Magical Munich at Christmas

In Christmas, En-Route, Europe, Germany, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Visiting Munich's Christmas Markets

Where the German Traditions come alive

Munich was the 2nd stop on our 2017 Christmas Market road trip after we had enjoyed a couple of days in Strasbourg.

Müchner Christkindlmarkt, Munich, Germany

Müchner Christkindlmarkt

After Munich, we were then heading north to Frankfurt and then on to Cologne.

It was great to be back in Bavaria, on the few occasions we have visited the region before, we had loved it, the people, the history, the food and the beer.

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A highly polished copper still is the centrepiece of a drink stall at the Christmas market in Kaufingerstraße.

The copper still

So how was the Bavarian capital going to differ from our other German Christmas market experiences, there was only one way to find out….go & discover.

To the Christmans Market, Munich, Germany

To the Christmans Market

A reference guide

I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books.  I find them  extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our Germany road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.


Marienplatz

Nestled in the heart of the city with the stunning backdrop of the neo-Gothic Rathaus, is the rambling market of Marienplatz, arranged all amongst the pedestrian streets around.

This lovely traditional Bavarian market dating back to 14th century is full of sparkle, glühwein and bratwurst.

Strolling past the stalls there is a beautiful scent of roasting chestnuts, gingerbread and Christmas spices.

It’s difficult to resist the temptation to indulge.

Looking up at the tower of Munich's Rathaus with markets stalls below as snow falls.

Snowing in front of the Rathaus

A hanger from a stall in Munich's Christmas market lit with a spotlight catch the decorations hanging from it.

Attractive gifts

What we found different in Munich to Cologne, is that the stalls often have one mug per stall rather than per market….you are spoilt for choice.

Our favourite travel reads

A Starry Night

Sternenplatzl at Rindermarkt is the Starry Night Christmas market.

This has an intimate, friendly atmosphere and is lovely and compact, with a range of traditional antique decorations & old-fashioned toys.

A model of Santa climbing a lampost in Rindermarkt, another of the locations of one of Munich's many Christmas markets.

Climbing Santa

A close-up of a wide selection of vintage baubles on a stall in the Rindermarkt Christmas Market of Munich.

Vintage ornaments

The centrepiece is the towering pyramid, that is also home to the bratwurst stall, and a must try for any visitor.

Pedestrians are walking along one of Munich shopping streets at night under fairy light telling you you are entering 'Müchner Christkindlmarkt.'

Müchner Christkindlmarkt

Kripperlmarkt

Just along from the Marienplatz is Kripperlmarkt - Germany’s largest Manger market.

A lit sign welcomes you to the Kripperlmarkt Christmas market, against the backdrop of the historic buildings that line the Neuhauser Straße with the towers of Munich Cathedral visible in the background.

Kripperlmarkt

This little market has 12 unique stalls selling a large selection of nativity scene gifts.

A collection of huts on the edge of one of Munich's Christmas markets as it drizzles and the pavement glistens.

Stalls in Kripperlmarkt

However, with most festive markets in Germany, it is never complete without the obligatory glühwein hut.

Here we found a kirsch glühwein, complete with cherries in the bottom….

I let Gary try this one.

Janis holding a spoon with a glace cherry fished out of Gary's Kirsche glühwein.  The tall semi-opaque glass is resting on a wooden bench, dusted with snow, lit by a candle in a white lantern.

Kirsch Glühwein

Ice rink

Just a short hop from Kripperlmarkt is Munich’s Christmas ice rink.

A group of skaters take to the ice at the Christmas Market at Karlsplatz on a grey day in Munich.

The ice rink

We were there on a Monday, so it was a bit quieter, but the evening before you struggled to even get to the viewing platform.

Groups of people gather in front of the Christmas markets stalls that line the edges of the ice rink in Karlsplatz.

Around the Ice Rink

It’s a fun atmosphere. However, I saved my dignity and left it to the people who could stay upright.

Christmas Village

Taking a stroll north of Marienplatz to Kaiserhof of the Residenz (Munich City Palace) is another charming traditional market. Set within the courtyard of the Kaiserhof, this little village is full of fun for young and old.
Crowds in the Munich Residenz Christmas Market, where the centrepiece is a Christmas pyramid above a drinks stall.  The buildings on the left are illuminated blue, while those in the background are green.

The centre of the village Christmas market

The sparkling wooden pyramid is what first caught our eye, however, the intriguing stalls and the Hansel & Gretel fairy-tale forest is hard to resist.
A collection of food stalls in the Munich Residenz Christmas Market with the one in the foreground labelled as the Kartoffel Hütte.  The backdrop is blue lit buildings with faux facades.

