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Last updated on December 10th, 2023 at 09:12 pm

Are you curious as to what is the best European city for Christmas markets? Munich, of course! After living in Munich for seven years, I might be a bit biased, but as someone who has personally spent many an Advent season in drinking myself into a Glühwein stooper lost in a maze of all Munich’s best Christmas Markets I can confidently say Munich has some of the best Christmas markets in Europe! All of Munich’s 16 Christmas markets are incredible, and the entire city turns into a magical snow globe. Where one market ends, another one starts, as they are spread across the city from the airport to my cozy former neighborhood. If you’re doing a European Christmas Market tour, make sure Munich is on your list. With so many markets, you’ll find heaps of traditional markets in the old town square and alternative markets, such as a sustainable and queer market. This is one one-stop guide to spending the Christmas Season in Munich, with local insider tips, newly updated for the 2023 season!

Explore 16 Magical Christmas Markets in Munich with this ultimate Munich Christmas market guide

This isn’t your basic Munich Christmas market overview; as a local, I worked hard to create an entire guide to Christmas in Munich, including where to stay, what to eat and drink, winter events in the city, transportation between markets, what to buy, and even some German phrases to learn so you can wish people a Merry Christmas! So, put on your Christmas best, and let’s look at what makes Munich’s Christmas markets so magical.

QUICK LOOK

  • Munich is one of the best destinations to spend the Christmas season in Europe.
  • More than 16 markets provide a variety of experiences from traditional to alternative.
  • Get the details on all 16 markets so you can plan the best winter holiday.
  • Plus get local tips on what to eat, drink, where to stay, and German phrases to learn!

Munich Christmas Market Important Info 2023

2023 Dates for Munich Christmas Markets

We have dates for the 2023 Christmas Markets in Munich!! The dates for Munich’s city-sponsored Christmas markets at Marienplatz and Rindermarkt are November 27, 2023 – December 24, 2023.

Munich Christmas Market at Marienplatz

  • Most markets close up shop on Christmas Eve, December 24th.
  • All are closed on Christmas Day.
  • Some markets open as early as November 23rd and last until Dec 31st
  • November 26 is a public holiday, and all markets are closed that day.

To ensure you can see as many markets as possible and optimize your experience, plan your Munich winter holiday from the first week of December to just before Christmas Eve. I have included the individual dates for each market in the section below.

Munich Christmas Market Square of Stars Christmas pyramid

What are the 2023 Opening Hours of the Christmas Markets in Munich?

Each market operates on its schedule, meaning these hours can fluctuate. However, a good rule of thumb is to plan based on the city-operated market at Marineplatz, which has announced its opening hours as follows:

  • Monday – Saturday: 10 am-9 pm
  • Sunday: 11 am – 8 pm
  • Christmas Eve closed at 2 pm
  • Closed Christmas day

This will be a good guide for most of the markets around the city.

Where are Munich’s Christmas Markets Located? 

All over the city! You will be accosted by your first Christmas market before you even leave the airport because there is literally a Christmas market in the middle of the airport. They extend all the way to the outer areas of Munich, including Bogenhausen and of course, the old city center is packed full of them. 

I made a custom map just for you! This map has the location of ALL of Munich’s Christmas markets, including a description. The snowflakes are some of the more non-traditional ones, and the Christmas trees are traditional markets.

Do Christmas Markets in Munich Cost Money?

There is no entrance fee to explore Munich’s Christmas markets. The Munich markets are open for anyone to come and go as they please. 

However, Munich is an expensive city. I would budget around 50 euros a day if you want to enjoy eating, drinking, and shopping in the markets. Always have cash on hand for shopping. Of course, you can easily cater your budget to meet your needs, spending much more or being more conservative. If you are wondering about the hefty price of the Glühwein, keep reading. 

Sustainability Tips

Christmas can be a wasteful holiday. There are many ways to embrace sustainability as you explore Munich’s Christmas markets.

Support Small Businesses

Many items you’ll see for sale are based on traditional handcrafted German toys and decorations. Some popular items, such as nativity sets, have been around forever. You can still find handmade crafts, but you’ll also see mass-produced and more cheaply made items. I always suggest chatting with the vendor to see if your goods were made locally or, at the very least, from a smaller business or creator. Some vendors do come from around the world, which adds much-needed diversity both in terms of what you can buy and spreading the economic benefits, but I encourage you to support smaller businesses, creators, and artists regardless of where they are from over more mass-produced items. 

