Friday, November 30, 2012

Be on Your Guard at Weihnachtsmärkte



If you're in Berlin during the holiday season, you might consider visiting a Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt). There are scores across the city. These traditional street markets are big tourist magnets where you can buy food and drink, and handmade items such as toys and Christmas decorations. Some of the larger markets even have skating rinks, amusement rides, nativity scenes, and the Weihnachtsmann (Santa Claus). One of the highlights of the markets is Glühwein, a hot mulled wine with a shot of brandy. Yum! (It's very strong:12-15%.)


I would avoid the larger markets where prices tend to be higher, the tourist traffic heavier, and the vendors less hospitable. My favorite Weihnachtsmarkt is held on Sundays at Winterfeldtplatz. It's small and cozy, and just the right place to enjoy a warm mug of Glühwein. 


Don't accept anything
from this guy. He is wanted
in connection with last year's
Weihnachtsmärkte poisonings.
As always, be on your guard for thieves and other unsavory characters. Last year, a number of Christmas market visitors became ill after drinking poisoned schnapps. According to authorities, an unidentified man offered visitors a drink to celebrate the birth of his newborn child. They quickly became ill and many required hospital attention. A composite drawing of the man has been posted at this year's markets, just in case he returns.

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