During the Cold War period, the city of Berlin was not exactly a popular tourist destination. Due to safety and security concerns, the goal of many Berliners at this time was to actually escape from Communist rule to the free side of the city. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall and that of Communism, things evolved in such a manner that the city is now a top tourist destination, especially where winter holidays are concerned. Winter tourism in Berlin is all about the attractions, events and the Christmas markets. For the budget traveller there are plenty of cheap hotels in Germany so finding cheap hotels in Berlin to suit your pocket is no problem.
Must-See Seasonal Attractions
Berlin is a city that is now divided into five distinct districts – City West, East, East Central, North and South. All of them offer certain seasonal attractions that are well worth checking out. However, the following rank high on our list:
Museumsinsel (Museum Island) – there is a cluster of five museums situated together in this area, all of which feature exhibits that depict different periods in German world history.
Private art galleries – Berlin has always been known as a city of art and there are three private galleries that depict the history of the city and Germany, from the old to the new.
The churches – from the Berliner Dom (the largest church in Berlin) to the 13th century Nikolaikirche, there are seven churches that are well-worth a visit as they are beautifully decorated during the Christmas season.
Landmarks – the two landmarks that first come to mind (as they both have observation decks) are the Bundestag, home of the German Parliament, and the Europa Center, which is a shopping mall that has an observation deck 20 floors above the street.
Christmas Events in Berlin
The Oktoberfest in Munich, Bavaria indicates that the Christmas season is fast approaching. Many German citizens treat this as a multi-month block of festive and other holiday events. Three events/holiday celebrations that transpire during the festive season in Berlin include:
Architecture Exhibition – held in the Old Building of the Jewish Museum
Christmas Holidays – held on the 25th and 26th (both public holidays)
Silvester in Berlin – New Year’s celebrations that are conducted throughout the city
For more events that are conducted during the month of December you can visit Berlin’s tourism websites listed online.
Christmas Markets of Berlin
Far and away, the allure of the holiday season for international travellers to Berlin is the abundance of Christmas markets that are operating during the month of December. Anyone wanting to experience true winter magic needs to take a break in Berlin and experience the following markets:
Charlottenburg Castle – this is only the second time that a Christmas market has been held in front of this venue.
WeihnachtsZauber on Gendarmenmarkt – held at one of the most beautiful city squares in Europe.
Potsdamer Platz at the Sony Centre – a Christmas market that is held in the 4,000 square metre event area of the Sony Centre.