Skip the Glitter and Plastic

Munich’s central markets have a lot of mass-produced plastic or glitter-covered tacky Christmas decorations. Honestly, I’ve been slightly disappointed in our markets’ lack of quality hand-crafted goods. I encourage you to avoid these as cheap souvenirs decrease the authenticity of a destination, nor do they support local crafters. Being such a big market, people come from around the world to sell “international products.” I encourage you to visit some of the more local markets like Märchenbazar and Schwabing to support local artists. Always strike up a conversation with the person selling the items. Ask them where the product was made, who made it, and if it is local.

Many items you’ll see for sale are based on traditional handcrafted German toys and decorations. Some popular items, such as nativity sets, have been around forever. You can still find handmade crafts, but you’ll also see mass-produced and more cheaply made items. I always suggest chatting with the vendor to see if your goods were made locally or, at the very least, from a smaller business or creator. Some vendors do come from around the world, which adds much-needed diversity both in terms of what you can buy and spreading the economic benefits, but I encourage you to support smaller businesses, creators, and artists regardless of where they are from over more mass-produced items. 

Beyond that, pack your reusable tote, utensil set, and light travel water bottle. There is no need to buy a new one when I know you have one at home. Thankfully, Munich has made significant progress toward a plastic-free society, so you’ll likely encounter wood cutlery. But, it is still better to bring your reusables from home that consume new products, even if they are compostable.

The Christmas Market Pfand System

You might notice that your Glühwein (mulled wine) has a very expensive price tag. Depending on the market, Glühwein can set you back 10-12 Euros, which seems extreme for spiced wine. Most of that cost is what is called a Pfand. You’re paying for that adorable mug you’re holding. No, that doesn’t mean you get to keep the mug – it means you get your money back as soon as you return it. This helps Munich embrace a sustainable circular economy. Most markets will wash and re-use the cups. Hang onto the chip you get with each Glühwein and return it for your money.

Glühwein Munich Christmas Market

Can I return them anywhere?

Usually, it doesn’t matter which stand you return the cup to, but as a general rule, you should return the cup at the market you got it from. For example, the medieval market serves Glühwein in ceramic chalices, and they should be returned to the Medieval market. If your cup has the name of the market on it, you should return it before you leave. You can only return them to places serving Glühwein from the market you purchased them from; vendor stands will not accept returns for drinks.

What Should I Pack for a Munich’s Christmas Markets?

What to wear Munich Christmas Market

It is always best to bring layers. Munich can get pretty cold in winter, especially at night – though in recent years, our winters have been a bit mild – thanks to global warming! Some essentials you will want to make sure you have on hand are:

Please read my entire guide to winter essentials for Germany’s Christmas markets. 

What is the History of Munich’s Christmas Markets?

Munich Medieval Christmas Market

The markets in Munich date back to the 14th century, which is pretty incredible. However, the markets used to be located along the Isar River for easy access by boat. The modern markets in the city center have only been around since the 1970s and some of the more modern markets have only been around since the 80s or 90s.

Consumerism isn’t new. I like to hate modern consumerism, but it’s been around for a while. Markets were strategically set up in the 1700s near churches to attract the faithful to buy gifts for their loved ones on the holidays. They were so popular that The Church started complaining that no one went to church on Christmas as they were all out shopping and enjoying mulled wine instead. I mean, can you blame them?

Munich Christmas Markets

Munich Christmas Markets  – A Complete 2023 Guide

Get ready to explore 16 epic markets sprawled across Munich. I’ve got the details on every market. It’s taken me a few years to explore all the Christmas markets in Munich, as I usually get distracted by Glühwein. But, if you are an ambitious traveler, you can visit many of them. However, I recommend looking at my map and focusing on the central markets around Marienplatz, Tollwood, and the Märchenbazar. The ones outside the city are unique but are small and community-focused.

The Main Market: Marienplatz Christmas Market

German name: Christkindlmarkt am Marienplatz

Marienplatz Munich Christmas Market

Munich’s main Christmas market is located in the heart of Munich at Marienplatz. At the center of the market is a massive Christmas tree lit up with simple and traditional lighting, and yes it’s real! The main market is large and charming, but possibly the most touristy market. While I find the souvenirs in this market to be less than ideal, the backdrop makes this market worthwhile. Set against the gothic-style town hall and with the towering Christmas tree, this market feels like the ultimate traditional market- warm, happy, and cozy. I recommend coming here for the ambiance, experience, and photos, but maybe save your shopping for other markets. Check out the courtyard of the town hall for more Christmas spirit.

