Visiting Munich's Christmas Markets
Where the German Traditions come alive
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.
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
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.
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.
Snowing in front of the Rathaus
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.
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.
The centrepiece is the towering pyramid, that is also home to the bratwurst stall, and a must try for any visitor.
Just along from the Marienplatz is Kripperlmarkt - Germany’s largest Manger market.
This little market has 12 unique stalls selling a large selection of nativity scene gifts.
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.
Just a short hop from Kripperlmarkt is Munich’s Christmas ice rink.
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.
Around the Ice Rink
The centre of the village Christmas market
Food in the village Christmas market, Munich, Germany
Hot wine and beer
Something to make your travels easier?
The Medieval Christmas Market
Lining the Medieval Christmas market
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).
The Dragon Master
Drinking from a goblet
Warm to touch
Our next stop was onto the Weihnachtsmarkt am Chinesischer Turm, the Christmas market under the Chinese Tower.
The Chinese Tower at Christmas, Munich
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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
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
Inspired to visit Munich at Christmas?
Does the the heart of Bavaria tempt you?
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Something for the Traveller