As our last day of a jam packed trip to Berlin, there were still a few sights we wanted to fit into our city break. Having attempted to see the Brandenburg Gate on our first day of exploring Berlin, we decided to head back. This time, we knew there wouldn’t be any green protests and we could get a better look. Afterwards, we wanted to head on to Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market, one of the most iconic in Berlin. The perfect way to wrap up our festive trip in the country that’s the home of the Christmas market.
Brandenburg Gate at Christmas
We rose pretty late after a lazy morning in the hotel following our night out in Mitte after seeing the East Side Gallery. Fast approaching the shortest day of the year, the sun was already beginning to set not long after lunchtime. It left the sky in the most glorious flurry of colours, right over the famous Berlin TV Tower.
We walked on, back towards the Brandenburg Gate where we hoped to get a much better view than our first visit. We were lucky and due to some light drizzle, it was near enough empty. It also looked fabulously festive with the Christmas tree next to it.
We were really hoping to get tickets to go and explore the Reichstag Building. It’s where the German parliament lives, and it’s suffered Berlin’s turbulent history. That said, it’s a beautiful building which you can go in and explore. Inside, you can join a guided tour, listen to an assembly session, and even climb the iconic dome. Unfortunately for us, you have to book in advance. Don’t make the same mistake we did, and book your tickets in advance by filling out the form on the Bundestag website.
Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market
After a wonderfully festive look around the Reichstag Building, we headed on to something we’d been looking forward to the whole trip – Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market. There’s a small admission fee to enter, but it’s worth every cent!
Gendarmenmarkt is known as being one of the most beautiful squares in Berlin. It has an important history as a place where soldiers once marched. Surrounding the square, there’s a concert hall and two churches. Most significantly, in the winter the square becomes a winter wonderland with one of the most impressive Christmas markets you’ve seen.
As well as incredibly impressive decorations and Christmas trees, there’s a vibrant atmosphere. At Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market, you’ll discover stunning handmade goods, a delicious array of food, and entertainment.
In terms of food and drink, there’s something for everyone. Splash out on a tasty glass or two of champagne from the Veuve Clicquot stand, or keep it traditional with a mug of glühwein.
We explored all of the market, soaking in the atmosphere, entertainment, and the festive tunes. Working up an appetite from all the delicious aromas from the food stalls, we set off in search of some dinner.
We discovered a wonderful pop-up restaurant at Gendarmenmarkt called T-House, offering a Christmas grill and cheese fondue. It was fully decked out in Swiss chalet style decor, and felt so festive. We shared a cheese fondue with potatoes, bread, and pickles, and it was a delicious treat.
Afterwards, we meandered between the amazing craft tents, from paintings to tailors, to wood carvings. There was entertainment galore in between our explorations.
The food offerings at the Christmas market are so impressive. You’ll find everything from Christmas treats, to bratwursts, to gingerbread. It’s hard to pick just one thing.
We made a pitstop for traditional crepes and Nutella after our fondue – when in Rome, after all.
After a wonderful time at Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market, it was time for us to head back to the hotel. We had a wonderful time in Germany, and I’ll be back! We finished it off with an early morning flight back to London, with a sunrise across the city.
That’s my guide to visiting Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market. Have you visited? Where are your favourite Christmas markets?
I have not been to Berlin’s Christmas market, but regardless your recap of it brought back warm, fuzzy memories of my Christmas market trips in Europe. Some of my favorites were Frankfurt’s and and Strasbourg’s. I wrote a list of my favorites a while back, which you can feel free to check out! https://rebeccagoesrendezvous.wordpress.com/2019/12/14/my-favorite-christmas-markets-in-europe/
Aww that’s so lovely to hear, Rebecca – it definitely makes it feel like a magical time of year! Thanks for your recommendations, I will take a look. I feel like this year will be very different at Christmas but I’d love to get some inspiration 🙂