Marienplatz Christmas Market Dates: Nov 27 – Dec 24, 2023

Hours of operation:

  • Mon-Sat: 10 am – 9 pm
  • Sun: 10 am – 8 pm
  • Christmas Eve 10 am – 2 pm

Location: Marienplatz

Marienplatz Munich Christmas Market

Fun Local Fact: The Christmas Tree is real! It comes from a surrounding Bavarian neighborhood. It stays until January when it is given a new life as a May Pole that resides at Munich’s Viktualienmarkt.

The Nativity Market

German name: Krippler Market

Located just up the street from Marienplatz on Neuhauserstrasse is a small market with 12 stalls. These vendors sell wares strictly related to nativity scenes and mangers. Each stall is unique, and you’ll find handmade stables, mangers, nativity figures, angels, animals, special collectibles, accessories, and lights. You’ll even have repairs and services available to you. If you are a manger-o-holic this is the street for you! Collectible nativity scenes and accessories are a big part of German Christmas culture, making a great authentic gift for the religious person in your life. 

Krippler Christmas Market Dates: Nov 27 – Dec 24, 2022

Location: St. Peter’s Church – outside near the church

The Hippy Market:  Tollwood Winter Festival

Tollwood Winter Festival

This is hands down my favorite market since it is HUGE and sustainable! Taking over half the Oktoberfest grounds, this massive market has concert tents, art tents, food tents (including vegan and vegetarian food), gift tents, and tents serving world-famous Feuerzangenbowle.  Outside the tents, you’ll find Christmas-themed bars, art installations, funky lights, and decorations. It is like a mini Christmas city! Every year, they have a new theme, and you’ll find upcycled art that fits with the theme. Make sure to stop by the center of the festival to see their Christmas tree; back in 2017, it was made of bicycles, and you had to peddle one of the bicycles to light it up. This is the perfect place to get a fair trade gift and feel good about your holiday shopping.

Tollwood Christmas Market Dates: Nov 23 – Dec 31, 2022

  • The Christmas market aspect closed on Dec 23, but the festival stays until EOY
  • Closed Nov 26 and Christmas Day

Location: Theresienwiese

The Royal Market:  Residenz Christmas Village

German name: Weihnachtsdorf im Kaiserhof der Residenz

Munich Residenz Palace Christmas Market

Forget markets; this place is upgraded to a Christmas village. Nestled inside the walls of Munich’s Residenz Palace, the village is isolated from the rest of the markets in the old city by grand palace walls.  Enjoy shopping, a large display of Christmas dolls, and lots of food relating to potatoes. I took my mom here in 2019, and she bought a traditional felt purse, and we got garlic mushrooms. Who doesn’t want to experience a Christmas market in a palace?

Residenz Christmas Village Dates: Nov 23 – Dec 22, 2023

  • Daily 11 am – 9 pm
  • Dec 22: Closed at 8pm

Location: Residenz Palance Courtyard

The Medieval Christmas Market Munich

German name: Mittelaltermarkt

Munich Medieval Christmas Market

Another one of my favorite markets is a legit, authentic medieval market. I know what you’re thinking: this will be ultra cheesy, but it is honestly so authentic. Every time I visit, I feel like I’ve been transported back in time. Food is roasted over an open fire, oil torches are lit by hand, and an OG Saint Nick wanders around spending Christmas cheer. You can drink Glühwein in fancy handmade ceramic goblets while shopping for crafts, clothing, and gifts from the medieval period. Make sure to try fire-roasted Flammkuchen and Wurst. The shopping here can get expensive as the goods are quality items, and the pfand for the ceramic mugs is high, so bring some extra cash. It is a small place, so I suggest arriving before most people get off work to enjoy the experience fully.

This market has a particular commitment to sustainability and cultural heritage. The opening day celebrations are kicked off with the Mayor of Munich.

feuerzangenbowle in Munich Germany.

Medieval Christmas Market Dates: Nov 27 – Dec 23, 2023

  • Daily: 11 am – 9 pm
  • Nov 27: 5 pm – 9 pm

Location: Whittlesbachplatz

Giant Christmas Pyramid:  The Square of Stars

German name: Sternenplatzl am Rindermarkt

This is a tiny central market with larger-than-life decorations. I always feel like I’ve been miniaturized and placed inside a snow globe. Order hot Glühwein or Glühbier from the bar inside the giant Christmas Pyramid. This is also one of the few markets that serve flame-roasted fish. The trees above are lit with star-shaped twinkle lights, creating a warm ambiance. It is a nice escape from the markets at Marienplatz.

