Berlin, October 2012 Christmas markets enchant the tourists with their glittering lights. At Brandenburg Gate, bottles of champagne pop on New Year’s Eve and in front of a huge toboggan run, a magnificent panoramic view of the city can be enjoyed from the peak of Teufelsberg. Berlin is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the cold time of the year. For those who prefer cosy warmth, the German capital offers classic fairy tales for adults and children alike, haute cuisines for lovers of exquisite food, or a trip to the time of Pharaohs.
Christmas markets – from traditional to modern and ecological
With around 60 Christmas markets, visitors to Berlin are spoilt for choice. Some are small and cute with just a couple of festively lit stalls. Others are that large that a single afternoon would simply not suffice to explore everything. Particularly impressive: the Christmas Market at Gendarmenmarkt. The Konzerthaus (Concert Hall) and the French Cathedral are lit up in bright light with a small tent city built in between. Handicrafts of the noblest kind are sold here, including hand carved cribs, mouth-blown glassware or replicas of historical steam engines. You can see the craftspeople busy in their work whilst enjoying a glass of mulled wine.
At the Rotes Rathaus (Red Town Hall), visitors can experience the long tradition of Berlin’s Christmas markets up close, puppeteers, storytellers, children’s carousels – taking back Berliners and tourists to former times. Facades with original images of the old town houses show how everything used to be at one time in Berlin. Just a short walk ahead at Marienkirche, a life-sized Christmas crib awaits the visitors. In medieval bakeries people may peek over the shoulder of the bakers when preparing bread with their hands. You can drink steaming mead in a clay jug at the tavern next door.
Need a change of pace? At Holy.Shit.Shopping on 15 and 16 December 2012 in Postbahnhof (Straße der Pariser Kommune 8), 150 young Berlin designers gather and present their latest fashion, matching jewellery and fancy artistic works. Anyone looking for a special gift will surely find something adequate – astonished faces are guaranteed on Christmas Eve. A DJ provides the right beats.
Wonderful presents and also friendly for the environment: At the “Environment and Christmas Market in Berlin”, at the Große Hamburger Straße / Koppenplatz in Mitte, more than 50 retailers sell colourful Advent stars, home-baked food and organically produced clothes on all weekends in December. In a peaceful atmosphere, adults can enjoy bio mulled wine and children can try out the sweet apple elder punch.
Culture – from the fairytale forest to ancient Egypt
Winter is a fairytale time, especially in Berlin. The Staatsoper Unter den Linden (State Opera) shows “Aschenputtel” (“Cinderella”) by César Cui from 5 November 2012 onwards in the Schiller theatre. Separate afternoon and morning screenings are offered to young children. The Deutsche Oper (German Opera) will present the ballet “Romeo & Juliet” as well as “Der Nussknacker” (“The Nutcracker”), an opera performed by children for children.
Fairytales in a close up: This special experience is provided at Märchenhütte – an old Polish wooden hut located in Monbijou park. Seated on old ale benches, visitors listen to and experience old fairytales in a modern interpretation and enjoy hot mulled wine or soup to go with it. A new screening starts every hour and is therefore a good idea to warm up between sightseeing and shopping.
Magical ambience at the Roncalli Christmas circus: From 19 December 2012 to 6 January 2013, the circus is held in Tempodrom. Romance and poetry are the dominating motifs of the show. In order to win over the hearts of their beloved, the circus and trampoline artists will defy the laws of nature.
Papyrus instead of paper: Those who prefer going to ancient Egypt instead of the fairytale forest will be able to experience a trip into the Amarna period (the time period of the mysterious Pharaohs Akhenaten and Tutankhamun) at the Neues Museum from 7 December 2012 to 13 April 2013. The particular occasion for holding the special exhibition is: 100 years ago, German archaeologists discovered the famous Nefertiti bust from digs in Tell Amarna and brought them to Berlin.
The new revue “SHOW:ME” at Friedrichstadt-Palast (Europe’s Show Palace), a modern and opulent production, celebrated its world premiere on 18th October. Over 500 costumes, designed by the fashion designer Lacroix and others, prominent stage sets and reckless artistry indeed guarantee a notable show evening.
The New Year’s Eve metropolis
New Year’s Eve – with almost one million people celebrating! Those who like to enjoy this night in a large gathering can take part at the largest New Year’s Eve Open Air Party of the world at Brandenburg Gate. The event takes place on an area with a dimension of two kilometres at the “Straße des 17. Juni” and includes a show programme, numerous party marquees and varied culinary offerings. And when the champagne bottles pop at twelve, huge fireworks illuminate the sky over Berlin. The start into the year 2013 is not only celebrated at Brandenburg Gate, rather the whole of Berlin turns into a large party zone. Till the late morning hours, numerous clubs and DJs invite people to dance.
