If you’ve never been to Germany during the holidays, you’re missing out! The German’s really know how to get you in the Christmas spirit! Almost every square across the country will have markets set up, offering traditional German treats and gifts… and Munich is no exception!
Marienplatz is the biggest and most popular Christmas market in they city. It’s been a staple in Munich since 1972, but the traditional markets date back to the 14th century! With a surface area of over 20,000 square meters, there are more booths selling crafts & delicious treats than you’ll know what to do with.
If you know what’s good for you, don’t even think about walking through this bad boy on a weekend-day. Holy crowds, Santa! Grab a gluhwein or beer at Munchner Weinstaub’n. It’s a a chalet/cuckoo-clock style bar with a wide variety of drinks. It’s just so cozy!
Distance from Altstadt: In the heart of the altstadt!
Entertainment: Live concerts take place every night at 5:30pm from the balcony of the glockenspiel (the neo-gothic New Town Hall).
Insider Tip: I recommend climbing to top of St. Peter’s Church for amazing aerial views of the market, and Munich.
Sternenplatzl at Rindermarkt
One of my favorites! Warmly referred to as the “Square of Stars“, this market is small but cozy with a “locals” vibe. The gem of this market is the wooden Christmas Pyramid. You’ll find stands offering beautiful ornaments, locally sourced gourmet mustards, and other traditional items. Everyone is so friendly here, you’ll really feel welcome.
Distance from Altstadt: 3 minute walk, no need for a train.
Entertainment: I have not seen or heard anything involving live entertainment, but they do play Christmas music throughout the market, making it a lively experience.
Insider Tip: They have the most extensive vegetarian options I’ve found. Try the Veggie Leberkase (ask for it on bread with spicy mustard)!
Chinaturm at Englischer Garten
Alas, my favorite market of the whole bunch! The Chinaturm Market is held at the Chinese Tower in the English Garden (my favorite spot in all of Munich). By far the coziest market, nestled among the snow covered trees of the park. If you come at night, it’s even more magical. As you walk through the dark, you’ll see the warm glowing lights of the Chinese Tower. A tall Christmas tree stands proudly next to the tower, along with the thousands of stringed lights adorning the stands. In the center of the market are two curling rinks. This market is low-key, inviting, and seems to draw a local crowd.
Distance from Altstadt: 30 minute walk and 15 minute train/bus ride.
Entertainment: Live music is performed high above the market from the Chinese Tower.
Insider Tip: Bring a group of friends and compete in a wintery curling match!
Christmas Bonus – Part 2
Did you really think I was done?! If you’ve never been a *little toasty* on a tram that’s covered in tinsel and ornaments, while singing your lungs out to Last Christmas (my personal fav), you haven’t been on the Christkindletram.
For only 2 euros you can experience a warm ride on the Christmas Tram. The ride lasts about 30 minutes and takes you through the heart of Munich’s Altstadt. On board you can purchase lebkuchen and gluhwein (I swear I don’t get any kind of commission from the Gluhwein Gods, I just really love it). St. Nick is along for the ride and hands out small gifts to the children on board. The tram is a really fun way to see the city, stay warm, and feel some major Christmas cheer!
Now that I’ve shared my favorite Christmas Markets in Munich, it’s time for me to grab my coat, pull on my snow-boots, and head back out… that gluhwein isn’t going to drink itself!
For a list of all of Munich’s Christmas Markets, click here.
What’s your favorite Christmas Market around the world?