Square of Stars Christmas Market Dates: Nov 27 – Dec 24, 2022

Location: Rindermarkt

The Market at a Brick Gate: Sendlinger Tor Christmas Market

German name: Christkindlmarkt am Sendlinger Tor

If you’ve explored Munich, you may have seen some old brick gates surrounding the old city. These are the original boundaries of Munich and date back to the 1300s. So, of course, there are festive Christmas markets at both of these gates, including the one at Sendlinger Tor. If you’re starting your Christmas market tour of Munich, I recommend you enter through Sendlingertor and grab some roasted chestnuts. As you venture down Sendlingerstraße toward Marienplatz, you can see all Munich’s shops lit up for the holidays. It is a great entrance into the festive season.

Sendlinger Tor Christmas Market Dates: Nov 27 – Dec 24, 2022

Hours of operation: 10:30 am – 9:30 pm

Location: Sendlingertor

The Fairytale Market: Märchenbazar

German name: Märchenbazar

Munich Märchenbazar Fairy Tale Market

My favorite market…. oh wait, did I already say that? Twice, you say? … oops. Haha, well then, this rounds out my top three favorite markets. The vibe is less Christmassy and a little more eccentric and alternative. It feels like a classic fairy tale, and a 1920 circus (without animal cruelty) had a baby. Inside the market, you’ll find live music in colorful tents, vegan food, craft beer, and funky art. Open on Christmas day and until the end of the year, all are welcome, and it is a great place to spend the holiday with some locals.

Märchenbazar Christmas Market Dates: Nov 23 – Dec 29, 2023

  • Hours of operation: Mon – Thur: 4 pm – 11 pm
  • Friday: 4 pm-midnight
  • Saturday: Noon – midnight
  • Sunday: 11 am – 9 pm.

NEW Location: Olympiapark South

The English Garden Market: Chinese Tower Christmas Market

German name: Weihnachtsmarkt am Chinesischen Turn

In my opinion, this is the best traditional Christmas market in Munich. Set in the beautiful English Garden, the market at the Chinese owner is surrounded by nature and snowy landscapes. Visiting this market is a nice escape from the city congestion. There is something for the entire family, but it can also be a romantic spot for a date night. There is Grandma’s reading hut for the kids, which has stories (mostly in German) on Tues-Fri, 2 pm- 6 pm, and on weekends from 11:30 am-6:30 pm. There is also a fairytale rally for the kids to practice detective work. There is a curling rink for the adults so that you can try your hand at this sport. If you are on a romantic trip to Munich, there are carriage rides (the horses in Munich are treated quite well) and live music from 4 pm – 7 pm.

Curling at Chinese Towner Munich

Chinese Tower Christmas Market Dates: Nov 27 – Dec 23, 2022

Location: Chinese Tower

Pink Christmas Market – LBGTQI+ Market

Located in the LGBTQI district of Munich, Glockenbach, this market is the pinkest in the city. With holiday-themed drag shows, disco Santa DJs and pink lighting, this is the place to go if you’re a member of the queer community, but all allies are welcome too. It is tiny, and I keep waiting for it to expand, but it hasn’t happened yet so be prepared to get cozy with some new friends and dance the holidays away!

Pink Christmas Market Dates: Nov 27 – Dec 23, 2022

  • Monday – Friday 4 pm – 10 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 2 pm – 10 pm

Location: Stephansplatz

The French Market: Haidhausen Christmas Market

German name:  Haidhauser Weihnachtsmarkt

This charming market in Munich’s French Quarter is classy and cozy. Live music is performed every night at 6 p.m., proving Christmas carols can be hip and modern. Every Friday, there is a lantern parade, where children bring lanterns to the market. If you are interested in wood carvings, don’t miss the Zillertal hut.

Haidhausen Christmas Market Dates: TBD

Location: Weissenburgerplatz

The Art Market: Schwabing Christmas Market

German name: Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt

If you are into fine art and local handmade gifts different from your typical baby Jesus nativity carvings, this is the place for you. Walking into the market from the Ubahn station, you’ll cross through a walkway lined with fine art displayed just for the event. Abstract statues are sprinkled throughout the market, and the gifts are all one of a kind, including artisanal metal and wood, lawn and home decorations. Every year, the market contracts a local artist to design a special collector mug you can take home for a price.

