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The Holiday Season in Berlin

Christmas Markets, Holiday Singing and Cool Shopping in Berlin

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Are you visiting Berlin during the holidays? Here are some ideas on how to enjoy the cold season Berlin; from Christmas markets, and holiday music, to Christmas shopping, here's where to be merry in Berlin.

1. Berlin Christmas Markets

Christmas Tree at Berlin Christmas Market
Jule_Berlin

Berlin celebrates the holiday season with 60 Christmas markets all throughout the city. From romantic, and historic, to organic, and fun, there is a Christmas market for everyone. Some highlights: The Christmas Market in the district of Spandau, one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany, with over 400 booths, merry-go-rounds, and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree from the Black Forest; the festive and sophisticated Christmas market in front of the impressive Charlottenburg Palace; and the Scandinavian Lucia market, a great place for families and hipsters alike, in the courtyard of an old brewery.

Best Christmas Markets in Berlin

2. Christmas Music

Gordon Merrick

Throughout December, German choirs and musicians herald the season with classical concerts, organ recitals, and music-filled services in Berlin’s churches and cathedrals. One of the most atmospheric cathedrals is the Berliner Dom on Museum Island, the largest and oldest church in the German capital.

3. HolyShitShopping

If you are looking for a unique Christmas gift, head to the HolyShitShopping lounge, where 150 artists and designers present their latest collections; you can find art, photography, jewelry, and fashion here. The atmosphere is cool too: International DJs spin records and there is a bar with coffee, cake, and cocktails. Only for one weekend at the beginning of December.

4. And Some More Christmas Shopping...

Kudamm shopping street
Steffen Zahn

Looking for a more traditional shopping experience? Head to Kadewe ("Kaufhaus des Westens") on Kurfuerstendamm; opened in 1907, it is the largest department store in Continental Europe and Berlin's answer to Harrods in London. Spread over 8 floors, you can get everything from designer labels, and jewelry, to cosmetics; don't miss the legendary gourmet department on the top floor. Another great department store is Dussmann's on Friedrichstrasse, which offers the best selection of music, stationary, and books (also in English language) in Berlin. Down the street is Gallery Lafayette, which offers everything French; fashion, cosmetics, and of course French delicacies (more than 2000 oysters a week are eaten here).

5. Tajik Tearoom

Tea Room Berlin
Birge Amonson

Warm your soul with a glass of hot tea in the Tajik tearoom, set in a palatial building close to Unter den Linden. Leave you wet shoes at the door and get comfortable on the soft cushions at one of the low tables. The menu offers over 30 teas and Russian fare like borscht and blini. You can also take part in a Russian tea ceremony, which is complete with shots of ice-cold vodka, a Russian samovar, fruit confections, and pastries. In winter, Russian fairy tales are read every Monday (6 p.m.).

More about the Tearoom

6. Spas in Berlin

Badeschiff Berlin
Arena Berlin

Another way to relax is by visiting a spa in Berlin: Try the Liquidrom, close to Potsdamer Platz, which offers everything your usual spa has – massage treatments, saunas, and steam baths, but the real reason to come here is the darkened dome with its warm salt water pool. Float through the water and enjoy soothing light reflections, as well as classical music and whale songs underwater, which play through speakers tuned to the salinity of the water. Another great sauna and wellness complex is the Badeschiff: Created from a huge cargo container, which is moored in the river Spree, the pool is covered with a translucent shell.

7. Museums During the Holidays

Pergamonmuseum Berlin
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Photo: F. Friedrich Berlin

During the holidays, Berlin museums have special opening hours; many close in the early afternoon on December 24 and 31, and most museums are closed on December 25 and 26. Make sure to check out the website of the museums you want to visit.

List of the top 10 Berlin Museums

8. New Year in Berlin

New Years Eve Party, Brandenburg Gate
http://silvester-berlin.de

The holidays are over, but Berlin’s biggest party of the year is yet to come: Silvester. Celebrate the beginning of the New Year at one of the biggest open-air parties in the world, held at the Brandenburg Gate with millions of revelers. There are several stages, dance floors, and tents with live music, performances, laser and light shows, international food stands, and an official countdown at midnight and great fireworks displays.

Guide to New Year's Eve in Berlin
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