The Most Beautiful Christmas Markets in Munich

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Looking for a great Christmas experience in Munich? There are 24 Christmas Markets in Munich, enough to make all your wishes come true.

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Every Christmas Market you will visit will have certain standard things in common. Such as vendors that sell all sorts of exciting things, hand made and not. And you’ll meet plenty of locals over a mug of Glühwein.

Each Christmas Market also offers its unique aspects though so make sure to continue reading to find out which of the many Christmas Markets offers the most beautiful experience.

Here are 5 of the Most Beautiful Christmas Markets in Munich:

The Medieval Christmas Market

You'll find the Medieval Christmas Market at Wittelsbacherplatz in Munich, Germany
Medieval Christmas Market

You’ll find this gem of a market in Wittelsbacher Platz (near Odeonsplatz). Be prepared, this Medieval Market will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a different time and place.

The Vendors all dress in medieval clothing and sell medieval-style items.

Glühwein is served in heavy hand-pottered mugs.  On weekends, there are a variety of free musical performances played on long-forgotten instruments dating back to the middle ages.  Children especially enjoy this market.

Christmas Village in the Munich Residenz

The Christmas village is held in the courtyard of the Munich Residenz and is great for children.
Christmas Market in the courtyard of the Munich Residenz.

You won’t find a Christmas Market quite like this anywhere else in Munich. It’s held in the courtyard of a palace.

Strategically placed lights provide the WOW factor at the entrance.

In addition, this market has the best food of all the Christmas markets in my opinion. It’s a popular meeting spot for locals. You’ll also find a fairytale village which is always a hit with children. Expect singing moose and

You’ll also find a fairytale village which is always a hit with children. Expect singing moose and miniature Santa Clauses singing Christmas carols.

The Christmas Village at the Munich Residenz features a fairytale village which is popular with children.
The fairytale village features singing Santa Clauses and angels are a hit with kids.

The Tollwood Winter Festival

You'll find a Christmas market as part of the Tollwood Winter Festival in the Theresienwiese, Munich, Germany
Tollwood Winter Festival

This is one of my favourites, and one I try not to miss when Christmas comes around in Munich. Tollwood is a combined Christmas market/exhibition of cultural, political and scientific events.

It draws a great crowd, especially to hang out as there is always live music. One of the things I love the most about this market is that it has an environmental focus. I plan multiple trips to Tollwood each year. It’s fun meeting friends and listening to free live music at the Tief im Wald Bar (Deep in Forest Bar),  the coolest bar I’ve ever been to complete with a forest atmosphere. or to listen to one of the incredible presentations.

You will find some exciting stuff at Tollwood, even if you’re not a shopper. If you’re lucky you may even pick up a few antiques along the way. I probably spend the most money at this Christmas Market, to be honest. I’ have picked up my own unique finds here such as a handcrafted coffee table that was made from the remains of a Bavarian farmhouse from 1807.

Tollwood is often described as a “small Oktoberfest” since the winter festival is held on the same ground as Oktoberfest.  I’ve never seen anything as eclectic, making it a strong contender for my favorite festivals of all time.

The Christmas Market at Marienplatz: One of the Oldest in the World

This one is special in a completely different way. Not only is it the largest and oldest in Munich, but it’s also one of the oldest in the world! According to the official Munich Christmas Market site, it was first mentioned in the town records in 1642, but according to Wikipedia, it’s the second oldest in the world, dating back to 1310. Only the Vienna Christmas market is older (1294).

What I love the most about this market is that it still retains originality to it that is hard to find anywhere else in Munich. With its 150 wooden huts selling Gluhwein, traditional sweets, Christmas ornaments, and toys, you can imagine what it looked all those years back and the atmosphere, I would imagine, is still the same.

The irony with this one is that although I find it to be the most beautiful Christmas Market in Munich, it isn’t my favourite. Not by far. I usually do go every year to the market, but I find it to be the busiest. When I say busy, be prepared for seasonal madness here. When you plan on visiting, keep in mind that the evenings are the busiest as it is the most beautiful time to visit because of the lights.

Having said this, make sure to visit it anyway. It’s a wonderful experience nonetheless. On that note:

My favorite place in the entire Munich Christmas Market is at Sternenplatzl (Star Platz) at the Rindermarkt.

Sternenplatzl is a highlight of the Munich Christmas Market in Germany.

It’s just stepping away from the more popular Marienplatz but feels worlds away and the stars hanging from the trees give it a whimsical feel.

Christmas pyramids are usually much smaller and used for decorative purposes inside, but I love this oversized one that serves as a Glühwein stand at the Sternenplatzl. It’s thought that Christmas pyramids were the predecessor to the Christmas tree, so perhaps the medieval Christmas markets had more of them!