Schwabing Christmas Market Dates: Dec 1 – Dec 24, 2023

  • Monday – Friday: Noon – 8:30 pm
  • Saturday – Sunday: 11 am – 8:30 pm
  • Limited hours on opening and closing day

Location: Münchner Freiheit Platz

The Locals Market: Neuhausen Christmas Market

German name: Neuhauser Weihnachtsmarkt

This charming market is for the locals, with a Christmas goose raffle and an after-work crowd. Daily gingerbread puppet shows for the kids start in the evening around 5 p.m. during the week. On Sundays, between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., special guest puppets make a surprise appearance. Besides that, you’ll find all the regular Christmas cheer from decorations and food vendors sold in old wooden huts.

Neuhausen Christmas Market Dates: TBD

Bogenhausen Christmas Market 

German name: Bogenhauser Weihnachtsmarkt

Bogenhausen Christmas Market

If you plan your trip in January and you’re crying salty tears that you’re missing all the magic of the Christmas Markets in Munich, then dry your eyes because this market is open until January 6th for an extra-long holiday season. This is another great place for the kids with a historic train, a carousel, a ceramic painting workshop, and music for kids. The adults are entertained by watching artists make their wares while looking over their shoulders. But let’s be honest the real attraction here is that you can try over 30 types of Glühwein. You can feel good about giving back at this market because an annual charity raffle supports local Munich charities.

Bogenhausen Christmas Market Dates: TBD

Location: Cosimabad – festival area

The Get Drunk Market: Feuerzangenbowle Market

German name: Weihnachtsmarkt am Isartor

Feuerzangenbowl Munich Christmas

This place is a hot flaming shit show, and it’s great. Located under the other historic gate surrounding Munich, called Isartor, this is a little spot to get your Feuerzangenbowle fix. If you’re confused about this, keep reading down to the “What to Drink” section. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a place to get drunk quickly with a lively crowd, hit up the flaming pot at Isartor; you can’t miss it.

Isartor Christmas Market Dates: Nov 27, 2023 – Jan 8, 2024

  • Hours of operation: 11 am –  10 pm
  • Special or limited hours on holidays

Location: Isartor

The Jetsetting Market: Munich Airport Christmas Market

If you’re ready for your Christmas holiday in Munich to start as soon as you land, or if you’re sad to leave the city markets behind as you head home and need one last fix, this is the market for you. You’ll find a fully functioning Christmas Market between terminals 1 and 2 at the Munich Airport.

Airport Christmas Market Dates: Nov 18 – Dec 31, 2023

Christmas Events in Munich

There are dozens of Christmas events planned throughout Munich for the holiday season. Nearly every Christmas market has its own special events such as concerts, shows, and more. Without putting too much stress on yourself to make a specific event I suggest just showing up at the different market and seeing what is happening. For example, Tollwood and the Märchenbazar always have something happening. I love just entering one of the tents and just enjoying the live music or immersive art installation on a whim. However, here are a few of the highlights.

Himmelswerkstatt

  • This is an ongoing event for kids that takes place at the Rathaus. The workshop has places for kids to make Christmas cards, ornaments, and other fun DIY opportunities.
  • Nov 27 – Dec 24, 2023
  • Pre-registration is required

Christmas Tours

  • Join the official Christmas market walking tour with the Munich Tourism Board. Meet vendors in person and learn all the market history and interesting facts. You must register in advance for the 2023 season, and tickets are about 18 euros.
  • If you have a larger group, you can book a guided tour for your entire group for about 150 euros. These tours offer personal insight into the Christmas magic and the city lights. Register in advance.

Christmas Concerts

Christmas Services & Church Events

Ride the Christmas Tram

  • Ride the Christmas tram departing from Sendlingertor. The tram is all dressed up for Christmas, including a Glühwein cart inside. Tour the city on this festive (and often crowded ride).

Krampus Run – Munich’s Krampuslauf

  • The Krampus run is when dozens of spooky Krampuses, or Santa’s evil helper, run through the city. This parade honors the tradition of scaring children into behaving and is a sight.
  •  The date for the Krampuslauf is December 10, 2023, starting at 3 pm at Marienplatz.

Enjoy the Best of Munich in the Winter

What to Eat and Drink at Munich’s Christmas Markets

What to Drink

Drinking the best part of Munich’s Christmas Markets, if you ask me. I usually spend my December in a haze since it is damn near impossible to make it 50 feet without running into a Glühwein stand. Each market has a flavor, but you’ll find similar and unique dishes around Munich’s markets.