Shopping – a piece of Berlin underneath the Christmas tree
Visitors searching for Christmas gifts should watch out: Berlin has some unbeatable offers in the pre-Christmas period. Anyone strolling between glittering lights and glazing showcases will definitely get into a shopping mood. Especially KaDeWe, Europe’s largest shopping mall, guaranties an unforgettable experience. In the Christmas period, all the floors turn into a nostalgic fair with a hall of mirrors.
Cannot get enough of shopping? Go down to the stores at Kurfürstendamm. Or visit the Galeries Lafayette at Friedrichstraße. Their high class design inspires fashion lovers and fans of France at the same time. The shopping centre Alexa offers the largest range of stores under one roof. Those who look around in the streets will discover some shops with creative gift ideas. A good address to visit is “Sieben Wünsche” (Tucholskystr. 45, 10117 Berlin). Besides top quality stationery, you will find the most unusual items for little kids such as rattles made of cloth – in the shape of the Television Tower, of course. Prospective Picassos will feel delighted about a colouring book of Berlin. Berlin Zoo, the Reichstag and Currywurst (curried sausage) – everything gets a new look. Those who expect to see a hobby architect or builder at home should visit “Berliner Luft” (Kopenhagener Str. 64, 10437 Berlin): Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag or Siegessäule (Victory Column), the different modelling sheets offer a piece of Berlin for your home.
Extra tip: Christmas shopping on 8–9 as well as 22–23 December 2012. All shops in the city will remain open on both Sundays in Advent between 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm.
Winter sports – Sledging with a panoramic view
Ice skating, sledging or hockey: Winter sports at the centre of the large city? No problem in Berlin! As soon as temperature falls below freezing, skating sites will set up all by themselves. At “Engelbecken”, you can enjoy some rounds in a peaceful idyll free of charge. Centrally located in Kreuzberg, the pond provides adequate space for figure skaters and hockey players. Having a rest, anyone can warm themselves by having a hot drink at the Café at Engelbecken. The ice rink Erika-Hess in Wedding provides opportunities for ice skating even in mild weather. Visitors can draw their circles on an outdoor track. Cross country skiers get new strength in the winter air during a circular run of 5 kilometres at the former airport Flughafen Tempelhof.
Teufelsberg, which is one of the highest peaks in Berlin (115 metres), is the right place for all enthusiastic mountaineers. Immediately after the first snowfall, sledges run down the slopes here. Before the downhill run, one can enjoy the panoramic view of the wintry capital city. The Kreuzberg in Victoriapark and the particularly steep “Knochenbahn” in Volkspark Friedrichshain are also some famous places. Those who do not want to buy additional sledges for their toboggan ride can simply rent them at Berliner Fahrradstation (bicycle station) (Online booking is possible).
Culinary – from gingerbread to haute cuisine
In the cold season, sweet delicacies enjoy great demand in Berlin: Chocolates, gingerbread or candied almonds. All of these treats can be found at the 60 Christmas markets. Chocoholics will be in chocolate ecstasy at the Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt. If this is not considered enough, you can find a praline display with 200 types of small delicacies (ideal for gifts) at the Fassbender & Rausch chocolatiers (Charlottenstraße 60, 10117 Berlin). On the floors above it, visitors enjoy savoury dishes in addition to sweet tartlets in the café and restaurant – with high-quality chocolate as well, of course.
Berlin’s Jewish inspired cuisine offers an alternative to sweet temptations. Pastrami, Matzah balls and a complete Sabbat dinner are all served here. Jewish specialities are enjoying great popularity in the German capital. Especially in the former Jewish Girls School and the streets nearby, there are numerous new restaurants and cafés. In “Kosher Classroom” (Auguststraße 11-13, 10117 Berlin), the cooks combine classical Jewish cuisine with fresh Mediterranean and vegan dishes. With Mogg & Melzer (Auguststraße 11-13, 10117 Berlin), a piece of New York’s culinary tradition has come to Berlin. The guests can choose between Jewish specialities and home-made meat delicacies here.
Real haute cuisine is guaranteed by the 13 restaurants decorated with Michelin stars from Guide Michelin. Creative cuisine can be experienced at “Reinstoff” (Schlegelstraße 26, 10115 Berlin), where the chef Daniel Achilles works. Lovers of Asian food will be pleased at Tim Raue. The successful chef received an award from the restaurant guide Gault Millau.
Details regarding winter events as well as further information on “Winter in Berlin” can be obtained at www.visitberlin.de.
Source Article from http://press.visitberlin.de/en/news-release/winter-in-berlin-0
Winter in Berlin
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