If you’ve got a thing for fairy lights and gingerbread then get yourself to the Bavarian capital for some festive fun and a whole host of traditional food, drinks, gifts and celebrations. The most wonderful time of the year is especially festive in Munich, with the famous Christmas Markets filling the streets, and hot and delicious glühwein keeping the Münchners warm. When the lights are switched on at the end of November (in front of the town hall in Munich’s central square), this announces the opening of the traditional Christmas Markets and the official beginning of the festive season! Get yourself to Marienplatz to see the festive fun, and enjoy Munich’s most sparkly moment.
Germany is well known for its traditional Christmas markets, and Munich can boast one of the largest, oldest, and most impressive in the country. Up to three million visitors enjoy visiting each year, and with several markets combining to create this event, with both traditional and modern markets around the city, this is an experience not to miss in Munich!
The Variety of Christmas Markets in Munich
Along with the traditional Christkindlmarkt in the main square and the old town markets in the pedestrianised area, there are also more modern markets around town such as Pink Xmas (a lively LTGBQ organised market), the Schwabing Christmas Market in the north of the city in the student area (plenty of nightlife nearby), and the Munich Residenz a recreated farming village in the former Bavarian seat of government; the Emperor’s Court of the Munich Residenz.
For a traditional experience then get your fill of glühwein at Munich’s Christkindlmarkt market and stock up on sweet treats while you enjoy shopping al fresco. The famous market dates back to the 14th c and is the best place to be for hand-made gifts, traditional food and drink (including gingerbread, cinnamon stars and mulled wine), and carol singing with local Bavarian musicians. This is in Marienplatz (the main square) and spills into the surrounding pedestrian streets and runs until 24th December (10am-9pm and Sundays until 8pm). This is the one to see the Christmas tree and music performances from the balconies.
Nearby there is the Rindermarkt with the ´square of stars´ where you can enjoy plenty of food and sweets surrounded by the illuminations and the Christmas Crib Market. These are very picturesque and, if you’re lucky enough to visit in the snow, have a very Christmassy atmosphere!
The Sendlinger Tor market is a version is of the 1886 market that took place in this location. This market is small but pretty and in the shadow of the Sendlinger Gate, selling Christmas decorations and cribs, candles, jewellery, wooden toys, glassware and scented oils. Open from the end of November until just before Christmas.
There’s also a market next to the famous Chinese Tower in the English Garden, so you can enjoy a wander in the park and visit the market too, until 23rd December 12-8.30pm. Find out about it here
Tollwood also hosts an alternative Christmas market as the Winter Festival takes place until 23rd December. The organisers of this and the summer festival aim to promote cultural and ecological activities and an international philosophy of tolerance, so the market stalls and performances taking place aim to reflect this with 70% of the events being free of charge. Check out the programme here.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to Munich’s Christmas Markets. Get into the festive spirit and enjoy visiting Bavaria with the special traditional markets in Munich. It’s a truly magical time of year!
Book your bed at Euro Youth Hotel if you’re visiting Munich, for the best experience and a great central location.