Berlin is a magical city any time of the year, but come winter the German capitol becomes a holiday paradise. From the world famous Christmas markets and the annual 27,000 person carolling, to the snow draped architecture and the (sometimes) frozen Spree river, Berlin enchants and dazzles in the winter months.
Days are short in the winter but despite that and the frigid temps the city really comes to life at night -- this tree-lit walkway near the city center sparkles under the baroque evening sky.
The Spree river winds through Berlin where it meets the river Havel in the city's western bouroughs. Tour boats will take you through the city and along canals that serve as important transportation networks delivering grain, building materials, and even beer!
The Spree doesn't freeze over every year in Berlin, but when it does locals and tourists are sure to take advantage by skating, playing makeshift hockey matches, and just strolling about the frozen waterway.
The Christmas markets throughout Berlin are incredible, and with over 60 of them spread through the city you'd be lucky to see just a fraction of them in a weeks trip to the city.
All Christmas markets in Berlin are different, offering hand made goods, treats and snacks, ice skating, and amusement park rides and attractions.
Incredible light displays at the Christmas markets turn the city into a glowing holiday wonderland.
Traditional mulled wine and this spiced apple juice with vodka are sure to warm you up after a chilly winter night wandering the city and shopping at the markets.
In December 2003 89 fans of the local soccer team FC Union gathered to sing Christmas carols. The small, impromptu gathering grew year by year to become an annual celebration that now packs an entire stadium with over 27,000 carollers. The event has been selling out for the past few years so you may be stuck listening from outside the stadium walls.