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Update Nov 20, 2021: ALL MUNICH CHRISTMAS MARKETS CACNELED

Update Nov 16, 2021: Christkindlmarkt Canceled – please see the important information section for more details. 

Are you curious as to what is the best European city for Christmas markets? Well, the Christmas markets in Munich are hands down some of the best of anywhere in the world! As a local, I might be a bit biased, but as someone who has personally spent an entire week in a Glühwein stooper lost in a maze of 16+ Christmas markets in Munich, believe me when I say they are amazing!  The entire city of Munich turns into a magical Christmas market snowglobe, and where one market ends another one starts. If you’re doing a German Christmas Market tour, make sure Munich is on your list. With so many markets you’ll find heaps of both traditional and alternative markets, such as a sustainable market and an LGBTQIA market.

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!  Put on your Christmas best, and let’s take a look at what makes Munich’s Christmas markets so magical.

WHAT WE’RE COVERING

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 2021

What are the 2021 Dates for Munich Christmas Markets?

Update as of Nov 20, 2021: All Christmas markets canceled in Bavaria

On Nov 16 it was announced that Munich’s main public market close, while local private-run markets could remain open. Then on Nov 20th a follow-up accountant confirmed that ALL Christmas markets in Bavaria are closed for the second year in a row. Stay home, stay safe and use this post to plan your trip in 2022.

Munich Christmas Market at Marienplatz

The 2021 season is almost upon us, and yes Munich will have a Christmas market! The planned opening date for Munich’s main Christmas market at Marienplatz is November 22th, 2021.

Most markets close up shop on Christmas Eve, December 24th. However, it is important to note that some markets may not open until later and some stay open until January. In order to ensure you are able to see all the markets, plan your Munich winter holiday between the dates of November 27th and December 24th for the best chances to see all the markets.

Munich Christmas Market Square of Stars Christmas pyramid

What are the 2021 Opening Hours of the Christmas Markets in Munich?

A good rule of thumb to follow is that most markets are open:

  • Monday – Saturday 10 am-9 pm
  • Sunday 10 am – 8 pm.
  • However, there are some markets that may be open later such as Tollwood, as they have somewhat of a party aspect.

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 or gated area. The Munich markets are open for anyone to come and go as they please. The only thing is to remember to always have cash on hand for shopping and you’ll want to make sure you remember where your Glühwein mug comes from, as if you wander too far away you might not get a refund. Munich is an expensive city, so I would budget at least 30-50 Euro a day if you want to enjoy eating, drinking and shopping in the markets. 

The Christmas Market Pfand System

You might notice that your Glühwein (mulled wine) comes with 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 literally 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 and they will wash the cups and rescue them. Hang onto the chip you get with each Glühwein and make sure to return it for your money back.

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 in 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 and vendor stands will not accept returns.

What Should I Pack for a Christmas Market Holiday in Munich?

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! Always bring warm waterproof boots, a hat, gloves, a scarf, and a warm waterproof jacket.

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 located 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 on consumerism, but it’s been around for a while. In fact, 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 instead.

Munich Christmas Markets

Many of the items you see are based on traditional handcrafted German toys and decorations. Some popular ones such as nativity sets have been around forever. You can still find handmade crafts, but you’ll also see mass-produced items from China. I always suggest striking up a chat with the vendor to see if your good were made locally.

Sustainability Tips

Along with engaging in the German pfand system (yay circular economies), there are plenty of ways to embrace sustainability as you explore Munich’s Christmas markets.

Munich’s central markets have a lot of mass-produced plastic or glitter-covered tacky Christmas decorations and to be honest, I’ve been a bit disappointed in the overall lack of quality hand-crafted goods at our markets. 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.

Beyond that make sure you pack your reusable tote – no need to buy a new reusable tote when I know you have one at home. Follow my vegetarian food tips to reduce your meat intake and ultimately lowering your carbon impact while visiting the markets.

Munich Christmas Markets  – A Complete 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 every market – I usually get distracted by Glühwein. If you are an ambitious traveler you can probably visit most of them. However, I would recommend looking at my map and focusing on the central markets around Marienplatz, Tollwood, and the Märchenbazar.

The Main Market: Marienplatz Christmas Market – Canceled

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 is what 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 saving your shopping for other markets. Make sure to check out the courtyard of the town hall for more Christmas spirit.

Marienplatz Christmas Market Dates:

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 where it is given a new life as a May Pole that resides at Munich’s Viktualienmarkt 

The Nativity Market – Canceled

German name: Krippler Market

Located just up the street from Marienplatz on Neuhauserstrasse is a small market composed of 12 stalls selling wares strictly related to nativity scenes and managers. 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, so these make a great authentic gift for the religious person in your life. 

Krippler Christmas Market Dates:

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

The Hippy Market:  Tollwood Winter Festival – Canceled

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 of the tents, you’ll find Christmas-themed outdoor bars, art pieces, 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:

Location: Theresienwiese

The Royal Market:  Residenz Christmas Village – Canceled

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 this 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:

Location: Residenz Palance Courtyard

The Medieval Christmas Market Munich – Canceled

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 is going to 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 handmade 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 made items, and the pfand for the ceramic mugs is high, so bring some extra cash. It is a small place though, so I suggest arriving before most people get off work to fully enjoy the experience.

feuerzangenbowle in Munich Germany.

