Posts from the ‘Christmas’ category

My Berlin: In Neukölln for Two Christmas Markets

The simple truth is out there: Berlin is massive. Though local transport options provide easy access to all one might hope to see, eat, drink, or do in the German capital city, fact is, my to-do lists have never shrunk, and it’s all I can do to keep up. The task seems almost impossible in a short stay, but that’s never stopped me from trying.

Why I haven’t spent more time in the borough of Neukölln is a minor mystery. Perhaps, it’s my long-honed instincts to avoid the new wave, to focus once more on the old wave. Perhaps, it’s my stubborn contrary nature. But thanks to friends’ recommendations, I’m inside two Christmas markets in Neukölln on two consecutive weekend evenings.

Alt-Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt

Every year on the 2nd Advent weekend Neukölln’s Richardplatz hosts the Alt-Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt. 2014 marks the 42nd year for this Christmas market, taking place only during the 6-7 December weekend. Over 100 community associations and organizations set up booths to present handmade wares and goods.

Alt-Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt, Richardplatz, Neukoelln, Berlin, Germany,

Alt-Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt, Richardplatz, Neukoelln, Berlin, Germany,

It seems the entire borough has showed up at the market tonight; it’s shoulder-to-elbow traffic on this first night. A look around also reveals something a little different: simple signage, tarpaulin tents for stalls, and small groups of people clustered around individual stalls. There’s knowledge and familiarity with this community.

Info: Alt-Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt
Transport: S-Bahn Neukölln, S-Bahn Sonnenallee, or U-Bahn Karl-Marx-Strasse.

Alt-Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt, Richardplatz, Neukoelln, Berlin, Germany,

Alt-Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt, Richardplatz, Neukoelln, Berlin, Germany,

Kulturdachgartens Klunkerkranich

Hidden in plain sight on the Dachterrasse (rooftop terrace) of Neukölln Arcaden is a market. We’re up the elevator to the 5th floor, and out the doors as if I’m heading to our parked car. We turn the corner, up the ramp, and the soft lights beckon us further. What’s begun as a community garden on the top of a parking garage, residents continue to find diverse uses for this space up top: music venue, bar, small shop stalls.

Klunker Kranich Weihnachtsmarkt, Neukoelln Arcaden, Berlin, Germany,

Klunker Kranich Weihnachtsmarkt, Neukoelln Arcaden, Berlin, Germany,

There’s a Christmas market here every weekend in December. It’s a cold Sunday evening, and we’ve sat on the long benches, our hands a tight hold on our mugs of hot Glühwein. We don’t mind the breeze, complete with an open view of Berlin. It’s definite “chill” here with small groups of people in their own conversations, as we catch up in ours. Despite the packed smoky bar inside, I like what we’ve got outside. It might be cold, but it’s quiet and almost private. It’s like having all of Berlin laid at our feet.

Info: Klunkerkranich
Transport: U-Bahn Rathaus Neukölln

Klunker Kranich Weihnachtsmarkt, Neukoelln Arcaden, Berlin, Germany,

Klunker Kranich Weihnachtsmarkt, Neukoelln Arcaden, Berlin, Germany,

I made the photos above on 6 and 7 December 2014. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at Access to public transport was kindly provided by Berlin Tourism and the BVG transport authority.

Am Theaterplatz, Essen, Germany

My Germany: Christmas Markets Around the Country

An annual trip to Germany generally involves a wander out and about and across the country, and little surprise to me or to my friends, the visit(s) generally coincide with the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) season.

Have you visited the Christmas markets in Germany? You’ll know if you have, because …

… there’s gotta be a big Christmas tree somewhere;
… there’s a murmur in the crowds, from the quiet escalating to the jolly;
… the klang of porcelain mugs;
… the smell of sweet liquor, grilled sausage, and fried potato pancakes.

By day or at night, people are subjected to the simple whims of the sights, smells, and sounds of the markets.


The large pedestrian square at Alexanderplatz is obvious prime space to put down some stakes for a large Christmas market among many in the German capital city. The foot traffic is a lot busier than usual, and I feel some sympathy for the tram drivers …

Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany,

“Crossing the tracks”: Alexanderplatz, Berlin

Frankfurt am Main

The 30-metre (100-foot) high Christmas tree provides a great counterpoint to the restored historical buildings at Römer and the smooth vertical lines of the Commerzbank Tower in the background, here at the Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt.

Weihnachtsbaum, Weihnachtsmarkt, Römerberg, Frankfurt am Main, Germany,

Weihnachtsbaum am Römerberg, Frankfurt am Main


Hamburger Weihnachtsmarkt, Rathausmarkt, Hamburg, Germany,

Hamburger Weihnachtsmarkt, Rathausmarkt


Seen more prominently now at Christmas markets, the Christmas pyramid is a bright landmark with historical and religious connections, calling people closer to the market. The visual call is very effective here at Marktplatz (Market Square) in Heidelberg.

Christmas market and pyramid, Heidelberg, Germany,

Weihnachtspyramide am Marktplatz, Heidelberg

Köln (Cologne)

“Zum Hirsch” (At the Deers) is one of many market stalls, whose deers on the roof seem to surround the Rathaus (City Hall) at Weihnachtsmarkt Alter Markt, one of the largest markets in central Cologne.

Zum Hirsch, Weihnachtsmarkt Alter Markt, Koeln, Germany,

“Zum Hirsch”, Köln Alter Markt


Only one week into the season, residents and visitors are out in full force in early December at the centrally located Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt at Marktplatz (Market Square). There’s no holding back: whether it’s food, drink, or the purchase of Christmas gifts and decorations.

Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt, Markt, Leipzig, Germany,

Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt, am Markt

München (Munich)

A few minutes from central Marienplatz in München is the Kripperlmarkt am Rindermarkt (German), or Crib or Manger Market (English). It’s far enough things are quieter here, but you’ll see, smell, and taste the same things. And you might even see a baby in swaddling clothes …

Kripperlmarkt am Rindermarkt, Muenchen,

Kripperlmarkt am Rindermarkt, München


Once the road for medieval royal processions to the Kaiserdom, Maximilianstrasse is now home to shops and cafés, as well as the Speyer Weihnachtsmarkt. Marvel first at the 11th-century Romanesque architecture of the imperial cathedral, followed by a contemplative sip of the mulled wine at the market outside …

Speyer Weihnachtsmarkt,

Markt am Maximilianstrasse, Speyer

How, when, and where will you make your German Christmas memories?

I made the featured image at the top in E on 28 December 2010, the shot in HH on 21 December 2010, and the shot in M on 1 December 2010. I made the photos in B, F, HD, K, L, SP between 24 November and 9 December 2014. I travel across the country on Deutsche Bahn trains with a German Rail Pass. Access to public transport within Heidelberg, Leipzig, and Berlin were kindly provided by the cities’ respective tourism organizations and local transport authorities. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at as

My Heidelberg: Café Gundel’s special Christmas “Backwaren”

Fotoeins Friday: Berliner WeihnachtsZauber and Christmas Magic

Fotoeins Friday: Christmas lights at the City-Weihnachtsmarkt


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