Berlin: Weekends and Weihnachten

I’ve been noticing a paradox about weekends during Advent here in Germany. On the one hand, the streets, shops and markets become so crowded and difficult to navigate I’m tempted to say it’s better to postpone any serious shopping visits until during the week. However, since most special Christmas events and concerts seem to be scheduled on weekends, it’s not quite that simple. … [Read more...]

Berlin: Looking for Christmas Market Magic

Four days in Berlin have come and gone. I’ve now arrived in Dresden but since I have no access to wi fi all my posts will be late. Because a large part of the reason I went to Berlin was to spend time with my daughter and because I’d been so diligent about visiting all those German Christmas markets last year, I felt I could take it a bit easier this season. My idea was to concentrate on a … [Read more...]

Berlin: Christmas at another Palace

Christmas is almost here so this will probably be my last post of the year. I’ve been back from Germany for a while and am already feeling nostalgic. Before embarking on this recent trip to Berlin, I rashly stated that I’d be trying to visit as many of the city’s 60 Christmas markets as possible but, once on site, I became much more selective. I haven’t reported on all the markets I got to see … [Read more...]

Potsdamer Platz: Traditional Christmas pleasures in the heart of new Berlin

I wasn’t sure what to expect of the Potsdamer Platz Christmas market. I wanted to go with an open mind, but couldn’t rid myself of a suspicion I’d formed previously that Potsdamer Platz is geared more to out-of-town visitors than to “real” Berliners. Once upon a time this was certainly not the case, so here’s a bit of history: Back in the days of the freewheeling Weimar Republic, Potsdamer … [Read more...]

Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt: A Swedish Christmas in Berlin

It’s been a snowy winter in Berlin so far this December. Since sidewalks are only minimally shoveled and no salt, only a bit of gravel, is sprinkled on the snow (maybe), getting around can be somewhat challenging. On the plus side, it’s made the whole Christmas market experience that much more magical. The Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt, inspired by the Swedish celebration of St. Lucia, bringer of … [Read more...]

Christmas in Berlin: the New and the Old

This is the morning of my fifth day in Berlin and I’ve already been to five Christmas markets—all but one winners. I arrived in the snowy city after dark, by train from Hamburg, into the Hauptbahnhof, or central railway station. The station, which is only four years old, is Europe’s largest and a real architectural wow. When I was here in 2006 I made a special trip to see it and was also … [Read more...]

Berlin: Home away from home

As I opened the door to my little apartment on the way to breakfast this morning, I found a small gift bag of cookies on the doorstep. It was a very pleasant surprise, but completely in keeping with my overall experience at the hotel where I'm staying, the very charming Ackselhaus , my temporary Berlin home away from home. I know I  just wrote about my Christmassy hotel welcome in … [Read more...]

Back to Berlin–Are there really 60 Christmas markets?

Since I have an assignment to write a non-Christmas story about Hamburg  someone else is arranging my accommodations. But from Hamburg, I’m off to Berlin, which is only a couple of hours by train. I doubt I’ll be able to see all 60 Christmas markets—if there really are that many—but I’ll do as many as are practical in the given timeframe. I’ve mentioned that my daughter lives in … [Read more...]

Berlin: So many Christmas markets . . .

Since visiting Berlin on that anniversary trip I’ve learned that the city has approximately 60 Christmas markets. I plan soon to write about some of the cooler sounding ones that I haven’t been to myself (yet!). I did have another favorite Christmas market after WeihnachtsZauber and it couldn’t have been more different: the Environmental Christmas Market in Sophienstrasse, an attractive, narrow … [Read more...]

Berlin: A capital Christmas in Germany’s capital city

December 5 is my wedding anniversary and as number 25 approached I thought it would be the perfect occasion to introduce my husband to the many delights of Germany at Christmas I’d been going on about for the past four years. I love traveling for special occasions. For one thing, it provides a valid excuse to splurge, so in Berlin, which was our first stop, I booked us into the Hotel Adlon, … [Read more...]