Most of our team at TOCA agrees that Berlin is an absolute favorite destination, especially during the winter season. We know that many are daunted when thinking of going to a northern European city in December, where skies are mostly grey and temperatures drop down into the single digits, but we’re here to tell you that you will see a completely different side in Berlin when the Christmas holidays come around!
Old-fashioned Charm and Youthful Ebulliance
December is a time when the German spirit is brimming with an old-fashioned charm along with a youthful ebulliance that is so signature to this city. Putting aside the great music and art scene, and an international supply of restaurants that seems to expand every month, the winter holidays are a time to bundle up and take to the streets.
Enjoying the Holidays Berliner Style
With over 80 Christmas markets offering everything from handmade artifacts to antiques, locally designed clothing, artwork, jewelry, and so much more, there is very little of the frenetic shopping we’re so used to seeing around this time in the States. Watch children play on bungee-rigged playgrounds as they fly from ground to air, sit at an outdoor cafe wrapped in a blanket as you sink your teeth into a mouthwatering bratwurst with its blistering coal-roasted skin topped with mustard, wander around the wooden booths that seem to be designed for another century, and imbibe the ubiquitous gluwein that warms you down to your toes… this is the way Berliners and the rest of Germany enjoys the holidays, and we are all for it!
Potsdamer Platz’s Winter Wonderland
We love the winter wonderland at Potsdamer Platz, right in the heart of Berlin, where you can skate around the ice rink, go on a toboggan run, visit any one of the wooden huts to sample holiday fare, and all the while take in the stunning view of the Brandenburg Gate. Nearby there is a great Christmas market, where stalls are stocked with leather, textiles, pottery, wood carvings, and other handcrafted goods.
Listening to the Masters
Music is a staple in Berlin, and no matter if you are into the club or classical concert scene, everyone goes to listen to the masters in the magnificent churches and castles around Berlin. There is nothing quite like listening to Bach or Handel in the Kopenick Palace, or in the hauntingly beautiful Hall of Mirrors at Clarchens Balhaus, which is precious any time of the year. After 60 years of abandonment, you feel the history here. Ravaged from the war, the hall has kept its peeling wallpaper and bruised stucco. With the candles lit, flowers anointing each table, and good wine available from the bar, there is a sense of decadent splendor and profound magic as you absorb the remnants of the hall’s history, letting the music take over. The atmosphere and acoustics are ideal for a romantic night of chamber music, which is why locals and visitors in-the-know hold the hall in so much regard.
Celebrating the City
We love Berlin for its history, its vibrant present, and the sense of its pulsating future. With so many events taking place here, we at TOCA celebrate the city and invite you to do the same.