Glühwein

A hot mulled drink pronounced Glue-Vine is the most popular drink sold throughout the markets. Made from wine, cinnamon, star anise, orange, cloves, and sugar it warms you up from the inside out. Different types of Glühwein exist, including some made from white and cherry wine. These come in adorable collectible mugs you can pay to bring home or receive your deposit back when you return the cup. This is called a pfand system, usually around . 2 Euros. Don’t be shocked when your wine costs a decent price; just return the cup, and you’ll get your money back. The pfand can be much higher for specialty mugs like ceramic goblets.

Glühwein Munich Christmas Market

Pro Tip: If the Glühwein isn’t enough to keep you warm, add a rum or amaretto for around a Euro, and you’ll be warm in no time.

Feuerzangenbowle

Glühwein’s drunk aunt at the party, this drink packs one hell of a punch. Basically, you take your mulled wine, top it with a layer of 80-proof rum, and light it on fire with a sugar cube. This will give you a wicked hangover and get you hella drunk if you’re not careful, but YOLO, who doesn’t want to drink flaming alcohol?

Glühbier

The love child between Glühwein and beer, this festive drink is served in tall clear mugs, as would a normal beer. This beer is served hot and mixed with various spices, similar to the wine version. A cherry flavor is often added to give it that warm pink hue.

Eierpunsch

Similar to Eggnog, which you might be more familiar with, this is an egg-treme drink. Made with egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, white wine, and a shot of egg liqueur, this is something you must drink at Munich’s Christmas markets. Sometimes, it comes topped with tasty whipped cream!

Pink Christmas Market Munich

Glögg

The Scandinavian cousin of Glühwein is made with vodka, mulled wine, and spices and usually has crushed almonds and apples in it.

Zimtlikör

Cinnamon liquor mixed with spices, coffee, or warm milk. This nice, soothing drink with less sugar will still warm you up.

Kinderpunsch

The non-alcoholic version of Glühwein is a great option for kids, pregnant people, and people who don’t drink for religious or personal reasons. You can fit in and stay warm with this tasty drink!

What to Eat

You must keep some food in your stomach with all those hot, sugary drinks. So, what is the best food to eat at Munich’s Christmas markets? Many Christmas market foods range from traditional potato pancakes to modern European fusion.

Vegan and Vegetarian Food

Believe it or not, there are many vegan and vegetarian options at the Munich Chrismas Markets. Most of the tasty food you’ll find is vegetarian! Since many Munchies are vegetarian, I’ll highlight the best places to find large amounts of veggie food. Tollwood has an entire tent dedicated to global vegan and vegetarian food. You’ll find tofu pad thai, vegetarian curry, North African rice, flatbreads, and much more at Tollwood. Another great option is Märchenbazar, which has vegan street food like German-style wurst and shawarma. If you are vegan and want to support global vegan ventures without giving your money to stands that sell meat, you must go to Tollwood and Märchenbazar!

Keep an eye out for vegan and bio Glühwein – you can sometimes find it at alternative markets like Märchenbazar and Tollwood.

Flammkuchen is a food that is often vegetarian or can be customized to be vegetarian. It’s like A flatbread pizza; the most common vegetarian toppings are tomato, onion, and cheese.

Kartoffelpuffer or potato pancakes are traditional vegan food. They are deep-friend shredded potatoes that you can think of, like gourmet hashbrowns. They often come served with vegan apple sauce, or you can take the vegetarian option with sour cream.

German potato pancakes Munich Christmas market

Spiral Kartoffel are spiral-cut potatoes on a stick seasoned to perfection. These are vegan!

Spiralkartoffeln Munich Christmas Market Food

Vegans and Vegetarians: There are loads more vegan and vegetarian options, so don’t miss my entire post dedicated to vegetarian food at the Christmas markets!!

Fish

Most people don’t think of fish when they come to Munich Christmas Markets, but Munich has some great options for pescatarians! Keep an eye out for fish soup and roasted salmon at the Square of Stars, and you’ll see whitefish rolled on bread rolls at markets all over the city.

Meat

Remember that reducing your meat intake is one of the best things you can do for the environment! Try skipping the meat at the Christmas markets this year and see how you do! If you want to try meat, always start with chicken or white meat. You’ll find locally sourced roasted chicken at many of the markets. Another popular meat dish is wurst on a bread roll and currywurst with french fries.

Snacks and Munchies

This is where all the good stuff comes in! Gebrannte Mandeln (roasted almonds) and Maroni (roasted chestnuts) are sold everywhere. They are a great vegan snack, and the smell is heavenly as it wafts through the markets, making the air smell like Christmas. Mushrooms in garlic sauce are also very popular at many of the markets. Of course, we can’t forget the french fries and mayo.

