Visiting Munich’s Christmas Markets

Exploring Munich's Christmas Markets

I’d long been hoping to visit Germany during Christmas time. After five trips to Deutschland during the coldest months of the year, I finally made it to Oktoberfest, an absolute dream for beer lovers.

But shortly after my trip to the Weis’n, my parents decided to spend Christmas on the Danube River aboard a river boat, leaving from Munich. Glühwein for all!

Christkindlemarkt Munich

After a chaotic trimester, I tacked on a Friday and Saturday onto a weeklong cruise to eat my way around the Bavarian capital. Flight delays dropped me into the city near midnight, and after fumbling around my hostel dorm room to try to change into pajamas, I woke up still fully clothed and running late to meet my cousin, Christyn.

The hostel workers pointed me towards the city center and circled no fewer than ten markets around town, most of which were clumped around Marienplatz. Even before 10am, the streets smelled of seared meat and sweet, candied nuts, but my sensors detected something else: the GLÜHWEIN. 

The delicious gluhwein

But in all seriousness, is there anything so delightful?

I chose a booth right in front of the statue that gives Marienplatz its name, and it seems she had the same idea: as soon as I’d wrapped my paws around the steaming cup, she’d sidled up next to me and ordered one, too.

The oldest Munich Christmas market, then called Nicholausmarkt, dates back to the 14th century, and  the city now has themed stalls all around town, from traditional to children’s to even a medieval markets that sells pelts and wooden swords. We began at Marienplatz, which has traditional offerings like Christmas decorations and food – and slowly worked our way around the periphery markets.

Visit the Munich Christmarkets

Munich Christmas Cookies

Christmas time in the Munich markets

peacocks in Munich


Eating brats in Munich

Christmas Time in Europe

Christmas markets and ornaments

How delicious is Gluhwein!

In the end, my money went not to whimsical dolls or ornaments for my fake Christmas tree, but to food and drink to keep me warm! I’d see more markets in Passau, Vienna and Salzburg on that trip, but Munich’s is more magical – even for a Scrooge like me!

Interested in reading more about Munich? Check out my posts on Oktoberfest, on my thoughts on Neuschwanstein and the surprising village of Passau.

Have you ever been to Munich or any Christmas markets?

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she wrangles babies at an English language academy and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. Unfortunately I won’t make it to Munich for their Christmas markets this year :( However, I’ll be going to a few other markets and hopefully to Munich for Oktoberfest in the near future.
    Mike of Mapless Mike recently posted..A Nostalgic Return to GranadaMy Profile

  2. I visited Munich this past summer and I would love to return for the Christmas market! Looks wonderful 😀
    Chanel | Cultural Xplorer recently posted..2014 Holiday Gift Guide For Your Traveler (+Giveaway!)My Profile

    • Munich in the summer has to be amazing with the biergartens, and it’s magical in the wintertime! It took me six years living in Europe to finally travel there, but I knew I’d love it!

  3. This looks absolutely magical! Ich liebe Glühwein!! I wish Madrid’s Christmas markets could compare. I haven’t been to any European Christmas markets that are on this level, but Prague and Vienna’s Easter markets really surprised me last spring!
    Courtney recently posted..5 Best Day Trips from MadridMy Profile

    • Munich was an absolute dream. We missed a few markets, being after Christmas, but we got to a few in Vienna and one in Salzburg. Give me Glühwein and a sausage, and it makes anything magical!

  4. I’ve never been to Munich but last year I went to the Christmas markets in Frankfurt and Heidelberg – I love them, and not just because it’s an excuse to drink wine during the day. It makes me feel festive when I’m normally just a scrooge. 😉


  1. […] that took place near the Beautiful Tower in Kaufingerstrasse in 1642. Cat Gaa from Sunshine and Siestas shares her thoughts on the Munich Christmas […]

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