December and January are considered to be the most magical time of the year in many countries – and rightfully so. There is a very special atmosphere that arrives with the Christmas and New Year spirit, two holidays that are often mentioned together and are celebrated by billions of people across the world. How wonderful is that? Now, imagine travelling during this season to one of the world’s most beautiful metropoles – Berlin. This city loves holidays! And interestingly, they are less about the commercial aspect here than in most other places.
Weeks before Christmas and New Years, the city is dressed in splendid colors and decorations, and great many holiday-themed events, festivities, sales, concerts, opera and a lot of cookie-baking starts, welcoming the visitors from all sides of the planet with the sounds of music and the smell of cookies and mulled red wine. Let’s see what winter cheer you’ll get to enjoy if you visit Berlin during holiday.
Now, these are an absolute must if you’re a holiday fan, and we’ll visit them first. There are about sixty amazing markets we can go to throughout winter, starting already in November. Whichever market we visit, we’ll definitely get some of that genuine Glühwein, or hot mulled red wine, which is sold in souvenir mugs. First let's visit the bigger ones on Gendarmenmarkt, enjoy its splendidness, then move to the large ‘Winter world’ at Potsdamer Platz, both among the favorites of great many locals and visitors.
Whichever we choose to go first, we won’t make a mistake. Following that, we’ll go to one of the most popular, but also one of the oldest Berlin’s Christmas markets – Berliner Weihnachtszeit at the Rotes Rathaus, just a walk away from the famous Alexanderplatz near to the Town Hall, underneath the carousel. It has heated Glühwein cabins and the largest circular ice rink in the city. While we’re having so much fun, let’s go for one more – the beautiful and traditional Rixdorf Christmas Market, which is lit by oil lamps and is held only on the second weekend of Advent.
Now, when we think ‘winter’, we don’t often think ‘botanical garden’. But what beauty awaits us here! Berlin’s Botanical Garden is decorated in the holiday magical splendor and charming lights until early January, which is bound to make for a most unique experience. The snow and light-covered exterior is stuff of pure magic. And when you feel like escaping the winter cold for a while and going inside to observe the fascinating life housed there, you’ll get to enjoy spring and summer in the middle of the winter. It’s as if stepping into a different realm.
New Years’ Eve
We’ve had the most amazing time at the charming sites of Christmas – so joyful, relaxing and serene. Well, now is the time to get energized and move into our ultimate celebratory mode as the city is about to see an abundance of parties, festivities, concerts, operas, shows, plays, fireworks – there is so much to choose from on a single day. And there are firecrackers too, which, granted, not all of us like, as they are often played with by teenagers. One of the super-entertaining events you can attend for free is the city’s very own two-kilometer-long megaparty. You’ll find it everywhere between the Brandenburger Tor at Pariser Platz and the Siegessäule column in the Tiergarten park. No firecrackers allowed here.
Any time we get a chance before or after Christmas, before or after New Year, let’s visit one of Berlin’s famous and extraordinary museums, as winter is probably the best time to enjoy indoor art and history – at our own pace. There are simply so many places we can choose from that it’s guaranteed we’ll all see a great number of things that interest us. For example, we can start by visiting the Jewish Museum Berlin that houses collections of Jewish art and historical artefacts, and then we can go to the Museum Island, home to many of the most important museums, such as the Old Museum, the New Museum, the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum, and the Pergamon Museum.
Just because the holidays are over, doesn’t mean our fun ends there. For starters, how about we see some shows or musicals and visit some phenomenal theaters? There is always a wonderful program and show waiting for us in the world-famous Admiralspalast, the Friedrichstadt-Palast, the Chamaeleon Theatre and the Wintergarten, as well as many musical and operettas in the traditional Theater des Westens. But there are so many other events to enjoy after New Year, in January and February, such as the Six Days of Berlin, Berlin Fashion Week, International Green Week, ISTAF Indoor, and much more.
So you see, Berlin is bound to make you excited during the holiday season. There’s just so much to see and do here in December and January that’ll keep you happy and entertained, proving once again that Berlin is rightfully included in every traveler’s must-visit list.
Topics: World Travel