Munich’s Christmas Markets are among the most famous in Germany. They start towards the end of November and continue until a couple of days before Christmas. If you plan on visiting make sure to plan well ahead, as finding accommodation might be difficult due to the huge flow of tourists that visit. I would suggest an accommodation that is close to the main train station and Karlsplatz, that is the entrance to the historical centre and the pedestrian area. In Munich there are several Christmas markets but below are the main ones:
Christkindlmarkt in Marienplatz
This is the largest Christmas market in the city and it is located in the main square of Munich in front of the city hall. There are hundreds stalls and you need at least 2/3 hours to see all of them (more if you stop to buy). Clearly this is the place to go if you are limited with time and visiting Munich only for a day.
Medieval Christmas Market at Wittelsbacherplatz
I particularly loved this market as it was different from all the others. Let’s face it, seeing similar things from stall to stall can become boring and repetitive. This Christmas market was a breath of fresh air as the theme is completely different. There are shows with medieval warriors, stalls are all made of wood and the sellers wear costumes! The items for sale that you find here are particularly different and you can even drink mulled wine from a ceramic chalice.
Kripperlmarkt at Neuhauser Strasse
This is the place to go if you are looking for cribs, nativity scenes, figurines and everything that has to do with the religious aspect of Christmas. The detail of the statues sold here is impressive and so are the prices. Obviously you do not expect to purchase these works of art at cheap prices. It is less crowded than the other Christmas markets (maybe because there is no food here hehe!), and you can buy in all tranquility.
Other Christmas Markets
These are not the only Christmas markets in Munich. There are lots of other smaller Christmas markets which can be included in your itinerary such as:
- Residenz Christmas Village
- Chinese Tower Christmas Market (inside the English Gardens)
- Sendlinger Tor
- Munich Airport Christmas Market (if you’re early at the airport you may want to spend a couple of hours here)
Foods to try at a German Christmas Market
One of the highlights of the German Christmas markets is without any doubt the food. The best part of it is the fact that you can sample different foods and drinks as usually portions are not very large. Be sure to have a dictionary handy, since you will only see descriptions of your food in German and asking in English won’t get you far.
*Tip* most of the stalls will charge you a deposit for the cups/plates/cutlery. You will get your deposit back when you return them to the stalls. Thumbs up for this idea as less waste is produced 🙂
Anyway here are some foods and drinks you shouldn’t miss when visiting a German Christmas market:
- Glühwein – the classic mulled wine is the best solution to beat the cold
- Wurst – sausages come in different tastes from the classic bratwurst to currywurst etc.
- Lebkuchen – another classic sweet similar to gingerbread that will delight your taste buds
- Apfelstrudel – this is my favourite sweet at the markets; especially when it is dipped in warm vanilla cream
- Flammbrot – this is like a mini pizza topped with several ingredients like ham, cheese, onions etc.
- Cocospralinen – are the delicious sweets filled with coconut you can see in the larger photo above
Other Things to do in Munich
Chances are that you came to Munich to visit the city as well, especially if this is your first visit. Here are some of the highlights of the city, apart from the Christmas Markets:
- Hofbrauhaus – the most popular beer house in the city. Being the most popular also implies that it is difficult to find a table and be served, so if you hate crowds you must stay away.
- BMW Welt – an interesting place for car lovers and non. The modern architecture creates the perfect scenario for the luxurious cars exhibited in this building.
- Residenz – this museum is the most beautiful in the city in my opinion. Moreover it also hosts a Christmas market in its courtyard.
- Frauenkirche & Peterskirche – try to pluck up the courage and climb up the stairs of Peterskirche and you will get a nice aerial view of Marienplatz.