Medieval Christmas Market Dates:

Location: Whittlesbachplatz

Giant Christmas Pyramid:  The Square of Stars- Canceled

German name: Sternenplatzl am Rindermarkt

This is a very small central market, but 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 functioning 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:

Location: Rindermarkt

The Market at a Brick Gate: Sendlinger Tor Christmas Market – Canceled

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:

Location: Sendlingertor

The Fairytale Market: Märchenbazar – Canceled

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:

NEW Location: Olympiapark

The English Garden Market: Chinese Tower Christmas Market – Canceled

German name: Weihnachtsmarkt am Chinesischen Turn

This is, in my opinion, 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. For the kids, there is Grandma’s reading hut 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. For the adults, there is a curling rink, so 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:

Location: Chinese Tower

Pink Christmas Market – LBGTQI+ Market

Located in the LGBTQI district of Munich, Glockenbach, this market is the pinkest market 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, so be prepared to get cozy with some new friends and dance the holidays away! This market usually opens later in the season.

Pink Christmas Market Dates:

Location: Stephansplatz

The French Market: Haidhausen Christmas Market – Canceled

German name:  Haidhauser Weihnachtsmarkt

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

HaidHausen Christmas Market Dates:

Location: Weissenburgerplatz

The Art Market: Schwabing Christmas Market – Canceled

German name: Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt

If you are into fine art and local handmade gifts that are different than your typical baby Jesus nativity carvings then 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 that you can take home for a price.

Schwabing Christmas Market Dates:

Location: Münchner Freiheit Platz

The Locals Market: Neuhausen Christmas Market – Canceled

German name: Neuhauser Weihnachtsmarkt

This charming market really is for the locals with a Christmas goose raffle and an after-work crowd. There are daily gingerbread puppet shows for the kids starting in the evening around 5 pm during the week. On Sundays between 2 pm and 3 pm, special guest puppets make a surprise appearance. Other than that, you’ll find all the regular Christmas cheer from decorations and food all housed in old wooden huts.

Bogenhausen Christmas Market – Caceled

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 there is an annual charity raffle supporting local Munich charities.

Bogenhausen Christmas Market Dates:

Location: Cosimabad – festival area

The Get Drunk Market: Feuerzangenbowle Market – Canceled

German name: Weihnachtsmarkt am Isator

Feuerzangenbowl Munich Christmas

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

Isartor Christmas Market Dates:

Location: Isartor

The Jetsetting Market: Munich Airport Christmas Market – Canceled

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, then this is the market for you. You’ll find a fully functioning Christmas Market between terminals 1 and 2 at the Munich Airport.

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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 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, make ornaments, and other fun DIY opportunities.
  • Nov 25 – Dec 12
  • Pre-registration and COVID restrictions are mandatory.

Christmas Tours

  • Every Saturday at 4 pm there is a Christmas light and decoration tour. You must register in advance online or at the tourist office in the Rathaus
  • Every Friday at 7:15 pm tour the main sights of Munich with a local by candlelight. Again register online or in-person at the tourist office.

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

  • This event is officially canceled for 2021
  • The Krampus run is when dozens of spooky Krampuses, or Santa’s evil helper, run through the city. This parade honors the longstanding tradition of scaring children into behaving and is a sight to see.

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 of its own, but you’ll find some 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. There are different types of Glühwein including some made from white and cherry wine. These come in adorable collectible mugs that you can either pay to bring home or receive your deposit back when you return the cup. This is called a pfand system and it is 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 shot of 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. There is often a cherry flavor 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 whip cream!

Pink Christmas Market Munich

Glögg

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

Zimtlikör

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

Kinderpunsch

The non-alcoholic version of Glühwein, a great option for kids, pregnant people, 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 have to keep some food in your stomach with all those hot sugary drinks being consumed. So, what is the best food to eat at Munich’s Christmas markets? There are a wide variety of Christmas market foods to choose from ranging from traditional potato pancakes to modern European fusion.

Vegan & Vegetarian Food

Believe it or not, there are a lot of vegan and vegetarian options at the Munich Chrismas Markets, in fact, most of the tasty food you’ll find is vegetarian! Since a lot of the 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, and 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 also sell meat you must go to Tollwood and Märchenbazar!

Flammkuchen is a food that is often vegetarian or can be customized to be vegetarian. It’s like A flatbread pizza and 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 do 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 or (roasted almonds) along with Maroni (roasted chesnuts) are sold literally 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 lets 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 basically heaven in my mouth. Lebkuchen is one of the most popular snacks, but I think it is overrated. Lebkucken is basically a gingerbread cookie/cake covered in decadent icing is pretty 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. Keep an eye out for gebranten apfel which are 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, there’s a whole vegan waffle scene popping up and I am not complaining. Not all of the 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 rolled in sprinkles or cinnamon sugar and roasted. 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 and lots of baked cookies and other sweets. Basically, 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 like 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. There are several throughout the city and the one with a view of the Viktualienmarkt, or Munich’s open-air market, is a great location. The Cortiina is another great central boutique hotel.

Munich Christmas market lights

That said recommend staying in the city center around the holidays. It will be a nightmare trying to get to and from your hotel and you will never have a moment of peace. You can stay around the Hauptbahnhof, but be careful this area is a combination of ritzy hotels and dumpy gross hotels. If you’re going to stay near the train station I suggest going for a mid-level, hip hotel The Royal Bavarian, which is owned by a German company 25Hours Hotel.

If you want a lively neighborhood, but not too touristy, I suggest staying in Glockenback, which is within walking distance to the city center and has lots of great local bars and restaurants to keep you busy. One of my favorite hotel bars is called the Flushing Meadows and the hotel is an ultra-hip boutique hotel.

If you’re a high roller and want to spend all your money at a hotel where the celebrities stay then don’t miss the Bayerische Hof.


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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 up to 5. If you want this to include your transportation to and from the airport or other various small towns, make sure you include the entire network. This will include all busses, trams, and city trains (U and S Bahn for the entire network). Google maps do a great job telling you how to get from point A to B using public transportation, so make sure you download Munich offline and you 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 really 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!

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