in Germany’s cold winters.  But the highlight is the snow which falls down from the pyramid every full hour. And this snow will fall no matter if it’s cold enough or not (the snow is foam).
 
Besides the pyramid is traditionally a big children’s carousel located. In the stalls around are even more Christmas themed articles – a lot of them handcrafted. 
 
The "World Time Clock" in front of the Christmas Pyramid at the Alexanderplatz
Snow and the Television Tower in the background
Snow at the Christmas pyramid
Alexanderplatz
 
If you follow the square in the direction of the TV tower (Western part of the Alexanderplatz) you will reach the next Christmas market at the Rotes Rathaus (Red City Hall). The famous red building is the town hall of Berlin, the home of the mayor and partial even open to the public. 
 
This Christmas market offers a 50m high Ferris wheel (it is actually the same you can find at the Octoberfest in Munich) and a skating rink around the fountain (Neptunbrunnen) for ice skating. Three times a day Santa Clause is flying over this fountain in his slide and of course with his reindeers. Furthermore, here you can taste a special menu of Berlin – warm green cabbage (usually served with sausages). Another particular dish they sell is Lángos from Hungary, as well as roasted apples, homemade baked bread from the medieval bakery and hot mead (honey wine). 
 
Different decorations and lights
A big wheel at the Christmas market of Rothes Rathaus
... fried apples
 

The third Christmas market is more like an amusement park right behind the shopping mall Alexa. 

 

City-Christmas Market at Gedächntniskirche

The next Christmas market I visited was the one around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at the Breitscheidplatz in Charlottenburg. The Christmas market is right next to the famous shopping street of Kurfürstendamm. You can reach it by subway getting out at “Zoologischer Garten” or “Kurfürstendamm”.

What is a Christmas Market? Christmas markets are street markets during the weeks of Advent. These kind of markets are really typical for Germany, but also Austria, South Tyrol (Northern Italy) and some eastern regions in France. The history goes back to the Late Middle Ages of German-Speaking parts in Europe. Christmas markets have a lot of different stalls which sell all kinds of things, also typical Christmas dishes as German gingerbread (“Lebkuchen”), candied almonds, a variety of sausages (“Bratwurst”) and hot mulled wine (“Glühwein”).

One of the most famous churches in Berlin is the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche at the Kurfürstendamm in Charlottenburg. The original church was built in 1890 but was damaged in a bombing raid during the Second World War. Nowadays the church is an important landmark of (former) West-Berlin.

I really enjoyed the mood of the Christmas market there, because of the thousand beautiful lights in the trees and on the stalls as well as a carpet of lights above the heads of the visitors. A popular photo setting is also the huge Christmas baubles decorated with even more lights. Really typical for the markets in Berlin are the big Christmas pyramids with candles and figures from the nativity scene.

The Christmas market is way bigger then it seems at first glance because the stalls are spread all over the square and some even continue along die Kurfürstendamm. Usually, it even has a pop-up-restaurant with traditional German cuisine.

The entry of the "City Weihnachtsmarkt"
"Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche" (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) is in the thick of the market
The Christmas Pyramid
 
A big Christmas ball ornament

Click here to find more blog post about different Christmas markets in Berlin

Christmas Market at the Charlottenburg Palace

Berlin has over 50 Christmas markets, one of them is at the Charlottenburg Palace. Charlottenburg is one of the most expensive districts in Berlin, however, in my opinion also one of the fancier ones. It has different Christmas markets, the one in front of the castle is reachable by a ten minutes walk from the train station “Westend” or there is also a bus stop right in front.

What is a Christmas Market? Christmas markets are street markets during the weeks of Advent. These kind of markets are really typical for Germany, but also Austria, South Tyrol (Northern Italy) and some eastern regions in France. The history goes back to the Late Middle Ages of German-Speaking parts in Europe. Christmas markets have a lot of different stalls which sell all kinds of things, also typical Christmas dishes as German gingerbread (“Lebkuchen”), candied almonds, a variety of sausages (“Bratwurst”) and hot mulled wine (“Glühwein”).

The Christmas market is really large and has one little section especially for children with different carousels, a little roller coaster and a special train.

However, the market has also a lot of different stalls where the (international) holders sell Christmas decorations, candles, accessories as well as arts and crafts. You will also find an offer of a  variety of food. Germany is really famous for its large selection of sausages, you should give it a try. Though, the market offers even more particular Christmas dishes as German gingerbread (“Lebkuchen”), bread from a wood stove, of course, hot mulled wine and pan-fried mushrooms.

Beside a Christmas pyramid, the market has also a crib and of course a castle, which will be illuminated the whole night in different colours.

 
A Crib which reports the story of Christmas
 
 
Christmas decorations
Christmas pyramid
The castle of Charlottenburg
The castle of Charlottenburg

Click here to find more blog post about different Christmas markets in Berlin

Lucia Christmas Market

Berlin has over 50 Christmas markets, one of them is the Scandinavian Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt with Glögg, Feuerzangenbowle and the “Open-Air-Mantel-Heizung”. 

💡 What is a Christmas Market?
Christmas markets are street markets during the weeks if Advent. These kind of markets are really typical for Germany, but also Austria, South Tyrol (Northern Italy) and some eastern regions in France. The history goes back to Late Middle Ages of German-Speaking parts in Europe. Christmas markets have a lot of different stalls which sell all kinds of things, also typical Christmas dishes as German gingerbread (“Lebkuchen”), candied almonds, a variety of sausages (“Bratwurst”) and hot mulled wine (“Glühwein”).
 

I just moved to Berlin a few weeks ago. The capital of Germany has a lot of different Christmas markets and I want to try to discover some of them in the next weeks until Christmas. The first market I visited was the “Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt” in Prenzlauer Berg. You can find him at the “Kulturbrauerei” at the subway station “Eberswalder Straße”.

 
 
 
 

The market gets his name from Lucia from Scandinavia, she brings the lights on the 13th December (in English it’s Saint Lucy’s Day). Of course, you will also get here some Scandinavian drinks like Glögg. But of course, you can also drink the typical hot mulled wine, you can buy at every German Christmas market. Or another choice could be “Feuerzangenbowle”. The drink is named after the pliers above it. It’s hot mulled wine with rum-soaked sugarloaf, which has a blue flame.  

When you easily feel cold you should visit the “Open-Air-Mantel-Heizung” (literally translated Open-Air-Coat-Heater). Visitors can wear one of the coats, which are combined with heaters, which get their warmth from an oven nearby.  

 
 
"Feuerzangenbowle" (hot mulled wine with rum-soaked sugarloaf above)
Open-Air-Mantel-Heizung
Open-Air-Mantel-Heizung

Click here to find more blog post about different Christmas markets in Berlin