Christmas pyramid at Sternenplatzl, Rindermarkt, Munich, Germany
Traditional Christmas pyramid at Sternenplatzl (Star Platz) at the Rindermarket in Munich.
The Munich Christmas Market runs the length of Kaufinger Strasse, a pedestrian shopping street, that is one of the longest in Germany.
The Munich Christmas Market runs the length of Kaufinger Strasse, a pedestrian shopping street.

Christmas markets are much more impressive at night than during the day, as the photo below shows, but they’re also busier.

If you’re there to shop, go during the day. If you’re there for the atmosphere and to drink Glühwein, then go in the evening:

A Glühwein stand that is a replica of the Frauenkirche (church) and in front of it at the Munich Christmas Market.
A Glühwein stand is a replica of the Frauenkirche (church).

The other unique aspect of the Munich Christmas Market is the Kripperlmarkt (Manger Market).

It’s toted as being “probably” the largest manger market in Germany.

The largest Manger Market in Germany can be found in Munich.
What is “probably” the largest Manger Market can be found at the Munich Christmas Market.

I’m not in the market for a new manger, but even I can appreciate the craftsmanship of some of the wood carvings.

Life-size hand-carved manger scene from a craftsman in Oberammergau, a region in Bavaria, Germany
Life-size hand-carved manger scene from a craftsman in Oberammergau, a region in Bavaria.

I always have to make a stop at the Stachus (Karlsplatz), there’s a Glühwein bar overlooking the skating rink – perfect for enjoying a drink while watching the skaters. It’s part of the magic of Christmas right?

Münchener Eiszauber (Munich Ice Magic) offers skating at Stachus (Karlsplatz) in Munich, Germany
Münchener Eiszauber (Munich Ice Magic) offers skating at Stachus (Karlsplatz)

If you go to a Christmas market and only try one thing, let it be Kaiserscharrm. Named after the Austrian Emporer (Kaiser) Franz Joseph I of Austria, it has royal roots. It’s a fluffy cut-up pancake that is sprinkled with icing sugar and usually served with a side of applesauce. If you’re a celiac or have any gluten allergies than steer clear. But if you can, don’t miss this! You won’t regret those extra carbs, promise. You can try it at the Munich Christmas Market on Kaufinger Strasse.

Kaiserschmarrn is a must-try at the Munich Christmas Market in Germany.
Kaiserschmarrn is a must-try at the Munich Christmas Market.

The Schwabing Christmas Market for Artisans

This market is charming with hanging lanterns scattered throughout. But what really impressed me about it was the artisans. It has some of the most talented artisans I’ve seen at any Christmas market.

There’s also an Art Tent where vendors display their larger works of art.  This bohemian type of market will be especially appreciated by anyone with an interest in art, or those looking for a unique gift.

Convenient Places to Stay for Visiting Christmas Markets in Munich

Rocco Forte The Charles Hotel

This 5-star design hotel gets raves reviews for its location – it overlooks the Old Botanical Garden. Guests love the Rocco Forte The Charles Hotel because of its special touches, like the original paintings by Munich artist Franz von Lenbach in every guestroom.

Getting there: Sophienstrasse. 28, Munich (a 2-minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof, Central Train Station)

Platzl Hotel – Superior

This 4-star hotel is in the heart of Munich. The Platzl Hotel – Superior features old-world charm, a 16th-century restaurant, and floor to ceiling windows.

Getting There: Sparkassenstr. 10, Altstadt – Lehel, 80331 Munich (a 2-minute walk from Marienplatz)

Hotel Torbräu

A classically furnished 4-star hotel, with some rooms offering views of Isator (one of the city’s three remaining gates). The Hotel Torbräu has a great location, just a 5-minute walk from the Marienplatz.

Getting There: Tal 41, Altstadt – Lehel, 80331 Munich

Hotel Freisinger Hof

Located in Bogenhausen, where some of Munich’s most extravagant villas, can be found, this 4-star hotel overlooks the English Garden. Hotel Freisinger Hof is just a few minutes’ walks away from the Christmas Market at the Chinese Tower. Afterward, you can warm up in the hotel’s Finnish sauna!

Getting There: Oberföhringerstraße 191, Bogenhausen, 81925 Munich (~12-minute tram ride to the city center).

Be sure to check out my Munich City Guide for how to make the most of your precious travel time. If you love these Christmas markets you will love these 10 Bavarian Christmas markets

With all of these Christmas Markets in Munich, you’ll have a great Christmas experience and enough to keep you busy and warm during the holidays.

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