An early Berlin Christmas

Hi there! I’m Margaux, from the support team here at Datawrapper. For this Weekly Chart, I’ve decided to take up an (almost) seasonal subject — but no climate change, promise. Read on below!

Berliners, rejoice! For the Christmas market season is upon us, and this year it’s for real. The Berlin Senate has given approval for them to open — providing, of course, that they respect the current COVID-19 regulations, which means “2G” (vaccinated or recovered) for a lot of them, and compulsory masks for the others. A small price to pay for being able to enjoy mulled wine and stroll through the stalls of smoky sausages and tacky baubles.

When I arrived in Berlin four years ago, I was thrilled to discover how much Germans love Christmas markets. Which makes sense, since it turns out they originate from Germany! The first “real” Christmas market was held in Dresden in 1434, and the first one recorded in Berlin was in 1530. Phew, that’s a lot of time to perfect those mulled wine recipes! Now they’ve conquered the world, with versions in the U.K., Spain, Romania, and the United States. So without further ado, here is where you’ll find Glühwein and Bratwurst in Berlin this year:

This year Berlin boasts around 50 markets, compared to around 80 in previous years. The pandemic is understandably slowing things down, but we still have a huge diversity of markets to choose from. There's well-known, traditional options like the one at the Memorial Church near Tiergarten, as well as more recent additions like LGBTIQ* Christmas Avenue in Nollendorf Platz, a queer-friendly market with talks, film screenings, drag shows, and a host of other events during the whole holiday season. And that one opens tomorrow — so this post isn't a minute too soon!

Berlin being Berlin, there are also markets centered around organic products, like the Advent Eco Market at Kollwitzkiez near Datawrapper's office. And last but not least, if you happen to have a four-legged friend, there's the Dog Christmas Market in Grünewald, full of dog treats and miniature Santa hats!

To show all these choices, I decided to use one of our locator maps. They offer a wider range of symbols than symbol maps do, and I like the fact that you can see the roads and natural elements for context. Since embedded locator maps are not zoomable (we explain why here, incidentally with another Christmassy example), I've used a bit of a workaround to show a closer view of the city center. A simple trick using HTML and CSS allows me to add a second map tab; you can try it yourself by following the instructions here.

That's it for me this time! Whichever ones you celebrate, I hope you'll enjoy the holiday season as much as I do! And if you've never tried Glühwein (and are of age), I highly encourage you to do so (in moderation). Hope you enjoyed this edition, and look out for next week's Weekly Chart by our newest team member Rebecca!