Food in the village Christmas market, Munich, Germany

It was here though that Gary tried Gluhbier (hot beer) & I tried the apple wine (it would have been rude not to)
A mug of glühwein, and a chalice-shaped glass with a glühbier, or hot, spice, beer on a wooden barrel in the Residence Christmas market.

Hot wine and beer

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Don’t forget

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Medieval Times

The Medieval Christmas market in Wittelsbacher Platz was one of our favourites. Every detail was perfectly thought through, the huts, the mugs, the characters the whole theme was great fun.
Groups of people in front of the wooden market stalls of the Medieval Christmas market around the statue of Maximilian I in Wittelsbacherplatz.

The Medieval Christmas Market

People huddle together stalls in the Medieval Christmas market on a drizzling evening with the silhouette of the statue of Maximilian I reflected on the building in the background.

Lining the Medieval Christmas market

A collection of wooden stalls in the Medieval Christmas market selling artisan craft products such as bags and jewellery.

Traditional crafts at the Medieval Christmas market

While wandering around people were dressed up in historical costumes, falconers were strolling around with birds of prey & there was even a guy on stilts accompanied by a fire-breathing dragon (you don’t see that every day).

A costumed performer on stilts alongside a cart holding a wooden, fire breathing, dragon puppet in the Medieval Christmas market.

The Dragon Master

A mobile performance piece of a dragon skeleton puppet breathing flames as the crowds watch on.

Fire-breathing dragon

Of course, we had to sample the feuerzangenbowle in the clay mugs.
A shot of me, Gary, drinking gluhwein from a stone goblet at the medieval Christmas market in Munich.

Drinking from a goblet

Janis wrapped up warmly with her bright red Jack Wolfskin jacket, and strippy scarf,  reaching out to her terracotta goblet containing her gluhwein.

Warm to touch

English Garden

Our next stop was onto the Weihnachtsmarkt am Chinesischer Turm, the Christmas market under the Chinese Tower.

The Christmas tree and Chinese tower at the English gardens Christmas market.

The Chinese Tower at Christmas, Munich

Two horses are pulling a small wooden carriage with tourists in Munich's park market.

Your carriage awaits

This market felt very family orientated, with the Christmas huts being centred around the Chinese Tower. There were horse-drawn carriages to take you on a trot around the park and lanes for playing Ice Stock Curling.

Kids playing Bavarian curling in the Christmas market in the English gardens.

Bavarian Curling

What we also enjoyed here, was that there was plenty of seating around the tower, which was gratefully needed after being on our feet all day.

Another slight difference

When you bought a glühwein, you were given a token with your mug. Instead of returning the mug to the stall you bought it from, you took it to a central station for your refund along with the token.

Local Delicacies

There are great things to eat around the markets especially if you have a sweet tooth. We found Apfelschmarrn, apple pancakes with nuts and a plum sauce, you were even able to eat the bowl that it came in (it tasted like an ice cream cone).

An edible bowl containing apple pancakes with lashings of plum sauce and two wooden forks.

Trying Apfelschmarrn

Two steaming glass mugs of glühwein on a wooden shelf against the edge of a drinks hut on the Christmas Market.

Steaming Glühwein

Although there are glühwein stalls throughout the markets, it is surprising how much they can differ in flavour, some sweeter and some spicier. But all very good, I hasten to add.

Have You

Visited any German Christmas markets, we’d love you to share them with us?

It’s a must

Not that we needed an excuse, but the snow started to head in, and this was a good reason to go and find a Brauhaus (beer hall).

Looking up at the decorated vaulted ceiling of the Munich Hofbrauhaus at the end of the night.

End of the night in the Hofbrauhaus

The most famous and one of the oldest in Munich is the Hofbrauhaus, we were lucky to get a seat near the band and enjoyed an evening amongst other revellers, drinking beer from steins and eating pretzels.

The Oom-pah band in their section of the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, with a pretzel seller her wares to the patrons.

The Oom-pah band in their section of the Hofbrauhaus in Munich

While chatting to a German couple from Koblenz, they gave us some tips on other towns to visit in Germany, which were Aachen, Trier & Cochem.

Where we stayed

Our accommodation for the three nights in Munich was at the Mercure Altstadt. Very central and extremely friendly staff, the buffet breakfast was a must.

Why not?

Start creating your own Christmas Market adventure and discover the culinary delights for yourself, easyJet & British Airways are just a couple of options.

Discover more of Germany on road trip like us, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.

Inspired to visit Munich at Christmas?

Does the the heart of Bavaria tempt you?

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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