Roasted chestnuts Munich Christmas market food

Desserts and Sweets

When you’ve stuffed yourself full, but still make room for dessert because, let’s be honest, we always have more room for dessert. These tasty, sugary snacks will keep you going. Ermknödel is like a bread pudding dumpling, often filled with jam and covered in a vanilla cream sauce; it is heaven in my mouth. Lebkuchen is one of the most popular snacks, but I think it is overrated. Lebkuchen is a gingerbread cookie/cake covered in decadent icing that is prettier than it tastes but a must-try on any visit to Munich’s Christmas markets. Apfelkücherl is spiced apple rings dusted in cinnamon and sugar for a semi-healthy snack. Watch for Gebranten Apfel, baked apples covered in a vanilla sauce and stuffed with berries. They are divine!

gebraten apfel Munich Christmas Market food

Waffeln (waffles) are becoming increasingly popular in Munich; in fact, a vegan waffle scene is popping up, and I am not complaining. Not all stands serve vegan waffles, so make sure you ask first! These waffles are often served with cinnamon or chocolate. Fánk or Hungarian doughnuts are my all-time favorite junk food at Munich’s Christmas markets. They are tasty dough wrapped around a stick, then roasted in sprinkles or cinnamon sugar. You eat them off the stick, and it is one large curly cue doughnut.

Fánk Hungarian doughnuts Munich Medieval Christmas market

You’ll also see chocolate-covered fruit, baked cookies, and other sweets. If you have a sweet tooth, you will love trying all these great foods at the Munich Christmas markets.

Souvenirs to Buy Munich Christmas Markets

You might need to pack an extra suitcase if you plan on doing some serious Christmas shopping at the markets. Additionally, a lot of the handmade items are quite fragile and you might even need to budget to professionally ship some things home.

Nativity Figures

I had no idea nativity scenes were so popular until I moved to Munich. I already mentioned the nativity market, but most markets sell parts or whole nativity scenes. You can find rare and expensive pieces or cheap all-inclusive sets. You’ll find animals, angels, Jesus and crew, and even fancy accessories like palm trees and unique managers.

Wooden handicrafts

These are some of the most uniquely German and authentic gifts you can find here in Munich. Wooden crafts include nutcrackers, ornaments, decorations, and even twinkle lights. Often handmade, but always double-check, you’ll come home with one-of-a-kind Christmas decorations. Every year I get my mom some hand-carved Christmas decorations for her house and she loves them!

Crystal Glass

These crystal glass ornaments you see are often made in Eastern Europe or Russia, but are still great decorations and gifts to bring home. They add a whimsical element to your yearly decorations.

Ornaments

You’ll find thousands of ornaments from glass, wood, metal, traditional to our right funky. Grab your favorite style and dress your tree up extra fancy.

Christmas market ornaments

Paper Stars

These make any room feel more cozy and warm for the holiday season. They come in all sizes and styles, so I suggest getting a couple and hanging them in a cozy nook in your house every time the dark winter rolls around.

Pyramids

The ultimate German decoration for your house. The wooden towers have spinning platforms with nativity figures spinning and they are powered by a candle, which when you think about it, might not be the safest option, but they might have battery-powered ones these days. I grew up with an old school one (I have a German family) so I have a soft spot for the traditional ones. They are great higher-end gifts and may require careful packaging to get home.

Munich Christmas market pyramids

Glühwein Mugs

It is safe to say I have at least a dozen of these. I have collected them from various markets around Munich. Each market or stand often has its own version of the cute little mugs you drink out of. You pay a pfand for them, so if you want to take them home, just don’t return them and you’ve already purchased them. I suggest getting the Schwabing collector mug or the cute little boots!

Where to Stay in Munich at Christmas

Munich is a compact city and easy to get around, so you can comfortably stay anywhere in the middle ring and be comfortable. If you want to be right in the middle of the action, you can stay in a nice central location. I love the Living Hotel chain for its progressive, sustainable efforts. Plus, it is a small family-owned chain that started right here in Munich! I’ve personally stayed here and recommend it!

