Alternative Christmas Markets in Berlin

Holy Shit Shopping by Rolf G Wackenberg
Holy Shit Shopping by Rolf G Wackenberg

Bah humbug! Tired of the repetitive rows of wooden huts selling identical festive junk reproducing like spores across the city? Grogged out but still in desperate need of some extra stocking stuffers? Still looking to indulge in the obligatory over-consumption and over-indulgence of the Christmas season?

This weekend Berlin plays host to a collection of ‘Alternative Christmas Markets’ that might be just what you are looking for. Whilst you’re still waiting for the snow.

Here are our top five picks!

1.Holy Shit Shopping (3rd December & 4th December)

One of those venues that looks significantly different when viewed by light of day, the Kraftwerk on Köpenickerstrasse (pictured above) will be familiar to most Berliners as home to the legendary Tresor techno club. But on the first weekend of December, the industrial chambers of this functioning electrical power station are transformed to host what Berlin does best, beyond techno, young up-and-coming artists and entrepreneurs showcashing their mix of fashion, jewellery, photography and designer products.

Entrance costs 5€
Heizkraftwerk (Mitte)
3rd December, noon-9pm, and 4th December, noon-8pm


2.Japanese Christmas Market (3rd December & 4th December)

From kimonos to kawaii, sumo wrestling to sake, it’s hard to find much that has any relevance to Christmas here. But as far as themed Christmas markets go, this one is timed about right and has all the cookie cutter things you would expect to find at a ‘Japanese’ market, plus it gets extra points for originality. Oh, there are bonsai trees too and that odd stick-and-ball game, Kendama, which genuinely does make a pretty good stocking filler.

Entrance costs 3€
Arena Berlin (Friedrichshain)
3rd December, noon-9pm, and 4th December, noon-9pm


3.Karlshorst Medieval Christmas Fair buy cheap glucophage (3rd December & 4th December)

Like travelling back in time to a world where men wore shiny pieces of metal and held other pieces of metal to hit each other with, and there was blacksmithing and candle making. One for the kids, one for the adults. If you’re willing to hike all the way out to Karlshorst (it is on the way to Schönefeld airport, in case you want to pick up a sword for the flight home). We haven’t seen the ‘ancient-baking’ they advertise, but it sounds both tasty and like it could be some kind of torture method. Caveat emptor.

Entrance free
Johannes-Fest-Platz Karlshorst (Lichtenberg)
3rd December, 1pm-10pm, and 4th December, 1pm-7pm


4.Charles Dickens Christmas Fare (4th December)

If dragging out the Dickensian costumes, Christmas pudding and English carol singing is your thing, then the St George’s Anglican Church in Charlottenburg is worth a look. Show up to the short 3 hour market on Saturday 3rd December and you’ll have chance to hum along to all your favourite Christmas dittys and maybe fight Ebenezer Scrooge for a mince pie or two.

Entrance free
St. George’s Church (Charlottenburg)
4th December 2.30pm-6pm


5.Berlin’s Eco Christmas Market (3rd December & 4th December)

Every advent weekend, one of the oldest streets in Berlin’s Mitte district will play host to the city’s award winning Eco Christmas market – complete with eco-Santa, dressed appropriately in green. Expect organic treats, fair trade cookies and home-made fare from local ingredients, as the stilt walkers, brass band and numerous Environmental organisations taking the opportunity to appeal to your sense of Christmas generosity fighting for space, and your attention.

Entrance free
Sophienstraße (Mitte)
3rd December noon-8pm, 4th December 11am-7pm

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