More Weihnachtsmärkte! Its a compulsion, but one that will soon come to an end. The markets on Gendarmentmarkt and at Schloss Charlottenburg are the two most beautiful (and most expensive) in Berlin.
The Gendarmenmarkt market costs 1EUR to enter; although, its not always enforced. We went twice, once for free and once for 2EUR. Regardless of the higher prices, this really was my favorite market. The white tents scale down the traditional german christmas kitsch and, as has been said about Gendarmentmarkt many times and will be said many more, the location simply cannot be beat.
Where Gendarmenmarkt is more of an adult’s market, Schloss Charlottenburg has more for kids. To the left of the main market there’s a small children’s area with carnival rides and, although we couldn’t find it, a petting zoo. Where is that petting zoo?! The children’s area is small enough that you can easily see from one end to the other, but try as we might, we couldn’t find animals in need of a pat. S wasn’t too put off by it. Not when she had the palace grounds to run, run, run all over.
The only disappointing thing about the Charlottnburg market (other than the apparently non-existent petting zoo) were the market stalls. This market is known for its covered and glass-walled shopping areas. Unfortunately, what no one tells you until you get there is that these stalls are off limits to strollers. It makes sense, there’s very little room in there with all of the christmas shoppers and goods on display. In fact, it was so full that the shoppers had to shuffle by the displays single-file. I went in by myself, leaving Jon and the baby with something doughy and cinnamon-sugary to keep them busy, but quickly left. It just wasn’t that enjoyable.
So here we are at the end of our first Christmastime in Berlin. I’m glad we went to as many markets as we did – even though I didn’t buy any souvenirs. Somehow I didn’t realize beforehand that all of the crafts und so weise would be Christmas-themed. Ah, well.