One of the best parts about visiting Berlin before Christmas is the opportunity to see the Christmas markets! Berlin has many different Christmas markets that you can go to, but some of them are particularly memorable. With beautiful, handcrafted gifts and delicious, traditional food, make the Christmas markets part of your Berlin experience this winter.

Don't Leave Berlin Without Visiting These 5 Christmas Markets

1. Gendarmenmarkt

Right in the center of the city, this traditional market is quite possibly the most elegant. Enjoy mulled wine as you walk down the rows of vendors -- but be aware, it can go to your head more quickly than you might expect! Fortunately, this market has excellent food in several different locations. You can try on beautiful, warm hats and scarves and sample handmade lotions from artisans before leaving the market to walk through the very heart of Germany's capital city.

2. The Lucia Christmas Market in Kulturbrauerei

The lights are strung, the air is crisp, and this outdoor Christmas market in the district of Pankow does not disappoint. The 20 buildings and 6 courtyards that all connect to form the Kulturbrauerei will dazzle visitors with their decorative brick walls and charming atmosphere. The 19th century architecture also adds to the magic of this market. You’ll have so many choices it might be hard to do everything in one night. Santa pays a visit to the market every day from 5pm to 6pm and there is free a kids and family program every Saturday and Sunday between 4pm and 6pm. Don’t forget about the bungee trampoline and merry-go-round open to both children and adults. You’ll also be greeted with traditional Nordic-Scandinavian music and over 60 Christmas market stalls. This is one of the most beloved Christmas markets in Berlin.

3. Spandau’s Christmas Market

From watching jousting to enjoying a dance with a partner to some modern music under the night sky, this market has it all. There’s even a complete indoor shopping center where you can hide out from the biting wind if it gets too cold. You’ll want to be outside as much as possible, though, because Spandau’s Christmas Market has some great shopping stalls itself. Beautifully handcrafted ornaments and artwork are among the items available at the market stalls. A large, decorated Christmas tree stands in the middle of the market and food and drink stands are abundant. So bundle up and head out to this market where you’ll see a little bit of everything.

4. Berliner Weihnachtszeit

Set against the backdrop of old Berlin market streets, this Christmas market has the charm of a centuries old city. Here, you’ll stroll through the market sipping mulled wine or hot mead, and your kids will get a chance to ride ponies and pet the animals. Catch a ride on the 50-meter high Ferris wheel with a gorgeous view of the Brandenburg Gate and the rest of the city below. You won’t want to miss out on ice skating in the market’s ice rink where you can rent skates and hit the ice while taking in the magical scenery around you. This market is great for couples looking for a nice evening out under the stars.

5. Winter Dreams at Alexa - The Big Berlin Christmas Market

Taking a stroll among the beautiful log cabin stalls at this market is just the beginning of the fun. As its name alludes to, this is a big Christmas market in Berlin. In fact, it’s held at the same location as the city’s largest annual fair. It’s also one of the most modern markets, meaning you’ll have access to all the classic fair rides (think bumper cars) and games (like fishing for rubber duckies) but also Christmas themed stalls, foods, and decorations. Enjoy a bratwurst and some mulled wine as you prepare for a night of fun at this market.

6. Christmas Market at Opernpalais

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, this market brings some great local music talent to its stages to entertain visitors. The small streets are filled to the brim with visitors strolling around taking in the Christmas decorations. The market features a live nativity scene, as well as a 100-year-old Ferris wheel and some great traditional German food stalls. Nearly 150 stands open up for this winter wonderland market, and sell everything from candles to knickknacks and hot apple cider to Gluhwein, or the traditional German mulled wine offered during Christmas. Santa always makes an appearance for the children, and this year’s art exhibit will feature artwork by mentally handicapped boys and girls.

This article was written by Julianne Aiello.