Munich Christmas market lights

Other hotels I’ve stayed in and personally recommend are:

  • Royal Bavarian for a lavish only-in-Munich experience. It’s probably the only hotel I recommend near the train station. 
  • Flushing Meadows for the independent hipster traveler in the heart of the alternative district – my former neighborhood
  • Schwan Lock for those who want to visit Munich like a local – close to Tollwood. Great co-working space and bar!
  • Bayerische Hof for the high-rollers who want to stay where celebrities stay


Booking.com

Getting from Market to Market

The local transportation in Munich is fantastic, but the ticketing system is less than ideal. I highly suggest buying a multi-day single or group ticket, so you don’t have to worry about buying single tickets and decoding the punching system.  The best multi-day card is the Munich City Tour Card. This card can be purchased for 1-6 days and for groups of up to 5. If you want this to include transportation to and from the airport or other small towns, ensure you include the entire network. This will include all buses, trams, and city trains (U and S Bahn for the entire network). Google Maps does a great job of telling you how to get from point A to B using public transportation, so make sure you download Munich offline and are ready to go!

German Phrases to Learn

Christmas in German is Weihnachten (Vhy-noch-ten). You’ll see this in front of most Christmas markets, for example, Weihnachtsmarkt Sendlinger Tor which means Christmas market at Sendlinger Tor. To say Merry Christmas you can say “Fröhliche Weihnachten” (Fro-leeck-hehVhy-noch-ten)

To ask where the Christmas market is you would say “Wo ist der (Sendlinger Tor) Weihnachtsmarkt?” You say that pretty much how it sounds in English!

Mulled Wine is Glühwein (glue- vine) To order a Glühwein you would say the number followed by wine followed by, please. “Ein/Zwei/Drei Glühwein, bitte.” Ein (eye-n) one. Zwei (zw-eye) two. Drei (Dry) three. Bitte (Bit-eh) please.

Pin and Start Planning Your Trip Today!

I hope you enjoyed my Munich Christmas market guide to all 16 Christmas markets in Munich! Munich is the best place to spend the holiday season in Europe, so make sure you pin and share all my local tips to have the best Christmas in Munich! Whether you are exploring Munich’s medieval market, the local Marchenbazar, or the traditional Christmas market at Marienplatz, this guide has you covered to ensure you have the best Christmas visiting the best markets in Munich.

Are you planning to visit Munich to experience the Christmas markets? Let me know in the comments which Christmas market you are most excited to see!

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Curiosity Saves’ Sustainable Travel Resources & Tips

Accommodation: I primarily use Booking.com to find sustainable accommodation. Not only do you get a Genius Discount for being a loyal customer, but their new feature allows you to filter based on sustainability. When available, I will always choose a sustainable 3+ property, which means the hotel has significantly reduced its environmental impact and has a vested interest in the community. You can read about each hotel’s efforts at the bottom of the page. 

 

Packing Essentials: Before buying, first consider if you need new items. If you do, invest in quality and long-lasting technical clothing from your local Co-Op like REI. REI is also great for getting your reusable water bottle and cutlery set

Patagonia, has clothing created with regenerative practices. Patagonia will always repair or swap items and recycle them at the end of their line. 

Farm to Feet for socks made with regenerative practices that keep you stink and sweat-free and great for travel! Pistil Designs for cold-weather essentials.

Osprey travel bags have lasted me 10+ years, making them a great sustainable investment. Whether a day bag I take hiking or my favorite carry-on.

 

eSIM: Swapping out SIM cards in every country you travel to is wasteful and confusing, so I recommend Airalo eSIM. Airalo is a game changer for travel, as I can purchase a local or regional SIM with a pre-determined amount of data and download an eSIM directly on my phone.

 

Buses and Trains: To find and book the best train and bus transportation in Europe, Canada, and the United States, I use Omio. Omio is a fantastic resource for quickly comparing train and bus routes with English search results and easy-to-use QR codes.

Of course, you might need to book a flight when trains and buses aren’t an option, and you’ve first considered reducing or altering your trip to avoid flying as much as possible. I use Google Flights for their easy-to-understand carbon comparison tool. 

 

Car Rental: Discover Cars lets you shop for the best rate in English and keeps all your details in one place. Ganesh and I drove a Polestar EV at home and typically aim to book electric zero-emission or hybrid cars when we travel. Discover Cars has a filter that makes it easy to find hybrid and fully electric cars. They also offer resources on how to find charging stations best – but for that, I recommend the Plugshare app. 

 

Tours and Excursions: GetYourGuide has an extensive collection of tours, excursions, and admission tickets for activities worldwide. When booking, you can look for the eco-certified badge, stay away from tours that promise wildlife encounters or direct contact, look for local tour guides, and quickly search the tour operator to ensure you support ethical operators.

While GetYourGuide is excellent for most locations, Viator by Trip Advisor has better activities for some of my favorite destinations, like my home state of Alaska.