The first thing that comes to mind when considering a Christmas break in Berlin is drinking hot glühwein (German mulled wine), eating Stollen, and letting the gorgeous scenery charm you into strolling the city.

There are hundreds of Christmas shopping venues in Berlin, but why head to the malls when you can march to the beat of Christmas carols and the scent of hot spices at the Christmas markets that pop up everywhere all over the city? Germany boasts the most varied kinds of Christmas markets of anywhere else in Europe, so keep reading for a few of the best.

Berliner Weihnachtszeit at RotenRathaus

It’s not hard to spot this shopping and dining venue from far away, just look for the 150-foot Ferris wheel and follow it to the bright lights. Not far from there you will find the Kerstmarkt, also called the Berliner Weihnachtszeit. If you think the area is busy during the day, the nightlife is something else. There are a dazzling array of stalls, all decked out in 19th century style and complete with very unique German Christmas décor. The Berliner Weihnachtszeit is like a small amusement park, complete with rides, a petting zoo, a free ice rink, and a German Santa who drops in on schedule. Enjoy a very child-friendly German Christmas market from November 24th through December 28th, not counting Christmas Eve.

Christmas Market Berlin Kurfurstendamm

The Gedachtniskirche is an attractive Berlin Christmas venue steeped in a rich history. The entrance is at Weihnachtsmarkt (Kantstraße) Berlin. Consider this your open air mall with nearly 200 stalls that sell handmade toys, décor, art, and fresh cooked delicacies. Find your way from ZoologischerGarten anytime between November 24th through January 4th to find a spectacular Berlin Christmas market.

Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market Berlin

More than 500,000 people visit the Berlin-Mitte for Christmas shopping, which is popular with tourists all year round. Weihnachtszauber am Gendarmenmarkt stands out for their array of handmade items featuring manufacturers from all over the globe in a very special multicultural German Christmas show. Weihnachtszauber am Gendarmenmarkt is located near the Deutsche Dom, the Konzerthaus and the FranzozischeFriedrichstadtkirche, three of Berlin’s most famed sites, and is topped off with a famous gigantic Christmas tree. If you decide to walk, take the street nearest Friedrichsstrasse to enjoy all the holiday lights, otherwise take a bus to LeipzigerStrasse 65 anytime between November 24th till December 28th to enjoy tasty free food samples and delightful Christmas ambiance.

Christmas in Berlin is Worth the Trip

Christmas in Berlin is not all about Christmas markets through. You can also find theme parks, such as Wintertraum boasting over two million visitors each year and treats its guests to Eisstockschießen, ice skating, and snow tubing (sliding down a hill in a huge tire), and Winterwelt am PotsdamerPlatz, a unique German style theme park with rides including a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and other carnival attractions. Visitors can also enjoy food stalls, German delicacies, free market stall shopping, boutiques, and much more catered to the teenage and young adult crowd.

Travel tips: The Christmas markets peak on the second and third week of December. Last minute flights can be found on Skyscanner.  To really immerse yourself in Berlin life, skip the faceless hotels and find in a local apartment with Berlin-based holiday apartment platform Wimdu. Berlin get cold in the winter months, so plan your day before hand using the berlin transport system (BVG) which handily runs 24 hours a day.