Christmas markets in Berlin (Gourmet Chick in Germany)

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The Germans know how to do Christmas. Perhaps because the temperature is colder and the nights are darker, German cities really epitomise Christmas at this time of year. Snow carpets the ground, bright lights hang in the streets and in every city and town there are Christmas markets selling roasted almonds, sizzling wurst and mugs of steaming hot gluhwein. When I discovered my friend Clare was going to be in Berlin last weekend just in time for the Christmas markets I could not resist joining her despite my misgivings about the temperature which turned out to be minus nine degrees celsius – freezing!

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Gluhwein
 
There are over 60 Christmas markets in Berlin itself and there literally seems to be a different market on every street corner however we had heard the Gendarmenmarket was the cream of the crop. The market is held in the picturesque Gendermen square nestled between Berlin’s French and German cathedrals, the Franzosicher Dom and the Deutscher Dom. Entry is €1 in comparison to most Christmas markets which are free to enter but your contribution pays for perfectly presented stalls and an outdoor stage complete with carollers and dancers.
 
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The Christmas market
 
The smell of roasting nuts filled the air and paper cones filled with candied almonds (€3) proved to be the perfect snack for strolling around the market.
 
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Gingerbread decorations
 
For something more substantial the raclette stall beckoned and for €6.50 you could get a tray of hot baby potatoes slightly crushed and coated in lashings of butter, melted cheese and pieces of bacon.
 
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Raclette
 
There were great presents to take home in the form of backs of boiled sweets and gingerbread decorations. When the cold conditions got too much, comfort was to be found in a mug of gluhwein complete with spices and a slice of orange the steaming hot wine really did warm us up from the inside leaving us with a warm glow.
 
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Christmas market fashion. The funniest thing about this was the fox had fake googly eyes sewn on. Brilliant.
 
Gourmet Travel Tips
  • We flew with Easyjet from London and our tickets were about £250 return. You can get much cheaper flights if you are more organised than we were and book more in advance.
  • We stayed at Lux 11 hotel, a brilliant boutique hotel right in the heart of Mitte. Rooms from €150 a night. Complimentary canned gherkins (yes really), wine and hot dogs included.
  • It was so cold that our sight seeing in Berlin was a bit limited on this trip but last time I enjoyed the Fat Tyres bike tour, Jewish museum, the Reichstag and the East Side Gallery along the Berlin wall.
Links
If you liked reading this you might be interested in posts on my last trip to Berlin where I ate giant schnitzels and feasted on curry-wurst.

13 comments

  1. I bloody love gherkins. A hotel that includes free gherkins has to be top of the hot list, right?

  2. PS love googly-eyed fox!

  3. I plan to go to Berlin next year for the Xmas markets but negative degrees weather?? BBBrrrr!!!
    and you have gotta love the fashion there….cute fox!

  4. The cold weather makes you appreciate gluhwein even more. And if that wasn’t enough, the potatoes with triple dose of fat – butter, cheese and bacon, would make it almost summer.

  5. Free hotdogs! Now that’s awesome.

  6. I love Xmas markets but always have the same problem as you – awesome theory but then I get frozen out. I think next time I stock up on some serious artic gear!

    That fox rocks as well.

  7. I read something funny the other day that there are more German Christmas markets in England than in Germany these days.

  8. Jealous. We went to Berlin and Dresden last year, but flights to Nuremburg / Regensburg for this years trip were cancelled due to snow

    Frohe Weihnachten !

  9. That fox scarf is scary. Complimentary canned gherkins and hot dogs – love it!

  10. You had me at the buttered, bacon’d potatoes. So German. So yum. Have you visited the Christmas markets in Munich or Nuremberg? From your post, it sounds like Berlin has more of them, surprisingly. Great hotel tip, by the way. I’ll be sure to stay there if I ever make it to Berlin (aka the gaping hole in my European travel experience).

  11. Great post GC! Had such a fun weekend with you and the gang. Let’s go back next year 🙂

  12. Kavey – It was a great hotel!

    Kay – maybe you should get your own to model at the markets…

    Easilygoodeats – that style of food and drink is perfect for the weather

    Krista – yes pretty funny hotel!

    TomEats – I was fine except for my feet which were frozen – next time snow boots (or a fox!)

    Alice – really? That is a little scary. Only a pale imitation though as far as I am concerned.

    Glenn – we nearly didn’t get there because of the snow as well.

    Greedy Diva – yes I liked the sense of humour at the hotel

    An American in London – No I haven’t been to the markets at Munich or Nuremberg (although have been to Munich in summer) I have been to the ones in Cologne which were excellent but on balance I probably preferred Berlin just because it is such a cool city as well

    Humey – It was fun! Loved being there with you girls.

  13. […] to do: Christmas markets in Berlin. Where to sleep: Lux 11.   Greece, […]

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