As someone who utterly adores the magic of Christmas, I can’t believe it took me this long to visit Christmas markets in Germany. I mean seriously, ACTUAL GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKETS. That’s the dream, right. So earlier last year I booked cheap-ish flights courtesy of Easyjet and prepared myself for the full Christmas spirit I was sure Munich would provide. And provide it did, in abundance. I finally got to experience Christmas in Munich at real German markets.
Munich is home to a plethora of Christmas markets, you can’t walk into a square without discovering another delightful market. A lot of them sell similar items – lebkuchen (German gingerbread) and other appetising Christmas food, steaming mugs of mulled wine or cider, nutcracker dolls and various Christmas decorations. There are also specialised markets including one consisting only of stalls selling only items for mangers.
My three favourite Christmas markets, however, were as follows:
This market has been running for 12 years on Stephanpl. and is completely different to the traditional red and green Christmas markets that line the squares and streets of Munich. Originating from Munich’s gay community but appealing to everyone, the market is terrifically pink. From the sign outside, it feels like you are entering a magical world, with pink lights hanging from the trees and the stalls and the DJ booth in the middle. It’s a relatively small market with maybe ten or so stalls but I loved it and felt really comfortable and happy stood in the middle of this wonderful place – this was obviously in no way related to the fact that I said yes to a shot of rum in my mulled wine.
This market is close to Odeonsplatz on the U-bahn and is situated in Wittelsbacher Platz. The minute you see it, you’ll feel transported back in time, from the wooden stalls and tents to medieval costumes and items to buy. Definitely one to visit for unique Christmas gifts!
The English Garden (Englischer Garten) in Munich is worth a visit in itself – one of Europe’s largest urban public parks and even bigger than New York’s Central Park – but visit at Christmas and you can experience the delightful market at the Chinese Tower. Full of unique stalls selling soft toys, decorations, German biscuits, tea, hot German food on proper ceramic plates and of course beer and mulled wine. It feels lovely and peaceful because of its surroundings and makes for a lovely break before getting back to exploring the Garden.
My other favourite thing in Munich at Christmas is the Christmas Tram! It’s a tram of the MVG (Munich Trasport Association) that is painted with reindeer and hung with tinsel outside and furnished with Christmas decorations inside. It departs from Sendlinger Tor and a half hour journey round the city and back to starting point costs a mere €2. You can purchase mulled wine from an adjacent stand and take it on board with you. The tram gets super full so you may not get a seat but looking at Munich out the window with Christmas music blasting from the speakers will definitely get you in that Christmassy mood.
We stayed in the Hotel Atlas, which was within walking distance Marienplatz but also of the main train station and another underground train station. Super convenient. The lift making loud noises interrupting sleep was not so convenient but after all the walking we were doing, I was so tired, I mostly blocked it out.
Why not pin this for later?