Spend Christmas in Berlin in 2023 | Sledding, Glühwein, Curling, and More!

Berlin is a lovely destination to come to during the holiday season with its well-known German Christmas markets and ice rinks illuminated by dazzling fairy lights. You are guaranteed to be presented with several holiday activities during the winter in Berlin. Try some delectable wurst, try your hand at curling, stock up on holiday goods in Berlin's renowned department store, and more during Christmas.

Why spend Christmas in Berlin?

Christmas in Berlin - Why Spend Christmas in Berlin?
  • The Christmas markets are a medieval German custom, so some of the best ones can be found at the heart of Berlin. Moreover, this tradition has now been taken up by almost all of Europe.
  • Berlin is renowned for its nightlife, with one of the most thriving party scenes in all of Europe. The gatherings held around Christmas are undoubtedly extremely lively.
  • Belin has many local traditions making Christmas an exciting time for tourists.
  • With Christmas lights all around and residents joining in with the tourists throughout the celebrations, the city looks so full of love and warmth.
  • Berlin offers a wide variety of traditional dishes and drinks at Christmas, making the list of items to try a little lengthier.

Top 8 things to do during Christmas in Berlin

Christmas in Berlin - Christmas markets

1. Visit the Christmas Markets

Christmas markets and the holiday season go hand in hand, and there are several to pick from in Berlin. These marketplaces, scattered around the city, have been a custom in Germany since the Middle Ages. You're almost certainly going to depart feeling a little happier than when you arrived thanks to the variety of vendors selling handcrafted items, traditional German food, holiday beverages, and so much more.

The best Christmas markets of the season are:

Christmas in Berlin - Christmas lights at Kurfurstendamm

2. See Kurfürstendamm’s Christmas Lights

Known as Ku'damm by the locals, the tree-lined boulevard is decked with fairy lights from late November to early January in the skeletal tree branches. Giant snowmen, Christmas trees, a Santa, and reindeer, all erected and lit up throughout the winter, transform the wide expanse of pavement in the middle of the road into a focal point.

Check out the other places to see Christmas lights:

Christmas in Berlin - Ice skating

3. Go Ice Skating

Strapping on a pair of ice skates and gliding around a rink to the tunes of Christmas is a fantastic holiday activity in Berlin. You can either bring a special someone for a delightful (and perhaps hilarious) date or showcase your skating skills with a group of friends. Keep in mind, though, that this activity tends to draw quite a crowd, as it's a popular choice for almost all tourists in the area.

The best places to skate in Berlin are:

Christmas in Berlin - Sledding at Potsdamer Platz
Christmas in Berlin - View from Alexanderplatz

5. Watch the City from Alexanderplatz

At Alexanderplatz, you can discover a carousel, a spooky house, and a Ferris wheel. Don't miss the chance to see the largest walk-through Christmas pyramid in Europe adorned with over 5,000 delightful lights. For a panoramic view of the whole city, head to the summit. On a clear day, this is undoubtedly the top Christmas activity in Berlin, offering a fantastic perspective of the cityscape.

Christmas in Berlin - Curling at Bertolt-Brecht-Platz

6. Try Curling at Bertolt-Brecht-Platz

If you're reaching your limit on holiday treats, consider a bit of light exercise to balance things out. Head to one of the covered lanes at Bertolt-Brecht-two Platz and give curling a try. It's like a mix of boules and curling, but if the rules seem a bit confusing, no need to stress – there are always experts available to help clear things up.

Christmas in Berlin - Mulled wine

7. Enjoy a Mug of Glühwein

When the city is blanketed in snow and the temperature drops below zero, few things beat the cozy warmth of a steaming cup of gluhwein (mulled wine). You can easily find this festive drink in Christmas markets, and for an extra burst of flavor, consider adding some infused schnapps. If you're in Berlin, don't forget to check out your favorite bars during Advent – they might just be serving up the perfect drink to keep you toasty in the winter chill.

Best bars to get Glühwein are:

Christmas in Berlin - Bar hopping

8. Bar hop in Berlin

'Tis the perfect time to rock that authentic Berliner style and hit the Christmas clubs scene! With almost half of the city's folks heading back home or to sunnier destinations, the club queues are shorter than ever. This is your shot to get entry into those clubs that may have turned you away during the bustling season when only a third of hopefuls make the cut. So, gear up, blend in with the locals, and make the most of the festive club vibes!

Great bars and clubs to visit in Berlin are:

Top experiences in Berlin


Frequently asked questions about celebrating Christmas in Berlin

Is Christmas a good time to visit Berlin?

Yes, traveling to Berlin during the Christmas season is a great idea. Berlin has unrivaled natural beauty, which is significantly enhanced by the Christmas festivities, lights, and snowfall.

What are some things to do in Berlin on Christmas?

Some of the things that you must do in Berlin at Christmas are riding the Ferris wheel at Alexanderplatz, visiting the Christmas markets, walking down the streets to watch the Christmas lights and bar hopping at the heart of the city.

What is Christmas in Berlin like?

Berlin is especially enchanting during the holidays. There is more going on than just the holiday season and Santa Claus. For a true flavor of winter in Germany's capital city, sip glühwein while strolling through the lit streets, ice skate at Potsdamer Platz, and head outside to the lake blanketed in frost.

What is the weather like at Christmas in Berlin?

The temperature rarely dips below 0 degrees in Berlin during Christmas. Make sure to carry enough warm clothes to cover all parts of the body. Berlin’s holiday period is also often rainy.

Does it snow at Christmas in Berlin?

Snow is likely during Christmas in Berlin.

Is Berlin crowded at Christmas?

Berlin's Christmas is well-known, which increases the congestion of the city. You can still participate in Christmas celebrations despite this. Berlin also has very few locals present during Christmas.

What’s open in Berlin on Christmas?

The majority of businesses in Berlin are open on Christmas Eve until noon. Then, tourist attractions like museums close. Make your inquiries before arriving at your destination.

What is the most popular Christmas market in Berlin?

The most popular Christmas market in Berlin is Alexanderplatz.

Are restaurants open on Christmas in Berlin?

Yes, the majority of restaurants in Berlin are open on Christmas Day and have special menus.

What are the best places to stay in Berlin for Christmas?

The Hotel Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz is a must-stay location throughout the holiday season in Berlin. During the festivities, it offers wonderful views of the Christmas market. Alternatively, you can think about Select Hotel The Wall Berlin and the Hotel NH Collection Berlin Friedrichstrasse.

What should I eat in Berlin at Christmas?

You must try wurst, Kartoffelpuffer, Flammkuchen, Dresdner Handbrot, and gluhwein when in Berlin during Christmas.

What are the best restaurants for Christmas in Berlin?

Some of the best restaurants for Christmas in Berlin are Portofino, 3 Schwestern, Borchardt, Brasserie Colette Tim Raue, and BraufactuM am Hausvogteiplatz.

Where can I see the Christmas lights in Berlin?

Kurfürstendamm, Treptower Park, and Zickenplatz are some of the best places to see the Christmas lights in Berlin.

What are some Christmas traditions in Berlin?

During Christmas, people in Berlin decorate their front yards and tables with beautiful advent wreaths, give gifts to children that are said to be from Saint Nicholas, decorate the Christmas tree on 24th December, and make Stollen, a special fruit bread consisting of nuts, spices, candied fruits, and sugar.